External drives and back ups for Mac


Link Posted 02/02/2013 - 11:56
Am getting more serious about my photography and looking to turn pro. I want to buy some external HD's and set up for storage and backing up.

I have read many posts here about it, there's lots to weigh up and consider!

I have a macbook pro 17" (early 2011) with 750Gb HD + a G Tech 500Gb thunderbolt portable external HD. I have and want to learn more about aperture 3.

My inital thoughts are:

1) Use the 500 Gb portable drive (or get a 750Gb one) to do Time Machine back-ups of the MB pro while on the road and keep images I'm currently working on the MBP - in case the MB pro dies or gets stolen etc.

2) Two 1-2Tb external thunderbolt drives at home (clones/copies of each other) to hold the bulk of my images, maybe with Aperture libraries. To hold original raw files + finished files (jpegs?) of the same images.

3) Possible basic steps

a) SD card into MB pro via expansion slot (I already have the reader)

b) Aperture 3 to download from card to library and simultaneously to portable HD, so 2 copies already made and cards can be formatted ready to go again

c) At home, copy or use Time Machine etc. to back up to the 2 larger drives.

What external drives and procedures does Mac users use? Any suggestions on external drives and/or procedures?




Link Posted 02/02/2013 - 12:46
I'm a Macuser - MacBook Pro 13ins

Normally I back up by 1) Time machine 2) SuperDuper to a WD external Drive [ it is partitioned ]

I have a small portable external Drive which travels with me when I'm away from home so I can back up then as well

I Use Aperture 3 and the library for that has it's own dedicated External Drive , which always travels with me .

However recently the MBP has been left behind when I'm away - so the External Drives are then stored off site [ I have some helpful neighbours ] I now tend to travel with an iPad and I can't be bothered to download pics to that and then try and tweak them - I prefer waiting till I'm home and able to use Aperture. My iPad travels in the Lowepro Event Messenger 150 bag with my K-30
let the education continue

proud owner of a couple of cameras and a few bits and bobs


Link Posted 02/02/2013 - 16:10
Dave - the one thing that jumped out at me in your post was "while on the road". For this reason, I'd strongly suggest that you give serious consideration to cloud storage. You might think you are paying a "fortune" for such a storage medium, but if you try to balance it out, how much will it cost you to get your images professionally recovered from a faulty hard-drive - external, or not?

I'm of the belief that providers of cloud storage have to maintain their storage servers to the highest standards, otherwise they'd be facing massive lawsuits from major corporations that rely upon them for data storage. Likewise, it is not in their best interests to lose the data belonging to the likes of you and me.


Link Posted 02/02/2013 - 23:03
Hi Dave 17" MBP (2010) and Aperture 3 user here too!

As we also have a Mac Pro at home we have used a different approach. In the MBP, I replaced the HDD with an SSD, then put the HDD where the superdrive was. This gives 2 internal drives with the best of both worlds, speed and storage. Working library on SSD for speed in the field, export to HDD for an extra backup there too.

At home, the Aperture libraries are exported from laptop and imported into Mac Pro, which also has a seperate internal drive for Time Machine. NAS drive in external building for external backup.

As we haven't gone pro (yet!), the only external backup we use is the NAS, but would add external drives to both machines if / when we do. Difference here is that I wouldn't format any cards until everything was also on the Mac Pro as that is yet another backup, so invest in some more decent SD cards too.

My guess is that you want to work on images 'while on the road' to save some time when you are at home, so curious as to how a cloud storage option would even be usable in that scenario. Imagine shooting a wedding, with 1,000 RAW files, that's 25GB+ to upload, bandwidth for that level of upload would just take too much time and money. Would leave that scenario until getting home and using a fibre connection!

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