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  1. #1
    Member SpeedingSphere's Avatar
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    Portable card dump systems? Do you use one? My review on the Creative Zen Vision

    I'm just curious how many people use backup systems and card dump units. What are your feelings on trusting them? I've done a test on mine to give anybody interested in buying something of this nature a peek at what they can do.
    ________________________________

    I decided to try out the feature on my Creative Zen Vision W Slim to dump pictures off of cards. The 60gb unit I bought cost me $380. The 30gb costs $250 on B&H and I would assume it runs around the same length of time. It achieved 31 runs on one battery charge. On the 8th run, battery had shown signs of dropping by 20%..

    Here are the runs

    #1 - 1:15 to 1:22
    #2 - 1:23 to 1:30
    #3 - 1:31 to 1:37
    #4 - 1:38 to 1:45
    #5 - 1:45 to 1:52
    #6 - 1:54 to 2:01
    #7 - 2:01 to 2:08
    #8 - 2:09 to 2:16
    #9 - 2:16 to 2:23
    #10 - 2:23 to 2:30
    #11 - 2:30 to 2:37
    #12 - 2:39 to 2:46
    I stopped timing them here.. Just counted the rest of the way.. The battery died at 31 runs

    Each run was 80 photos, 1gb in total size. Each run took about 7 minutes and the zen was ready to go again right after one card had finished. No processing time needed to secure the photos or anything.

    Only drawback is that it cant view raw's on the unit itself, only on the pc. jpegs are viewed fine though.

    With this I see myself being able to carry 3 or 4 cards to places where I may need to store alot of photos. If cards had no chance of breaking, It'd be great to bring just two cards and switch off.. It also has removable batteries to switch out if you use more than the 31 times one battery can power.
    __________________________________________________ _

    Hope my info helps to anybody considering buying one of these.
    -Mike
    -------------------------------------------------------
    | Canon EOS 40D | Canon EOS 350D
    | Canon EF 70-200mm F/2.8L IS | Canon EF-S 10-22mm F/3.5-4.5
    | Canon EF 28-135mm F/3.5-5.6 IS | Sigma 8mm EX DG Circular Fisheye
    | Sigma 30mm F/1.4 EX DC HSM

  2. #2
    Be serious Franglais's Avatar
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    Archos Av604

    I have had an ARCHOS AV604 for about 18 months now. It is very similar to the ZEN except that there is no card reader. You plug a mobile adapter into it and then a normal card reader via the USB cable. It sounds complicated but it isn't really because - it stays in my hotel room. I always travel with enough cards to cover a day's shoot (400+ images). When I get back at night I download the contents of the card onto the ARCHOS (using mains power - though I have two batteries as well) then reformat the card ready for the next day.

    One problem with the AV604 travel adapter is that it is chronically slow. The ARCHOS itself will easily manage 15MB/sec write speed but with the travel adapter this drops to 1MB/sec.

    I trust the ARCHOS - the disk drive is the same as in a portable PC and I'm not taking any risks by leaving it in my luggage. Plus it's fun - I download a stock of (cinema) films to look at in the train or whatever.

    Now I'm waiting for the AV606 to be released..
    Charles

    Nikon D800, D7100, Sony RX100
    Keep it simple

  3. #3
    Panarus biarmicus Moderator (Sports) SmartWombat's Avatar
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    Re: Portable card dump systems? Do you use one? My review on the Creative Zen Vision

    The advantage is you can use less cards, true.
    You can also copy direct from storage to the PC instead of copying the cards.
    Of course if you reformat and reuse the cards, you have to !

    Disadvantages ?
    Hard disk drives are much more fragile than memory cards.
    - I dropped my phototainer and trashed the hard drive and 12GB of images.
    - fortunately I had not reformatted the 6x 2GB cards yet.

    Remembering which cards you've copied and which you've not backed up yet.
    - I have only once lost track, and as a result lost 2G of images
    - Many times I have lost track and copied a card twice, just in case

    Image viewing I see as a gimmick. My Laptop is far better at that !
    Though if you want RAW viewing it can be done - not at full resolution but using the embedded JPEG image in the RAW format.
    My old phototainer could do that, and the new Sanho Hyperdrive and the Jobo Giga Vu Pro will show raw images that way - but not good enough to zoom in and check critical focus because they use the lower resolution jpeg.


    My experiences:

    The screen on the phototainer died a week before it was out of warranty, and again a couple of months after it came back. I decided to carry on without image viewing, and a friend helped me fit a replacement hard drive, and the motherboard turned into a smoke emitting device Turns out he knew nothing about 2.5" drive connectors.

    The Vosonic XS Drive II VP2160 I bought as a replacement was very simple, two buttons ... on/off and copy. The big drawback is a 1200mAh battery that lasts only half a day, and you have to dismantle it to swap the battery. I have lost two of the tiny screws already.

    The Sanyo Hyperdrive Space I bought to replace that will backup 1GB a minute, and the battery seems to last for ever. Again it has to be dismantled to replace the battery but I have not needed to yet. LGCS218650 2200mAh, but it lasts more than twice as long as the 1200mAh in the XSDrive - excellent !


    For me, viewing the image is unimportant.
    All I want is backup, so I don't want to pay for the large LCD screen and licences for image library software from the camera manufacturers.
    I am also a techie, so I'm quite happy to buy a bare box and then fit the biggest, fastest, cheapest hard drive I can get ;)
    PAul

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  4. #4
    Member SpeedingSphere's Avatar
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    Re: Portable card dump systems? Do you use one? My review on the Creative Zen Vision

    I dont feel its too much of a gimmick.. It lets you see which photos you've copied. Like you said, sometimes you forget which have been copied.

    Thanks for your input guys!

    and also thanks for the move. I had viewfinder and digital photography opened in two seperate tabs and posted in the wrong forum.
    -Mike
    -------------------------------------------------------
    | Canon EOS 40D | Canon EOS 350D
    | Canon EF 70-200mm F/2.8L IS | Canon EF-S 10-22mm F/3.5-4.5
    | Canon EF 28-135mm F/3.5-5.6 IS | Sigma 8mm EX DG Circular Fisheye
    | Sigma 30mm F/1.4 EX DC HSM

  5. #5
    Panarus biarmicus Moderator (Sports) SmartWombat's Avatar
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    Re: Portable card dump systems? Do you use one? My review on the Creative Zen Vision

    Good point on the photos, to know what you've copied.
    But battery life is important to me and viewing images will use battery.

    I find a list of filenames good enough, to see the first/last names on the card and on the storage to make sure they were saved. That was a good feature of the phototainer, which the XSDriveII doesn't have, but the Hyperdrive does.

    It's interesting to hear what's important to you, and discuss this !
    PAul

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  6. #6
    Member SpeedingSphere's Avatar
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    Re: Portable card dump systems? Do you use one? My review on the Creative Zen Vision

    I never thought about just file names.. that would work excellent.. My zen doesnt show any of the files or names of raw files which have been copied, but I do know they are copied and when they have been copied.

    Battery life on the zen is ridiculous for copying stuff so I'm not too worried about that.. But it doesnt matter anyway, it wont let me view the raws.. lol..

    I usually keep a list of file names pertaining to the folder ID # on the zen on a piece of paper.. for example, IMG_0001 through IMG_0080 are dumped to folder name 14HMZ8D on the zen. Stick the next card in, IMG_0081 through IMG_0160 are in folder 15HMZ8D, and so on.

    Im going to check for a way to display these file names.. possibly a firmware update or menu change.. hmm
    *no dice.. :-( i suppose this is one thing lacking on the import photos feature of the zen.
    -Mike
    -------------------------------------------------------
    | Canon EOS 40D | Canon EOS 350D
    | Canon EF 70-200mm F/2.8L IS | Canon EF-S 10-22mm F/3.5-4.5
    | Canon EF 28-135mm F/3.5-5.6 IS | Sigma 8mm EX DG Circular Fisheye
    | Sigma 30mm F/1.4 EX DC HSM

  7. #7
    Panarus biarmicus Moderator (Sports) SmartWombat's Avatar
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    Re: Portable card dump systems? Do you use one? My review on the Creative Zen Vision

    Does your Zen have copy verification ?
    To check that what was on the card matches bit for bit what is on the disk.

    I think because the Hyperdrive has adjustable copy speed, to work at the maximum rate for a card, it's a useful feature.
    I haven't turned mine up to maximum speed yet, which they claim is for the Sandisk Extreme III, because I only have one really fast card - the rest are Sandisk Ultra II.
    PAul

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  8. #8
    Member SpeedingSphere's Avatar
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    Re: Portable card dump systems? Do you use one? My review on the Creative Zen Vision

    lol nope.. that'd be nice too.. its just a basic file tank.. :-P

    you're making me feel insecure in dumping these files to my zen.. lol.. *looks at pricing on hyperdrive

    seems to be a reasonable price for everything it does. do you know off the top of your head what brand hard drive it comes with? I may buy one of these and use the zen as a secondary backup
    -Mike
    -------------------------------------------------------
    | Canon EOS 40D | Canon EOS 350D
    | Canon EF 70-200mm F/2.8L IS | Canon EF-S 10-22mm F/3.5-4.5
    | Canon EF 28-135mm F/3.5-5.6 IS | Sigma 8mm EX DG Circular Fisheye
    | Sigma 30mm F/1.4 EX DC HSM

  9. #9
    Panarus biarmicus Moderator (Sports) SmartWombat's Avatar
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    Re: Portable card dump systems? Do you use one? My review on the Creative Zen Vision

    >> you're making me feel insecure in dumping these files to my zen
    OOps, sorry. That was not the intention.
    Bear in mind that the verification will halve the speed of the copy.
    So it's not as great at speed when you have the safety net of verification.

    >> what brand hard drive it comes with
    I bought the Hyperdrive Space without drive, so I could put in a large cache drive.
    I demoted the VP2160 to a secondary spare, in the car or suitcase.
    I like a backup of my backup.

    I am waiting for the new Hyperdrive model though, which has ... image viewing !
    I want to compare it to mine, and review it.
    See if they have managed to combine speed, and image viewing, with the battery life.
    PAul

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  10. #10
    Nikon/SIG f5fstop's Avatar
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    Re: Portable card dump systems? Do you use one? My review on the Creative Zen Vision

    My card reader is my laptop. If staying at a motel, I download at the motel at night. If camping in the desert, I download the photos at night to the laptop in the vehicle. (I do a lot of desert travel in my vehicle.) If backpacking, I just make sure the laptop is fully charged and then download at night. (Don't backpack much anymore.)
    Backup from the laptop is to a Seagate external 260 GB HD (cost was $89.00), or burn DVDs.
    I carry 20 gig of cards, and if I ever fill all of them up, I need to slow down, or purchase more.
    Therefore, I see no reason for some fancy backup device.
    "And ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free"

    Cameras: D700 | D300| F5 (Retired to the shelf)
    Lenses: Nikkor 20-35 F/2.8D IF-ED | Nikkor AF-S 24-70 F/2.8G EDIF ZOOM | Nikkor AF-S 70-200 F/2.8D EDIF VR ZOOM | Nikkor AF-S 300mm f/4D IF-ED
    Flashes: SB20 | SB28 | SB800
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  11. #11
    Panarus biarmicus Moderator (Sports) SmartWombat's Avatar
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    Re: Portable card dump systems? Do you use one? My review on the Creative Zen Vision

    I carry about 20 gig.
    But shooting RAW on a pair of 1DmkII bodies, the files are rather large
    So purely for speed I use the storage, well that and 100G of backup.
    PAul

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