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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Gadget Bag: Field Storage

Multimedia storage viewers, MSVs for short, are much more than just a place to dump image files before reformatting a memory card while in the field

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This Article Features Photo Zoom

Epson storage viewers have been popular with pro photographers since their inception, and it’s easy to understand why. They offer several models to meet different budgets, and all are rock-solid and jam-packed with features. The top-rung P-7000 features a giant four-inch LCD that can display over 16.7 million colors. Epson’s proprietary Photo Fine Premia LCD technology is built into the display for Adobe RGB color space support. The P-7000 provides all standard features, including browsing, zooming and deleting, for JPEG and RAW image files. You also can review videos and listen to audio files. The P-7000 is field-ready right out of the box and comes with a travel pack that includes a case, dual battery charger, car adapter, cleaning cloth and viewing stand. Estimated Street Price: $725 (160 GB).

Apple iPod Camera Connector
You can connect your digital camera to your iPod photo, iPod with color display or Fifth Generation iPod (it won’t work with other iPod models) using the USB cable that came with your camera and an Apple iPod Camera Connector. You can preview images on your iPod and then later transfer them to your PC. Check www.apple.com to confirm that your equipment is compatible.

With a max capacity of 32 GB, an Apple iPhone isn’t a photographer’s best candidate for an image vault. But if you download Avatron Software’s Air Sharing application ($5), you can wirelessly connect your iPhone or iPod touch to a PC, Mac or Linux computer. With app installed, your iPhone becomes a portable portfolio that fits in your pocket. Visit www.apple.com/iphone/apps-for-iphone.

With a brand name that has been associated with pro photographers for decades, the JOBO GIGA Vu SONIC is available in four capacities, from 80 to 250 GB. It features a high-resolution, 3.2-inch LCD display and extremely fast data transfer—about 30 seconds for a full gigabyte, including data validation. It performs RAW image decoding and—to the delight of data worrywarts everywhere—will synchronize with your memory card to allow for incremental backups. Other functions include browsing thumbnail views of images, slideshows, image rotation, multilevel zooming and image copying and/or deletion. It also displays histograms (great feature) and allows users to customize interface skins. Estimated Street Price: $377 (160 GB).

MemoryKick MediaCenter
The MemoryKick MediaCenter has a smaller LCD display than other products mentioned here, but more than makes up for it by squeezing all of the high-level sophistication into the tiniest package: It measures a wee 2.5x4.3x0.6 inches and weighs just 5.6 ounces. It’s small enough to slip into any gadget bag or inside a jacket pocket, but doesn’t skimp on features. Sporting a 120 GB hard drive, the MediaCenter allows you to copy images from or to any of its multiple memory-card slots. Built-in software allows you to browse images, organize them and play them back on any NTSC or PAL monitor or TV. Estimated Street Price: $299 (120 GB).

Sanho HyperDrive Colorspace UDMA
The HyperDrive Colorspace UDMA from Sanho rides the leading edge of multimedia storage solutions. Start with a 500 GB-capacity SATA hard drive that supports UDMA for blazing-fast throughput (2 GB per minute with full CRC data verification). Add a high-resolution, 3.2-inch color LCD that displays JPEG and any RAW file type. Throw in a long-lasting rechargeable battery, incremental backup support, health-status monitoring of hard drives and data-recovery tools for memory cards. But it doesn’t st op there. The HyperDrive Colorspace also supports customization with user-programmable scripts and can be configured to synchronize data with a second drive via an optional cable. Package includes battery and charger, car charger, USB cable and case. Estimated Street Price: $379 (250 GB).


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