Review: WD My Passport Wireless Hard Drive

WdfMP Wireless

Ever since I started writing the first edition of The iPad for Photographers, one aspect of the process has been a sticking point: image backup. I know, that sounds like the most boring part of being a photographer, but it’s also vitally important.

Importing photos onto the iPad for review is one option, but it takes up valuable storage (and digital camera files aren’t getting any smaller). That also means you have just one set of image files, unless you use the SD memory cards you originally captured the photos onto as backup (which is also a good idea).

A number of companies have made hard disks that incorporate Wi-Fi radios, primarily as a means of storing lots of media (movies, mostly) and stream them to the iPad and not take up the device’s storage. The Seagate Wireless Plus also added the ability to copy photos from the iPad to the drive, but its implementation is pretty basic and time-consuming: You need to import photos to the iPad, and then copy them to the drive.

All this is lead-up to a new product that makes the whole problem less thorny. The WD My Passport Wireless is a portable, battery-powered hard disk that adds one crucial element: an SD card reader. With this addition, you can dump the contents of a memory card while you’re shooting with another card, then connect to the drive on your iPad and review your work.

The drive is available in two configurations: 1 TB for $175 and 2 TB for $219. (Those are the current prices at Amazon as I write this; clicking either link earns me an affiliate percentage and helps support the work I do.)

My full review at Lynda.com is here: Review: My Passport Wireless for the Traveling Photographer.

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iPad Air 2 Packs a Lot of Photo Power

Ipad air 2 head

Apple announced the iPad Air 2 today, available for order starting on October 17 and shipping soon after. It’s even thinner than the iPad Air and, finally, incorporates a Touch ID sensor.

In Apple’s keynote announcing it (along with a beautiful new Retina 5K iMac and the shipping of OS X Yosemite), the iPad Air 2’s new cameras and photo capabilities occupied probably half of the time allotted for the device. (Start watching the video at 45:40.) I’m glad to see Apple acknowledge that, yes, people use their iPads to capture photos.

You can read all about the cameras at Apple’s site.

Free Web Presentation July 15, Ebook Deal of the Week

iPad for Photographers Third EditionThis Tuesday, July 15, join me online for a free Peachpit Photo Club Web presentation about The iPad for Photographers. The video event kicks off at 5 p.m. PST (8 p.m. EST), when I’ll be talking about options for using the iPad in the field, and working with Lightroom mobile, Photosmith, and other apps. Although the video should be available later, I encourage you to watch it live if possible so you can ask questions

Coinciding with the presentation, Peachpit has named the new, iPad for Photographers Third Edition its Ebook of the Week, pricing it at just $9.99 (50% off)! That includes PDF, EPUB, and Mobi (Kindle) formats—perfect to have as a reference on your iPad during photo excursions.

Not sure if the book is for you (or for someone who’d enjoy it as a gift)? Peachpit also put up a free chapter to sample.

TriggerTrap Mobile Review at Macworld

Looking for a way to trip your DSLR’s shutter that’s more advanced than your fingers? TriggerTrap Mobile is an iOS app that controls the camera in numerous creative ways from an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. I reviewed it for Macworld: TriggerTrap Mobile review: control your camera’ shutter with your iOS device

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New Article: Kinsgston MobileLite Wireless Review

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Is the storage on your iPad or iPhone filling up? At Macworld, I reviewed the Kingston MobileLite Wireless, a small device that stores media files on SD or micro SD cards and streams them via Wi-Fi to any iOS device. It can also charge your iPhone in a pinch! Read all about it: Kingston MobileLite Wireless review: SD card reader for your iPad or iPhone.

At 500px: How an iPad Can Improve Your Photography

Premiere photo site 500px has just published an article of mine that takes a high level overview of what an iPad can do for photographers: How an iPad Can Improve Your Photography. Think of it as the ultra-compact version of my iPad for Photographers book, covering the options for using the iPad as a portfolio, importing photos to the iPad and reviewing them in the field, adding all-important metadata, editing the shots, sharing images, and more.

I’m actually quite excited to appear on 500px, not only because I like what the company is doing, but because the people who post and read at the site tend to be extremely talented photographers. It’s fabulous company to be in.

iPad 2 Replaced by 4th-Gen iPad

It looks like Apple’s supply of iPad 2s has finally tapped out. As of yesterday, the least expensive full-size iPad option is now the fourth-generation iPad instead of the iPad 2. That’s great news for anyone who wants an iPad but can’t afford the iPad Air.

The 4th-gen iPad comes in only a 16 GB configuration, in black or white, for $399 (or $529 for the LTE cellular-equipped model). The differences between this iPad and the iPad 2 is striking: the 4th-gen iPad boasts a vastly better processor, more graphics capabilities, more working memory (1 GB compared to the iPad 2’s 512 MB), and of course the high-resolution Retina display. This model will definitely have a longer useful life than if you were to buy an iPad 2.

(Source: Apple and TechHive)

Using Cameras’ Built-in Wi-Fi at CES

Derrick Story has an article at Macworld about how he used the built-in Wi-Fi capabilities of the Canon 70D and Olympus OM-D E-1 and their respective iOS apps to share images during the day when he attended CES (the Consumer Electronics Show) early this month. Manufacturers are finally getting the message that built-in Wi-Fi is useful and desired by photographers.

DPReview Compares Wi-Fi SD Cards

Eye Fi ProX2 16GB left view smDPReview compares two wireless SD cards, the Eye-Fi Pro X2 16 GB and the Transcend 32 GB Wi-Fi: Battle of the Wi-Fi Cards: Eye-Fi vs. Transcend. Although the Transcend offers more storage and costs less, the reviewer found that the Eye-Fi trounces it in performance, range, and software features. (The article doesn’t include the Eye-Fi Mobi card, which makes it easier to connect to a tablet or smartphone.)

But perhaps the biggest disadvantage of the Transcend card is its inability to easily transfer files to a laptop or desktop. Technically it can do it, but it’s a painstaking process and one that I wouldn’t consider practical. Basically, the card uses a computer to achieve the same thing it can do on a mobile device, only with twice the steps. Users must find the Transcend Wi-Fi card’s network from the computer. Next, the user launches a browser and enters a lengthy IP address into the url bar. At that point I was better off just plugging the card into the good old card reader. By comparison, the Eye-Fi can connect to a laptop in a matter of seconds and upload images and videos in real time.

[If you’re thinking of purchasing an Eye-Fi, please consider buying it using these Amazon links, which helps support my work. Thanks!]

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More podcasting: I talk iPad photography on the Macworld Podcast

Hopefully you’re not sick of my voice yet: Chris. Breen invited me to talk iPad and photography on this week’s Macworld Podcast. We also went into some detail about capturing photos with the iPad and iPhone, and looked at the state of the current tech related to photographers using iPads (with speculation of what could come in the future).