External Hard Drives for Professional Photographers

Photographers are heavy data consumers, and as such often require different storage to regular users. They need a decent combination of size, speed and portability. Here’s what to look out for as well as a couple of recommendations.

The advent of digital storage means that the average cost per shot has decreased massively, making digital cameras way more cost-effective compared to film. But it also means photographers are taking more photos, and dealing with film in a darkroom has been replaced by learning how to effectively manage files in the cheapest and most efficient way possible. The term “digital photography workflow” describes the step from the capturing of an image to the final output, either as a digital image or a print. This is where external hard drives come in, and they perform three main functions: traveling drives, back-up drives, and internal drive extension. Traveling drives allow photographers to keep digital images safe while on the move. Back-up drives, as the name suggests, are part of the second phase, where digital images are backed up to a second device, or the cloud. Internal drive extensions are used to extend the storage space of internal hard disk drives.

The WD My Book 10TB external hard drive is perfect for backing up your RAW image library. This definitely isn’t a “fit in your pocket” external hard drive, but it will sit fine on your desk at home, ready to be used as a back-up drive for your digital photos. It comes with the WD Backup software, and is compatible with Apple’s Time Machine. If you need something a bit more portable, you should opt for the WD My Passport SSD. This solid-state drive has the added benefit of being super-fast too, with a transfer speed of 540Mb/second, twice as fast as basic hard disk drives.

Perhaps the drive that is most suited to professional photographers, though, is the WD My Passport Wireless SSD. This solid-state drive, as the name suggests, allows the user to move files over Wi-Fi, although you can use the USB cable included for faster transfer speeds. The My Passport Wireless also has an SD card slot, allowing you to back up your photos on the go. The speed, portability, and SD card slot inclusion comes with a fairly steep price tag, however. The SSD comes in four sizes: 250 GB (£220), 500 GB (£254), 1 TB (£435) and 2 TB (£665).

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