This nifty little blighter is the Photo Safe II, a digital photo storage device. I know, plenty of companies make digital photo storage devices but they usually have large colour screens and are very pricey. The Photo Safe II is a little different, it doesn’t do as much but it does do it very well.
At its core, the Photo Safe has a 2.5″ portable hard drive (formatted FAT32 so it’s read/write compatible with both Mac, PC and Linux) with a 900mA Li-Ion battery and a universal memory card reader. The card reader is protected by a rubber cover to keep the desert sands out and takes CF Type I (including Extreme III, IV, UDMA but not microDrive), xD-Picture Card, MMC, SD/HC Card, miniSD, Memory Stick, MS PRO, MS Duo, and MS Pro Duo cards … phew!
All you have to do is bung your memory card in, hit the button and the Photo Safe II will copy your files across, a fast 1Gb card taking about 210 seconds. Each copy session is stored separately and you can even partition the hard drive. Anything on the memory card is copied across; JPEG, RAW, videos, whatever. The internal battery is good for 80 minutes or about 16 copies of a 1Gb card. The back-lit LCD screen tells you the copy status, battery life and how much hard drive space you’ve got left.
When you get back to civilisation, or your computer, hook it up via USB 2.0 or 1.1 and move your files off. You can recharge the internal battery using USB or the included AC power adaptor and you can even replace the internal battery yourself. Possibly the most useful thing of all is, when you’re not on safari or in a rainforest, the Photo Safe II can double as an ordinary, portable USB hard drive and as an external card reader.
About the only thing it doesn’t do is display your photos, but that would just cut into the battery life anyway. Prices are $US130 for the 80Gb and $US189 for the 160Gb version. In my opinion, this is one niftiest, best value and most useful photo gadgets I’ve seen all year.
An essential digital camera companion – a portable photo storage device. Imagine being on vacation and you are snapping digital photos like crazy. Having Photo Safe II with you means having a place to save your precious photos so you can keep snapping away. Just insert the digital camera memory card into Photo Safe II and directly download images – no cumbersome cabling or computer needed.