Backing up memory cards on the go without a laptop

Stereodude

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#1
Has anyone made a setup to backup / save content from their camera's memory cards to another card or HDD without a laptop? I've read a few articles that say it's possible to use your phone or tablet's USB OTG capability with a USB hub to connect a SD card reader and a USB HDD simultaneously and then use an app like ES File Explorer or Solid Explorer to copy between them. It looks like writing NTFS from Android is iffy, so I guess the external HDD would need to be formatted as exFAT.

My personal cellphone and tablet are still micro USB. It looks like either of these below devices should work.

https://www.amazon.com/Rocketek-Adapter-MacBook-Smartphones-Function/dp/B07MJ61TJV/
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00OCBXIY8/

They even have SD/uSD card readers directly in them. The first one looks a bit more interesting to me since it's power inlet is apparently a micro USB (no good pictures of it) so I could just plug the cable I use for charging into the hub.
 

Chewy509

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#2
I've done from tablet internal SD card to external HDD on a tablet via USB and it worked fine. (External HDD was formatted exFAT, and used external power). The tablet had ES File Explorer pre installed, so used that to copy.

So I don't see why using an external SD card reader + external HDD would be any different...

My only concern would be power requirements for the external HDD and what the phone/tablet is willing to or can provide?
 

Stereodude

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#3
My only concern would be power requirements for the external HDD and what the phone/tablet is willing to or can provide?
Well, both of the devices I linked to have provisions for providing external power to them. I tried connecting my Seagate 2.5" 5TB USB 3.0 drive (formated to exFAT) to my phone and copying data to it, but it made some funky noises that made me nervous during the copy. I expect the phone couldn't provide enough power, but I'm not quite sure. I'm doing a full format of the drive to make sure the drive isn't going bad as a source of the noises.
 

LunarMist

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#4
Those funky setups can work, but they are slow and I would not count on that.
Currently there are a few versions of the WD drives (HDD or SSD) that directly download SD cards and have OTG for others.
The Android or iBliOS software is buggy for some functions, but they seem to be reliable enough for standalone use.
Unfortunately the Nexto PSDs are now only for high end video production. The Hyperdrive UDMA 3 is still available, but hard to find without an overpriced drive. After many years of using various devices, I've basically give up and use a 2lb. laptop.
 

Stereodude

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#5
Those funky setups can work, but they are slow and I would not count on that.
Currently there are a few versions of the WD drives (HDD or SSD) that directly download SD cards and have OTG for others.
The Android or iBliOS software is buggy for some functions, but they seem to be reliable enough for standalone use.
Unfortunately the Nexto PSDs are now only for high end video production. The Hyperdrive UDMA 3 is still available, but hard to find without an overpriced drive. After many years of using various devices, I've basically give up and use a 2lb. laptop.
I don't see why it would be much different than using a PC. It's just a different OS with the two devices connected to it. If the phone or tablet has USB 3.0 it should be just as fast as a USB 3.0 PC. My current phones and tablets don't have USB 3.0 though. Android has native OTG support now and has for several major releases.

So my 5TB HDD is fine. The full format completed overnight and had 0 bad sectors. I presume the issue was a lack of power being supplied by my phone. I will get one of the powered external hubs and see how it works.
 

Stereodude

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#6
I got the Rocketek today and tried it out. I supplied power to the hub with a micro USB from a standard 2A USB charger, plugged in the 5TB 2.5" USB 3.0 HDD to the hub and put a SD card in the card slot. I was able to copy 9.xGB of files to the 5TB HDD without any issue using Solid Explorer and my Moto G5S+. The phone shows it is charging and it sees 3 USB drives (one with space from the card in it) + the HDD. I guess the card readers in the hub show up as 3 drives. The copy was about 15MB/sec.

Workable, but I need to extrapolate out the copy times for large sets of data and see if this is realistic for the size and number of memory cards I'm thinking for the trip. I may need a device with USB 3.0 simply to speed the process up and significantly shorten the copy times.
 

Stereodude

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#8
Are you worried about data loss or just want to offload pics, format card, then add more pics to same card?

32 GB SD cards start at $7.
64 GB SD cards start at $10.

Buy a couple and just swap cards when one is full?
Originally I was thinking to dump the cards and reuse them. But then I was thinking that I'd like to have the pictures backed up which would mean leaving them on the cards and making a second copy to the HDD. 4k Video is rather large though. I suppose one option would be to not copy off the video, just the pictures and don't re-use any cards.

I need to crunch the numbers on how long it will take to copy various size cards. I bought a few new 128gB cards for the trip a few weeks back during Prime Day. It seems like I should have bought a lot more. Hopefully there will be some good sales on cards between now and the trip, but with the instability in the flash market I don't know if that's likely.

Buying a new phone with USB 3.0 to facilitate fast copying seems stupid since USB 3.0 not on any sort of lower to mid priced phones and I can buy a huge pile of memory cards for the price of a new phone with USB 3.0. Alternatively, I could take my Dell XPS13. It is pretty small and lightweight and of course is USB 3.0. Dumping cards from the internal cards reader (or an external one) to an external USB 3.0 HDD will be quick with the XPS13.
 

LunarMist

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#13
No, I don't. I read several places it was up to the 60's in MB/sec. The main complaints are that the app sucks. Without it the downloads are rather basic with no display on the device. I was rather disgusted with the USB 2.0 OTG, so it is only useful at a halfway decent speed for SD cards. CF or XQD would only download in the low 30 MB/sec. or so range.

Here is one review of the SSD version, but I think they are all similar.
 

Stereodude

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#14
No, I don't. I read several places it was up to the 60's in MB/sec. The main complaints are that the app sucks. Without it the downloads are rather basic with no display on the device. I was rather disgusted with the USB 2.0 OTG, so it is only useful at a halfway decent speed for SD cards. CF or XQD would only download in the low 30 MB/sec. or so range.

Here is one review of the SSD version, but I think they are all similar.
Stellar battery life. The reviewer postulates the battery might last long enough to copy 512GB based on how much it drops with his smaller data copy. (n)
 

LunarMist

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#15
Are you are shooting more than 500GB per day that has to be copied in the field? I would be downloading at the hotel or wherever.
 

Stereodude

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#16
Are you are shooting more than 500GB per day that has to be copied in the field? I would be downloading at the hotel or wherever.
Probably not. I just seems like an overpriced & uninspired piece of hardware. I think I'd rather spend the money on cards instead and do my best with my phone + hub rig.
 

Stereodude

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#18
The HDD version is cheap and I think it is similar. I'm waiting for the new Nexto.
$200 for 4TB isn't that cheap IMHO. Sure, in the grand scheme of things compared to the cost of cameras, lenses, and other accessories, it's not really expensive, but I just don't see that much value in the device itself. I'd rather buy $200 in SDXC cards capable of at least U3/V30 performance.
 

LunarMist

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#19
You need a decent budget. :rolleyes:
I'm usually at $1200-2000 per day on international trips for stills by myself. I'd want an assistant for videos so it would be rather more for travel, hourly wage and per demon.
 

Stereodude

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#20
You need a decent budget. :rolleyes:
Well, I will gladly accept donations.

I'm usually at $1200-2000 per day on international trips for stills by myself.
This isn't a photography trip. I'm going on a tour and am bringing a minimalist setup for taking decent video and photos.

I'd want an assistant for videos so it would be rather more for travel, hourly wage and per demon.
Per demon? Exactly what sort of trips are you taking and where are you finding your help?
 

LunarMist

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#23
I don't know which sticks are best for light videos, but I've only used RRS or Gitzo tripods for many years. However, there are plenty of decent tripod makers around now if you are not interested in Gitzo, RRS, PMG, etc. A good fluid head is essential for video on a tripod. I recall you are using some kind of Chinese steadicam device, though.
 

Stereodude

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#24
The tripod isn't for video. Especially not in the traditional pan/tilt sense. It would be for photos (long exposures) or as a base for the gimbal when doing automated panning timelapses or panoramas.
 

LunarMist

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#30
NPS10. I'm still testing for compatibility and data integrity under different scenarios. I will have official results after the holiday weekend. Preliminary results indicate 14350 BMs per min. sustained copy speeds with a UHS-II card.
 

LunarMist

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#32
That's like ten years worth.
I cannot seem to edit an old post, but you know what I mean. ;) 14GB per minute is fast no matter how you say it.
 

LunarMist

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#35
I charged the battery fully and downloaded (X-Copy mode) 115GB of data from a S*NY UHS-II card to a 2TB EVO in the NPS-10 15 times. At that point the battery level display was blinking red so I figured it would not last for another copy.
 

LunarMist

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#36
The processor is the Marvell Armado 88F6810, whatever that means. Many of the internal parts were made in April or July, so at least it is very new. Battery replacement may be an issue, but probably not for three years or so. It makes sense to buy three of these devices at this point.
 

LunarMist

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#37
The old Crucial MX300 2TB drive is a bit flaky in this application. After the battery is below 20% it shuts off suddenly during a copy as if there is not enough power. :( The Samsung 850 PRO 2TB drive is fine.
 
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