Cameras forum

General discussion


by sufine / March 19, 2006 11:26 PM PST

What is the best type of media to save photo's on?

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Saving Photos
by snapshot2 Forum moderator / March 19, 2006 11:50 PM PST
In reply to: DVD-R or CD-R

When it comes to photographs, they are irreplaceable.

I want at least two copies for my archives.

Save them to DVD and CD.

For protection from fire or natural disaster,
one copy should be kept off premises in a safe-deposit box or at a friend/relatives home.

In addition, I have turned my best photos into DVD slide shows. A copy of the photos in the slide show, are also included on that DVD.


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More is known about CDs IF you are using a high quality
by Kiddpeat / March 19, 2006 11:57 PM PST
In reply to: DVD-R or CD-R

brand. Some photography stores sell archival CDs which contain gold, and gold is known to be the best formulation. Taiyo Yuden CDs, if made in Japan, are at the top of the tested heap.

I have not seen any test data on the longevity of DVDs.

Therefore, I have to say that high quality CDs are the best choice. After that, high quality DVDs are probably next because DVD construction is more robust.

Either type must be properly stored. Low priced disks of either type should not be used for long term storage.

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Image storage options
by H. S. Bjornson / March 20, 2006 7:30 AM PST
In reply to: DVD-R or CD-R

Peter Krogh ( suggests that one of the better way to manage image archival is on external hard disks - in addition to CD/DVD backup.

Provides very usefull advice in his book "The DAM Book" (digital asset management).


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I do the CD backup and external drive routine too
by SteveGauss / March 23, 2006 5:54 PM PST
In reply to: Image storage options

I backup everything to CD once a year and to my external drive once a month, plus my new photos go to CD-RW until the end of the year when I make new master CDs

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3 way saving
by hothta / March 23, 2006 6:36 PM PST
In reply to: DVD-R or CD-R

i save on my harddrive on a cd and i save at yahoo photo sight i hopefully have it covered

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by nltrt / March 23, 2006 9:48 PM PST
In reply to: DVD-R or CD-R

I prefer to save to my ZIP disks. I have photos saved that are now approximately 8 years old, and have never had a problem.

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You might want to consider a second form of backup.
by Kiddpeat / March 24, 2006 10:01 AM PST
In reply to: DVD-R or CD-R

Have you ever heard of the click of death?

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Careful with ZIP drives.
by samuelgarcia87 / March 26, 2006 1:27 AM PST

Wow, I just googled for "click of death" and can say that I never knew anything about this. How come a storage media brake so easily. Anyway, I never had a ZIP drive but I was considering buying one. Knowing this, I don't think I'll do so.

Besides, why isn't there more information about this topic?

Read this:

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If you don't already have one, skip it. Zip drives have
by Kiddpeat / March 26, 2006 5:59 AM PST

always been promising, but have always managed to be too expensive. The 'click of death' episode may have been one of the last straws. The last I checked, Zip media costing $15-$20 per cartridge could not store as much as a 50 cent CD. You don't hear much about them these days.

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Whichever you prefer, but use GOOD discs
by 3DProf4online / March 23, 2006 9:50 PM PST
In reply to: DVD-R or CD-R

Before I set up my new PC I made the mistake of backing up using cheap DVD-Rs (properly verified backups etc.)

Don't know what went wrong but about 10% were corrupted. Luckily I still had the originals, but it scared me enough to throw away the remaining blank DVD-Rs. I went out & got some brand name discs straight away, and also I set up a Netgear network storage thing.

Fortunately no problems since so perhaps just a bad batch... but scary. Imagine losing a random 10% (or more) of your treasured images.

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(NT) Dont count on an external hard drive
by ejdimage / March 23, 2006 10:34 PM PST
In reply to: DVD-R or CD-R

I had a years worth of digital photos stored on a Maxtor external hard drive. One day when I went to ac ess this drive, it started clicking, and I could not access the drive. I contacted Maxtor, while although sympathetic, could do nothing for me other than to suggest I find a company who can help me. Of course I would have pay to have them recover the data on the drive. Long story short, it cost no less that $500.00 to recover the data. The data is still setting on this hard drive.

May I suggest the following, as this is now my new routine:

I. download digital pictures to an external/internal hard drive for temporary storage.

2. At the end of each month transfer this data over to a CD-RW, or even a DVD-RW depending on how much data.

3. Finally, on an annual basis, I transfer all the CD/DVD data over to a Archival CD or DVD R or RW.

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I don't use CD or DVD
by sdogre / March 23, 2006 10:40 PM PST
In reply to: DVD-R or CD-R

I have an internal Hard Drive just for storage, along with an External for the long term storage. If you properly store the Hard Drive I have found very little risk. With the prices of 40 to 80 gig hard drives these days it is cheaper and easier to store and access.

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It's just a matter of time for you. You should never, ever
by Kiddpeat / March 24, 2006 10:12 AM PST
In reply to: I don't use CD or DVD

rely SOLELY on a hard drive. There are many, many sad stories of folks trying to find out how to recover images from a hard drive gone bad. At a minimum, all of the files should be stored on two indpendent drives. Hard drives have a life of about five years.

At least you are likely to learn a lot about how to recover files from a trashed hard drive. You may also experience the joy of a multi-thousand dollar file recover from a specialty firm like On Track.

Been there. Done that.

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Storing Digital Pix
by matoz / March 23, 2006 11:23 PM PST
In reply to: DVD-R or CD-R

I use BOTH an external hard drive (to back up ALL my data, not just photos) and an online facility ( Hard to say what the test of time will reveal, but this combination seems to make the most sense.

The problem with many online photo storage services is that they are not truly "free", requiring you to buy prints, or coffe mugs / tee-shirts with your pix on them as a means ofpaying for storage. Some will evendelet your pix if you haven't looged onto their site in a long time.

I don't think does this, but it pays to read the fine print. The advantage here is you can access your pix from anywhere you have an internet connection. As an example, there was a case in New Orleans when Katrina wiped out all this family had, including all family photos.

Luckily they had stored their pix on a site like and were able to recover them. I would do this (you get lots of free storage), but makesure to read the fine print and find out if you are expected to buy merchandise from them.

Also make sure to log into your account once every so often to make sure it stays active. And do keep an external drive handy (Western Digital sells an 80 gig "Passport" drive that will store plenty of pix). Alternatively use your iPod as a storage device.

That way you can both store and view your pix. CDs /DVDs are subject to too much wear and tear, in my humble opinion. Of course, they are cheaper than theiPod or the Passport drive. Hope this helps

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This could be OK IF you have the hard drive as backup.
by Kiddpeat / March 24, 2006 10:18 AM PST
In reply to: Storing Digital Pix

You should NEVER rely solely on a web site for photo storage or backup. That's especially true for a free one. They could go out of business tomorrow and take your images with them.

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call me paranoid....
by digitaldon / March 24, 2006 12:50 AM PST
In reply to: DVD-R or CD-R

I use a multi pronged defence against data loss; all data not just images. My data includes business and personal data and finance info as well as thousands of still images and hours of digital video.

First off, I have read in a couple places that burnable DVD's are superior to CD's. Don't know for sure but that's what I've read; something about DVD's being the newer technology. So I burn Gold CD's then burn a DVD copy of those in groups of 4 to 6 CD's per DVD. The CD's are stored in a hidden, fire rated safe on premises with the DVD's in the bank safe deposit box.

I also use an older computer in my home network of three as a backup storage device for all data files. That computer has two hard drives on separate controllers that are used solely for data and images. Each drive is a copy of the other, so there's 2 copies of each file. This will soon have to be expanded by adding 2 more drives for more space. I use a program called Second Copy to do automatic copies of the files on the workstation computers. I like it because it makes actual copies of the files rather than process them into some archival format. They are directly readable by another computer.

As for the removable media I use the Gold CD's and DVD's from Delkin ( they are supposed to offer greater longevity over the normal off the discount shelf CD's.

I will never use ReWritable disks again. I used to and have found data loss on some of the older ones. I have also read that is not uncommon due to the process involved in the RW.

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Real World Solutions
by Jelly Baby / March 24, 2006 2:07 AM PST
In reply to: call me paranoid....

You don't say what size or how many image files you have to store?
For most digital cameras (up to about 5 mpix) and most users (around 100 images a month) on-line storage sites, such as offer a reasonably inexpensive way to archive your image files. The down side is that there is a limit to the file-size which they will store so you may not be able to retrieve a full resolution image at a later date - but at least you will have something!
I stopped using CD's and then DVD's when the file-sizes and numbers of my digital images grew to the point that I was spending more time burning discs than taking photographs so I now use an external HD for Backup, automated with Genie backup manager software, and a dedicated internal HD to download the original images onto.
This seems to work well with images being stored on Flickr as well - just in case!

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Relevant information
by Wilt / March 24, 2006 4:31 AM PST
In reply to: call me paranoid....

1. Matsui-made burnable CD based on pthalocynanide dyes are most permanent; other dye types are LESS permanent. CD with pthalocynanide are the 'gold CD' you hear about; other dyes are greenish or cyan, but some manufacturers spray their disks gold for appearance.
2. Matsui does NOT use pthalocynanide dyes on DVD because the pthalocynanide dyes are TOO RESISTANT to writing at the higher speeds of between the lines, DVD is LESS tolerant of change vehicles than CD!
3. Dyes in CD/DVD are 'organic dyes' between the lines, organic dyes in color film and color paper are antagonized by light and a number of kinds of fumes, including wood fumes. Read between the lines...protect CD/DVD similar to protecting color films and prints, they might be more protected by they are not immune!

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any non-rewritable disc, but not a hard drive
by Razzl / March 24, 2006 4:13 AM PST
In reply to: DVD-R or CD-R

Your best strategy for long-term storage will be to use one of the non-rewritable discs because their write-surface materials are more stable (so far) than the re-writable technologies; with the advent of medical and archival("300-year" standard, same as acid-free paper used in publishing)grade discs (usually gold foil)at reasonable prices one should go that route. (they're easy to find on the web with keyword searches like "archival cd-rom" or "gold archival disc"). I think the only significant difference between DVD and CD-rom will be how much fits on a disc and what file types they can hold. The base materials of even the non-archival grade discs are pretty stable and there's no reason to believe they wouldn't last MILLENNIA in proper storage conditions.

Magnetic drives, on the other hand, are extremely complex mechanisms with multiple moving parts spinning at high speeds, writing onto chemically and magnetically dynamic surfaces. In other words, they're guaranteed to wear out. The longest warranty on any current drives is 5 years, to give you a realistic idea of how long you've got to transfer your precious pictures to a more stable platter.

If you think writing your pictures to a disk is a hassle, remember what a hassle it was in the past to arrange your photographs in albums? Information is always labor intensive somehow, but they're your memories--you get to keep them if you put in the work!

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My solution
by Wilt / March 24, 2006 4:40 AM PST
In reply to: DVD-R or CD-R

External harddrive via USB2.0 connector...
1. You can put the data in two locations (home, office) so if one place burns you still have the data elsewhere.
2. USB connector is less subject to the ever-changing interface card (ST506, SCSI, IDE, EIDE) not fitting into your new PC with its ever-changing (ISA, MCA, PCI) buss layout!
3. Magnetics (tape, disk) are more permanent than the optical technology

...and plug in the USB harddrive and turn it on ONLY WHEN you need to read/write data onto not fight the Laws of Chance (MTBF statistics)
1. Mechanical things wear out if perpetually turned on
2. Electronic things are less prone to 'wear' but the more you use them you increase the odds of failure

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