As SDHC cards have gotten cheaper over the years, I now find myself concluding that they may be the best secondary backup in the field. I think. But I'd love to hear other people's experiences with this — let me explain.
When I go out photographing, I typically take either my netbook or laptop so that I can upload my exposures of the day into Lightroom. It's a terrific opportunity in the field to do a review and double check to make sure the files are all as they should be. However, I also find myself less and less motivated to take my laptop or even my netbook if this is the only reason I needed in the field. A simple tablet device is so much handier and lighter weight that it has evolved into my technology travel companion of choice. It's not practical to use a tablet is an image backup device, which leaves me only my old standby, my Nexto M1 — a standalone backup image tank (hard drive) that works flawlessly and has been my primary in-the-field backup technique. The laptop or netbook is always a secondary backup, with that handy Lightroom addition.
So, in a new paradigm that doesn't involve a laptop or netbook, I'm left with only my SDHC card and a single backup in the Nexto. If I erase the images from my SDHC cards to reuse them, I'm left with only a single file on the Nexto, a situation that makes me quite nervous. But thinking about this a little more, with SDHC cards so inexpensive now, why ever erase them in the field? Why not just buy more and take them with me, only a erasing them after I'm back home? Makes perfect sense, so that's my plan for my upcoming trip to the Utah desert.
Off shopping for SDHC cards I go! What a mind-boggling array of choices, brands, classes, speeds, and a few new things initials to learn like SDXC cards and UHS-I, which I confess I've never heard of. I have no idea if these larger capacity cards are compatible with my older Nexto, but I suspect not. Furthermore, I have no idea if there's a relationship between brand and reliability. (Is SanDisk really that good?) And from what I can gather, the class indication of card (I lean strongly towards Class 10 cards) doesn't really tell the whole story of both read and write speeds. Then of course there's compatibility with my cameras. It's a zoo out there.
Maybe I'm making too much of this, but then again how would I know? Anyone of us probably has a fairly limited experience with a few cards we've actually purchased and used. Short of buying a lot and doing extensive testing, I'm not sure how to pass judgment on the differences between all these choices. So I'm open to advice, opinions, experience, and knowledgeable geekness. Anyone have anything they want to share?