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| p.1 #1 · Best Image Archival Storage? |
I'm about to buy a D800 but even as things stand now, I have a huge collection of images I've take over the years. I like to save my best images as 16 bit/channel TIFFs.
I've been using writable DVDs. Although people have raised some concerns about the long-term stability of them, when I first started to do this in 2002 I created reference DVDs that I check periodically and so far there has been no data loss. But longer they age the greater the risk. Furthermore, the DVD readers and writers on most PC's are limited to 4.7G. Higher capacities are available but they're not very common which could make recovery hard. Now that I'll be shooting with a 36MP camera 4.7 G isn't much.
Magnetic media (e.g., hard drives) have an even shorter shelf life but they have lots of capacity. I have a stack of portable USB hard drives and I do a full backup every night that I do any work, and rotate through the stack. A, B, C, D, A, B, C, D, etc. I always keep 2 stored offsite in a safe deposit box. But this isn't really archival.
Back in the old days of black and white film photography the film itself was pretty archival. I have Plus-X and Tri-X negatives from 45 years ago that are still perfect.
What's the best strategy today for archiving our work, and what do you do in practice?
Thanks in advance.