Gadgets & Gizmos

The Photographer’s Lifeline

On Location • In the Studio • A Separate Backup 



From the moment we’ve taken our photographs, we have the means to keep them safe forever – with the right technology from LaCie. Reproduced from Better Photography Magazine.


Do you or your parents have an album or a box containing old photographs? For most families, there is a core collection of important images which document their lives and their heritage. Many of the photographs go back over 100 years.


Can digital photos last this long?


The answer is yes, although it does require us to be a little more proactive.


The way to store negatives and prints was in a cupboard and hope that the house didn’t burn down or get flooded. With very little input from the owners, these ‘archives’ could survive decades.


In the digital world, it’s a little more complicated because we have to keep abreast of changing technology. We can’t just put the digital files away and expect them to be there in the future, but we can embrace the technology and set up a plan that ensures our photographs survive, right from the moment we take our photographs.


LaCie 2big Dock – up to 20TB storage 


Multiple Solutions

As photographers, we have more than a few precious family photographs to keep safe. Photographers have many years of time, effort and passion invested in thousands if not millions of exposures. Not all are as important as each other, but knowing today what will be important tomorrow is not always possible.


Generally, photographers retain all their raw files and, in separate folders, the files that have been processed and edited. A huge volume of digital files is produced, far more than will fit on an average computer. Certainly far more than fits on the storage cards you’ve used in your cameras.


What happens to the overflow of images as you continue to take more photographs? What can you do to ensure they survive your lifetime and that of future generations?


Experts explain that one solution is not enough. Technology is always changing, so we need to accept this and transfer our archives of photographs to new media as it becomes available – and to new media as it needs refreshing.


In the past, we’ve used tape, CDs, DVDs and hard drives, but it seems the only survivor of note is the hard drive.


The cloud is also touted as being a great solution, but it should not be our only solution – what happens if the company goes out of business? Financial obsolesence is more of a danger, hopefully not this year.


If for nothing more than convenience and peace of mind, we need our own storage. And we need reliable technology.


LaCie 6big – up to 60TB storage


Quality Equipment

There’s not much point storing your files or making a backup onto a hard drive that might not last.


True, all hard drives can fail, even the best quality and most expensive. And that’s exactly why every hard drive manufacturer recommends multiple copies of your files.


Multiple copies can be achieved in a number of ways.


For instance, when you’re shooting out on location, copying the files from your camera’s storage cards onto a separate hard drive (or two) immediately gives you multiple copies and security.


Back at home or in the studio, using a RAID system which automatically makes a second and even a third copy of all your files gives you further security (because if one of the drives fails, it can be replaced without losing any data).


And finally, to protect against the unlikely event of fire, flood or theft,  a further copy of your files should be kept at a remote site – maybe a parent or sibling’s house, for instance.


However, this system only works if you have good quality storage – good quality drives and supporting technology.


LaCie 12big – up to 120TB storage


On Location

So, what storage system should you adopt and what equipment do you need? Here’s a suggestion based on LaCie’s high quality and much trusted product line.


On a shoot, try to take as many storage cards for your camera as possible, preferrably so you don’t need to copy over a card for the duration of the shoot.


As the shoot progresses, copy the files to your laptop computer and back them up onto your LaCie Rugged drive. Eventually, your computer may run out of space, but you will always have two copies of all your raw files – on the storage cards and on the LaCie Rugged drive.


LaCie’s rugged drives come in capacities up to 5TB and with their bright orange protectors, will happily survive life in a busy photographer’s luggage.


In the Studio

Back at home, you have to assume that the camera storage cards and your LaCie Rugged drive will eventually be used for other shoots.


Transfer the entire shoot, either directly from the cards, or from the LaCie Rugged drive, onto your home or studio system.


If you just use your laptop at home, then a separate LaCie 2big or 2big Dock with up to 20TB is an ideal solution, especially if you set it to RAID (as this gives you a backup copy).


For photographers with larger archives of work, a 6big or even a 12big with up to 120TB may be the answer.


All these storage devices can be set to a RAID configuration, providing a back-up of your files within the one storage device. However, this is just your archive, it’s not a true back up. Not yet!


LaCie Rugged – many options up to 5TB


Off Site

Finally, have a further copy of all your files (both raw and working files) kept on another LaCie 2big, 6big or 12big RAID storage.


We don’t want your house or studio to be burnt down or the burglars to visit, but since this is a true ‘backup’ of all your work, it is best kept at a remote location - just in case!


LaCie has all your storage solutions.


For more information, visit, a specialist photo supplier or better computer suppliers Australia-wide.


One thing that Leica does remarkably well (in fact, one of many), is design lenses. Since the days of film, there has always been something special about the way a Leica lens resolves detail and presents colour. We figure Panasonic understands this too because it has a strong partnership with Leica. We’re also figuring Panasonic supplies Leica with some electronic smarts in return for help with lenses, but who knows what happens with big camera companies!


Suffice to say that Panasonic has released a new ultra wide-angle zoom lens for its Micro Four Thirds mount cameras. The Lumix G Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 8-18mm f2.8-f.0 Asph. lens has a similar focal length range to a 16-35mm lens on a full frame DSLR. The lens has splash, dust and freezeproof construction and that’s a good thing as long as the Lumix camera you’re using it with is suitably weatherproofed as well (some certainly are).


Panasonic has kept videographers in mind with this lens, ensuring smooth aperture changes so there are no sudden jumps in exposure, and silent operation so it won’t interrupt your audio recording. However, assuming you’re using a 4K Lumix camera, the big selling point is the stunning image quality.


Of course, still photographers will be equally happy with the image quality. The Leica lens features Panasonic’s Nano Surface Coating to reduce flare and reflections, and the MTF charts (which show how sharp a lens is) demonstrate a stellar performance.


The 8-18mm lens includes Aspherical (ASPH) Extra-Low Dispersion (ED) glass which helps reduce size and weight, as well as producing high-resolution, high-contrast images from corner to corner.


For more information, visit


Do you need all the features of a full-frame DSLR, weather-proofing, high frame rate and tons of megapixels? It’s a question we’re often asked, but sometimes it is better phrased, “Do we want all these features”? The answer is yes, of course, but the reality is that even introductory cameras like Canon’s tiny EOS 200D are capable of capturing professional quality images.


The camera market has gone wonderfully silly with all the advances and automation. We’re in favour of it, but when you boil it all down, what do you need your camera to do for you? Focus on your subject, set the exposure and colour, and record the photograph. All cameras do this and the sophistication with which they do so far surpasses the best cameras of 10 or even five years ago.


So, what does the new Canon EOS 200D offer? Perhaps most importantly is small size and weight – 122x93x70 mm and 453 g including battery. Compare this with the Lumix DC-GH5 (138x98x87 mm and 725 g) or the Olympus OM-D E-M5 (121x89x42 mm and 425 g) and you can see the new 200D is in the hunt for photographers looking for a lightweight camera to carry around.


Inside, there’s plenty to keep photographers happy: a 24-megapixel sensor, a 9-point AF system (this is designed as an introductory camera, after all), continuous shooting up to five frames per second (not bad for an introductory camera), Full HD 60p video recording and a top ISO of 25,600. And it has Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity and access to Canon’s Camera Connect app for your smartphone – what more do you want in a camera? For more information, visit

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