Raise your hand if you ever returned home from a trip only to discover that disaster struck, and you can no longer access the digital photos you made on your storage card. It’s horrible, and sadly I speak from experience. Nowadays when I travel, I’ll offload photos onto my laptop several times a day, and I’ll even make backups of the backup on a CD or DVD or upload them to my photo hosting site if the Internet connection is fast enough.
In recent years, memory card prices have plummeted. Just 3 years ago a 1GB SD card cost around $150, but that same card can now be found at some retailers for as little as $4. With this drop in price has clearly also come a drop in quality as I’m reading more and more reports of corrupted photos.
This is why I consider this new product to be a “must have” for anyone that takes digital photos.
The Digital Foci Photo Safe II is a 0.6OZ device and contains a rechargeable battery, a hard drive (80GB or 160GB) and card reader ports for most popular storage card formats. When you insert a memory card in the device and press the “Auto Copy” button, the Photo Safe II begins copying all the contents off the card. This includes all image formats, RAW images, and video clips. The device has an LCD display that shows the copy status as well as available space and battery life.
The Photo Safe II can copy files off your card at speeds up to 5 MB/s, which means you’ll be able to backup a 1GB memory card in less than 4 minutes (the copy speed depends on the read speed your memory card is rated for).
By making backup copies of your files, you can either format the memory card and reuse it, keep adding photos to it or keep it as a second backup (yeah, I’m paranoid). With low memory prices, it really does make sense to use multiple cards instead of relying on one large card.
Once you have copied all your photos onto the Photo Safe II, you can copy them onto your home computer once you get back home using the USB 2.0 interface. The Photo Safe II supports PC and Mac machines.
When connected to your PC, the Photo Safe II functions as an external hard drive and memory card reader. The internal battery is rated for an hour and a half and can be charged through the included AC adapter or the USB port of your computer.
The Digital Foci Photo Safe II costs $139 for the 80GB version and $189 for the 160GB, which really isn’t much when you consider the value of your vacation memories.
Digital Foci Photo Safe II (via Engadget)