Tuesday, March 1, 2011
Toolbox: Max Storage
High-capacity external drive options for constantly expanding image libraries
While faster in practical performance than USB 2.0 (400 Mb/s and 800 Mb/s, respectively), FireWire hasn’t seen any new innovation since FireWire 800 was released many years back, but because it’s commonly found on camcorders, it’s still the most popular interface for people who work with video, especially as it’s more reliable for working with large video files off of an external disk.
Other connections, like eSATA, are also a possible choice for moving files fast, though they will require adapters in most cases and technical know-how during installation. When looking at a drive purchase, be sure to consider the connection capabilities of your peripherals, like DSLRs, camcorders, pocket cameras and any other devices from which you may directly download files to an external drive.
One terabyte (TB) equals 1,000 gigabytes (GB), and with up to a massive 3 TB of capacity, the G-DRIVE from G-Technology by Hitachi is minimal in design and size while offering some big capacity within. The flexible interface of the G-DRIVE includes 3 Gb eSATA, FireWire 800 (or FireWire 400 with the included cable) and USB 2.0 ports. The advantage to FireWire 400 and 800 is that data transfer is optimized with sustained data transfer, significant for transferring large files over the large bandwidth possible with external drives. More importantly, thanks to the sustained data rates, large files can be worked on while still on an external drive, making FireWire a popular choice for photographers who work with video. List Price: $449 (3 TB).
At up to 1.5 total terabytes, the Guardian MAXimus mini Quad Interface from NewerTech includes FireWire 800/400, USB 2.0 and eSATA for flexible data-transfer possibilities. There’s also RAID-1 storage for setting up the drive to mirror data as it’s written, which means that files are backed up not once but twice. The MAXimus mini is available in drive setups of 500 GB x 2, 640 GB x 2, and 750 GB x 2, with options for 7200 rpm models, which translates to faster reading and writing of files. List Price: Begins at $249.
More drives also are offering wireless capabilities for networking a single external drive for multiple computers. This allows everyone working in a single environment to share storage space and work together as a community, whether in a studio, business or at home with the family. For photographers, network-attached storage (NAS) is important because it allows others to access images and folders from any attached computer and, in many cases, over the Internet, an important advantage for photographers who travel often or work with assistants.
Apple computers are popular with photographers, and it’s no wonder with the seamless workflow experience that the company provides when you buy into its system. The Time Machine automatic backup software that comes bundled with Mac OS X Leopard and Snow Leopard, for instance, is a comprehensive archival software program that systematically updates changes to your computer and its files on an hourly basis. For many photographers, it’s an ideal backup solution, as that means that it also will save previous versions of image files, so if a mistake is made, or an image is corrupted, you will be able to restore it from Time Machine. Available in 1 TB and 2 TB capacities, the Time Capsule is Apple’s proprietary wireless external hard drive that’s set up from the get-go to work interactively with Time Machine. It also doubles as a fast 802.11n Wi-Fi base station for sharing your network and files with up to 50 other users. List Price: $299 (1 TB); $499 (2 TB).
(512) 349-1500 www.buffalotech.com
|G-Technology by Hitachi
Western Digital Corp.
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