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I'm going to travel around China for 3 weeks and I'm thinking how to backup my photo to the cloud (any storage provider is ok) taken with my old Canon 500D. Since I love to take time lapse, I will take several GBs of RAW file per day.

I don't want to bring my laptop with me, I don't have a tablet and I would like not to make my Android smartphone as bridge between the WiFi SD card and the cloud (by "bridge" I mean that I find inefficient that a picture is transfered from the SD card to the smartphone and from the smartphone to the cloud), but only as "controller" if necessary between the WiFi SD card and the cloud.

A perfect solution would be to control the WiFi SD card through the smartphone and say "upload everything stored to the cloud" (not passing through me, and not selecting each photo one by one). Since the big amount of data, this process will be done on a Wi-Fi network (otherwise I will run out data in few days) during night while I sleep (since it will takes several hours to upload the pic to the cloud).

Do you know any device/strategy to do what I described above?

I've read this answer which propose Eye-Fi, is it a valid solution for this problem? I never had one of these cards.

  • 1
    You should also consider that access to any internet site (including and perhaps especially cloud storage providers) from within China is pretty much guaranteed to be slow, unreliable, intermittent, or simply impossible. If I were you, I would carry enough physical storage (eg. an external hard drive) to store all the photos you expect to take, and use the cloud storage idea as a contingency plan if you can make it work. – Greg Hewgill Jun 17 '16 at 3:08
  • Thanks for your suggestion, I live in Hong Kong now and unfortunately I now the low connection average level in mainland. However, I don't deny you that I would deny the HD solution for two reasons: how do I transfer from the SD card to the HD without laptop/tablet? And mostly important, I'm worried about safety. – user6321 Jun 17 '16 at 4:17
  • @user6321 check my answer for your question: How do I copy SD Card to Hard Drive without laptop/tablet? – DavChana Jun 17 '16 at 7:28
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Edit: The below solution is not uploading for cloud, but making multiple copies of photos while traveling. Reason being internet connection, data limits, power availability etc..

I solved this dilemma few months ago, of making multiple backups of photos while traveling, by buying a Western Digital My Passport Wireless hard drive. Some features:

  • Comes in 1Tb & 2 Tb versions.
  • Has a SD Card Slot.
  • All automated SD Card copy operation. No need of any phone, laptop, tablet etc.
  • Can be configured via WiFi from phone.
  • Has internal battery.
  • No wires required, except for charging cable (USB 3.0)
  • Can be connected to computers with USB 3.0 cable as normal external hard drive.
  • All wireless access can be protected with stron WiFi password.

The way it works, is you buy the hard drive. Connect to your laptop, install the software. Then configure the drive to auto copy/cut every SD card you insert.

Now you could go out and shoot photos, videos, anything. Anytime you insert an SD Card, it will automatically save it in a dated folder without any further action from you, and all backups will be incremental. It means if you shoot 200 photos on day 1, and copy, next day you shoot 30 photos, and again put the card in drive, it will not re-copy yesterday's photos, only new 30 photos. Dont delete the photos from SD Card, so that now you have two copies of each photo, one on hard drive, one on card. Works as multiple backups.

Obviously because it is a hard disk, and has moving internal parts, you need to be careful as you will be with any hard disk.

It has two multicolour led status lights, showing battery level, current operation, wifi status etc and you sure need the manual handy to decode what those light colour means.

Battery life is good, as I fully charged it before trip, then copied all my four cameras one time daily, and was charging it only like twice a week. Ofcourse it will copy all SD card content; photos or otherwise.

Its android and iphone app lets you change settings, preview the photos, download, and other file managing operations.

Disclaimer: I have no official connection with WD, except just as a happy buyer/user from last few months.

  • Thanks for your answer. I know already this device and it's generally well reviewed. The problem in my opinion is that it's definitely overpriced. Do you know any alternative to it? – user6321 Jun 17 '16 at 8:08
  • @user6321 you don't really need the Wireless version. The regular one is twice as cheap. – JonathanReez Jun 17 '16 at 8:38
  • @JonathanReez only the wireless one has SD Card slot.. Atleast here in Qatar 1Tb is about $129.. – DavChana Jun 17 '16 at 10:38
  • Btw, just checked on Amazon, 1Tb is $140, same as about 7 SD cards? 2TB about $180 – DavChana Jun 17 '16 at 11:32
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I agree with the comments that backup to the cloud in China will be problematic. Backing up GBs per day will be unrealistic. If you don't wish to take a laptop with you, I'd suggest buying a memory card backup device.

Nextodi make multiple models of backup/storage devices such as this one on Amazon which is battery powered, has video preview, and contains 500GB of storage. Alternative models back up to USB drives.

Searching online for "portable photo storage" produces many similar devices from multiple manufacturers.

I would suggest asking on photo.SE as this has been asked previously over there:

https://photo.stackexchange.com/questions/924/how-can-i-backup-my-raw-photos-while-travelling-without-internet-access

  • Thanks for your answer. It seems too early for a cloud solution, especially in china where connection usually is bad. – user6321 Jun 17 '16 at 5:02
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The easiest solution is to simply take several SD cards on the trip. Assuming you will take 10GB of pictures per day for 3 weeks, you will need 210GB of storage. This can be easily covered by taking four 64GB SD cards. This is what professional photographers do since no hard drive can compare in terms of reliability to a simple SD card.

A single 64GB SD card is around 20$, so it shouldn't be expensive compared to the overall cost of traveling to China.

  • +1 for cost but how does this resolve the OP's comment: "I'm worried about safety"? Unless the camera can do backups directly. – Berwyn Jun 17 '16 at 8:48
  • I strongly recommend buying eight 32 GB or sixteen 16 GB SD cards instead. If one card crashes, you do not loose that many data. – TheEspinosa Jun 17 '16 at 9:10
  • Not good, as using SD Cards, still there is only one copy of data, the original one only, whereas the thumb rule of backup is 3-2-1, 3 copies of data, on at least two different mediums, in which at least one is separated from other two. Although while traveling, I resort to 2-1 part of it. Hard disc stays with carry on luggage, used memory cards stay with Camera bags. – DavChana Jun 17 '16 at 10:40
  • @Davinder the odds of an SD card failing are astronomically low, unless physically damaged. Finding some device to make extra SD-card copies might be worthwhile though. – JonathanReez Jun 17 '16 at 10:56
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    Yes, agree, but odds of losing only one available copy on these cards (or on any medium), by robbery, mugging, forgetfulness, reuse in camera by mistake are a lot more. This is why atleast two copies give me more peace of mind. Some devices are there, which copy sd card to internal flash memory, i think one from San disk, but was using obsolete tech, and max size of 64GB I think, and cost ~$200. As I said in my answer, when I was looking solutions to same, this was most cost effective n up-to-date device. It essentially makes extra SD Card copies to itself. – DavChana Jun 17 '16 at 11:29

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