I just finished writing a magazine story on rafting the Grand Canyon, an adventure I have had the pleasure of doing three times. Each time I have rafted on this trip, including the last trip 6 years ago, I shot film.
With the possibility to going again in the next year or two, I will be totally shooting digital stills and video.
When I shot film I took between 100-200 rolls and over the three week trip and I shot most of it. The cameras ran on lots of AA batteries and photo storage was easy: number the roll and throw them into Ziploc bags.
But this next trip will be shot all digital and I will need a storage device for images and video footage and a way to charge all devices including the camera. So I have been exploring options.
While I usually download to my laptop and copy files to one of many 250 – 500 gb external hard drives, that is a lot of stuff to take rafting when space can be limited, so the idea seems impractical. Instead I am looking a portable storage devices and a solar charger.
I believe the best options are Wolverine, Digital Foci, Jobo GigaView, Nexto, or Sanho. There are many models available but I am not even looking at anything under 500gb since anything less may not be enough storage space for a 3-week rafting trip.
Here are the units I am looking at and they are all rechargeable:
- Digital Foci PST251 500gb $336 and stores still images and video footage.
- Jobo Giga View 500gb $699 Does NOT appear to store video and a search on their website does not show this product. Is it on its way out?
- Nexto DI 750 GB NVS1501 Photo and Video Storage $1059. Has AA battery holder as well and allows video storage. Based on reviews I read this is a solid unit, but the price is stiff.
- Sanho 750GB HyperDrive COLORSPACE $553 supports only jpeg and raw, but no video. Bummer! I like the price at this storage size.
- Wolverine PicPac II 500GB $200 Stores still images and video.
I am less interested in reviewing images and video clips on the device and just want to make sure the files are securely stored, so play back is not that important.
A tough decision is how many devices might I need? Out of 21 days on the river I might shoot 16 days and how much will I shoot? I cant answer that ahead of time, but I do plan to shoot a lot of video and that will consume more space. Would 500gb be enough? I will buy and test before the trip but am looking for your opinion.
Price wise, I can get 5 Wolverines for the cost of one Nexto; 2 versus the Digital Foci; or 3 versus the Jobo.
For solar charging I did not look far and have settled on the Goal Zero Sherpa 120 Adventure kit. I have heard nothing bad about these devices and they can charge a lot of items.
I wont make that decision right now, but what I am very interested in is your opinion. Do you have any of these devices? Do you like/dislike? Do you have other suggestions? Please leave a comment!