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What is best media to archive photos/best way to edit and organize?

John Forney , Mar 02, 2010; 06:23 p.m.

What is the best DVD media to save pictures to? I have been doing some research and it looks like JVC (Taiyo Yuden) is very good. They offer DVDs in archival grade or photo grade but am not sure what if any difference there is between them. I was about to get the archival grade since it should be high quality and long life when I noticed they also offered a photo grade DVD. I just got a Canon 5DMII which takes very good pictures but the files can take up a lot of space and my hard disk is already almost full from photos taken with my previous camera.

Also do you recommend getting a program other than what provided by Canon to help organize and edit photographs? Thank you.

Responses

Marc Rochkind , Mar 02, 2010; 09:34 p.m.

Answer to question #2: Yes. Lightroom, because it's for OS X and Windows, because it's camera-neutral (handles all raws, JPEGs, TIFFs, etc.), and because it's all-around great. While you may have a Canon DSLR now, you might have other cameras later (e.g., a pocketable one).

Answer to #1: Use a high-quality, branded DVD (rumor has it that Taiyo Yuden is the best; scientific evidence may be hard to come by), but don't let that be your only archive medium. I store on DVDs, on rotating disks, and on Amazon S3. Three copies minimum of my most important images. (For Amazon S3, use Jungle Disk.)

--Marc

Garrison K. , Mar 03, 2010; 01:56 a.m.

I do two copies on dvd. One for the studio, one for an off-site location in case of fire/theft ect. I keep an additional two copies on hard drives as well, and store them with the dvd's. Four copies.

Perhaps buy a dual layer dvd burner from newegg? They are like $25 and will do a little more than 8 gig in one shot. I burn slow, 4X, and verify. I also stopped buying the best dvd's once I discovered that the average store bought ones were reliable. I just go with whatever Costco happens to be selling.


Also do you recommend getting a program other than what provided by Canon to help organize and edit photographs?

That's a bit tricky to answer as I feel the best organizer is Lightroom, but the best editor is Photoshop. The best purchased software in my opinion is Photoshop which comes with Bridge. Bridge is great for organizing, flagging, rating, writing metadata, making collections, key words and doing most of the DAM things that Adobe Lightroom is also praised for. It's a great browser that shows more than just a few photo file formats in your system. And you get Photoshop! Then my second choice would be Adobe Lightroom. I use both Bridge and LR and couldn't have it any other way in my hybrid work-flow. If you can swing both, it's bliss.

Just don't blindly convert your raws to dng without doing research on the limitations and consequences of dng conversion.

Best free software is Picasa 3 imo. It also comes with a gmail account and you get 1 gig of free storage and then super cheap storage amounts after that. You might wish to try that first. It reads every raw format I've come across and is a great browser for organizing etc.

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