The Positive and Negative Attributes of Storing Images in Different Formats
Disc vs. Hard drive vs. Cloud
Mostly, everyone has enjoyed the efficiency and affordability that digital photography has caused. It is easier than ever to shoot a huge number of photos and immediately know how they will turn out via the built-in play-back screen that all digital cameras come equipped with. However, as all digital photographers know, once your photo collection has reached a considerable size, the daunting task of how and where to store them rears its ugly head. With so many different options for storing digital images, it is hard to figure out which one is truly the best for your needs. The following is a basic breakdown of the three main methods of storing digital images:
1) Hard Drive Storage
Most digital photographers think of using this method first and it is probably the most common. After initially taking your photographs the next step is to transfer them onto your computer so that you may store, edit, and share them. In addition to your computer’s internal hard drive, many of us keep backup copies on external hard drives as well. The best part about hard drive storage is the ability to hold a large amount of photos on one device. The low cost per gigabyte of space also makes hard drive storage very attractive. However, the big downside to hard drives is that they are indeed physical, mechanical devices, which means they are susceptible to a multitude of mechanical mishaps. Hard drives are prone to natural wear and tear over time and could eventually become corrupted.
2) CD/DVD Storage
Nearly, every computer today comes equipped with a built-in CD or DVD reader and writer, which gives you the ability to create your own CDs and store your digital images on them. The advantages of using a CD/DVD to store your digital images are: they’re easily accessible to anyone who has a computer, they can hold up to thousands of images, and they are inexpensive. However, CD/DVDs are pretty fragile and will likely become outdated technology within a decade. CD discs are already losing popularity to DVDs because of their increased storage capabilities. While DVDs can hold more memory than CDs, the introduction of Blu Ray discs has brought up questions about how much longer DVDs will be in use.
3) Cloud Storage
Many digital photographers have recently used “cloud” techniques for storing their images. Cloud storage consists of using a certain program or online site to store your images online, as an external source. The biggest advantage of using cloud storage is that it provides a backup of all of your images that can easily be found online through any internet-ready device, in case your computer’s memory crashes. The other advantages lie within your ability to access your images nearly anywhere, as long as internet is available. One of the main concerns about using cloud storage comes from the speed at which you can upload an image. Using a cloud to store your digital images
can take nearly triple the time it does to save the same images onto a CD or hard drive. Also, unlike the other two storage options mentioned, cloud storage is not particularly cheap and tends to cost more according to the quantity of images you upload per month.
So, when it comes to storing you digital images, it is best to know all of your options and weigh the costs vs. the benefits. I personally use hard drive storage as well as cloud storage, but everyone has different digital image needs and preference, that just happened to fit mine. Ultimately, you want to make sure your important images and other digital files are stored on multiple devices, in more than one location. Having backup storage will protect you from losing your materials to a hard drive error, scratched disc, or other unforeseen problem. I hope this guide will help you through the pitfalls of digital image storage. Good luck!