This coming summer is going to be the first in a long time that I am mot going to be going to camp for the summer. It is kind of bittersweet to think about. I know that I will miss camp but I think that it will be nice to have a real summer off and be able to spend time with my wife, my family, her family, our new house, and just relax a little.

As part of the plans for this summer, we have a couple trips planned including time in Israel, Hawaii, Moab, and probably various other camping excursions.  Of course on all of these adventures I will have my cameras with me but I am hoping to be able to do most of the traveling without taking my laptop all over the place.  Why? Well, for most of what I need to be able to do on a daily basis i can do on my iPad, and it is a lot smaller and easier to travel with.  However, the iPad is limited in what it can do with photos, and all things considered, it can’t store all the photos that I will take over the summer.  Of course the other big issue is the fact that I shoot exclusively in RAW, which means huge files and not the best editing software for iPad.  So, how do I travel and take home all the images?

I have been looking into various solutions to solve the storage and organizational products and software. In my searching I came across the various offerings from Sanho. Currently the device that has my interest piqued is the Sanho HyperDrive Colorspace UDMA2. I read about it on another photo blog and decided to check it out.  It is basically a housing for a 2.5″ hard drive that has various card readers built in.  Since the iPad can’t directly work with a CF card reader (not enough power) having a way to download CF cards on the go is a must.  The Colorspace UDMA2 can also connect to the iPad via wireless networking.  The drive can even create it’s own wifi network for sharing with tablets and computers.  For faster transfers it can be connected via USB to a computer.  The Colorspace UDMA2 comes either without a drive, or in various drive sizes.  If you are tech savvy and don’t mind dissembling the device and installing your own drive, you can save lots of cash over buying it with a drive pre-installed.

Of the other options from Sanho are two versions of the iUSBport.  The basic version of the iUSBport is relatively inexpensive and can share just about any USB storage device via wifi.  As with the Colorspace UDMA2, it can either connect to an existing network or create it’s own.  This device can power a CF card reader and thus would allow for download of CF cards to an iPad.  However if I wanted the security of backing up photos to a hard drive I would have to download the card to the iPad, then connect a hard drive to the iUSBport and copy the images back to the drive.  On the go, that is probably less than ideal, but since I own all the needed hardware (HDD, card reader & iPad) all I would have to do is buy the iUSBport.  It supports connections via FTP or it has an app for your tablet or smartphone.  I suppose I could also use it to download a card and then I could upload that card to my Copy account where I have plenty of storage for a trip or two.

The second version of the iUSBport is the iUSBportCAMERA. It has all the functionality of it’s predecessor AND it can connect to your camera and allows for wireless tethered shooting.  You can control focus, and other camera settings, trigger the shutter release, and view the images you take, as you take them.  I have been looking for a way to shoot tethered to my iPad!  The iUSBportCAMERA is the most expensive option.

Of course on the other hand, I could just travel with my laptop, but I don’t want to be “that guy” who sits in front of the computer on vacation. I am certainly not going to do any major editing on vacation, maybe just some posts to Facebook and such.  Being able to download memory cards and back them up quickly so that I can go on shooting is the goal. Being able to get images on to my iPad will be useful and allow me to back up to cloud storage as well.

As I move through the process, get a device and create a workflow, I’ll be sure to post my thoughts!