Digital Outback Photo
- Photography using Digital SLRs

Digital Camera on the Road

by Uwe Steinmueller

If you photograph with a digital Camera like the D1 and use only RAW format (as I do) this can create a lot of data in a short period of time. Think of a ten day trip and you would probably not want to have all photos stored on IBM Microdrives.(340MB not even 1GB)


Here is the math:
300 photos a day = 1.2 GB per day = 12 GB in 10 days.
12 GB on IBM Microdrive 340MB = 35 Microdrives = $12250 and even triple using compact flash
Using just CF cards or Microdrives is clearly not an option.


Here is my solution:

Part 1: Notebook with a lot of disk space (12GB has mine)

In some way a notebook PC or Mac is a must (I have a Sony Vaio PCG-Z505HS). The LCD displays are not great for really judging the images but you get an first impression.


Photoshop 5.x
Bibble for NEF conversion
CuteFTP for uploading results
IfanView (great freeware viewer
HTML editing software (I use Dreamweaver)


But now you have all the valuable data on the notebook and the Microdrives fresh formatted.

Part 2: Secure Backup Strategy

Problems: Notebooks can get stolen or disk crashes (this is rare but the danger is real)


a) Take a CD writer with you and burn backup CDs

b) Have a backup disk

Solution (a) works but I opted for (b). What you need is reasonable priced storage which is also light and robust. This is where the DataBook from DataZone seems to be the right solution:

Light (12 ounces / 340 gram)
Reliable (IBM disks for notebooks)
Stores 6/12/18/25 GB
Has USB/PC-Card/Parallel interfaces
E1394 firewire interface will come soon
There is also a Databay Kit to make the DataBook a removable disk in you PC


First Experience


Installation for USB is pretty easy. Speed is slow but probably a lot faster than burning CDs.