Capture One Pro Winner & Photographer’s Friend Sneak Peek (Podcast 706)

Capture One Pro Winner & Photographer’s Friend Sneak Peek (Podcast 706)


Visit Library for MBP Pro eBooks

My name is Martin and I’m a workaholic. Semi-seriously, I’m quite concerned by my inability to drag myself away from the development work that I’m doing on our Photographer’s Friend iOS app. It’s ruling my life and taking up my weekends, evenings, and pretty much every other waking minute, until something becomes so urgent that I have to walk away and take care of business. The Podcast is suffering too, because I’m not able to do anything outside of this coding, but I can’t promise to fix that straight away, as I have some more to do before I can relax a little.

I was doing silent screams at my desk every day last week as the evening drew near and I still hadn’t created this episode, in which I wanted to announce the winners of the free Capture One Pro license that I have to give away. We’ll get to that first today though, and then I will give you a sneak peak at what I’m doing with Photographer’s Friend, as there is some pretty cool stuff that is now mostly working, but the release format is still up in the air as I struggle with Apple’s In-App Purchases testing environment. Anyway, without any further ado, I’d like to announce the winner of Capture One Pro.

And the Winner Is…

I have dragged my feet on announcing the winner of the free license also because I had a really hard time deciding who to give the license to, partly because there were ultimately only two people in the race, Juan and Thysje. If you’d like to read their comments about their experiences trying Capture One Pro please visit the post for Episode 702 and scroll down to the comments. Both made some great points and submitted lovely photos to back up their comments. Because I found it so difficult to chose, and because there were only two people in the race, I decided to simply flip a beautiful Moroccan coin that I have to get a winner. I’m doing this as I write, so we’re going to make Thysje the side of the coin with a star on it, and Juan can be the side with King Mohammed-V on it. Here goes…

Moroccan 500 Francs Coin
Moroccan 500 Francs Coin

And the winner is Juan Ernesto!

Congratulations Juan! I’m so please to be able to award you with this Capture One Pro license, which I have just sent to you by email, and I would like to thank the Phase One team as well for making this possible. Please report back at some point about your continued success using the product, and we can maybe do an interview about your experiences at some point as well, if you’re up for that.

Photographer’s Friend Update

OK, so I’ll try to keep this relatively short, but as I have always tried to update you on what I’m up to via this blog and podcast, let me tell you about the update to our Photographer’s Friend app that I’ve been working on pretty much every waking our for the last three months. After my big update at the start of this year, I started this current update with a tiny goal to add a feature that I thought might be useful, which is a way to permanently link the Hyperlocal Distance label to the Focus Distance dial in the Depth of Field Calculator. Until now, to update the Focus Distance dial with the current Hyperlocal Distance based on the sensor format, aperture and focal length, you had to tap the Hyperlocal Distance label, and then if you changed a setting invalidating the distance, the link was automatically broken.

Now, there is a padlock on the Hyperlocal Distance readout that can be tapped or long-pressed to engage, and after that, the Focus Distance dial automatically stays in sync with the other dials while the label is tapped and engaged, even if you have Pixel Peeper mode turned on, which uses the megapixels of your sensor to give a the most accurate Depth of Field information available in any app that I’m aware of. Now, this change didn’t take me that long, and I fixed a few other minor issues as well, back in March, after I got back from my final Japan Winter Wildlife Tour for this year.

Then, I thought, you know what, if I’m going to submit an update, I might as well sneak in a few other things that I’ve been meaning to do, and that turned out to be a three-month long rabbit-hole, and I’m actually still trying to dig myself out. I am incredibly proud of what I’ve been able to do, and because most of it is already working, I’m happy to share some details with you today as well, but there are a few things that I have still to overcome, so it’s probably going to be another week or two before I can get this released.

Anyway, the new feature that has taken the most time for any single feature, is a new extension for Apple Watch to link the Neutral Density filter Calculator to the watch, so that you can time long exposure photographs from your watch, instead of having to reach for your phone each time you want to run the timer, and also you don’t even have to keep your phone out during the exposure, while using the extension on the watch. You still have to apply filters on the iPhone, but there is a link button that comes to life when the Watch Extension is installed and active, that allows you to link the two timers, Here’s a photo of the two timers in action, linked and synchronized.

Photographer's Friend with Apple Watch Extension
Photographer’s Friend with Apple Watch Extension
ND Calculator Watch Extension Settings
ND Calculator Watch Extension Settings

Also notice the fancy new Font Awesome icons, which I’m gradually working into the app, giving it a more intuitive and smarter looking interface where possible, compared to the mostly button based interface that we’ve used so far. If you don’t have an Apple Watch, half of the icons you see in the above photo will never be displayed, and even if you do have a watch, some of them hide when it’s not connected and can also be manually hidden.

You can tap that gold link to break the link and run the timers individually, and you can also simply start a counter, which counts up on the watch, then save that counter as a new custom timer. You can also swipe a settings screen in from the right on the Apple Watch, and set a custom timer directly as well, so if you just need a quick timer, we have you covered. Here’s a screenshot from the watch Settings screen.

If interest in the Watch Extension is high, I will probably eventually create a standalone ND Calculator specifically for the watch, now that I know how to program for this somewhat restricted little device. I also want to go on and create an extension for the Depth of Field calculator, but that is a little way out yet.

Smart Rotation

Also notice how the screen has split itself into two portions and intelligently placed them side-by-side in landscape orientation of the iOS app. There is also an option to switch which side the controls drop down to, so left handed users can have the controls drop down to the left hand side of the screen, rather than the right. For the ND Calculator, you can also two-finger drag the controls section and move it from the top to the bottom and back again, and the left-right handed stuff still works as expected.

This Smart Rotation is a new feature that is going to be part of a Pro version which I’m hoping to sell as an In-App Purchase. I’ve put too much work into this update to throw it out for free. The Watch Extension was always planned to be a paid extension, because I don’t want to charge people that don’t need the watch extension, for the watch extension, although I’m still working on this for both apps, and have a few more hurdles to clear before I can say for sure what the final release will look like. The technology is in place, to split the functionality based on the owned product, but there is more tweaking to do on the IAP testing process, which is my next job after releasing this post.

Mac OS X

The other major change, and again, I’m still working on the release strategy, is that I now have a Mac OS X version of Photographer’s Friend, thanks to Apple’s new Catalyst technology, allowing iOS apps to run on the Mac. There’s additional work involved, so it won’t be completely free, but as an educational tool there is definitely a place for a Mac version, and I’ve found myself using it on the Mac as I’ve worked on this, so I’m looking forward to getting this out too.

Here is a screenshot of the Depth of Field Calculator on the Mac OS. If you’ve ever used Photographer’s Friend on an iPad, especially the iPad Pro with the large screen, you’ll have noticed that the text and numbers on the labels were really small. I figured out how to make it bigger on larger screens now though, so text is now much bigger on the iPad and Mac OS.

Photographers Friend on Mac OS X
Photographers Friend on Mac OS X

And, the Smart Resize is also available on the iPad and Mac OS for Photographer’s Friend Pro owners. This is great for a teaching environment when you might be showing your screen at say a camera club talk, and you can literally resize to say just a thin strip across the bottom of the screen, and the layout just works with you. Smart Rotation is also a great feature for use in the field, when we can finally get back out there, of course.

Note too that in these screenshots I have the new Hyperlocal Distance Lock that I mentioned earlier turned on, so the Hyperlocal Distance is automatically applied to the Focus Distance dial and all of the calculated distances are updated accordingly. If you turn off that lock and tap the blue Hyperlocal Distance label, your originally selected focus distance will be restored.

Photographers Friend on Mac OS X Smart Resized
Photographers Friend on Mac OS X Smart Resized

I’m working the Smart Rotation into as many screens as I can, so as with these screenshots, even the settings screens are looking pretty fancy when in landscape orientation, compared to the squished down portrait orientation screens that are in the currently released version. These are iPhone screenshots by the way. I’m still working on this for the Mac OS version settings screens, but hopefully it will be included in the upcoming release as soon as I can iron out these last few issues that I’m working on.

Smart Rotation Settings
Smart Rotation Settings

As I say, some of this has taken so much work that it won’t all be free, although some of these changes may be integrated into an update for the currently available app for free if you already own Photographer’s Friend, and if I can figure out how to do the rest of what I want to do via In-App Purchases. All will be clear in the next few weeks hopefully. If you don’t yet own Photographer’s Friend and want to hear more when I release the update, please subscribe to my newsletter. Also sign up if you want to know when I finally get you an Android version. I promise that this will be the next thing I work on once I get this release out.


Show Notes

Try Capture One Pro yourself here: https://www.captureone.com/en

See details of Photographer’s Friend here: https://mbp.ac/app

Music by Martin Bailey


Audio

Subscribe in iTunes to get Podcasts delivered automatically to your computer.

Download this Podcast as an MP3 with Chapters.

Visit this page for help on how to view the images in MP3 files.


5DayDeal – The Complete Photography Bundle 2016 is Coming!

5DayDeal – The Complete Photography Bundle 2016 is Coming!

Over the last few years, I’ve been supporting the 5DayDeal team as they bring the best photography bundles to market, to help raise our skill levels, at the same time as raising funds for very worthy causes, and they are about to start a new sale!

For five days from Oct 14-19, the team will be offering The Complete Photography Bundle 2016!

I’ll be joining forces with an amazing group of professional photographers to offer expert training, tools, and inspiration to help you hone your technical and creative skills. Whether you’re new to photography or a long time shooter the Complete Photography Bundle 2016 will help you to take your photography to the next level.

The bundle will be useful to every kind of photographer: landscape, portrait, wedding, family, sports, studio, commercial, travel, lifestyle… just about any genre you can think of. There’s something for everyone!

The Complete Photography Bundle is packed with the kinds of resources I know you’ll love, by top photographers that I trust. I can’t share the details of the contents or the pricing at this point, but the bundle will be heavily discounted, which means you’ll save a lot of money and 10% from every sale goes to worthy charities.

Giveaway!

What’s more, during the build up to the sale, you can register your interest, and enter the Giveaway, which gives you a chance to win a package worth $10,000!

 

Here is a list of some of the amazing prizes that are up for grabs!

5DayDeal 2016 Giveaway Items

I’d also appreciate it if you could share my link (https://mbp.ac/5daydeal) with your friends. Let’s make this the best 5DayDeal yet!

Thank you!

Martin Bailey.

The Great Gura Gear Giveaway! (Podcast 365)

The Great Gura Gear Giveaway! (Podcast 365)

Following episode 358 when I walked you through the Gura Gear 32L Bataflae camera backpack, today I’m really happy to tell you that with the help of Gura Gear, we are giving away three great prizes, including the Bataflae backpack of your choice, and a selection of Et Cetera cases and pouches, and other accessories.

Before I go on and tell you how you can win one of the three prizes, I’m going to follow up on the review, in which I said that I’d let you know how the Bataflae handled in the field after I’d taken it on my 2013 Winter Wonderland Tours…

The 32L Bataflae is just two liters bigger than the Kiboko, which I had used since it’s release, but this 2 liters makes a nice difference in how the cameras, especially tall pro bodies, fit into the bag. The front flaps seem to close more easily too. I was also very happy with the waterproofing of the bag. It isn’t supposed to be waterproof, just drizzle-proof, and I mentioned before that I usually don’t bother to use the cover provided when it’s just drizzling, and I continued that trend at the Snow Monkeys.

NOTE: This bag is no longer produced. The closest new version is the Tamrac G Elite G32 Pro: http://www.tamrac.com/collections/gura-gear/products/g-elite-32l

It actually rained most of our second day there, and the bag got very wet on the outside, but none of the rain got inside, which was great. Of course snow, which isn’t really wet until it melts, is no problem at all. Here’s a shot of the 32L Bataflae on a snowy beach in Utoro, while we were photographing seascapes.

Gura Gear 32L Bataflae Camera Backpack

Snow is easy though, you just brush it off, and you’re fine. I do use the rain-cover in the pocket at the bottom right of the front flaps when it gets really wet, and it’s big enough to go over a good sized tripod too, but I didn’t need it in Hokkaido, where it was mostly snow.

I found the improved straps slightly better than the Kiboko too, although I never found the Kiboko uncomfortable to wear for long periods of time, but the Bataflae just feels more comfortable.

Here actually is another photo, this time of me photographing the Kussharo Lake from Bihoro pass, shot by David duChemin. I’m looking pretty chunky, even for me, with my down pants and layer after layer of clothes, but it was about minus twenty at the time, so I was pleased to be wrapped up.

A Day at the Office - Photo by David duChemin

So, really, apart from the incremental improvements that I talked about in episode 358, the Bataflae performed as expected, which was of course absolutely perfectly. These bags are light, give great access to tons of gear, including the improved full open front flap as well as the butterfly style opening, that was one of the main improvement of the Bataflae range. Let’s see now what Gura Gear are going to be kind enough to give away to three lucky winners.

1st Prize – a Bataflae of Your Choice!

The first prize winner is going to get no less than a Gura Gear Bataflae camera backpack of your choice. These are available in 32L, 26L and 18L and in Black, Grey and Tan, and really are the best way to carry your camera gear, especially if you are going to be traveling on a plane, where weight and size is at a premium. Even though I originally bought my Kiboko with air travel in mind, I basically stopped using all of my other bags at that point. It’s so comfortable, and light that it seems a waist to use any other bag.

32LStowedHarness_FULL
32L_Grey 32L_Tan

2nd Prize – Assorted Et Cetera Cases and Pouches + Stainless Steel Water Bottle

The second prize is going to be an assortment of Et Cetera Cases and Pouches, like the ones I showed in the video. I’ll link that video to the blog post by the way, for your reference. These are incredibly useful, and have really made both traveling and keeping things organized at home so much easier. There seems to be a size for everything, and it made using my GoPro’s and all their accessories really easy. I also use them now for keeping my battery charges, leads and sensor cleaning gear, as well as other tools all organized on the road. When I got home from almost a month on the road, I found it easier to just leave my stuff in these cases and pouches, as they’re already organized. The second prize winner will also get one of the cool Stainless Steel Water Bottles that we looked at in the video too.

3L_PouchFull
Case_Group etcetera1Lpouchfull

3rd Prize – Assorted Et Cetera Cases and Pouches

And, the third prize is another, maybe slightly smaller assortment of Et Cetera Cases and Pouches, without the Stainless Steel Water Bottle.

Twitter Giveaway!

Here’s what you have to do to be in with a chance of winning. Yep, we’re doing one of those Twitter Giveaways, so if you don’t have a Twitter account, you’re going to need one. Then, you have to follow the next three steps…

  1. Follow me, @martinbailey (if you don’t already). www.twitter.com/martinbailey

  2. Follow @GuraGear (if you don’t already) www.twitter.com/guragear.

  3. Tweet the following sentence as is.

I just entered to win great PRIZES from @GuraGear and @MartinBailey. Details here https://mbp.ac/365 #WinGuraGear

We will be picking the winners during the week of April 8, and will be in touch with the three lucky winners during that week. I’ll also announce the winner on Twitter once they have been picked. The selection process will be totally random of course, so everyone that is following me and GuraGear, and tweets that sentence will be in with an equal chance of walking away with some incredible Gura Gear!

[UPDATE: We have our winners! Congratulations to 1st prize winner @timlove | Tim Love, 2nd prize winner @coffeewithchris | Chris Szulwach and 3rd prize winner @baljkasphoto | Luka Baljkas!

Thanks also to everyone that Tweeted and took part, and to Gura Gear for making this possible!]

In case you missed it, here’s the video that I released as episode 358, in which I walk you through the 32L Bataflae camera bag backpack.

House Keeping

I have one major house keeping announcement before we finish. On Saturday March 24, I switched the Podcast server to Libsyn, a service that has been providing file server services to Podcasters since 2004, the year before I started this Podcast. The change was spurred by a change in the iTunes specifications, and my old server was not up to the task. The problem is that with the change, you’ll notice duplicate entries in iTunes, that will need to be deleted, or ignored. If you go ahead and delete all the dupes, they will stay away, but if you later right click the feed and select “show all available episodes” they’ll come back.

If you want to avoid that, and you don’t have many downloaded episodes that you want to protect, just delete the feed, and add it again, then re-download the episodes that you want to keep in your archive. Also, because the move has caused a lot of re-downloads, the downloads are incredibly slow at the moment. Speed is picking up, but there have been times over the last couple of days when the downloads have been just crawling, so your patience is very much appreciated.

Also note that I made a change to the Podcast feed that will hopefully protect us from having to do this again, even if I change providers again, so this should be the last time you have to delete any duplicate episodes. Finally, because we have 20GB of archives that I continue to make available to you, the migration cost me a pretty penny, so if you’ve ever felt like making a donation to help with the upkeep and maintenance of this Podcast, now would be a great time to do it. Thanks too of course to those of you that already kindly donated or make regular monthly payments. There are links to donate in the way that suits you in the right sidebar on the blog. ==>


Show Notes

Gura Gear Web site: https://mbp.ac/gg

Music by UniqueTracks


Audio

Subscribe in iTunes for Enhanced Podcasts delivered automatically to your computer.

Download this Podcast in MP3 format (Audio Only).

Download this Podcast in Enhanced Podcast M4A format. This requires Apple iTunes or Quicktime to view/listen.


Podcast 302 : Drobo Review, and Giveaway!

Podcast 302 : Drobo Review, and Giveaway!

This week I’ve had the absolute pleasure of being able to test and review a Drobo, which as most of you already know is an external storage device that takes multiple hard drives, even of different size and creates one or more large volumes or drives with redundancy so even if one of the drives fails, as they eventually all do, your data is safe.

Drobo LogoI’m really happy to tell you that we are also going to give away a drobo courtesy of Drobo, so stay tuned to see how you can be in with a chance to get your own four bay drobo, to protect your precious images and other data! First here’s my review of the Drobo.

First Impressions – Excellent!

When I unboxed the Drobo, I was immediately reminded of how it felt when I first opened my MacBook Pro box in January. I haven’t come across many companies that get packaging like Apple does but Drobo are very close. You’re greeted with “Welcome to the World of…” on the box as you open the outer box, then as you lift that first box out, the Drobo is in a nice black cloth bag with the word “drobo” on top in white. Very nice.

Welcome to the World of Drobo

Welcome to the World of Drobo

Drobo Box Contents

Drobo Box Contents

The top box contains all you need to connect the Drobo to your computer, including both USB and Firewire800 cables. There’s also a nice printed manual. I was surprised to see this at first, and most companies now put their manuals on the CD along with the drivers, but on the day I unpacked the Drobo I had already had a busy day, and was ready for a bit of relax time, so I was able to take the manual down to the living room and read through it in front of the TV instead of having to read it on my computer, which was a nice added bonus.

The unit I got was a basic Drobo, with four bays. As 3TB drives are still quite expensive, I decided to use eventually four 2TB Hitachi 7200rpm drives. Drobo suggests either green drives which are slower, or up to 7200rpm drives for this model, but I generally try to buy the fastest drives possible, as this will effect read/write speeds, even if the USB and Firewire interfaces are going to become the bottleneck here. The Drobo does a lot of internal data handling between disks too, which is probably faster with faster drives.

Drobo Box Contents

Drobo Box Contents

To test how the Drobo automatically expands as you include more drives, I initially loaded just three of the four 2TB drives, and connected the Drobo to my MacMini. As I mentioned in Episode 293 when we discussed Backing Up and Accessing Photos from Laptops, I keep a MacMini turned on and connected to some of my hard drives all the time, so that I can access my images and other data from all around my studio and house, without having to physically be connected to the drives. I don’t use straight Network Storage, as I want to be able to install Backblaze so that whenever I copy anything new to these drives, it automatically gets uploaded into the cloud.

To setup and control your Drobo, you install a cool bit of software called the Drobo Dashboard that comes on the CD. You’re asked if you want to automatically install new software and firmware updates, which Drobo suggest you turn on. I did, as it seems that Drobo release updates to smaller groups of users initially to ensure that there are no problems before carrying out the automatic updates.

Create a 16TB Volume!

Create a 16TB Volume!

(Note: if you can’t read the text on these screenshots, click the thumbnails at the end of the post.)

Something that struck me as strange initially, but makes a lot of sense bearing the technology in mind is that Drobo advise you to create your initial volume at the maximum size possible, which is 16TB. This is to allow the drive to expand in the future if you run out of space. If you have all four bays filled and you do run out of space you just pull out one of the drives and put in a new larger one. Of course, you can only do one at a time with this unit because it only protects against one drive failure. By creating a 16TB volume to start with though, this allows you to install up to four 4TB drives in the future, and the drive will be able to grow to that size without having to be reformatted.

Once you put your drives in and select your format and give the volume a name etc. the Drobo takes just a few minutes to format the drives and ready itself to protect your data. Once it was ready, I copied 1.6TB of data to the drive to start some tests.

Relatively Quiet

Speed-wise, the drobo is as fast as my other external USB drives, though when connected with Firewire 800, it does get a little faster. The unit isn’t silent, but it’s much quieter than I expected it to be for a unit of this size, even when I installed four hard drives later. Sometimes it did get noticeably louder as it worked hard copying lots of data on a pretty hot afternoon in my studio, but it didn’t get loud enough to annoy me, and it was only when it was working hard. It runs very cool too, never getting warm to the touch, which is pretty impressive, especially when you consider how hot these drives get when they’re spun up. I know this because I use some of my drives just stuck into a device (as you can see in this photo) that allows me to use bare drives, and they get very warm.

Drobo with 3 Drives Loaded

Drobo with 3 Drives Loaded

You can also see that the Drobo looks great. All in all I found it to be very well engineered. You don’t need to use a screwdriver at any time either. You drop your drives in and they just click into place, and the front panel is magnetized so that you can just pull it off to get to the drives, and reattach it easily but securely.

 Guerrilla Test

Once the Drobo was set up and had a good amount of data on it, I decided it was time to do a few tests, so at 1:00PM on Oct 9 I pulled out one of the three 2TB drives while the Drobo was running, simulating a drive failure. Once I’d pulled out one of the three drives, I opened the Dashboard, and the drive was now marked with red, and the bottom of the three green lights on the Drobo turned red, indicating the drive failure.

Drobo Guerrilla Test

Drobo Guerrilla Test

I opened the drop drive in the Finder though, to see that the data on the drive was fine, and I could still access and edit my images from Lightroom, which I tried just a few minutes after pulling out the drive, which I thought was pretty impressive.

This of course though now meant that there was no redundancy, so my data was not protected against one of the remaining two drives failing. To test the rebuilding of the data and getting back to a state where my data would be protected again, I put the fourth 2TB that I’d bought into the third bay on the Drobo.

Data Protection in Progress

Data Protection in Progress

With the new third drive installed, the Drobo took literally just a minute or so to prepare the new drive, and increase the available volume of the drive back to 3.6TB. Note that drive manufacturers count drive capacity differently to how computers calculate it, so a 2TB drive is actually only around 1.8TB to the computer, and because you need to spread the data for redundancy across the other drives in the unit, when you have three 2TB drives installed, this gives you 3.6TB of protected storage.

Although the Drobo increased the volume of my drive almost immediately, it actually took the Drobo about 15 hours to rebuild the redundancy data to once again be able to fully protect my data. I imagine this will also vary with the amount of data you store on your Drobo. I was able to use the Drobo the whole time, and I even copied some new data across while I was waiting for it to rebuild itself.

Drobo Healthy Again

Drobo Healthy Again

Once the Drobo was healthy again and able to protect my data, the cool graphic showing the state of my Drobo turned back to green, and a message at the bottom of the screen told me that my Drobo was now healthy again and has sufficient capacity.

Stay Informed

In the Drobo Dashboard Preferences, there’s an option to setup mail alerts, which I did, so as soon as I pulled out the drive, I received an email telling me that the Drobo was in trouble, and then another when I put in a new drive, and the Drobo started to work towards getting back into a data protection state.

I also set up my MacBook Pro to accept Growl updates from my MacMini, so as long as I’m somewhere in my house or studio, if something goes wrong with the Drobo, I’ll see this instantly on my screen, even though I might not have Mail open. I found that both of these ways of being kept up to date with the state of the Drobo give you peace of mind, especially when you’re out and about. Even if I couldn’t get home immediately to correct the problem, I could alert someone at home to take action, such as going out and buying a new drive to replace a failed one, which is pretty comforting to know, especially as my wife is totally non-technical, but although it would freak her out, I know that it would be easy enough for her to be able to do.

Increasing Capacity

Once I’d confirmed that the Drobo was now working normally with the three 2TB drives installed, I did my last test, which was to increase the capacity using the fourth drive I’d bought. Having reformatted the drive, because it was the one that I’d pulled out the previous day to simulate the failure, I inserted the fourth drive while the Drobo was running.

Drobo Capacity and Tools Menu

Drobo Capacity and Tools Menu

Again, literally within about a minute, the drive was prepared for use, and my available volume jumped from 3.6TB to 5.42TB. When you only have three hard disks in the unit it has to share the redundancy data for each drive across the other two, so for your 5.42TB of disk space, 3.6TB seems quite small as you use one third of the capacity for redundancy. When you have four drives installed though, the redundancy data is spread across three other drives, not just two, so you get to use more of the installed capacity. So for the actual capacity of four 2TB drives, which is 7.27TB, I get to use 75% of that, giving me a nice beefy 5.42TB of protected data.

Still Need a Backup Regime

Even though the Drobo does a great job of protecting your data, as we’ve discussed in the past, your precious images should always exist in three places to be totally safe. You still need to ensure that you have at least one more backup of your images close by, and ideally you’ll have at least one more copy of your data offsite, in case something should happen to your home or office.

I generally have at least two copies of my images in my studio, usually three, and then one that automatically gets uploaded to Backblaze giving me a copy in the cloud. At the end of each year I also send a hard disk with all my images on to my brother in the UK as another off-site storage solution. If you value your images and I know that you do, then do try to ensure that you have a good backup regime in place, and don’t rely just on one device, even the Drobo. You never want to be in a position where a natural disaster or single point of failure could result in you losing all of your work.

Conclusion

I’ve been aware of and secretly lusted after a Drobo for a number of years now. Since shifting to a MacBook Pro as my main computer I’ve been using multiple external drives to store my data on, and although this works, it’s always a bit of a worry to keep them powered up all the time, as most external hard drives are just single drives without any redundancy.

The Drobo

The Drobo

All of my drives run pretty hot too, which will doubtlessly reduce their lifespan, so there’s a contant worry that these drives will fail. The Drobo though removes that worry. With its great engineering and redundancy, as well as a really cool looking full featured Dashboard, it gives you a lot of peace of mind.

With this amount of storage I will be able to copy all of my data, not just my Photo Library which is currently about 2.3TB, and then as the data does grow, I’ll gradually switch out drives to larger ones as they get cheaper. The drives I take out won’t go to waste, as I have to have something to put my off-site backups on to send to my brother in the UK, and I don’t mind those backups being split across multiple drives.

For the studio, I’m seriously considering picking up a second four bay Drobo, and just setting that up to copy anything new from the first drive to the second drive every night, using the scheduled Copy functionality in the Dashboard, then I would be able to do away with all of my external drives, and just run the two Drobos. Just the time I’d save not having to mess around backing up to all of my external drives would probably pay for a second Drobo within a year.

Giveaway!

As I mentioned earlier, the kind folks at Drobo have agreed to giveaway a Drobo to a lucky winner picked at random from the list of people that register using a simple Web form. For your chance to win, just click the link below, and enter your details, and submit your form. That’s all you have to do.

http://info.drobo.com/l/2552/2011-10-10/BI3D8

Here’s the cool thing though. If more than one thousand people register, Drobo will give us two units, not just one, so don’t keep this Giveaway to yourself. Tell all of your friends, and let’s see if we can’t get two Drobos instead of just one.

The offer is open until midnight PST on Nov 1st, 2011. Then on Nov 2nd, Drobo will let me know who the winner or winners are and I’ll drop you a line with the good news.

Whoever wins, I know that you’re going to love your new Drobo, as much as I do mine.

Good luck!

UPDATE: The winner has been drawn! Nat Parnell from the UK will be receiving a nice shiny Drobo! Congratulations Nat! And thanks to everyone else that also registered.


Show Notes

Register for Giveaway: http://info.drobo.com/l/2552/2011-10-10/BI3D8

For more information on Drobo products, visit: http://www.drobo.com/

Music from Music Alley: http://www.musicalley.com/


Audio

Subscribe in iTunes for Enhanced Podcasts delivered automatically to your computer.

Download this Podcast in MP3 format (Audio Only).

Download this Podcast in Enhanced Podcast M4A format. This requires Apple iTunes or Quicktime to view/listen.


Win a Kata 3N1-33 Sling Backpack Camera Bag!

Win a Kata 3N1-33 Sling Backpack Camera Bag!

Kata-BagsI recently had the pleasure of testing out a new Kata 3N1-33 Sling Backpack Camera Bag from Kata Bags (http://www.kata-bags.com/), and I’ve fallen in love with this bag.

The great folks at Kata Bags have kindly donated a second 3N1-33 Sling Backpack Camera Bag to give away to one lucky Twitter user, in return for spreading the word about Kata Bags.

Here are the rules and what you have to do:

  1. You must be 18 years old or over

  2. You must be following me on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/MartinBailey

  3. You cannot enter if you protect your tweets

  4. You are responsible for any taxes or custom duties if charged on receipt of the bag

  5. You have to tweet the following text exactly as it appears below:

Win a Kata 3N1-33 Sling Backpack Camera Bag from @MartinBailey and Kata Bags. Pls RT! Details: http://bit.ly/mbpga2

On June 30th, 2010, I will use a tool to randomly select a winner from all people that are following me on Twitter, and have tweeted the above message. I will notify the winner with a Twitter Direct Message and a regular tweet, as well as on this blog, as an edit to this page. You will need to provide your name, phone number and postal address, to be passed on to Kata Bags to deliver your 3N1-33 Sling Backpack Camera Bag.

My review of this amazing camera bag is here: http://bit.ly/mbpkbr

You can see Kata Bags entire range of innovative, light protective camera and video bags here: http://www.kata-bags.com/

Kata-Bag 3N1-33 Front Flap Wider

Kata-Bag 3N1-33 Front Flap

Kata-Bag 3N1-33 Top Compartment

Additional Information & Fine Print:

Kata-Bag 3N1-33 FrontIf you don’t already have a Twitter account, head over to http://twitter.com/ and set one up for free.

Once you have a Twitter account, follow Martin Bailey. It’s easy to do. All you have to do is go to http://www.twitter.com/MartinBailey and click the [Follow] button that you’ll see below my profile photo.

Once you have followed me, go ahead and copy the above tweet and paste it into your Twitter status, where it says “What’s happening?” and then send your message. That’s all you have to do!

Note that you only need to tweet the message once. You don’t increase your chances of winning by tweeting multiple times. It’s fine to tweet more often, as it helps to spread the word, but it’s not necessary and may annoy other people that follow you if you tweet the message often.

If you already follow me on Twitter, you don’t need to un-follow and then re-follow me. All you need to do is post the above message.

Some countries do not allow citizens to enter contests like this. Enter only if your country allows you to do so. It’s your responsibility to ensure that contests like this one are not prohibited by law in your country of residence.

Kata-Bag 3N1-33 Side Pocket

Kata-Bag 3N1-33 Side Pocket

NOTE: None of the camera gear shown with the bag on this page is included in the giveaway.

Update 2010/7/1:

WE HAVE A WINNER!

Congratulations to Lucas Payne (@lucaspaynephoto)! Lucas you won the Kata 3N1-33 Sling Backpack Camera Bag!