Storage options while traveling include:
- Multiple Memory cards
- Portable stand alone hard drive which can directly download memory card images
- Laptop computer with a large internal hard drive
- Independent cd/dvd writer
- Photo kiosks to make cds or dvds while you travel
- Cloud computing to upload your photos on online server storage
- VPN connection to upload your photos to your computer at your home or office
I've reviewed what I consider the three leading stand alone portable battery powered hard drives for your consideration: Epson Multimedia Photo Viewer, Sanho HyperDrive Colorspace UDMA, and Wolverine ESP Portable Multimedia Storage and Player.
To be considered for this review, each of the portable stand alone battery powered hard drives had to have the following features:
- A capacity of at least 80GB, the minimum capacity I recommend to photographers.
- A minimum 3.2" TFT color screen to display photos directly on the drive.
- A removable battery so that spares can be readily available for extended life on long trips without access to an electric source for recharging.
- Built-in card slots for both CF and SD memory cards.
- Support for JPEG and RAW formatted photographs, with RAW capability for at least most of both Nikon and Canon DSLR cameras.
- USB 2.0 interface for connection to computer.
The Sanho HyperDrive Colorspace UDMA's come in 120 GB, 160 GB, 250 GB, 320 GB, and 500 GB capacities. They have 3.2" color QVGA 320 x 240 pixel TFT LCD screens, the smallest but more than capable and large enough screens of the three drives. The HyperDrives have zoom capability. They have 2 slots directly supporting 14 memory card formats including CF and SD memory cards. The units measure 5.25" x 2.95" x 1" and weigh 10.5 oz. The HyperDrives do not support video out. They are the fastest of the three downloading files from memory cards and uploading to a computer. The HyperDrives can upload about 250GB on a single battery charge. They come with a rechargable 18650 Lithium Ion battery, a universal (100-240V) voltage AC adapter, USB cable, travel case, and a 12V car charger.
The Wolverine ESP Portable Multimedia Storage and Players come in 80GB, 120GB, 160GB, and 250GB capacities. They have 3.6" Wide Angle TFT LCD screens, slight larger than the HyperDrive screens. The Wolverines have zoom capability. They have 2 slots directly supporting 8 memory card formats including CF and SD memory cards. The units measure 5.3 x 2.8 x 0.9" and weigh 10.2 oz. The Wolverines support video out. The Wolverines can upload about 20GB on a single charge. They come with a rechargable battery, an AC charger, USB cable, and travel case.
The Interface of the Epson is excellent, though some have complained about deletion. The HyperDrive interface is the best of the three, in my opinion, with the Wolverine interface capable, but the least of the three. If you have a DSLR and store your files in RAW format, please check to make sure the drives will display your camera's photos. All three generally display DSLR RAW files from Canon and Nikon cameras.
My interest in these hard drives is primarily for the RAW and JPEG capability. The minimum size hard drive which I need is 160GB's due to my basic RAW file size of about 15+ MB's per photo. The HyperDrive's storage capability of 250 GB's of photos on one battery charge is a big factor for me, and for anyone who might be traveling without access to electricity for recharging for a prolonged time, such as when white-water rafting on the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon.
At this time the street price of the Epson 160GB P-700 is $800. The Hyperdrive 160GB model is $315. The Wolverine 160GB model runs $380.
My first choice is the Sanho HyperDrive Colorspace UDMA for its speed, feature set and price. Actually, for me the Sanho HyperDrive Colorspace UDMA 500 GB unit at $520 is the best bet, having a capacity which will more than meet my needs at a price even below the 80 GB Epson P-6000 which has a street price of $600. For me the Wolverine units are a distant third. Their feature set is inferior to the Sanho and Epson products, and their screen is inferior as well, even though it is marginally larger than the Sanho units. It's major plus, compared to the Epson is price, but the superior Sanho is actually less expensive. The one drawback of the Sanho unit is it has no video out, however, that feature is of little consequence to me.