Camera & Equipment prices

In the last couple of weeks I have done my share to help the economy – a new lens, monopod and an assortment of harddrives as well as a number of smaller purchases.  One thing that I have found is that prices are really variable and that shopping around sure does pay off.  Tonight I was looking at the price of a Canon 60D for a project that I have coming up, was trying to decide if I should bite the bullet and buy a newer body and battery grip or make due with my 40D’s.  I looked at several web sites from local stores to price out the 60D body, WOW what a price difference!! All the way from $1400 down to $800.00 for the body alone (these are all local stores – no US prices).  As for the battery grip the prices were all close to the same, the only exception is that one store has a different brand that is a third of the Canon price, but this is not really comparing apples to apples as it is not Canon (will do a write up on that in a minute as I was impressed with the features of the non Canon brand).

This was also true of the hard drives that I purchased, some of the stores were $75.00 or more than other stores for the same product.  At one store they were $125.00 more for the same size drive and it was only using USB 2, the other store I went to was selling USB 3  for the lower price.

So if you are looking for new equipment make sure that you are shopping around, it will save you a lot.

External Hard Drives

Well for the past couple of weeks I have been busy backing up files and adding a couple new external hard drives to the studio.  Funny thing was that when I built my editing computer I thought that having a couple 250GB drives would be fine. Boy how fast do these fill up!! 

So I have been moving files to external drives. In addition to the standard back up drives I use for archiving I added a 2TB external work drive to the editing computer. I use this as a daily drive for files that are not ready to go to the back up. My backup drives are off 99% of the time and only get powered up when I am backing up or retrieving.  On top of this I added a 1TB WD Passport drive to transfer files from the studio to my offsite back up computer at the house.

Today when picking up another drive I had a chance to talk to a guy about hard drives. He had some good points that I thought that I would pass along.

Passport drives

The small portable drives used for transporting files. Experience a higher than normal failure rate. Many people that use them do not realize that they should be kept still when running.  They are an actual spinning hard drive and are subject to shock. To keep them running properly you should keep them still when using and on a flat surface. When not in use and transporting do so in a padded case and try not to drop.  Also, these drives are designed for occasional use. They are not built to run 10 hours a day as they do not have any cooling system in them.

External Hard drives

If you are looking for a drive that you are going to use 8 – 10 hours a day get a drive designed to cool itself with an enternal fan. Also one that stands up is better than one that lays flat.  ALSO, if you do use drives that lay flat never stack drives. Running drives build up heat and can cause problems.

A side note

If you are using any hard drive to store pictures make sure that you have a back up of some type.  I do not know how many times in a week I hear about someone loosing photos. They come in saying their drive died or something happened that wiped everything out.  I strongly recommend NEVER putting pictures on a main computer drive (the one with the operating system). Get a separate drive installed in your computer for pictures. Use an external as a back up at ALL times for the main storage drive.  If you need a back up program many drives come with one. Or look for a program such as Visa Versa Pro. That will allow you to easily back up files and over write the old files with the newer ones.

A little caution now hopefully will save a lot of lost files later!