Digital SLR that can dump to a USB drive

Discussion in 'Digital SLR' started by mindesign, Jun 28, 2006.

  1. mindesign

    mindesign Guest

    Hi all

    I have been wondering if there is a Digital SLR that can dump straight onto
    a USB drive without need for a PC interface - to explain, we were out at a
    party and someone was trying to offload some of their pics onto another
    storage media so they could take more. they didn't want to lose any but the
    CF card was full ....... got me wondering - especially in the situation
    where another person might immediately want a copy of the images taken and
    there is no PC access. this was the case the other night, as I borrowed the
    camera and shot off some pics which I will be waiting geological time to


    mindesign, Jun 28, 2006
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  2. mindesign

    Dr. Boggis Guest

    Not exactly as portable, and I'm not sure if it can function without a
    PC, but there are external hard drives with built in card readers, eg:

    Alternatively, I wonder if the printing direct from the camera function
    could be exploited? If you had a suitable cable to connect the camera to
    another USB drive.....probably wouldn't work, but at least that would
    "send" the data out of the camera. (D50 has this, not sure about other
    Dr. Boggis, Jun 28, 2006
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  3. mindesign

    Dr. Boggis Guest

    There's a photo viewer/storage thing here which looks like it would do
    the job......for $400.....
    Dr. Boggis, Jun 28, 2006
  4. mindesign

    C J Southern Guest

    Why not just stick a USB External CF Reader in your camera bag?
    C J Southern, Jun 28, 2006
  5. mindesign

    John Francis Guest

    Because those are useless unless you also pack a computer?

    As others have pointed out, you can get stand-alone hard
    drive storage units which can directly read memory cards.
    John Francis, Jun 28, 2006
  6. mindesign

    Rudy Benner Guest

    USB bridge, I believe Delkin has one.

    There are other alternatives.
    Rudy Benner, Jun 28, 2006
  7. Yes, it can be done onto a device like this
    This unit has a USB host so it can recognize cameras on one condition:
    the camera does not require a driver in order for a PC to recognize
    it. If you have to install drivers onto a PC in order for it to
    recognize a camera, then it will not work with this unit. You can
    connect a card reader to this unit and download the files from the
    memory card onto the storage unit.
    Peter A. Stavrakoglou, Jun 28, 2006
  8. mindesign

    mindesign Guest

    Thanks everyone for the info and assistance

    looks like a portable HDD/Card Reader combo is the way to go - if I chuck
    one in my car, I will almost always be able to dump stuff from a CF Card
    etc. onto it - am just going to check that these things will read a USB
    drive as well and it will basically do it all

    mindesign, Jun 28, 2006
  9. mindesign

    C J Southern Guest

    You can - at considerable cost. If one has the $$$ for those kinds of things
    then one may just as well buy a bigger CF card in the first place.

    The external reader is only a few dollars, and you don't need to pack a
    pc - you only need access to one. May not work for you, but it's never been
    a problem for me.
    C J Southern, Jun 28, 2006
  10. mindesign

    ColinD Guest

    I use an 'image tank', a Vosonic X's Drive with a 40 GB laptop (2½-inch)
    drive installed, and four card slots to take most cards commonly used,
    has usb2 connection to a computer, and I can preview the images on the
    built-in screen. I use it for my CF cards and my wife's SD cards. Cost
    about the same as a couple 4 GB CF cards, but 10 times the storage.
    Costwise a no-brainer.

    Colin D.
    ColinD, Jun 28, 2006
  11. mindesign

    J. Clarke Guest

    Take a look at <>. They have a number of devices that
    will do what you want and a lot of other useful stuff besides. Look
    particularly at the PMA-400, which is Linux-based and exceptionally
    flexible but limited to 30 gig (hardware limit, not OS) or the AV500 which
    is less flexible (it's based on Windows CE or whatever they're calling it
    this week) but has 100 gig of storage. A little bigger than an iPod and do
    most of what an iPod does, with reports that the sound quality is
    significantly better.

    Of course 400 bucks will buy a lot of CFs.
    J. Clarke, Jun 28, 2006
  12. mindesign

    Arild P. Guest

    I've been wondering about the same thing.
    But I'd be a little worried about a hard drive for storing all my
    valuable photos when travelling. What if it crashes, gets stolen...
    gets full?
    I've started shooting RAW+JPG, and I'm sure something like that would
    fill up pretty quickly, so what do you do then?

    I'd feel a lot more comfortable transferring my photos over to DVD-Rs,
    making two (or more) copies where I'd keep one with me, send one copy
    home and possibly have a third copy somewhere else.
    But how do you burn DVDs (or CDs) on the go? Are there portable DVD
    burners that allow you to burn without the need of a computer?
    And would such a burner recognize *all* my files on the compact-flash
    card? I'd hate it if it would only read my JPG files and leave out my
    RAW files because it couldn't recognize them as valid digital camera
    Arild P., Jun 28, 2006
  13. mindesign

    DD Guest

    The FlashTrax units are designed for portable storage of files by simply
    plugging your CF card into the unit and pressing copy.

    Unfortunately they seem to be fraught with software problems. I have had
    two units go haywire on me, the last one being a brand new 40GB XT. I
    eventually decided to just get another card or two and used the credit
    from the FlashTrax to get a Kirk BH-3 ballhead.
    DD, Jun 28, 2006
  14. mindesign

    Scott W Guest

    I have been saying for a long time that the camera should be able to
    directly link to a external hard drive. Since they don't I bought one
    of these
    It works fairly well but is a bit slow.

    Scott W, Jun 28, 2006
  15. mindesign

    Ron Guest

    I use a Delkin Bridge (purchased on eBay for $25, including shipping).
    It permits direct transfer from one USB device to another. I carry
    around a few flash cards (now about $15 for a good 512) and dump images
    either from a USB cable connected to my camera (several different Oly
    models) or a card reader. It's fast and works like a charm. The Bridge
    takes two AA batteries, and sets up a new file on the receiving USB
    device each time you transfer files. Reportedly, the Bridge will also
    work with many other USB devices (hard drives, MP3 players, etc.). It's
    tiny and eliminates the need for a PC altogether. Perfect for some
    kinds of travel.
    Ron, Jun 28, 2006
  16. mindesign

    Go-dot Guest

    Steve, before you go buying anything, you should check this out:

    As long as The DSLR uses Compact Flash cards, this should do the
    trick. Ibelieve they sell them at Office Depot, and that they may be
    available for Smartmedia abd Secure Digital card versions.

    Go-dot, Jun 28, 2006
  17. I bought a 30 GB Cintre OTG new for $ 80.00. That's not too
    considerable a cost for 30 GB of storage.
    Peter A. Stavrakoglou, Jun 28, 2006
  18. mindesign

    DoN. Nichols Guest

    Not that I know of. There are laptops with CD-ROM burners, and
    I think also ones with DVD-ROM burners now.

    The one danger for laptops these days is the publicity given for
    the personnel databases stolen with laptops (several recently), giving
    thieves the feeling that *any* laptop would be a bonanza.
    All it *needs* to do is to recognize them as *files*. Ideally,
    what I would want it to do is to duplicate the directory tree off the CF
    card, perhaps skipping the top-most one (which is a constant for a given
    camera.) It is DCIM on my Nikon D70 (and also on the D200) and probably
    on all Nikon digital cameras -- SLRs or no. The only time you want to
    put something that far up in the directory tree for a Nikon is when you
    are about to install a firmware upgrade. That is where the D70 (and
    presumably the others) wants it to be.

    I, personally, would do it on a laptop with OpenBSD (or perhaps
    a linux) installed, using mkisofs to form the image of the CF card
    directory tree, and then either "cdrecord" or "cdrw". (The latter comes
    with Sun's Solaris 10, so it is the choice for me. I seem to remember
    that "cdrecord" needs a special key downloaded to allow it to handle
    DVDs instead of CDs, but "cdrw" handles them both with no fuss.

    DoN. Nichols, Jun 29, 2006
  19. mindesign

    John Francis Guest

    As it will be on practically all digital cameras - it's an ISO standard.
    Almost all cameras with removable media will format them with a FAT file
    system, and follow the DCF standard for file and directory naming.
    That's what allows third-party manufactures to make products (printers,
    image tanks, etc.) which can grab images directly from the memory cards.

    Because it's a regular FAT volume you can have other types of content
    elsewhere, not in the DCIM tree, so you can put MP3 files there as well
    and see them on a device which doubles as an image tank and MP3 player.
    For that matter you can put anything else you like on the volume; I've
    used CF cards when I didn't have a thumb drive handy. The camera will
    ignore the other files, and only look inside the DCIM subtree.
    John Francis, Jun 29, 2006
  20. There are many devices that take media cards and copy the media card to an
    internal disk drive, and you can then hook this disk drive up to a computer
    with USB (or sometimes firewire). Some of the units can copy from USB device
    (like a camera) to another (like a disk drive), but that might these tend to be
    on the slow side.

    One place that offers a bunch of the units that I just bought my current PSD
    (Vosonic VP6230) from is If you have a spare laptop
    disk drive, was offering a Jobo giga one unit for $20 that would do
    this. In the past I have copied files for friends who had run out of memory in
    the field, and then I made a CD for them, so I prefer PSDs that have a bunch of
    different options for media, even if I'm not shooting a camera that uses that
    Michael Meissner, Jul 3, 2006
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