Traveling to China, need to backup my files, any suggestions?

Started 4 months ago | Discussions
MK Senior Member • Posts: 2,459
Re: Traveling to China, need to backup my files, any suggestions?

phil from seattle wrote:

Like other suggested, I use SD Cards for backup. However, I do it a bit differently. I have a tablet with a 256GB SD Card in it and simply copy my camera cards to it. Thus, my tablet becomes my backup device and I can review/share my photos fairly easily. My camera cards are pretty big (64GB) and I just leave them in the camera. I use my tablet while traveling (maps, social media, general internet stuff,...) so it's no extra weight/volume. I take a card reader that plugs into the tablet's USB port but usually I just use USB from the camera to the tablet.

This!

Most people have some kind of laptop/tablet/etc when they travel now to be online to check on things.  Some laptops have built in SD card slot/reader.  If not, get an tiny external one.

I would just copy everything from the camera to the laptop or what-have-you and store the card away.  Don't reuse the card during the trip!

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mfinley Senior Member • Posts: 2,734
Re: Traveling to China, need to backup my files, any suggestions?
1

MK wrote:

phil from seattle wrote:

Like other suggested, I use SD Cards for backup. However, I do it a bit differently. I have a tablet with a 256GB SD Card in it and simply copy my camera cards to it. Thus, my tablet becomes my backup device and I can review/share my photos fairly easily. My camera cards are pretty big (64GB) and I just leave them in the camera. I use my tablet while traveling (maps, social media, general internet stuff,...) so it's no extra weight/volume. I take a card reader that plugs into the tablet's USB port but usually I just use USB from the camera to the tablet.

This!

Most people have some kind of laptop/tablet/etc when they travel now to be online to check on things. Some laptops have built in SD card slot/reader. If not, get an tiny external one.

I would just copy everything from the camera to the laptop or what-have-you and store the card away. Don't reuse the card during the trip!

Yes, it's not difficult to back up onto a computer of some sort, the trick is how to do it when you don't want to lug a computer around when traveling..

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ZeBebito
OP ZeBebito Regular Member • Posts: 430
Re: Traveling to China, need to backup my files, any suggestions?

mfinley wrote:

MK wrote:

phil from seattle wrote:

Like other suggested, I use SD Cards for backup. However, I do it a bit differently. I have a tablet with a 256GB SD Card in it and simply copy my camera cards to it. Thus, my tablet becomes my backup device and I can review/share my photos fairly easily. My camera cards are pretty big (64GB) and I just leave them in the camera. I use my tablet while traveling (maps, social media, general internet stuff,...) so it's no extra weight/volume. I take a card reader that plugs into the tablet's USB port but usually I just use USB from the camera to the tablet.

This!

Most people have some kind of laptop/tablet/etc when they travel now to be online to check on things. Some laptops have built in SD card slot/reader. If not, get an tiny external one.

I would just copy everything from the camera to the laptop or what-have-you and store the card away. Don't reuse the card during the trip!

Yes, it's not difficult to back up onto a computer of some sort, the trick is how to do it when you don't want to lug a computer around when traveling..

Exactly, I went to Japan and made the mistake of taking my Macbook Air along “just in case” anything could happen at work and it was a terrible mistake, -never use it- and only added weight to my backpack.

The simplest solution is the obvious, an SD card-iPhone adapter and voilá, backup everything in my 256gb phone. I assume there are SD adapters for Android too.

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phil from seattle
phil from seattle Senior Member • Posts: 3,230
Re: Traveling to China, need to backup my files, any suggestions?
1

mfinley wrote:

MK wrote:

phil from seattle wrote:

Like other suggested, I use SD Cards for backup. However, I do it a bit differently. I have a tablet with a 256GB SD Card in it and simply copy my camera cards to it. Thus, my tablet becomes my backup device and I can review/share my photos fairly easily. My camera cards are pretty big (64GB) and I just leave them in the camera. I use my tablet while traveling (maps, social media, general internet stuff,...) so it's no extra weight/volume. I take a card reader that plugs into the tablet's USB port but usually I just use USB from the camera to the tablet.

This!

Most people have some kind of laptop/tablet/etc when they travel now to be online to check on things. Some laptops have built in SD card slot/reader. If not, get an tiny external one.

I would just copy everything from the camera to the laptop or what-have-you and store the card away. Don't reuse the card during the trip!

Yes, it's not difficult to back up onto a computer of some sort, the trick is how to do it when you don't want to lug a computer around when traveling..

Yup. That's why I use a 7" tablet. It's relatively old but takes minimal space and weighs 9 oz. I travel with it anyway and the only thing extra I need is an OTG adapter since the cameras use the same USB cord as my phone.

What I don't get is why people want to solve the backup problem with bulky, heavy, power hungry bricks that require a bunch of attachments and a workflow of their own. I travel a lot and am always looking to cut down on the number of things I travel with, not increase them. That's why my backup body is the same as my main camera - one charger not 2, fewer accessories and zooms not primes.  Oh well, everyone is different.

TJ61 Senior Member • Posts: 1,515
Re: Traveling to China, need to backup my files, any suggestions?
2

ZeBebito wrote:

The simplest solution is the obvious, an SD card-iPhone adapter and voilá, backup everything in my 256gb phone. I assume there are SD adapters for Android too.

Unless, like me, you shoot raw+jpg. That slick little iPhone connector doesn't let you choose which to transfer.

Also beware of some wireless transfer "solutions", especially if you shoot raw only. You may find that your "solution" is only transferring the low-res jpg thumbnail that's embedded in the raw file.

I've been down this road before, and always seemed to find the devil in the details. But everyone's situation is different, everyone's needs are different, and everyone has their own set of rational or irrational fears.  Luckily, there are lots of bits and pieces of good info here for us to build our own unique solution.

But, word to the wise: fully test your chosen backup solution before you go. That includes checking file resolution of your backup.

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mfinley Senior Member • Posts: 2,734
Re: Traveling to China, need to backup my files, any suggestions?

phil from seattle wrote:

What I don't get is why people want to solve the backup problem with bulky, heavy, power hungry bricks that require a bunch of attachments and a workflow of their own. I travel a lot and am always looking to cut down on the number of things I travel with, not increase them. That's why my backup body is the same as my main camera - one charger not 2, fewer accessories and zooms not primes. Oh well, everyone is different.

You and I sound a lot alike. I'm always trying to save an ounce or two at a time, it adds up. Traveling light is the ultimate freedom and makes travel so much easier on your body and mind.

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phil from seattle
phil from seattle Senior Member • Posts: 3,230
Re: Traveling to China, need to backup my files, any suggestions?

mfinley wrote:

phil from seattle wrote:

What I don't get is why people want to solve the backup problem with bulky, heavy, power hungry bricks that require a bunch of attachments and a workflow of their own. I travel a lot and am always looking to cut down on the number of things I travel with, not increase them. That's why my backup body is the same as my main camera - one charger not 2, fewer accessories and zooms not primes. Oh well, everyone is different.

You and I sound a lot alike. I'm always trying to save an ounce or two at a time, it adds up. Traveling light is the ultimate freedom and makes travel so much easier on your body and mind.

lol.  Carry-on uber alles!!!

ZeBebito
OP ZeBebito Regular Member • Posts: 430
Re: Traveling to China, need to backup my files, any suggestions?

TJ61 wrote:

ZeBebito wrote:

The simplest solution is the obvious, an SD card-iPhone adapter and voilá, backup everything in my 256gb phone. I assume there are SD adapters for Android too.

Unless, like me, you shoot raw+jpg. That slick little iPhone connector doesn't let you choose which to transfer.

Also beware of some wireless transfer "solutions", especially if you shoot raw only. You may find that your "solution" is only transferring the low-res jpg thumbnail that's embedded in the raw file.

I've been down this road before, and always seemed to find the devil in the details. But everyone's situation is different, everyone's needs are different, and everyone has their own set of rational or irrational fears. Luckily, there are lots of bits and pieces of good info here for us to build our own unique solution.

But, word to the wise: fully test your chosen backup solution before you go. That includes checking file resolution of your backup.

I also shoot RAW+jpg and the Apple adapter transfers all, don’t see what the problem might be.

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TJ61 Senior Member • Posts: 1,515
Re: Traveling to China, need to backup my files, any suggestions?
1

ZeBebito wrote:

TJ61 wrote:

ZeBebito wrote:

The simplest solution is the obvious, an SD card-iPhone adapter and voilá, backup everything in my 256gb phone. I assume there are SD adapters for Android too.

Unless, like me, you shoot raw+jpg. That slick little iPhone connector doesn't let you choose which to transfer.

Also beware of some wireless transfer "solutions", especially if you shoot raw only. You may find that your "solution" is only transferring the low-res jpg thumbnail that's embedded in the raw file.

I've been down this road before, and always seemed to find the devil in the details. But everyone's situation is different, everyone's needs are different, and everyone has their own set of rational or irrational fears. Luckily, there are lots of bits and pieces of good info here for us to build our own unique solution.

But, word to the wise: fully test your chosen backup solution before you go. That includes checking file resolution of your backup.

I also shoot RAW+jpg and the Apple adapter transfers all, don’t see what the problem might be.

Have you tested it with your Sony?

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ZeBebito
OP ZeBebito Regular Member • Posts: 430
Re: Traveling to China, need to backup my files, any suggestions?

TJ61 wrote:

ZeBebito wrote:

TJ61 wrote:

ZeBebito wrote:

The simplest solution is the obvious, an SD card-iPhone adapter and voilá, backup everything in my 256gb phone. I assume there are SD adapters for Android too.

Unless, like me, you shoot raw+jpg. That slick little iPhone connector doesn't let you choose which to transfer.

Also beware of some wireless transfer "solutions", especially if you shoot raw only. You may find that your "solution" is only transferring the low-res jpg thumbnail that's embedded in the raw file.

I've been down this road before, and always seemed to find the devil in the details. But everyone's situation is different, everyone's needs are different, and everyone has their own set of rational or irrational fears. Luckily, there are lots of bits and pieces of good info here for us to build our own unique solution.

But, word to the wise: fully test your chosen backup solution before you go. That includes checking file resolution of your backup.

I also shoot RAW+jpg and the Apple adapter transfers all, don’t see what the problem might be.

Have you tested it with your Sony?

No, I haven’t bought the adapter yet but Apple says it can transfer all the photos from your card -JPG+RAW to the Photos album.

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jch2103B Contributing Member • Posts: 507
Re: Traveling to China, need to backup my files, any suggestions?

I have a Ravpower. Works OK, but it's only USB 2, so not very fast.

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MK Senior Member • Posts: 2,459
Re: Traveling to China, need to backup my files, any suggestions?

mfinley wrote:

MK wrote:

phil from seattle wrote:

Like other suggested, I use SD Cards for backup. However, I do it a bit differently. I have a tablet with a 256GB SD Card in it and simply copy my camera cards to it. Thus, my tablet becomes my backup device and I can review/share my photos fairly easily. My camera cards are pretty big (64GB) and I just leave them in the camera. I use my tablet while traveling (maps, social media, general internet stuff,...) so it's no extra weight/volume. I take a card reader that plugs into the tablet's USB port but usually I just use USB from the camera to the tablet.

This!

Most people have some kind of laptop/tablet/etc when they travel now to be online to check on things. Some laptops have built in SD card slot/reader. If not, get an tiny external one.

I would just copy everything from the camera to the laptop or what-have-you and store the card away. Don't reuse the card during the trip!

Yes, it's not difficult to back up onto a computer of some sort, the trick is how to do it when you don't want to lug a computer around when traveling..

This always comes along with me where ever I travel since I need to check e-mail for work. I'm not sure if it's still made or there's a newer version. Small and relatively light with a 10" screen. Full blown Windows 10.

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1007242-REG/asus_64gb_t100ta_c1_gr_transformer_book.html

Since I already have this, I slap on a 64GB MicroSD and use that as my backup.

I know the cell phone these days have, for some, replaced the laptop/tablet/etc but I need a keyboard to type.  Call me old fashion. 

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jonathanj
jonathanj Contributing Member • Posts: 969
Re: Traveling to China, need to backup my files, any suggestions?
1

nbirkett wrote:

I'm interested in a similar solution for trips when I don't want to lug along my 13" MacBook Pro. The general ideas suggested here make sense, but the specifics are trickier.

The most interesting option seems to be USB drives that can save directly from sd cards to an SSD or hard drive (e.g. the WD My Passport Wireless series). These aren't cheap (around $200 for a 4TB HDD version) but they have a built-in SD card slot that will copy files automatically to the drive for back-up. No need for a laptop or tablet. This is the approach that I am looking at most closely.

Phone transfers: I use an iPhone. I don't think that an iPhone can transfer from an SD card to a USB drive. The next version of iOS may help make that possible but you would still needed adpaters to connect the SD card and USB drive to the phone. Are Android phones able to do this already and do they make it easy?

What 'tablet' are people talking about? Again, AFIK, ipads can not do that transfer with the current iOS. Are their windows-based tablets that are light and able to do this?

Copying from an SD card directly to another SD card likely would need a computing device to interconnect them. I know that, for some cameras, you could use the second card slot to store a back-up. But, it would still be nice to have a back-up on a separate type of device.

Backing up to the cloud requires an Internet connection. On many trips (e.g. cruises) connectivity can be hard, slow and expensive. You also still need to be able to read the SD cards into a device that will be able to access the Internet.

Another option that I just discovered - on my Nikon D7200, I can have the camera copy all of the images on my main SD card to a back-up SD put into the second card slot. That provides a full back-up and can be done using sd cards, that are light, small and relatively inexpensive. Of course, you need a camera with two card slots and the appropriate software.

If people have specific details on how to do the other methods, could they post the specific hardware/software that would be needed (or that they use)? It would help to more fully understand the options. Thanks.

Bit late but I'll chime in, for short trips I don't bother with backups (if I think I'll take no more than 1 or 2 cards' worth and I'm not going anywhere I haven't been before), but for longer or more special trips I take a WD my passport device. Mine is a few years old and has a 2tb HDD, but newer models have an SSD which is more robust.

the main advantage of the WD device is simplicity , at the end of the day I just put the cards in, one by one, they automatically backup without any need to fiddle with pairing devices or mobile connections. Then I can have a single set of cards (rather than needing to remember which are primaries and which are backups) an keep the device in a different bag for peace of mind. I can do the backups whilst packing my bags or cleaning my teeth, there's no need to sit down and focus on it. The WD my passport also contains a battery that is good for 2 weeks of running backups or multiple cards every night (assuming you're not using it for anything else), so no need even to find another power socket and get the cables out.

I previously tried using my android phone in USB OTG mode and it was a huge pain, I had to spend time every evening getting everything connected, and could never reliably use my phone for anything else at the same time. I also tried a Kingston device that connected any external HDD rather than containing its own memory, but the power was unreliable, I had to dig out the power adapter a few times.

This sounds a bit like an advert so I'll add that the WD My Passport isn't perfect , the android app isn't great and the workflow for editing on the go takes some real planning or you end up duplicating effort. But if, like me, you just want a hassle free backup so you can be confident that you'll get home with every shot you took, the WD device is well worth the money.

Oh, and specifically for China, don't even try to use cloud backups. They'll either be blocked or super slow.

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alcelc
alcelc Forum Pro • Posts: 11,731
Re: Traveling to China, need to backup my files, any suggestions?

If you will also carry your smart phone, problem solved.

I use my Android phone, an OTG card reader (few US$ only) and a bunch of OTG USB flash drives to do backup.

The easiest way without many extra hardware nor cost.

Just returned from a trip to Israel + Jordan and it did well for the 6.5K shots & 4K video. I can also watch my work on a larger phone screen (vs the LCD on the camera).

Had tried to attach a 1Tb USB external Hard Disk as suggested by members in case will go for a long trip but still cannot solve the power issue of the Hard Drive (need to buy a dual head USB cable).

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Albert

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W3PYF
W3PYF Contributing Member • Posts: 802
Re: Traveling to China, need to backup my files, any suggestions?

larsbc wrote:

ZeBebito wrote:

I wonder if this is the correct forum to post this, I am looking for a solution to download my images from the SD cards, I found this Sanho Hyperdrive, but I am wondering if there are other alternatives for less than 500 bucks. I don't want to take my laptop just for that.

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?A=details&IWB=MX&O=&Q=&gclid=CjwKCAjwmZbpBRAGEiwADrmVXqcmzZg22SZb5WVKCMGp6NQcuTSND7kU8jz_iJHX66dMFDzHzn9orBoCRjYQAvD_BwE&is=REG&lsft=BI%3A514&pcur=xCHF&sku=1191265

Thanks!

When I went to China I used my phone (Samsung Note 4) to backup my cards to a pair of USB drives via a USB hub which had a built-in card reader. It was a bit fussy to get it to work sometimes but it did work.

My backup solution while in China

If you want something a bit simpler, I'd see what is available on Amazon. Here's something I found but haven't tried: https://www.amazon.com/RAVPower-FileHub-Wireless-Portable-Transfer/dp/B07P5QDQ1B/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?crid=1WD5QJ3QTCOFU&keywords=portable+sd+card+backup+drive&qid=1562769809&s=gateway&sprefix=portable+sd+card+backup%2Caps%2C197&sr=8-1-spons&psc=1

I like RAVPower products; I have a few of their battery packs and they've been very reliable.

I have used the RAVPower hubs for years. You use them with a smartphone app and an FAT- formatted drive (conventional or SSD). Easy, light. The smartphone/app just control the hub.

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Ken60 Senior Member • Posts: 1,154
Re: Traveling to China, need to backup my files, any suggestions?

I use two systems to backup my images when on the go ...........

1) buy a large SD card, the biggest you can get/afford  , when you are ready remove your SD from one of the card slots in your camera , and use the internal copy function to dump the second card to your newly inserted large SD.  Canon 5DSR is great for this, and it's a good idea to shoot RAW to both cards as if one dies I still have RAW files !

You can keep adding to this large card several times till full.

2) I use a Samsung tablet with a large micro SD inserted, using an OTG adapter I can attach a card reader and backup the camera card to the tablet. This allows me to go through my shots and decide if I need to re shoot anything or change anything before I return home.  I can also tether the camera to the tablet if there is anything where this extra care might benefit.

You can leave one of the backups in your hotel room just incase the worst should happen.

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larsbc Forum Pro • Posts: 15,983
Re: Traveling to China, need to backup my files, any suggestions?

W3PYF wrote:

I have used the RAVPower hubs for years. You use them with a smartphone app and an FAT- formatted drive (conventional or SSD). Easy, light. The smartphone/app just control the hub.

Perhaps you could answer this question for me: if I backup my SD card on Monday night, and then I add more photos onto the card on Tuesday, when I do my Tuesday night backup, will the RAVPower create a new directory in its backup storage with ALL the photos from the SD card? Or can it do incremental backups where the Tuesday night backup will only backup the new photos (ie: just the ones taken on Tuesday)?

(I'm referring to the case where you use its automatic backup feature as opposed to manually selecting files to copy.)

nbirkett Senior Member • Posts: 1,622
Re: Traveling to China, need to backup my files, any suggestions?
1

larsbc wrote:

W3PYF wrote:

I have used the RAVPower hubs for years. You use them with a smartphone app and an FAT- formatted drive (conventional or SSD). Easy, light. The smartphone/app just control the hub.

Perhaps you could answer this question for me: if I backup my SD card on Monday night, and then I add more photos onto the card on Tuesday, when I do my Tuesday night backup, will the RAVPower create a new directory in its backup storage with ALL the photos from the SD card? Or can it do incremental backups where the Tuesday night backup will only backup the new photos (ie: just the ones taken on Tuesday)?

(I'm referring to the case where you use its automatic backup feature as opposed to manually selecting files to copy.)

I have been testing a RAVPower unit, using the auto sd back-up option.  I backed-up the same sd card twice to the same USB device.  Each back-up created a new back-up directory with the entire sd card contents. There was no incremental back-up using the auto back-up feature.  The way it defines the directory name on the USB is based on the data and time, to the second, when the back-u; starts.  So, it would be unaware of any previous back-up of the same card.

If you do the back-up using the phone ap control, you likely have more control and might be able to do an incremental back-up but I haven't tried that yet.

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Nick

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larsbc Forum Pro • Posts: 15,983
Re: Traveling to China, need to backup my files, any suggestions?

nbirkett wrote:

larsbc wrote:

W3PYF wrote:

I have used the RAVPower hubs for years. You use them with a smartphone app and an FAT- formatted drive (conventional or SSD). Easy, light. The smartphone/app just control the hub.

Perhaps you could answer this question for me: if I backup my SD card on Monday night, and then I add more photos onto the card on Tuesday, when I do my Tuesday night backup, will the RAVPower create a new directory in its backup storage with ALL the photos from the SD card? Or can it do incremental backups where the Tuesday night backup will only backup the new photos (ie: just the ones taken on Tuesday)?

(I'm referring to the case where you use its automatic backup feature as opposed to manually selecting files to copy.)

I have been testing a RAVPower unit, using the auto sd back-up option. I backed-up the same sd card twice to the same USB device. Each back-up created a new back-up directory with the entire sd card contents. There was no incremental back-up using the auto back-up feature. The way it defines the directory name on the USB is based on the data and time, to the second, when the back-u; starts. So, it would be unaware of any previous back-up of the same card.

If you do the back-up using the phone ap control, you likely have more control and might be able to do an incremental back-up but I haven't tried that yet.

Thanks for the detailed answer, Nick.

nbirkett Senior Member • Posts: 1,622
Re: Traveling to China, need to backup my files, any suggestions?

larsbc wrote:

nbirkett wrote:

larsbc wrote:

W3PYF wrote:

I have used the RAVPower hubs for years. You use them with a smartphone app and an FAT- formatted drive (conventional or SSD). Easy, light. The smartphone/app just control the hub.

Perhaps you could answer this question for me: if I backup my SD card on Monday night, and then I add more photos onto the card on Tuesday, when I do my Tuesday night backup, will the RAVPower create a new directory in its backup storage with ALL the photos from the SD card? Or can it do incremental backups where the Tuesday night backup will only backup the new photos (ie: just the ones taken on Tuesday)?

(I'm referring to the case where you use its automatic backup feature as opposed to manually selecting files to copy.)

I have been testing a RAVPower unit, using the auto sd back-up option. I backed-up the same sd card twice to the same USB device. Each back-up created a new back-up directory with the entire sd card contents. There was no incremental back-up using the auto back-up feature. The way it defines the directory name on the USB is based on the data and time, to the second, when the back-u; starts. So, it would be unaware of any previous back-up of the same card.

If you do the back-up using the phone ap control, you likely have more control and might be able to do an incremental back-up but I haven't tried that yet.

Thanks for the detailed answer, Nick.

A follow-up.  I have sorted out how to do an SD card back-up using the phone app that links to the RAVPower unit via WiFi.  In that case, you have the option to type in the name of the back-up directory.  Incremental back-ups then work.

  1. Back-up your sd card today into a directory called 'Back-uo 1' (as an example).
  2. Take some more photos tomorrow onto the sd card.
  3. Then do a second back-up tomorrow into the same directory (Back-up 1). 
  4. The software recognizes that some of the photos already exist and asks if you want to 'over-write' the files. 
  5. If you select the 'apply to all files' option and click the 'cancel button, it will skip backing up the files already on the USB drive while backing up the new ones that aren't already there. Clicking 'cancel isn't intuitive since you might expect that to cancel the whole transfer rather than apply the 'do not copy option.

Not as convenient as pressing the auto back-up button, but it does work.

Now, I don't think that you can automatically do incremental back-up into differet directories: e.g. back up your 'today' files in the 'back-up 1' directory and then tomorrow's files into 'back-up 2' but only back-up the new files. You would have to  use the phone app and select which files to back-up.

The main negatives I have found with this device so far are:

  1. The software and manual are hard to understand;
  2. Transfers are slow;
  3. You need to carry at least two devices to use it for backups (the RAVpower unit and a disc), three (your phone) if you want to used the control software. From that point of view, the WD Wireless drive is easier since you only need one device for auto back-ups.

And, while not mentioned in the device material, it seems to work fine with HFS+ formatted drives (from Macs).

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Nick

 nbirkett's gear list:nbirkett's gear list
Nikon D90 Nikon D7200 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm F1.8G Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm F4G ED VR Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 16-80mm F2.8-4E ED VR +6 more
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