I wish this was a subject as simple as the heading suggests, in the days of film cameras the choice was rather straightforward , even simplistic, you chose a brand that you liked, and if you were technical an ASA rating and off you went. Now we have well over 20 pieces of plastic that we call formats… CompactFlash, secure Digital, pro Duo, the list goes on and on. We have memories of different sizes, speeds, hell we even have cards now that can talk to our computers wirelessly
(Eye-Fi). We can now buy small capacity memory cards for less than a pint of lager or the latest bemoth monsters exceeding several hundred pounds .
The first question you have to ask yourself, what are my memory storage needs? A stroll in the park on a Sunday afternoon with any camera can be satisfied with very modest sized memory cards against a two week trip to a deserted isolated tropical island needs a whole new way of thinking.
You might say to yourself… no problem…I’ll take 23 memory cards… hands up who’s lost at least one memory card, and what about backup, and for that matter how much for 23 memory cards . So we’ve decided that taking the laptop is just not practical. So what are our alternatives assuming we have a power source to charge up our batteries but we can talk about this a little later
- Take an ample supply of memory cards … and I mean ample…There is nothing worse than wasting your evenings deleting photos to free up enough memory for the last two or three days of your holiday. Memory cards brought at these locations can be horrendously expensive preying on people that have under estimated their memory requirements.
- Consider dedicated self-contained memory storage devices now ranging in capacity from 40 to 500GB… With onboard battery for extended field use. Simply plug in any memory card to the built-in multi-card reader with one button backup operation. This is probably the most cost-effective solution for high-capacity memory storage with one battery servicing 18 GB of storage is not out of the question but the norm
- Take your card reader and some CD/DVDs… you’d be surprised where you’ll find Internet cafes where you can rent a laptop with a burner for next to a song. There’s also the alternative of online storage but be warned this can be a very expensive proposition as upload speeds can be horrendously expensive.
- Batteries Off the subject a tad but pack a spare battery… batteries have the worst habit of dying just when you don’t need it bringing a holiday or a field shoot to a grinding halt. And if you’re packing AA or AAA… use rechargeable’s and a small travel charger, your already paying for power with your accommodation so why not use it and save yourself some cash and do something for the environment at the same time. I even carry a little windup torch with a compartment that carries several power connectors for emergencies that covers some of my toys, phones and the kids DS lights as well. And if you’re into gadgets… little foldout solar panels have come a long way and are relatively inexpensive now servicing just about any think in your kit and all the kids toys.
Well that’s enough now and I hope that I’ve got you thinking about streamlining your memory card needs, I’ll go into these and many more subjects in greater detail at a later date and maybe throw in a couple of reviews of some of the storage options that I outlined earlier.
Just remember thinking ahead like an engineer, plan for all eventualities and you should save yourself some money grief and a good dressing down from the missus.