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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iStick Hampered by Poor Software

When the iStick was introduced earlier this year, it promised something not previously available for the iPad or iPhone: copy files via the Lightning connector. Apple built iOS with the limitation that the connector not be used as a generic USB file transfer mechanism. That meant companies needed to get clever, resulting in methods such as having a portable hard drive create its own Wi-Fi connection to stream media to the device.

I don’t know how the iStick gets around that limitation, but according to Derrick Story, it works. Unfortunately, the software to run it is so basic that it’s almost unusable. Sure, you can copy images from an iPad to the iStick as a backup… but you won’t be able to view thumbnails until you get back to a computer. Currently, it sounds like a fine solution to bring media like movies and music along so it’s not stored on the iPad itself. But that’s about it.

Derrick Story Reviews the WD My Passport Wireless HD

wdfMP_Wireless.jpg

My colleague Derrick Story got his hands on WD’s new My Passport Wireless hard disk, which he calls “the best new gadget I’ve tested in a while.” The My Passport Wireless includes an SD card, which is the essential ingredient for taking it on location: You can make a copy of your memory card’s photos without having to transfer them to the iPad first.

The drive comes in two configurations: 1 TB for $179 and 2 TB for $219. I’m looking forward to using this on my next photo excursion.

How Does iOS 8 Time-Lapse Work?

[Video by Dan Provost]

Dan Provost at Studio Neat (the inventors of the Glif tripod mount for iPhones) took a closer look at the Time-Lapse feature in the Camera app under iOS 8. If you’ve tried it out, the mode is dead simple; there are no configuration options, you just start recording and the app’s “dynamically selected intervals” do all the work.

Studio Neat also makes a time-lapse app called Frameographer, so Provost experimented to see what the Camera app is doing. Turns out it’s pretty cool. Read all about it: How Does the iOS 8 Time-Lapse Feature Work?

Lightroom mobile – Iceland

Adobe’s Russell Brown sent a group of photographers to Iceland to shoot a promotional video for Lightroom mobile, and boy is it wonderful. The visuals are just gorgeous, but the clip also does a great job of explaining some of the editing tools and presets available in Lightroom mobile.

(A reminder: I wrote a Fuel ebook that covers Lightroom mobile: Adobe Lightroom mobile: Your Lightroom on the Go, only $8!)

After you’ve watched the video a couple of times, be sure to take a look at the behind-the-scenes video, especially if you lust after photo drones.

WD My Passport Wireless SD-Equipped Hard Drive

WdfMP Wireless

Now this looks interesting. WD has just announced the My Passport Wireless, an external hard drive that features a built-in SD card reader. Available in capacities of 1 TB and 2 TB, the drive includes its own Wi-Fi hotspot that can be connected to an iPad or iPhone using WD’s My Cloud app.

I’ve written about the Seagate Wireless Plus before, which is a wireless hard drive that can connect to an iPad. The benefit of WD’s My Passport Wireless over the Seagate drive is that SD card slot. While you’re on location, dump your photos onto the drive quickly without having to first transfer them to the iPad’s internal storage. Then you can review shots wirelessly, and have a backup, too. I can’t wait to get my hands on one to test.

The drive includes a USB 3.0 connector for transferring files to a computer. It can also stream media and share an Internet connection with up to 8 wirelessly connected devices. WD claims 6 hours of battery life while streaming media and 20 hours of standby time. The 1 TB model is listed at $179.99, while the 2 TB model is priced at $219.99.

[Originally spotted at PetaPixel]

Part 3 of iPad Photography in the Field: Rate, Tag, and Export Photos

iPad field3 bikes

The third and last article in my iPad Photography in the Field series at Lynda.com is now up! It’s an extra long entry that covers how to use the iPad to sort your good photos from the not-so-good ones. It also explains how to apply essential metadata like keywords and IPTC information to your photos so you don’t need to do it later when you’re back at the computer, saving a ton of time.

Read the article here: iPad Photography in the Field: Rate, Tag, and Export Photos.

If you like the work I do, please consider signing up for my low-volume newsletter that I use to announce new projects, items, and giveaways that I think my readers would be interested in.

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.

Part 2 of iPad Photography in the Field: Review Photos on Location

The second article in my series at Lynda.com about using an iPad in the field for photography is now posted. (You can read the Part 1 here.) This one takes us out into the field itself, where I discuss the advantages and the how-to of reviewing photos on location. I talk about using the Apple camera adapters and also wireless options like the Eyefi, which lets you review shots on the iPad while you’re shooting. I also offer ideas for recording location information and getting on-the-spot model releases easily.

Here it is: iPad Photography in the Field: Review Photos on Location

iPad literally in a field