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Thread: Tablets as photo storage on the road

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    Tablets as photo storage on the road

    My wife got a new iPad last week and i have to admit the new display really is amazingly crisp. This started me thinking about what is now available for additional storage options for iPad and Android tablets when travelling. I've been very anti tablets for this purpose as to date there doesn't seem to be any better solution than a laptop and a couple of USB drives.

    After too much time on google last night I've come to the conclusion that IOS and Android still have no decent third party solutions

    All I really want is to tag, keyword and backup photos in NEF or RAF raw formats - or something else if I ever move from Nikon or Fuji - to external storage. IOS seems to use Apple DCR so has no problem with RAW file types but Android seems to be a bit more hit and miss. I know there are card reader/hard drive/viewer devices but these don't provide the ability to at least tag or keyword uploads either.

    Has anyone come up with a solution to this? My thinking is I'll be carrying my 13" laptop and 2 usb drives around for a while longer.
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    Nope.


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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kiwi View Post
    Nope.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    LOL!

    I have a Gigabyte s1080(Pro) tablet and it has a 320G hard drive by default.
    I was going to install a 500G-1Tb drove as my tablet backup device (if I ever get back on the road), but a few unexpected issues surfaced.

    1. don't forget to take it with you BEFORE you leave! (yeah, I once went to visit Andrew and Deb and forgot it on the dining table )
    2. with this particular tablet(runs Win7Pro) the installed hard drive is a 7.5mm(thick) 2.5" type compact drive, but all normal 2.5" hdds are 9mm thick.
    It's hard to find a speedier/larger drive, unless I stick with a Toshiba drive.
    I could install an SSD of some type(faster) but they're much more expensive.

    I've had the battery only last for a max of 3.5-4 hours, once with transferring data from a portable drive and stuff like that, but otherwise minimal use.(an optional battery extender doubles this).

    So far the device is close to perfect.
    Because it runs Win7 I have all the software I need to view/edit/assess raw images and a few other programs such as my remote control software for the Nikon camera(s).
    Yeah.... it's touch slow, but I don't really use it as a tablet(I don't like that form of 'computer use').

    I got this tablet for two reasons:
    1. my use as a storage bank for images with very rare use as a tablet device(in a year I've used it once or twice to browse/play)
    2. kids use a a browsing device. My son plays all manner of games and stuff on it. I have a bluetooth keyboard(just died) and mouse, so it's basically an ultra compact laptop.
    10" screen is small but you expect that on a 10" device!

    beauty is that it has all manner of input ports, such as USB3, USB2, SDcard video out(but only VGA on this S1080!!) has an external sim slot so it's easy to change between data carriers.
    All the wireless connectivity you'd expect, but most importantly it uses a hard drive for it's internal storage. AFAIK, you can now get a 750G version of the 2.5" Toshiba Travelstar hard drive if you want more on board space.

    On another note:

    My brother just got a relatively cheap Toshiba tablet. 10", running Android and I've shown him how to set it up as his portable storage/data bank device using a Seagate 500G 2.5" external hard drive.

    Watching movies on it through the Seagate hard drive(which is powered by the tablet!) lasts for about 4-5hours he claimed(we ran out of time at work, so he tested it at home).

    The Android tablet is more compact than the Gigabyte, but without the benefit of the two devices together to compare, you wouldn't notice it.
    It'd be only after prolonged use of a more compact tablet that you would notice the 'extra thickness' of the Gigabyte tablet.

    Overall my preference is for the more integrated Win7 Gigabyte, even tho the bulk is now more obvious to me.
    Reaon is that I can do on it, what I do on the home PC. ... I use ViewNX2 to sort through NEF images and make tweaks if need be(ie. to show others why I prefer raw format or Nikon software).
    I use Fastone's FSViewer to quickly browse images.
    My D300 connects to the tablet via the USB cable, as I have no other way to get data off the CF card and onto a storage bank/tablet/etc.
    If I'm bored I'll use Quicken to keep up to date with my accounting. .... etc etc.

    I suppose a tablet solution for you may also be based on what computer environment at home.
    For me it was simple. I only have Win7 PC's at home, so a Win7(and soon, Win8) tablet made sense for the sake of a consistent workflow.
    Win8 was nice to use, for the limited use I coudl manage on the Gigabyte.
    The problem was that the Gigabyte is set so that it can't be used with Win8(screen res) and for Win8 there's a specific min screen res requirement. I did the reg hack and got Win8 to run on the Gigabyte, but it occasionally gave some screen issues(as expected). But Win 8 was fast and responsive. A lean installation of Win8 as a tablet install should be a pleasant experience in terms of speed and efficiency compared to the more clunky Win7 interface, and most modern programs should still run properly.
    I got all the vital programs to work OK, such as Quciken, ViewNX, FSViewer and so on, but one old piece of software I have on the current Gigabyte tablet didn't run properly when I had Win8 on it.
    (that was an automotive application to help with servicing the gas injection system on my car).

    I haven't really looked into any form of 'data management' much on the Android system, as I only have a single phone on the Android platform and no other Android device to pay with.
    I've been thinking of getting the kids a couple of cheap tablets to play with as their DSi replacements, but I really don't know much about the platform at all, other than the very basic basics.
    Took me a few days to locate some images on my phone that I had to transfer to the PC for work purposes.

    Going by the reference to iOS and Apple DCR, I'm assuming that you're an Apple user at home?
    I don't know how that would affect your choice of tablet, or how well a mix of tagged images in one operating environment would work in another?
    I've seen images that I've tagged in either ViewNX2 or IDImager(on the PC) where the tags have transferred to the images when viewed in Lightroom tho .. that seemed to work OK. But this is all on the same OS platform.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kiwi View Post
    Nope.
    Thanks Kiwi, it took me a bit to read through you comprehensive, yet succinct answer

    ========

    Arthur,

    It sounds like the Gigabyte tablet isn't really much smaller than my 13" Macbook Pro - I'll have a look at it though. Yes I am all Mac at home, I ditched Windows when Vista arrived.

    If I had something running View NX2 that would be fine as it would do all I need on the road as far as ingesting, tagging and backing up the images. But given the size of Windows tablets, there's no real benefit at present. At this point a Macbook Air will probably be my next purchase later in the year.
    Last edited by dmdigital; 01-04-2012 at 10:54am.

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    One thing I'm looking at in the near future is a Samsung Slide which is a tablet with a sliding keyboard. Again, slightly thicker than the average tablet, but I now realise that having a keyboard is handier than I initially thought.
    It's therefore a part time tablet(great when the need arises compared to a lappie or netbook) and then part time lappie when required.

    What's sort of amusing about the extra bulk of the Gigabyte compared to most tablets is that this extra bulk is equivalent to about 15 or 20 A4 pages!
    This is how retarded my brother an I sometimes are, we measured their absolute thickness relative to each other and it turned out to be about 2mm(or less) bulkier.

    So I guess in your case the macbook is probably still the better option, never seen or used one so I don't know how user friendly they are compared to a tablet.

    I get the tablet mania tho .. it's so handy just to use the touch screen when a keyboard isn't required, but as you see from my posts .. can you imagine typing all that content on a touch screen keyboard!?

    I have a roll up keyboard for my compact lightweight stickitupyournose keyboard solution, but while he theory behind 'em sounds great .. its the reality that eventually bites .. the rolling up part of it has killed off the G and H keys! So I'll get a small hard case foldaway solution for now.

    Y'know what really annoys me about these so called app markets? (at least in the Android Market version) they claim that there's over 400,000 apps available, and you'd think that with so many available there'd be at least 5 or 10 apps that have any real value. But it's a marketing gimmick.
    399,999 apps are all basically the same thing .. how to access Facebook or Twitter with 399,999 different skins! Hardly any real apps worth laying out any cash for.

    Of course this is half jokingly said, but there are a few apps worth wasting bandwidth on. Haven't found any useful apps for imaging purposes yet(this is why I got my Android phone .. to test the waters) but Polaris Office works brilliantly for basic Office type file editing(I have an xlsx spreadsheet for my invoices that I can edit in Polaris and maintain compatibility with Office2007 which is a bonus).

    As I currently see tablets(both Android and iPad) they're basically a technocool way to waste hours of your time playing various mindless games.
    They can't do any real computing .. or more accurately ... completely complete computing, as a Win7 PC does.(never used Mac for any length of time for a worthwhile assessment of it).

    If I find an image editing app that handles NEF files properly and can add tags in a way that ViewNX reads them correctly, I'd be over the line in terms of deciding in favour of one .. one day.

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    Most tablets have 16/32/64 GB of storage. Memory cards for cameras are not uncommonly 16/32 GB these days. A tablet does not have enough RAM to store a huge volume of photos, and therefore does not offer the best solution. Also tablets are good theft targets.
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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Yeah the tablet itself doesn't have much capacity(unless you're up to the task of installing a new SSD), but almost all Android based tablets have USB ports, so to connect an ultra portable bus powered hard drive to one is a trivial matter ..... and once connected so, you transfer the contents of the camera to the hdd, not necessarily the tablet's storage system.

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    Photosmith for iPad. Like LR on the road and easy sync when you get back to the PC. You can tag, rate, keyword etc.

    Granted tablets normally have SSD instead of HDD for storage, but I would think not too many people will do a shoot that fills a 32GB+ card in one hit so iPad with 32/64GB should be enough for most of us.

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    as wayne above has said, photosmith for ipad works well with lightroom as you can tag, add metadata etc.
    or an app called photoraw, which can import, edit, wifi sync with photoshop (cs 5.5 and above) RAW files.
    theres some pretty handy stuff out for tablets these days (bugger carrying a laptop around )
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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne View Post
    .......

    Granted tablets normally have SSD instead of HDD for storage, but I would think not too many people will do a shoot that fills a 32GB+ card in one hit so iPad with 32/64GB should be enough for most of us.
    On an extended holiday and shooting raw, 32/64Gig is pretty limited I reckon(unless you are ruthlessly ruthless at culling images).

    On a 4 day trip, I'd easily fill my two 8g cards, with about 6 gig remaining over 3 old cards that I only keep as emergency backup spares.

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    I would not use my iPad as a photo storage device, but it is great for showing off photos while traveling. I set the camera to RAW and jpeg storage, and download the jpegs to the iPad. Much easier than showing the photo on the camera back.


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    Quote Originally Posted by arthurking83

    On an extended holiday and shooting raw, 32/64Gig is pretty limited I reckon(unless you are ruthlessly ruthless at culling images).

    On a 4 day trip, I'd easily fill my two 8g cards, with about 6 gig remaining over 3 old cards that I only keep as emergency backup spares.
    I would tend to use something like Dropbox uploaded straight from miPad on a trip rather than check in and out kilograms of laptops/storage devices/hard drives. No real chance of losing or damaging photos or said equipment. All I have to worry about is the iPad, too easy.

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    As Rick pointed out, capacity is a bit too small for me to worry about taking the iPad (I have a Mac house too) so for extended trips I take our netbook. 160gb storage fast enough for back ups and general surfing if need be. I don't bother with doing editing on the road, I'd rather see where I am instead of the inside of the accommodation.
    Can pick these up between $300-400.

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    Capacity isn't the big problem with the tablets I think connectivity and workflow are the issues. A 4 week holiday will see me with easily 200GB or more of images to sort out. The lack of redundant (backup) storage is the issue as I always have 2 separate copies of my images and I don't cull much until I am home.

    I've had a lot more of a browse since the weekend and I think the best solution I have is still my 13" MacBook Pro and latter on upgrade this to an Air. I'll probably replace my usb HDD's with SSD's or flash drives if the prices keep dropping. The display quality on the Android and Windows tablets isn't any better than the iPad 2 was but the big issue I see there is I'd have to convert to LR and (for Android) something else on the tablet. I use Aperture and I'm very happy with it. I don't have problem with Aperture and in fact nearly went that way but I'm now used to Aperture.

    If you haven't actually seen the new iPad's screen, then you really should have a look. Everything else aside it truly is a big leap forward in display quality. That of course isn't reason enough to buy one.

    I think this topic will be very interesting to revisit in a year or two.

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zollo View Post
    I would tend to use something like Dropbox uploaded straight from miPad on a trip rather than check in and out kilograms of laptops/storage devices/hard drives. No real chance of losing or damaging photos or said equipment. All I have to worry about is the iPad, too easy.
    All well and good when you're within uploading range, but some of us like remote locations for photography, where net access is not available(in a mobile situation)

    You don't get much access to the internet bumping along the Anne Beadell Hwy!

    We each have our methods and reasons .. this thread is more about general information for as many situations that can be dreamt up, rather than just one unique need.

    It's still a valid method of data storage tho for most folks, but only as long as you have access to the remote storage location.

    My preferred remote storage solution is to upload to my home server(when I get it going), rather than a commercial storage product.
    The only issue with uploading to my own server is of bandwidth. Most upload rates are woefully slow, especially mobile, even tho the home server can theoretically suck in 20Mb/s.

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    I guess I could enable data on the satphone :roll eyes: But apart from the monetary cost I'd only get a maximum of 9600 baud. Let's see 1 raw X100 file is about 158,400,000 bits so it would only take a little less than 5 hours

    All jokes aside, dropbox is OK but not for lot's of GBs. You have given me an idea though Arthur for something else. I might put a small NAS in the DMZ off my ADSL with internet access for the occasional upload.

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dmdigital View Post
    I..... I might put a small NAS in the DMZ off my ADSL with internet access for the occasional upload.
    That's my plan... I just have to get the NAS one day.

    I've had a temporary play with my router, USB drive and FTP and it worked(at least) but slow.
    I just used a few test images on my phone to upload to the USB drive connected to my router.

    I got bogged down with work and other commitments to give it try on my tablet and now the data/time has run out on the sim card I got for it a while back.
    The connection rate on the tablet with the Vodafone sim I trialled a few months back seemed to be much faster than I've ever seen on my phone too .. so it may be promising.

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    Ausphotography Regular Tommo1965's Avatar
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    Im starting to think tablets are overrated ..my boy just bought a Acer ultrabook running windows 7..I3 processor and 2 gig of ram and comes with a 120gig ssd ....it wieghs nothing...last NINE hours!! on one charge is ultra quick and can do eveything a PC can do..great little device ..but not as cool as a tablet

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    Sat phone upload! Good onya! Lol
    If your rattling along the beadell highway then you probably are in a 3 tonne 4wd and can afford to carry a pc. If your on a 3 day hike into highlands, where the ability to store an extra litre of water is much more important than carrying a laptop around, a 64 gig pad will do for me thanks. Of course if you don't need to edit, send or do anything else but store photos then both a tablet and laptop are redundant, with things like the Epson P7000 around ;-)

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