Best external storage for a photographer?

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Best external storage for a photographer?

Postposted on Tue Jun 12, 2012 8:17 pm

I am always in the market for external storage solutions in the Raid 1 format. We take tons of photos and seems like we fill up 3 gig drives monthly. Our Mac only has Firewire 800, not Thunderbolt (yet). Any ideas on a solution that once the drives are full I can just remove the drives and put in new ones and file the drives away? I have looked into a Drobo, but I wanted to ask the question of people that know what their talking about, not just me guessing. I just recently bought a My Book Studio Edition 2. Any thoughts on what my next purchase should be? Thanks for the help in advance.
maui123
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Re: Best external storage for a photographer?

Postposted on Tue Jun 12, 2012 9:22 pm

I would avoid drobo as I think they use their own software to handle archiving and I don't know how straightforward it would be to get at your files once the drives were outside of the drobo unit.

I've had good enough luck with the cheaper Meadiasonic multiple bay HDD enclosures. They come in simple eSATA/usb 3.0 port expansion and RAID-capable flavors. No firewire support, but it should be simple enough to add eSATA, or at least USB 3.0 to the Mac (though eSATA is really the way to go).

As a matter of interest, why are you using RAID? RAID is generally used to protect drives against failure that are in ongoing use in a system. If you are simply archiving these drives, you could always just copy over your files in duplicate and actually have 2 copies of your archived data. Simpler and safer in my opinion. With RAID, if something happens to one of the drives you file away, then you may be at the mercy of the RAID controller to rebuild you archive...
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Re: Best external storage for a photographer?

Postposted on Tue Jun 12, 2012 9:31 pm

We keep our photos double backed up from our SD cards before we have it uploaded to a cloud storage about 2 weeks later. So we want to have them double backed up so if one drive fails we can retrieve them from the other drive, . We have had drive failures in the past and need to make sure we don't lose any data due to drive failure.
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Re: Best external storage for a photographer?

Postposted on Tue Jun 12, 2012 9:38 pm

Cynan, thanks for the recommendation on the Meadiasonic multiple bay HDD enclosures. I have done a little research on the eSATA cables, but know nothing of installing them to our computer. We have imacs and wouldn't know the first thing about installing a port for the eSATA cables or if it can be done???
maui123
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Re: Best external storage for a photographer?

Postposted on Tue Jun 12, 2012 9:39 pm

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6817153112

I wouldn't use RAID 1 for your purposes. I would copy the files to both drives instead. There's numerous models of these hard drive docking stations, I doubt this Thermaltake model is the best but this gives you the idea.

Since you have an iMac you have severe limitations on ports, you're not going to be able to add either eSATA or USB 3.0.
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Re: Best external storage for a photographer?

Postposted on Wed Jun 13, 2012 12:54 am

maui123 wrote:Cynan, thanks for the recommendation on the Meadiasonic multiple bay HDD enclosures. I have done a little research on the eSATA cables, but know nothing of installing them to our computer. We have imacs and wouldn't know the first thing about installing a port for the eSATA cables or if it can be done???


Apparently, if the iMac was made after mid-2010, there should be an 3rd SATA port open if you did not opt for the dual hard drive config. You can get a SATA to eSATA cable to attach to this. Not too many other options for iMacs.
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Re: Best external storage for a photographer?

Postposted on Wed Jun 13, 2012 3:44 am

That would mean opening the Mac and drilling a hole in the back of it to poke the cable out of. Personally speaking, I wouldn't want to do that to a £1500 computer!
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Re: Best external storage for a photographer?

Postposted on Wed Jun 13, 2012 6:22 am

At work, we use LaCie big disks for external storage. They support Firewire 800 and multiple RAID modes.

http://www.lacie.com/products/product.htm?id=10310
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Re: Best external storage for a photographer?

Postposted on Wed Jun 13, 2012 12:39 pm

Norphy wrote:That would mean opening the Mac and drilling a hole in the back of it to poke the cable out of. Personally speaking, I wouldn't want to do that to a £1500 computer!


Neither would I. But if the alternative was being stuck with Firewire 800 transfer speeds (and the limited external enclosure selection), I'd be sorely tempted.

And it's not like others aren't resorting to doing it.
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