For my upcoming trip to Ladakh, I had been looking for a portable photo backup system, which wouldn’t take up too much space. While on my earlier trips I had used cyber cafes or carried my own laptop to backup photos on the go, this no longer appears all the feasible for me, because:
1. Cyber cafes often have viruses.
2. Carrying a laptop along with a lot of photo gear is a big hassle and my photo gear alone is heavier than most airline’s cabin luggage limit.
With this in mind, I set out to assemble a system which was not only small and easy to carry, but also easily expandable, based on future storage needs. And here is what I came up with:
This fairly simple setup consists of following:
1. Moto G smartphone (just about any smartphone or tablet with USB Hub capability would do).
2. USB OTG Cable.
3. USB Hub.
4. Card Reader.
5. 64GB Pen Drive.
6. Nexus Media Importer (you can see it running on the screen.)
Nexus Media Importer not only recognizes memory card and pen drive at the same time (as you can see from the above photo), it also lets me directly copy data from one source to another i.e. I can easily copy/move multiple files from memory card to pen drive, thus not requiring any additional storage space on my mobile phone.
This means, apart from my smartphone (which I was going to carry anyways), I just have to carry card reader, OTG cable, USB hub and pen drive/s with me to Ladakh, in order to use this portable photo backup system. Since there are no moving parts in this setup, it can be safely used at just about any altitude.
The entire setup you see above (with the exception of smart phone and card reader), cost me Rs. 2,181 and that includes a fairly fast 64GB USB 3 pen drive and software license of Nexus Media Importer!
If you want to add more storage to the above setup, you just need to buy another pen drive. In case something breaks or stops working, you can easily replace the non-functional part, since all these components are available in most cities (including Leh)!
If you want to make this system even more compact, you can buy a pen drive style card reader, which will reduce the storage space need by around half. Or you can buy a USB Hub which has a built in card reader!
Of course this setup is just going to be used as a backup system. I won’t be formatting memory cards which I am traveling, because it is best to have multiple copies of data, in case something gets corrupted or you misplace a memory card.
This is something I never knew about!!
I carried a laptop just to backup the photos in my last trip as well!!
Thanks Rajiv and that is what I had done on my previous trips as well.
Great setup and hassle free way of backing up photo.Instead of carrying a 64 gb Pendrive,i will be carrying a 64 gb Micro SD inserted in my tab and will back my photos into tab memory via OTG cable.
Haha sir for that 5D you will need more space than 64GB card can provide, especially if you start shooting videos :).
Yogesh can we insert harddisk instead of pendrive?
Ram you can do that. But in that case you will either need a HDD which has external power or buy a USB hub with external power source. Otherwise phone wouldn’t be able to provide enough power for everything.
Sir, unless I’m mistaken the MOTO G phone may not support a USB-HDD, please confirm the same with google/motorola, before you embark on a trip Ram..
USB HDD would be detected as any other USB drive, and would work. Real problem is with supplying enough power to it, which isn’t possible when you are running a hub and memory card reader as well.
No. I think USB HDD will also work and be powered by mobile battery. Pls see this Video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pj-NMtCoTaY
Plus though I saw your post (Thanks for the IDEA .. it never came to my mind to search for such an APP) I also bought the sw online. and the OTG cable is on the way, I now wonder if I did wrong?
The file manager on my mobile may also sense the USB pen drive or USB HDD through the OTG cable. Would it not? I will check and let you know once the OTG cable comes. As with data cable I cannot sense any USB drive.
Shantanu, if you are just plugging in one drive, then ES File Explorer and other such free apps will be able to use the HDD. However when you are using mutiple things eg. memory card and pendrive/hdd, then you will need this app. Because other apps only discover one USB device (at least ESFile Explorer does that).
USB HDD will get power from mobile phone, however once you plug in memory card reader and hub, then there might not be enough power left to power USB HDD. You can try it if you want, if it works, good for you. Otherwise you can buy a powered USB hub or use pen/SSD drives.
fantastic arrangement for on the go file transfer, there are few OTG card reader also available but you can not directly transfer to pendrive. Im using Smartpro OTG card reader available in flipkart.
BTW What transfer speed you are getting here?
Thank you Smeet.
There are USB hubs which have card readers built in, but they are expensive, if you buy them in India. Since USB Hub is the weakest equipment in the whole setup, I didn’t want to shell out for them.
I haven’t benchmarked the speed, but it isn’t very fast. Because all the data transfer is taking place through a single USB 2 socket.