Portable Storage for Field Photography

I am always on the prowl for better solutions for storing my digital photos while in the field. Case in point was last fall when I lost an entire day’s shooting while in Rome. Just after copying my files to my trusty Addonics USB drive, the drive failed. The damage was irreparable. An entire night shoot of the Colosseum lost forever.

That’s why when I came across the ACARD Mirror Smart Mini I had to pick one up. For just $69, this tiny little beauty creates a fully redundant RAID 1 mirror using two 2.5 inch hard drives.

What that means for the less technically inclined is that the device acts just like an external hard drive, except that as a RAID 1 mirror, it writes your files to two hard drives at the same time. The benefit here is that when one drive fails (yes when, not if) your files will be safe on the other.

Now when I go into the field I have a single external storage device, that I can transfer files to from my flash cards – which inevitably fill up by the end of a full day of shooting.

Wanting as much portable redundant storage as I could get my hands on, I bought three 320 GB Western Digital Scorpio drives for the Mini Mirror. Two drives for installation in the Mini Mirror and a replacement drive when one of the others fails.

This thing is so easy to use. The installation of the drives takes about five minutes. Once that’s complete you simply plug in the Mirror’s power cord and attach it to your Macintosh (or Windows, Linux computer) via a single USB cable. On the Mac, the drive will simply show up as a normal external hard drive on your desktop.

Check out the photos below for some more perspectives on this awesome device – which now has a permanent spot in my camera bag.

Posted at 2am on 5/26/08 | | Filed Under: Photography