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View Full Version : 7.99 Card copier for backup while travelling


jdal
12th January 2009, 03:16 PM
I've just ordered one of these

http://www.maplin.co.uk/Media/PDFs/A87HZ%20MD-011.pdf

At 7.99 incl delivery I thought I'd give it a try. With 16.99 for a 16 gig Kingston card at http://www.mymemory.co.uk/Compact-Flash-Cards/Kingston/Kingston-16GB-133X-ELITE-PRO-Compact-Flash-Card I thought 3 16 gig cards and the copier gives me pretty solid backup when away on hols, without having to lug expensive kit around.

Anyone tried these copiers?

snaarman
12th January 2009, 03:27 PM
??

How do they work: You put your 16gig card in the gizmo and connect the camera to it using USB perhaps?? I will be interested to see how you get on :-)

Pete

yorky
12th January 2009, 03:34 PM
If it works it could save the weight of a laptop. interesting idea though.

jdal
12th January 2009, 03:40 PM
http://www.maplin.co.uk/module.aspx?moduleno=225634

Looks like you plug the camera in and copy the card, unless it has duplicate card slots. Another possibility is backup onto memory stick. I really don't fancy taking laptops abroad, this could be just the job. Also when backpacking.

I'll report back. A lot of stuff I get from Maplin doesn't work, but I always get a full refund from the local shop without any fuss, and they are cheap.

shenstone
12th January 2009, 05:20 PM
It looks to me like you nees some form of storage to copy to. If that's the case then whilst I understand the desire not to lug a laption I would rather have one of the viewer/storage devices

I have 2 - Jobo and Vosonic.

The Jobo I have is a little old now (40Gb) and I have to admit the battery life ain't what it used to be, but unless you're in the wilds with no access to a car or mains power these are fairly reliable. You can get this version on "that auction site" for very little now as it has no slide viewer just storage

The Vosonic VP8860 I have is wonderful - a little heavier, but it works as a viewer (and displayes E500/510 RAW files very nicely thankyou) has copy/paste/cut etc so you can trim your collection on the screen and show a nice slideshow. It also has replaceable rechargeable batteries - My 250Gb version cost about 250

I still use the jobo as a second backup, but if I every do a long holiday to somewhere exotic I'll invest in another Vosonic so I have redundant storage incase bags go missing or something else

Regards
Andy

Batman
12th January 2009, 06:49 PM
I bought one of these a few months ago. It was a spontaneous purchase as it was so cheap. It did work but I'm afraid that I found it unusably slow when copying from card to card and have now relegated it to the bottom of a drawer, probably never to be used again.

If yours is any better John, then please post your experience and I will have another go.

I hope you have a better experience.

I like the idea of the Vosonic and its replaceable battery but can't stretch to it at the moment so just take lots of cards and keep fingers crossed.

Dave

jdal
12th January 2009, 06:55 PM
Andy, yeah that Vosonic looks pretty good value, but if I'm out on a climbing trip weight and sturdiness are all important and this cheapo thing will do the required job - that is, get me copies of my data until I get home.

Dave: I expected a stupidly slow transfer rate, but so long as the batteries are up to it that's not a problem - do a day's shooting and set a backup away and go to bed. Or the pub. Reading your reply, it seems to do card to card - is that correct?

Batman
12th January 2009, 07:17 PM
John,

I just got the book out to check whether my recall was correct. The device will copy from card to card, or card to USB or USB to card. It can also connect to your PC as a card reader. I think the only configuration I checked was card to card, probably CF to memory stick or SD as UI have all of these. I can't remember the transfer rate, indeed I didn't measure it accurately.

It uses 3 AAA batteries and they claim that these will last for 5 hours of active use.

If I get a chance later this evening, I will do a quick check of the copy speed. Do you have a particular card of interest? I can manage xD, CF, MS and SD.

Dave

jdal
12th January 2009, 07:28 PM
Dave,

Cheers. I was thinking CF to CF, but I do have a couple of 4 gig SDHC cards, it'd be nice if it supported SDHC.

Lord Minty
12th January 2009, 07:29 PM
Hmm interesting, I'll have a look at that.

As we already had an iPod Video, I bought an Apple iPod camera connector - it works reasonably well, sucks the files off cards via a card reader and you can view the JPGs on the iPod too.

Batman
12th January 2009, 08:57 PM
John.

There is only one CF slot so I'll had to copy to another card type. Quickest to hand was an empty micro SD card so I used that. I copied 10 photo files, 63.6MB and it took roughly (no stopwatch) 6 minutes 40 seconds. That's about 9.54 MB/minute at my reckoning. The donor card was a SanDisk Extreme III 4GB.

That's not very fast and I don't think it would copy a full 4 GB card before the batteries ran out. Maybe it would do better with a faster receiving card but I get the feeling that the device itself may be the speed limit.

I can't see any spec in the manual quoting a transfer speed but I may have missed it.

I hope this helps and sorry it may be bad news.

Dave

jdal
12th January 2009, 09:06 PM
Dave, Thanks for doing that. It is pretty snail-like isn't it! I'll have a play around when I get it and report back.

There's scope here for a quality, robust, lightweight and fast memory to memory backup. It seems to me to be way OTT to wrap a hard disk drive up and cart it around, all those moving parts add weight and reduce resilience. And the packaging adds even more. I'd be surprised if someone doesn't come along with a solution faster than the disk based ones.

Batman
12th January 2009, 09:35 PM
John,

Glad to have been of help. I'm inclined to agree that the way solid state memory moves on, then we might expect a faster solution than hard disk solutions. We want it at a reasonable cost as well though and HD seems to be a lot cheaper per GB.

I'll be interested to hear how you get on with this thing when it arrives.

Dave

shenstone
12th January 2009, 10:18 PM
[QUOTE=jdal;35569] but if I'm out on a climbing trip weight and sturdiness are all important QUOTE]

That's why I gave up climbing - I struggled with the power to weigh ratio and that had notthing to do with the camera gear !

Good luck with your gizmo !

Regards
Andy

jdal
24th January 2009, 04:59 PM
I realised that I need to check email and do a small amount of web/office work when I'm away from home, and my daughter's nicked my laptop, so I got an Advent Netbook for 274 from PC World. It's got a 120 meg hard drive+ XP (cue the anti MS brigade....;)) I've stuck Picasa on it and I can process all my pics easily. It does 5 megs a second transferring images from the E3, so it's easily fast enough. I can then copy to SDHC if I really want to.
I'll still need to use the card copier when I'm away from civilisation though, but I can live with that.

Batman
25th January 2009, 11:17 PM
Glad you found a solution John. I'm working on my wife to allow me to go down the netbook path when our budget allows. That is of course unless something better and cheaper turns up first.

Dave

benvendetta
26th January 2009, 01:15 PM
With CF cards so cheap these days I wouldn't go back to a portable HDD again. The one I did have (now deceased) aas just a storage device and didn't allow viewing (it was only 50 from Maplins Cardiff) so didn't allow me to review/delete images once they were on board. At least with multiple CF cards you can always find space (at least if you are anything like me and end up taking FAR too many pictures!).

jdal
26th January 2009, 01:42 PM
But how do you back up your images - i.e. get >1 copy of each?

I agree, flash cards are the most robust, lightest and cheapest options, but there doesn't seem to be a small device that'll copy them fast enough. Interestingly a lot of the netbooks around use flash memory, but the storage wasn't enough and the other functionality on them wasn't up to snuff so I ended up with a HDD one.

benvendetta
26th January 2009, 10:13 PM
I don't bother backing them up. Even when I had my 40GB HDD I loaded the images onto it then deleted the CF cards for reuse.
What did we do in film days? ;)

Henk
27th January 2009, 05:25 PM
I don't bother backing them up. Even when I had my 40GB HDD I loaded the images onto it then deleted the CF cards for reuse.
What did we do in film days? ;)

Wait until lightning strikes your house... We had it twice, my slides and negatives survived as well as the back-up on the external hard-disk. The PC and all three internal drives died both times.

At the last time lightning struck also one of the external drives died, luckily I did not lose any photo's but I lost the back-up of the video's of my daughter.

Now I also burn a back-up on Kodak Gold DVD which are stored far away from my home. It really does not cost much and is done in a few minutes. My images are worth it.

benvendetta
27th January 2009, 06:05 PM
Wait until lightning strikes your house... We had it twice, my slides and negatives survived as well as the back-up on the external hard-disk. The PC and all three internal drives died both times.

At the last time lightning struck also one of the external drives died, luckily I did not lose any photo's but I lost the back-up of the video's of my daughter.

Now I also burn a back-up on Kodak Gold DVD which are stored far away from my home. It really does not cost much and is done in a few minutes. My images are worth it.

I said that I didn't back up my images when on holiday. I DO back them up onto DVD's at home though. You must have misread my post.

shenstone
27th January 2009, 08:26 PM
I said that I didn't back up my images when on holiday. I DO back them up onto DVD's at home though. You must have misread my post.

I think it's worth backing up on Holiday and not just at home. I did this in the days of film by shooting with multiple cameras on critical shots and it paid off when fuji lost me some films.

I've suffered a CF card failure whilst in France and am really glad that I had backed-up all of my images up to that point.

In fact from that date I went out and bought my second HDD device and ensure that I have 2 copies before even thinking about doing anything with the CF's.

To me my effort is in getting to the location, deciding what to take and taking the picture. I want to know it's safe and I don't trust any one piece of technology any longer than I have to.

I used to back-up to DVD, but as a typical holiday would result in something like a dozen DVD's and I want 3 copies of such i find it easier and cheaper to have gone out and got a couple of large disks and swap them periodically between our house and the mother in laws.

Your's in paranoia

Andy