BetterPhoto Q&A
Category: Best Photographic Equipment to Buy : Digital Cameras and Accessories : Digital Image Management Software

Photography Question 
Denelli Ellison
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/1/2002

Digital Stand-Alone Storage

I am taking a trip to Europe and do not want to bring my laptop. Has anyone used a stand-alone storage device or portable CD burner - and, if so, can you give me some advice and options? I've recently looked at the Jobo any thoughts??

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5/7/2005 9:22:00 AM

Matthew Slyfield
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/5/2005
  I have a Micro Solutions RoadStor portable CD burner. While I have not actually taken it on a trip yet, I have been doing some testing with it. It is reliable with backups that will fit on a single CD, but I have had mixed results with backups that would require multiple CDs. An additional plus for the RoadStor is that it is also a portable DVD player. If you buy a stand-alone hard drive, make sure you buy one with enough capacity for your trip. Also, whatever device you do decide to buy, make sure you test it before your trip and while it is still under warranty.

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5/7/2005 10:07:24 AM

John Rhodes
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/24/2005
  I don't know exactly what facilities are readily available in Europe, but I expect you should have no problem finding a place (like Wal-Mart or Walgreens here in the USA) to burn the contents of your memory card to a CD. That solution would likely be the least expensive and also require the least bulk in packing. Have fun and share your photos when you get home.

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5/7/2005 10:22:28 AM

Steven Butterworth   I have an Apacer Disc Steno 200, it is absolutely brilliant. Takes all the media, and spits it out onto CD-ROM in little time using battery power. I used it a lot on holiday last year and also at a car show, without any problems.

Easy to use, lightweight and works anywhere. is the link to the exact machine.

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5/10/2005 10:18:58 AM

Gabriel Pedre   I would recommend something along the lines of a Wolverine. Size starts at 20GB and price at about US$200. It reads from all memory cards and is equiped with a rechargeble battery. WIth this all you would need is a converter/adaptor for the country you are in. Good luck!

Take a look:*&shs=wolverine&image.x=7&image.y=9

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5/10/2005 10:33:51 AM

Mary Campbell   I use a FlashTrax portable device. I have found it invaluable since you can check to make sure the images have been downloaded (it has a viewing screen). Although the viewer is not very good quality, you can at least run through your shots and delete those that are obviously not worth keeping. I used it in Europe with a common adapter and it works fine. One drawback is the price ...

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5/10/2005 10:49:46 AM

Duskin D. Hill   X's Drive Pro is what I use at 40Gb. It's no-frills but has plenty of space for all those photos! While you cannot view the images, there is an LCD screen that you can check to make sure you have downloaded the photo successfully. It accepts most all type of media cards and utilizes a USB 2.0 connection. Make sure to take along the power supply cord because the internal rechargeable batteries can wear down somewhat quickly if you have huge cards. The copy function is very easy and intuitive. Here's the Web site: The price varies depending on the size of the hard drive. Mine was around low $200's.

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5/10/2005 11:47:50 AM

Duskin D. Hill   Let's try that link again:

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5/10/2005 11:50:20 AM

Michael McCook
Contact Michael
Michael's Gallery
  For me, when I travel (which is always)I try to use the "KISS" method. K-eep I-t S-imple S-tupid. It makes life on the digital road as simple as possible. That is why, for me, the best bang for my buck is extra media cards for my camera. They are cheaper and easier to carry around. There is no muss, no fuss. Why drag around yet another breakable, expensive peice of equipment, which you may hardly ever use again after your trip? Having extra cards, however, is always a plus (at home and away). Additionally, there are no worries about different voltages and adapters for them, either.

As for viewing your images, there are several options there too. You can always review your shots in your camera or at an internet cafe, which are everywhere! I carry a portable USB 2.0 card reader for that reason. Not to mention, while you are there, you can upload your best shots to your Better Photo Gallery or contest!

Some cameras, like mine, even let you view your pictures right on a TV through a supplied RCA wire. (Keep in mind if you shoot video, we use NTSC video in the USA and Europe uses PAL, which is not compatable. Therefore, you will not be able to view video unless you set it to that mode.)

As John says, you can even have your images burned to CD there if you run out of storage. Another thing to be careful of, however, is burning to DVD. DVD players are set to different standards throughout the world. If, for instance, you rent a DVD in England and you have a portable device on your laptop from the USA (if you brought it), you will have to set your DVD player to that zone. Many-if not all- DVD players only let you change that setting a limited amount of times. When you set it for that last time, that is where it will be FOREVER! Go figure??

I hope this information helps! Have a great trip!!!

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5/10/2005 12:07:46 PM

Randy W. Bart   Last year I traveled to Europe with the same problem. The solution I came up with was to buy a $70 adapter for my iPod which allows me to download my photos to my iPod without a computer. Since I was going to bring along my iPod for music on the plane anyway I felt this was a great solution and a cheap one too since I already owned the iPod. I have a 30GB iPod only half of it was full of music and I easily fit my 3000+ 6.3Megapixel JPEGS on the other half. Today's photo iPods will let you view your pictures too! That helps with peace of mind that they actually made it to the iPod. But with all of my paranoia I only lost one pic on the entire trip due to batteries dying during download.

Hope that helps! Have a FANTASTIC trip!!!

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5/10/2005 2:27:11 PM

Derek Holyhead   I think you will find that the DVD standard also only applies to video, not data. I am from the UK and I live in Florida now, I have data DVD's that I brought over with me and they still work without changing the region, but the movies ask about changing the region.
Hope this helps.

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5/10/2005 7:06:09 PM

Howie Nordström
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/11/2005
  I'm currently researching the very same issue, Denelli. Michael makes excellent points about just using CF cards, however, the cost for purchasing the equivalent space in CFs versus a portable HD is rather large. If there weren’t such a difference I’d go with the CFs ‘cause they’re lighter, smaller, and don’t need recharging—all of which are pluses when I’m out on long trips in the mountains. There’s one other model that hasn’t been mentioned here, the Epson P-2000.

Note: I have no personal experience with any of these devices (save for the CFs :) ). Just thought I’d add my $.02.

Here are three other threads at BP where such questions were discussed:
< a href=""> Buying Portable Digital Storage
< a href=""> Portable Image Storage
< a href="">Portable Storage of Digital Photos

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5/11/2005 8:10:13 AM

Howie Nordström
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/11/2005
  Blast. The spaces in the anchor tags messed up the links. Well, now you have the URLs at any rate. :P
Buying Portable Digital Storage
Portable Image Storage
Portable Storage of Digital Photos

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5/11/2005 8:14:00 AM

Lynette (NZ) Jarvis   I am from NZ and I travelled around Europe for 2 months using only the Xdrive Pro (40gb). You need to be able to recharge it regularly with appropriate adapter, and when you load your memory card onto it keep it flat and still. I downloaded images each night and that made it easy to keep track of my travels when I arrived home. I stored over 5000 images without any problems at all, and now use it as a backup all the time. It is small and portable and I carried it with me all the time - only worry is if it is stolen!

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5/25/2005 1:37:58 PM

Fool Stop   Last yr, when I was travelling in India, I brought along one of this

DC partner is its name, kind of portable hard disk

It is dirty cheap and you can install your own 2.5" notebook hard disk up to whatever size you want. Mine is a 40G HD.

It is cheap but very robust, cos the only thing it does is on/off and copy, just like a toster, you can not delete the photos that have been copied to the harddisk from the CF, but who will :)

I suggest not to use the iPOD, cos the transfer rate is too slow as it is running on USB 1.1. It will take an hour to transfer one Gig of file from your CF to iPOD. The device that I use takes less than 8 min for one Gig transfer.

The other concern is power, you may not able to have AC power supply on the road, so you will rely on the internal battery. The major difference among varies kind of digital wallet in fact is how long can it work before it needs another charging, mine at least take up to eight G, but it also depends on the power consumption of the harddisk. For the same token I will not recommend a CD burner. Not to mention you need to bring along large pack of CDs :P


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5/26/2005 7:53:23 PM

Howie Nordström
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/11/2005
  I just got the X's drive super 80GB version. Like Fool, I didn't need all the bells and whistles. One of the deciding points for me was battery time. So far I've loaded 19GB with one full battery. It takes just under 8 minutes to transfer 1.9GB from my 2GB CF. The cool thing is that they sell a 4*AA battery pack as well. This is gold since many of my trips include being a long way from outlets for up to 2 weeks. I just carry a bunch of rechargeable batteries.

Their tech support gave the following info:
The internal batteries of the VP6210 last for 3 hours and the 4 AA Battery pack gives another hour of use. A full 2GB card takes 10 minutes to download. The batteries of the VP6210 take 4 hours to recharge.

I haven't tested the battery pack longevity yet.

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5/27/2005 3:35:03 AM

Fool Stop   I JUST bought another digital wallet for my friend.
There are lots of "choices" but they all probably are built from the same electronic core :)
They all run on a single pack for Lithium battery. All can be charged with USB port. That mean one can run the device or charge up the internal battery with any 5V or higher DC power source with a compatible USB socket, with a small current (USB has a 5V DC). Therefore, I also bought a car 12/24 Volt charger as well, it just has a port connect to a USB cable, pretty neat. Another guy also introduce a hand crank DC generator to me, would be interesting as well :)

So one can DIY a battery pack for this kind of USB chargeable device.

Good news for the road warriors.


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5/27/2005 8:15:35 AM

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