It’s a good time to be a digital photographer — massive hard drives are becoming cheaper than ever, making it so photo-enthusiasts don’t have an excuse for not backing up their data redundantly. Here’s an interesting look at how the price of a Gigabyte of storage has changed over time:
YEAR — Price of a Gigabyte
1981 — $300,000
1987 — $50,000
1990 — $10,000
1994 — $1000
1997 — $100
2000 — $10
2004 — $1
2010 — $0.10
Nowadays, a cheapo flash drive given away for free at expos has more capacity than a $10K computer from 30 years ago. In another decade, you’ll probably be able to consolidate all of the hard drives you have now on a cheapo flash drive of the future (or whatever we’ll be using then)!
Cost of Hard Drive Storage Space (via Boing Boing)
Google has changed the way it limits Picasa photo storage, allowing users to store a virtually unlimited number of photos… provided that they’re small. Previously the service limited users to 1GB in storage and 1,000,000 photographs (split between 1,000 albums). While the photo limit is quite generous, it was difficult to reach since users would likely hit the storage limit very early on (you could only store about 10,000 100KB photos). The million mark is easier to reach now thanks to Google no longer counting photographs 800px wide and smaller towards the 1GB limit, making it a pretty attractive free storage solution for people with a bunch of small photos to store.
Store More Photos and Videos in Picasa Web Albums (via Lifehacker)
TDK has unveiled a monstrous 1 terabyte (1000 gigabyte) optical disc at CEATEC 2010 (the Japanese equivalent of CES), which wrapped up a couple days ago. The disc has 16 layers on both sides that each store 32GB of data, and is the equivalent to about 213 of the recordable DVD discs that you might be using to back up your image files. As someone who uses multiple external hard drives and countless DVD-Rs to backup my photos, I’d love to use these massive discs for backups and redundancy.
However, unlike improvements in hard drives, optical discs technologies can take forever to find their way to consumers — just look at how long it took Blu-ray to become the de-facto successor to the DVD. We can dream though, can’t we?
If you’ve got boxes of old prints and family photos you’d like to salvage from those awful sticky photo album pages, SnapHaven will scan them for free. For a limited time, the photo storage and backup service is offering free unlimited scans for customers with an active membership — though you’ll have to pay to ship your own prints.
SnapHaven is still the only dedicated photo backup and storage site. They also offer services for making prints, photo books, and other photo gift accessories.
SnapHaven originally launched last December, but has just re-launched with new membership options. Previously, the company had plans based on upload limits, but membership is now available at a yearly flat rate, starting at $49.99. Now, rather than paying more for more space, annual memberships are straightforward and include unlimited photo backup, protected by the company’s 99 year lifetime guarantee. SnapHaven also assures that even if the yearly membership is not renewed, customers can still have full access to the photos for viewing, printing, sharing, and downloading.
In an announcement on the Google Photos Blog today, Google announced that the maximum number of albums allowed for a Picasa account has been increased from 1,000 to 10,000.
While this is “good news” for everyone who uses the service, I wonder what percentage of users this actually benefits. Some statistics on Picasa usage would have been an interesting and illuminating addition to the announcement:
We want Picasa Web Albums to be a place you can share and store all your digital photos, regardless of how many you have. We recently made extra storage really affordable, but until now, Picasa Web accounts have been limited to a maximum of 1,000 albums. We heard that you needed more room, and because we want you to keep sharing your photos and posting them to Buzz, we’ve worked hard to now raise this limit to 10,000 albums.
Expect Google to continue beefing up Picasa in 2010 in order to seriously challenge Flickr for a bigger slice of the photo sharing pie.
If you find yourself carrying around loose batteries all the time, here’s an organization tip: store batteries in ammo boxes.
Michael Page discovered this clever “hack” recently, and posted the advice to DIYPhotography’s Flickr group:
The “big bore” rifle cartridge box is the perfect size for storing and carrying AA batteries, and “small rifle” is exactly right for AAA.
An easy way to keep track of which batteries are depleted and which are fully charged is to simply flip the empty ones upside-down in the box.
Image credit: DSCF1005 by mikepageky and used with permission
SanDisk just released its 64GB Ultra SDXC (extended capacity) memory card, the largest capacity for the Secure Digital format. It has a read speed of up to 15MB/second, stores up to eight hours of high-definition video, and costs $350. The new card uses the SD 3.0 specification, which allows capacities up to 2TB (2000GB).
It just so happens that today the CompactFlash Association also announced the CF5.0 specification, which allows memory cards up to 144PB (petabytes), or 150,994,944GB. Oh boy.
Sadly, the new Compact Flash specification only affords transfer speeds up to 32MB/s, meaning a full 144PB card would take about 153 years to transfer.
Back in September we wrote an article discussing how difficult it is to keep digital photographs safe for a really, really long time. We mentioned that storing your images with a reliable service like Amazon is probably much safer than trying to archive data yourself, since you’re probably not an expert at doing so.
The problem is, although services like Amazon’s S3 storage service are probably among the safest options you have, the companies behind them don’t guarantee that your data won’t be lost. If your data is lost or damaged, the only thing companies like Amazon lose is their reputation and probably you as a customer.
Swiss Data Group, another data storage company, is offering a photo storage service in which they put their eggs in the same basket as yours: SnapHaven. They guarantee the lifetime storage of your data (99 years), and will return double your money in the case of any data loss or corruption. This might not seem like a good deal, but it’s much more than what Amazon guarantees, and the first photo storage service of its kind. I can’t see how they’d offer more than double money-back, since that might be making a promise they can’t possibly keep.
What’s even more attractive for photographers is the pricing model that SnapHaven offers. Rather than charge a recurring fee for storage and additional fees for data transfer like Amazon and similar cloud services, SnapHaven charges a one time fee of 3¢ per image for lifetime storage.
If you’re looking for a service to safely store your images for an extended period of time, you now have a pretty appealing alternative to Amazon and Rackspace.
SnapHaven (via The Imaging Resource)