Data Security – Travel Photography

On my very first trip on the world’s most awarded luxury train, The Blue Train of South Africa, the almost new Strontium microSD card failed in my camera. I lost some 100+ photographs, very much needed for my upcoming blog posts. I am not the only one who suffered as I frequently learn about the plight of others.

A solution to those who can afford it:

  • A camera with wireless networking ability, plus
  • A portable wireless hard drive, plus
  • A laptop, tablet or Smartphone with a large microSD card

The camera will upload automatically to the wireless portable hard drive which, in turn, can make instant backup copies to a portable device as mentioned. This is one way to ensure that you retain your data should either of these devices fail.

I would still suggest a second portable backup device such a portable USB hard drive, where data can be backed up after every day’s work has been completed.

Finally, digital photo formats are going to change so much in future that your typical BMP/JPG/PNG/GIF/TIFF files won’t be read by newer devices. it would be best to print your photos in hard copy as well!

It ain’t easy, eh?


Loss of Memory

We finally had an oppurtunity to travel on one of the most luxurious trains in the world. It had taken me 43 years to be doing this.

I went armed with a Canon EOS 700D DSLR camera to which a fairly new Strontium Class 10 microSD card was fitted. After we had been traveling for some two hours, during which time I must have taken well over a hundred photographs, the above mentioned memory card simply failed.

My Linux operating system would not mount the device and neither could GParted recover any data. The Financial Manager on the train tried same on his Windows-based Thinkpad laptop, to no avail.

Eventually, the device had to be formatted, ensuring loss of precious photographs. I don’t know if I ever will be fortunate enough to travel on that opulent train again, meaning that the loss of so many photographs is severe.

Needless to say how peeved I am.

If one has a camera with wireless networking capability, it may be better to uppload media in real time to a wireless pocket storage device. Be sure to back up that portable device to a laptop or other mobile device regularly, just to be on the safe side.

I had eight Sandisk memory devices fail on me in one year. It is only Transcend USB flashdrives that seem to last. Perhaps the actual memory chips come from either Toshiba, Samsung or LG, yet the control firmware or even physical construction may turn apples into pears.

My next camera equipment will need to be utterly robust and reliable. It also need to offer wireless networking (WiFi being a specific, branded protocol.) This is not negotiable.

A photo opportunity only ever happens once.

Capture it.

Then be sure to keep it.