DVD burning

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Staff member
Dec 14, 2002
New Jersey
Maybe with multi-gb usb sticks so cheap it's almost silly...

But with my camera taking 30MB+ images (D800 DSLR), if I want to share a good bunch, it is impractical to do it over the web. Even Dropbox has a 2GB limit on my account, and I'm not really interested in paying them $9.9/mo for more capability.

So usb sticks are an option, but so are DVDs.

I run a 15" late MBP, so no drive built in. So Id need a usb 3.0 burner, and the right DVDs. What's the thing to get? There are plus and minus, and re ones...

What's a good, slim, fast burner?

I guess bluray is an option for more density, but, I don't see those as widespread for data.


LG has slim fast burners at reasonable prices.
Have you considered editing the pictures to get to 200-300 kb size photos?
I shoot with a D800 too. I found it easier to subscribe to a photo site. The one I use charges me $50 per year for unlimited image uploads and file sizes up to 36 MB each.

I upload them to folders on the site and then send the link to friends/family. They can download the ones they want. You can password protect the various folders as well as control the size they are allowed to download.

For that price, it doubles as one of my backups. I also like being able to share my pics with anyone I choose. There have been times where I have been traveling and asked to share a photo. I just go to my site and download it. The site I use will also host videos.

I find this much easier than burning discs and then mailing.
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Genuine question: how often do you need to share the full-sized file? If you're shooting RAW, why not shoot RAW+JPEG and use the jpegs for quick and dirty sharing? Or use a post-process batch to resize the files for distribution?

If you really must send the high-res images then consider the options above. Do a cost/year analysis vs the cost of a drive and discs and postage. Online is quicker and more secure, plus the recipient doesn't need to have an optical drive to access files (think - what would you do with a DVD of files if you received one today?).
Some NAS drives come with software to share photos over the web, using itself as a server to make thumbnails, sort, etc.

To answer your question, I haven't noticed a clear standard in the world of +/-. Optical discs scratch and rot, though, so save your originals somewhere good.
The whole point of my question is to get around uploading files. I don't do it very often but frankly uploading even over files at around 2 MB per second is still very slow if I have a big album. On top of that the potential to use archival quality DVDs for me to store certain things for myself is also very attractive. I need not always necessarily mail DVDs I may just provide them by and DVDs seem to be fairly cheap and perhaps I can even use rewritable ones that are essentially free to use if you use them enough.

The point is to do something besides an Internet-based operation though I will certainly look into that because the ability to have cloud backup set a reasonable price is probably something that everybody should have. But it's really a cost benefit analysis of using a DVD and being able to do other things with the DVD and drive including archives on hundred year dentists versus just using a thumb Drive.

I shoot with the D800, I don't gently shoot raw because then it is even more unwieldy. But Jay pegs them selves are anywhere from 18 to 36 MB. Using sites like Flickr or photo bucket I have seen some nasty compression artifacts that I don't want to have to deal with. Providing the full-size full resolution photos to others to do with as they wish is usually my mode of operation. I've seen all the discussions about how much pixel density you actually need to fulfill the requirements of any 300 dpi printer I get that. But folks like to be able to look at photos enlarged on large computer screens or on televisions which means that the pixel density at the blowup rates that folks sometimes look at them at is important sometimes. And hard disk storage is cheap enough that they can keep as many of the big full-size photos as they desire on their own dive - it's a nonissue.
I can't help you with external drive options, but for DVD's I suggest using quality media. Taiyo Yuden and other made in Japanese discs seem to be preferred. I use rewritables, but wouldn't recommend them for archival purpose. DVD-RAM drives & media should be the most reliable, but you can't get the same write speeds.

Now that HDD prices have finally dropped, I use those for storing content and doing system backups. But again, I don't use extenal/usb for that purpose.
my free skydrive account has 30GB. Might look into that. Google's drive also has 15 GB.

for secure data archiving you want offsite storage in case of fire. For pure data integrity, Raid 1 HDD setup is the way to go for local storage.
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Originally Posted By: JHZR2
I run a 15" late MBP, so no drive built in.

Many of those with whom you will be sharing these photos may be in the same boat. I was given a DVD not too long ago, **then** realized I have no way to access it. I had to dig an old USB DVD drive out from my "computer parts graveyard" (basement).

USB sticks are robust (you won't scratch one, possibly rendering it irreparable and useless) easily, they are not subject to decay over time as much as an optical disc and they are easily re-writable. They also have a much greater capacity and are much, much more widely compatible than now-obsolete optical media. You can also attach them to keychain, place them in pockets and transport them in ways optical media cannot.
Good point on others not having CD/DVD. My concern is reliability of data on USB sticks...
External USB drives are pretty inexpensive. You can even setup in RAID to help reliability a bit. I recently say a 3tb seagate USB drive for $80 on Newegg/ebay.

I am not convinced burned DVD's are reliable given my luck with older ones I have created.
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Originally Posted By: JHZR2
Good point on others not having CD/DVD. My concern is reliability of data on USB sticks...

keep backups on 2 separate devices

example a NAS and an external usb hdd

Then dont worry about the usb drive exploding getting lost .. dog eating it.. whatever.

DVDs are so 2001.
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