Calculating Back-Up Drive Capacity

Started Feb 28, 2011 | Discussions thread
David Burren Regular Member • Posts: 391
Re: Calculating Back-Up Drive Capacity

Agree with this. I remember from when I was using a 40D that the files (from this 10 Mp camera) were around 10-11 MB each.

Are you trying to establish the appropriate size drives to take on a trip? Hopefully you can come to some estimate of how many shots you might take on each camera, and thus come up with a number of GB. Add some appropriate fudge factor (how good are your estimates?).

So far I've always managed to overestimate my requirements and haven't run out. Sometimes I've waaay overestimated, sometimes I've only been 30% over. That's better than being 3% under! On my last Antarctic trip I took ~750 GB of space and "only" used 500 GB.

Of course you should ALWAYS have a backup of your work on a different set of media (especially if you're travelling for a long period and thus taking more risks with your gear).

  • Some people cope with this by having two sets of drives for their laptop (I have all my primary storage inside my laptop, and the backups for the trip on an external).

  • Some carry two external backup devices (if I'm travelling without a laptop [rare!] I've at times used a Nexto and a Vosonic to backup each card twice at the end of each day).

  • Some copy all their files to a hard drive for a backup, but don't reformat any of their cards. Obviously the cost trade-off for this can get unreasonable if you're expecting to bring back 300 GB of files!).

  • Some take enough flash for the trip, and don't do backups to a drive during the trip. This can be better than having a single copy on a hard drive, as the flash cards are very robust. And if you're travelling at high altitudes (e.g. Nepal/Tibet) you shouldn't try to use hard drives anyway. So sometimes this is actually the best option.

Hopefully you've got this in-hand, but your query about "adequate storage capacity for a back-up portable HD" raised a warning flag. I'd first be worried about adequate storage capacity for my primary copy of the files before I worried about the backup.

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