Travelling:I take a laptop, card reader or camera cable/laptop connection + 2TB 2.5” HDD and store images on the HDD via the laptop.  $169 at present



The same should be possible via tablet: Card reader>USB>Tablet – store and view on tablet – transfer to USB HDD via cable because tablets has limited storage.


Home:  Solutions like the Drobo or other NAS solutions aren’t satisfactory for several reasons – I have tested them:

  • Both use a RAID array and proprietary operating system, disks can only be read in that hardware
  • RAID arrays do fail, then you can’t access your data
  • You can’t carry the disks offsite and you can’t read them in your PC so these are no good for offsite backup


My current solution: I want three stores, high volume, low cost, swap disks.

  • Multiple drives in bays in my PC, which remain in there. If your PC has hot-swap bays (few have) then you can practically pull out the disks
  • I use an external eSata hard drive bay: Icy Dock MB561 with caddies

IcyDock4BayFront IcyDock4BayRear IcyDock4BayTray











  • This has 4 drive trays, I have extra drive trays, internal fan cooling
  • Insert my 3.5” SATA HDDs in trays into the bay, switch on the power, the drives are visible on the PC
  • After replicating the PC data onto the drives, switch off the Icy Dock, remove the HDDs, store offsite.
  • Rotate the offsite disks weekly or just after any event in which multiple images are created.
  • 2 x 4TB HDD are kept offsite, 2 in another room onsite, 2 are in the PC
  • 4TB can cost from $253 for a low cost WD
  • to $499 for WD Black 5yrs


  • Cost per image using $499 for WD Black 5yrs ~0.1c/jepg and 0.3c/RAW image (8MB/25MB for Canon 5D MkIII)


  • Offsite storage for protection against fire, theft, electrical damage
  • Offsite disks can immediately be read, no proprietary storage system, unlike NAS or DROBO which requires special hardware with proprietary software to read the disks
  • Low cost – nothing is cheaper than large bare hard drives
  • Fast – just as fast as internal HDDs.
  • Safe – possible to lose only the images created since the last backup.



  • I create a folder for each job, example 2012_12_18_Labassa_Stairway
  • Under this I create subfolders: Jpeg, Raw……Scraps

Deleting Images:

  • I never delete unless I happen to be working on a folder with many images and I notice some black frames
  • The cost of searching images is much higher than that of retaining images
  • When checking through a job folder to organise images in stacks, any images that don’t fit, look bad, whatever, are dragged into the Scraps subfolder. No deletion, I may need that image.