Don’t Leave Home Without It – SanDisk Extreme 2TB USB SSD

Gear I Use

Sometimes you come across a product that you realize is one of those things that every photographer should have. I am talking about the SanDisk 2TB Extreme SSD drive. My love affair with these external drives began when I was purchasing my MacBook Pro a year ago. I loaded the MacBook up with RAM, and I opted for a 2 terabyte (TB) SSD drive. I looked at adding up to 4TB of SSD internal, but the cost was outrageous.

I began looking for an alternative solution and came up with the SanDisk SSD 2TB external drive. The standout feature was size. It looked well designed, and it was USB-C compatible, which matches up perfectly with the ports on the MacBook Pro. So, I purchased 3 drives from B&H and started taking them on trips.

All of us have different methods for doing back-up out in the field. My workflow in the field is pretty simple. I use Capture One and work while in the field with sessions. Sessions are a folder-based method of keeping files organized. I name my session folders like this: 20190811_Palouse Workshop. I have been using this method since 2005: the year, month, and day followed by description, allows folders to be sorted by date on your drives.

Inside a session capture folder are four other folders. These are Capture, Trash, Selects, and Output. This is a great system, as it makes file handling really simple. You just move the folder to where you need it, so backing up is very simple.

While in the field doing photography I follow this procedure. After the day is over I download my cards into Capture One. Capture One creates a folder by date in which I do preliminary edits and adjustments. Before I shut down the computer for the evening I hook up both drives and simply drag the whole session folder to the first SanDisk SSD drive. I repeat this process with the second drive. Call me paranoid, but I want to make sure I lose nothing.

At this point I have two copies on external drives and a copy on my internal drive. Plus I don’t erase the camera’s SSD cards until I am home and the folders are safely copied to my Raid system. I keep the two SSD drives in separate places. Usually one drive gets placed in my luggage, and the other goes in my backpack. This helps me beat the odds in case something happens to one of my bags.

Now, back to the drives. They are fast, small, and so simple. They just work. They are light as a feather. The drives come with a clever cable that has a USB-C to USB adapter that snaps on and off. The drives are also pretty fast and move data at 550 MB/s read speeds.

I mentioned that I have three drives. The third drive, for lack of a better term, is my sneaker drive. I use it for moving files from home to the studio, as well as for printing or moving other documents that need to be shared.

I purchased small cases for these drives, as you can see in the photos. They conveniently hold the drive and cables.

There are other small drives out there that I have also tried, like the Samsung 2TB T5 Portable Solid-State Drive and the G-Technology 2TB G-DRIVE R-Series USB 3.1 Type-C mobile SSD. Both of these drives work well. It’s just that I have been using SanDisk products for a long time, and they were smaller and seemed to be a bit sturdier.

No matter what, you need a system for backing up files, and the drives mentioned above are ideal solutions.

Kevin Raber
August 2019
Kevin Raber
Indianapolis, IN

Photography is my passion and has been for 50 plus years. My career in photography has allowed me to travel the world, meet some of the most interesting people on the planet and see things I could never have dreamed of. My goal is to share the passion of picture taking through photographs and teaching with as many people as I can, hoping it brings them as much joy and happiness as it has me. I do this through, this site, as well as Rockhopper Workshops, and other projects, as well as teaching as Artist In Residence at the Indianapolis Art Center.

Article Type: News, Reviews

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