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Life Savers for your digital images-Part 1

July 26th, 2005 · No Comments

I received several e-mails asking me to review archiving and storing digital images. After extensive research and experimentation of my own I will write a series answering some of your concerns.

Part 1

Compact Discs and Digital Video Discs (DVD)

These mediums are both optical storage means. A laser etches a pattern onto the reflective side of the disc in a spiral pattern. These images of codes are burned onto the reflective side of the disc. Once the code has been “burned” on the disc, the code can be read by an optical CD player. Most discs contain storage capabilities of 700MB (megabites). The cost of these disc have dropped considerably. You can buy them in bulk for approximately 20-30 cents each. The ability to read and verify discs has also gotten easier as technology has improved. Most burners read and verify at speeds of 52X, meaning the process to fill a disc takes approximetly 5 minutes from start to finish. The major issue we face today is file size. As camera’s capability and capture cards store more more information so fewer images can be placed on each disc. Not really a major problem, just need more discs. Storing them can be an issue. I will address this later.

DVD hold more information and are not just for storing videos. (My son who is a videographer exclusively stores his digital video on these devises. With his G5 dual processor from Mac he can now burn video to bothe sides of the disc now allowing twice the amount of information to be stored on the DVD). Any digital file can be stored on a DVD making this medium the choice for most photographers. Most discs hold approximately 4.3 GB yes gigbytes of information. Double sided discs approximately 9 GB of information. Each disc sells for .50 cents. Write times ar 16X translating to 8 minutes for 4.2 GB of storage space. Not to shabby.

Make sure to check that your information has actually been burned to a disc before deleting your capture card. Also make sure to use discs that are at least as fast as your burner if not faster. Do not use CD-RW (CD re-writable disc to store data. They are not as stable as CD-R discs). My son tells me that DVD format comes as DVD+ and DVD-. To different formats made by different companies. I believe Sony developed one format and Microsoft the other. Just make sure you know which format your DVD burner supports and buy those types of discs.

My choice of discs both CD and DVD are Verbatim. These discs should last at least 50 years. A company named Delkin now manufactors discs that last 300 years based on research they have completed. Also if you are not backing up your data to a separate external hard drive, then make 2 copies of your discs. Leave on at home and one at the office. Better safe then sorry.

Tomorrow- I continue the journey of cataloging

Benjamin Hornstein

Tags: Digital Photography · Uncategorized

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