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Travel Photo Back-up Solution


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I came across a wonderful, inexpensive and fast solution to backing up my SD cards when traveling.  I use it as insurance that if the camera is stolen, or an SD card fails.  The solution is a hack of the RavPower Filehub that I bought a year ago.  It costs about 40$ and works as a link between my SD cards and any USB drive.  I tend to us a few thumb drives, but any USB drive might work.  Following the instructions on the website it took my about 45 mins to get it to work.  I am not a computer programmer.  I know other 'pro' solutions exist but for hundreds of dollars, and the WB drive that used to be sold is not well reviewed. So far after a few weeks the solution seems solid.




Good luck



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  • 3 months later...

I just purchased the latest version of this Ravpower Filehub. I wanted something inexpensive, small, easy to use, that helps me backup my pictures when I'm traveling. During a recent trip to New York, I tried backing up my pictures with an iPad and an SD card adapter, in order to transfer everything in the cloud, but the transfer speed was super slow, and the iPad capacity (16 Gb) was too small, sadly.


This Ravpower Filehub seems quite different, and much more useful! I purchased a 128 Gb USB 3.0 thumb drive from Samsung (which apparently looks pretty tough and advertised as "waterproof", which can be handy while traveling), which I can plug in the Filehub. Then I insert the SD Card I want to backup, and with the app on my phone I simply copy paste the files I want to backup from the SD card to the USB drive.


I did a test with about 100 Mb of RAW files and a USB 2 thumb drive. It took about 10-15 seconds to transfer, which is not very fast. However, I'll do the test again with the USB 3 drive, hopefully it will be faster!


The Filehub also offers other advantages:

- It's an external battery, which means it can function on its own but also charge your smartphone or your camera (if it supports USB charging)

- There is an Ethernet slot, and the Filehub has Wi-Fi capabilities. This means that it can act as a router: plug an Ethernet cable, and share the connection via Wi-Fi. It can be handy in some situations where there is only an Ethernet plug and no Wi-Fi (even though we're in 2017...).

- It's quite small, and very handy if I don't want to take an iPad with me.

- It's a bargain: 36€ on Amazon.de..!

- You can use your existing hard drive or USB thumb drive, so no need to invest into something new.

- There are other features, which are not useful to me, like video or photo sharing. It's actually a miniature NAS, so it can act as a media server.


I'll do a few more real life tests in my next travel, but for the price, it really looks like a handy little travel companion!


Has anyone been using it too?



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  • 1 month later...
  • 4 weeks later...

Indeed, I was actually surprised, as I thought the device was USB 3.0 compatible. But it's not, and sadly, it bottlenecks the transfer speed.


However, I still find the device very usable and the transfer speed decent. I did the following "real life" test:

- 1164 files transfered (582 RAW files ~33 Mb each, and 582 JPG files ~3-5 Mb each)

- 19.6 GB in total (21.1 billion bytes)

- From a SanDisk Ultra SDXC, Class 10 UHS-I(80 MB/s), to a Samsung USB 3.0 thumbdrive

- The transfer speed was about 37 minutes long, so about 8-9 MB/s.


37 minutes for 20 GB of data and 582 pictures, I think it's okay! Of course I'd love having USB 3.0 to reduce the transfer speed, but while traveling, I think it's not a problem as you often have 37 minutes to spare!

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  • 3 weeks later...

There are other problems too. One review said the process corrupted his SD card but he was able to recover it at home.


Seagate and WD released new solutions at CES last week. The Lacie one has lots of great input options and USB 3.0 but is a spinning hard drive, which is a bit of a dealbreaker if you plan on doing this with the device in your bag while on the move. WD's is an updated version of their My Passport Wireless Pro, which now uses an SSD. Both are quite expensive.


If you own an X-T2 or X-Pro2, the better solution is...just buy more SD cards. You might as well just take advantage of the dual SD card slots. Each device costs $300+. You could easily buy enough SD cards for that much. If you don't mind a slower card, you could even save a lot of that money. You could easily get a couple 128GB cards to throw in that second slot as backups to your main cards and the whole process would be safer and less annoying.

Edited by typeronin
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Yes I have come to the conclusion that buying several more SD Cards is the way to go. Then at the end of each day, I remove the cards, slide the write protect and store them. Each card I number, then I know Day 1 is SD 1 etc. I have 15 cards for a 15-Day trip. Cards are mostly 16GB. I will never use all of that in a day, but presently those cards are cheap.


I now have some SD card storage tubes in PLA10 cards 1 a day for a 10 day trip. Perfect. as you see attached nice screw top from https://www.3dhubs.com/3d-printing highly recommended. The file I downloaded Card_Tube_10_SD.stl.


Edited by Him
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  • 1 month later...

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Some other solutions I've found are Raspberry Pi-like boards with USB 3.0 like the Pine A64. 


However, at the minimum, something like this would be around $100-150 to build and you have to have a certain degree of technical know-how to do it. Once you get to that price point and the amount of trouble that goes into the project, again, you might as well buy some extra SD cards and take advantage of the dual SD card slots. 128GB of Sandisk Extreme is only like $60.

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Maybe 6-7 years ago I filled up my cards a few times and thought of solutions where I could have a device in my bag that backs up my cards to a HD so I can clear it and use it again.


However, over the years SD cards have gotten cheaper, I've accumulated way more of them and it seems like I never run out of storage anymore so on-the-go backup seems to be a thing of the past. I like tinkering with gadgets so having something like this would be fun but (un)fortuantely, it's been rendered mostly unnecessary.


Having something like Nikon's SnapBridge, that sends a small copy of every photo you take to your phone for instant review, would be pretty cool. I used to do that with a Eye-Fi card in the second slot, sending small JPEGs to an iPad mini in my bag.

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  • 11 months later...

The newer but more expensive iPad Pro tablets with the latest Lightning-to-SD card adapter (B&H # APMLSDCR MFR # MJYT2AM/A) support SDXC UHS II cards resulting is much faster USB 3.x data transfer. The read speed of your SDXC cards will impact the data transfer rate. 

Western Digital has a product designed to transfer the contents of SD cards to an integrated SSD drive. B&H Photo also lists several similar products with widely varying reviews. Some people swear by them. Others do not. 

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  • 7 months later...

I don't travel with extra crap.  No laptop.  My iPhone, and MAaaaaaaybe my iPad.  I have enough memory cards to shoot 5500 Raw/Fine JPEGS.  Once a card is full, it comes out of the camera and the two - camera and sd cards are NEVER, ever together again.  My camera and lenses are insured, so I really don't care what happens, but the images, are priceless.  So, if I leave my cameras in the hotel room say, and I go out to dinner, the SD card wallet GOES WITH ME wherever I go.  

I've been using this system since 2002 when I switched to digital and have never lost an image, card, or anything else.


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