Preserving Digital Photos

The problem with digital images is that they are intangible. Pictures can only be viewed when the files have been Ëœtranslated’ in some way, either as prints or converted into a form that can be viewed on a computer or TV screen. It’s easy to over-write existing files inadvertently, either by accidentally re-formatting a memory card or failing to save an edited file separately from an original. It’s equally easy to delete files inadvertently.

Sony HDPS-M1 Hard Disk Photo Storage

Sony’s HDPS-M1 40G Hard Disk Drive is fitted with a Shock Protection System and drop-down covers protect the card slots and USB and power connections from dust and damage. The internal battery is charged in roughly four hours when the power is connected, and the USB slot enables PC connection. The only controls provided are an on/off button on the side panel and copy and cancel/HDD capacity buttons on the top. No delete button is provided so you can’t delete files either singly or collectively.

SanDisk Extreme III CompactFlash Card

Our first memory card review looks at SanDisk’s Extreme III CompactFlash card, which is designed for professional photographers who work in extreme conditions and claims to offer high-speed viewing and downloading of shots plus the ability to recover accidentally deleted pictures. For our tests, we used two totally different DSLR cameras – the Nikon D2X, which claims to be one of the fastest cameras on the market and the comparatively sluggish Canon EOS 300D.

Nikon Coolwalker MSV-01

Nikon’s Coolwalker is an attractive looking, thoughtfully engineered, portable storage device with plenty of features to please photographers. Designed to work with CompactFlash cards and Microdrives, it can accept other card types via a CF adapter and the card slot has a slide-up cover to prevent ingress of detritus. Its 30GB hard disk can store approximately 10,000 high-resolution JPEG images from a 6-megapixel camera and the 2.5-inch, 117,600 pixel colour TFT LCD screen allows images to be viewed anywhere.

Kodak EasyShare Picture Viewer

Kodak’s new EasyShare Picture Viewer is an electronic photo ‘brag book’ that lets users store a selection of image files (JPEGs only) and play them back on a small (2.5-inch), LCD screen. Small enough to fit in a shirt pocket, the Picture Viewer is supplied with a slip-on leatherette case that shields the screen when the device is being carried.

Iomega Super DVD Writer

Iomega’s external Super DVD Writer offers fast burning speeds for CD and DVD disks and is compatible with high-capacity Double-Layer DVD technology, making it useful for photographers with digital images to archive. Solidly built, with a smart grey and black exterior it comes with a generous software bundle containing applications for burning disks containing photos, videos, music and data. A wizard-based interface helps beginners to perform key tasks and launches the right application for each job.

Imagetank G2

The Imagetank G2 is solidly-built, with reinforced corners and a recessed on/off switch. CompactFlash cards fit into a slot on the left side panel. The rectangular LCD data panel has a monochrome display that doesn’t support image viewing, and the instructions it provides are basic, but adequate. Only six control buttons are provided, along with a central ‘Exe’ key that activates selected functions. The operating system automatically copies the files and folders as they are in the camera so, if your camera creates a new folder for each shooting session, that’s what’s transferred. You can track the progress of a download via a message that shows the percentage of data and number of files copied.