Tuesday, November 18, 2008
High-tech tools to help you get the best images
Fast USB Jump Drives. We all fear losing our digital photographs. I put mine on my laptop as I travel, but a laptop can be stolen or a hard-drive crash can occur. I now carry USB jump drives for simple, portable backup (kept in a separate place than the laptop, of course). They don’t have capacities for long trips or for photographers who shoot a lot of images yet, but they’re one solution for backup. I’ve been using a DataTraveler HyperX unit from Kingston Technology (www.kingston.com); it’s a very fast drive, making uploading and downloading more convenient. Another small, but useful feature: The USB plug slides in and out of the drive, so you’re not constantly losing caps.
GPS Data. In the future we’ll see GPS capabilities in many cameras. Having the ability to pinpoint where you took a particular picture can be useful when you’re back home editing your images. ATP Electronics Photo Finder allows you to add GPS data to your image files (photofinder.atpinc.com). This unit records time-stamped GPS data as you photograph. Then plug your memory card into the Photo Finder so it can add that data to the metadata of your pictures based on the time. The unit has some limitations. First, it only works with JPEG files. That’s not a problem if you shoot RAW + JPEG or if you’re using it to scout with a pocket digital camera that only shoots JPEG. Second, it works best with SD memory cards. The unit has a built-in SD slot, but you need a card reader for CF cards, and I found that CF cards worked a little inconsistently.
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