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Gear Announcements

New Western Digital My Passport Wireless Offers SD & Wireless Access On Location

By Anthony Thurston on September 4th 2014

Backing up and having access to your images while out on location can sometimes be a bit of a pain. Most hard drives and storage solutions require some sort of computer or intermediary between the camera card and itself. This means extra equipment and more points of failure.

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Western Digital’s newly announced My Passport Wireless offers two great features that should be of special interest to photographers – an SD card slot and wireless access. This means that while out on location, you can backup your images onto the hard drive through the SD slot and get access to those images on a tablet or computer wirelessly.

The new external drive also features a rechargeable battery that gets up to 6 hours of continuous usage or up to 20 hours on standby time. Meaning that you should be able to have most shoots covered with just one charge.

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[REWIND:Memory card backup tips for surviving any Apocalypse]

Personally, this sounds like a great solution for when I am out in the woods or in some other place where lugging a bunch of tech is not an ideal solution. I could take a couple of these drives out, backup my images to both drives and be able to access them from my tablet while in the field. No need to carry a laptop, and no need for a bunch of cables. Just me, my camera/lens, a tablet, and this WD My Passport Wireless. All of which should be able to fit nicely into one bag, the perfect solution.

These new My Passport Wireless drives are available now as a 500GB drive for $130, a 1TB drive for $180, and a 2TB drive for $220. Not the cheapest drives for sure, but not all that expensive either. Two 500GB drives should be more than enough to backup most shoots on location without running out of space. You can find these new drives over at B&H now for pre-order.

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What are your thoughts about these new My Passport Wireless hard drives? What other situations do you think these would come in useful? Leave a comment below!

[via Western Digital]

Anthony Thurston is a photographer based in the Salem, Oregon area specializing in Boudoir. He recently started a new project, Fiercely Boudoir to help support the growing boudoir community. Find him over on Instagram. You may also connect with him via Email.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Kevin Smith

    This is perfect for travelling because you can have the movies and music on it beforehand then add photos along the way!

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  2. Mike Kropf

    I’m interested in the possibility of pairing it with a 6d and an iPad to simultaneously backup and show photos to clients during a shoot.

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  3. Keegan Carroll

    What an awesome idea. I would so buy one but i agree with a few people. Needs CF slot.

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  4. John Cavan

    That’s going to the top of my shopping list…

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  5. Eerik Salonen

    Very interesting product indeed. If it works flawlessly as it’s supposed to (waiting for reviews), we might have a real winner here.

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  6. Randy Renfro

    I want one of these things! I think it would be great for those of us who shoot outside the majority of the time!

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  7. Steven Lelham

    But love the idea for backing up on a shoot. Not so much for viewing on a tablet but having that extra backup for until you get back to the studio and start importing into LR

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  8. Steven Lelham

    I guess one con would be it does not have a CF Card reader and there are still many cameras out there that use CF cards

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    • Herm Tjioe

      I just don’t get why CF card slot is usually the redheaded stepchild with these accessories maker and laptop developers. Older entry level Canon DSLRs uses it.

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    • Jon Moore

      Most high-end DSLRs use them because of faster write speeds for high frames-per-second shooting. It’s too bad…this is a pretty awesome device.

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    • Phil Bautista

      A USB port would’ve been more practical than an SD card slot for this very reason. That way, it would be possible to plug in a card reader that could read various types of cards instead of being limited this way.

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  9. Jeff Lopez

    What’s the possibility of a direct wifi backup as the pictures are being taken? Like with wireless capabilities of the 6D?

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    • Anthony Thurston

      I would say probably not likely – at least not with this device, but you never know.

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    • Greg Silver

      The website: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1076399-REG/wd_wdbdaf0020bbk_nesn_2tb_my_passport_wireless.html states this:

      If a camera has Wi-Fi built-in, then its files may be wirelessly transferred to the My Passport Wireless using FTP protocols.

      Not sure if this is done ‘as your shooting’ but may sounds like at the very least you could do a batch upload between sessions.

      On another note – my EYE-FI SD card was able to upload files to my smartphone and iPad on-the-fly as I was shooting. Might work with a device like this too -not sure.

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    • Matthew Bennion

      Hi, I’m Matt Bennion – I was the product manager for My Passport Wireless at WD. The camera/wireless adapter define the file transfers. I personally have a Nikon D4 with the WT-5 and it’s amazing. If I shoot with wifi off (save up some photos) and then connect, it sends them over. It sends them as I shoot, I have tons of nifty options… That’s all managed at the camera end. I’ve also used it with a friends Canon 7d with the canon wireless adapter. Pretty nifty :)

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    • Anthony Thurston

      Hmm, good to know. Thanks for the info Matthew! That makes these of even more interest to photographers out in the field.

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    • Matthew Saville

      I’d be careful with the amount of megapixels and FPS you try to put through that wifi connection though, Jeff. Most cameras these days, at 24-36 megapixels, shoot a huge number of megabytes within 1-2 seconds, and it might be too fast for even the highest speed of wifi transfer rates. I’ll let the experts weigh in on this though, but for example an un-compressed 14-bit RAW D810 file can be about 80 megabytes, and the camera can shoot at 5 FPS. YIKES!!!!

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    • Jeff Lopez

      That’s a very good point Matthew, thanks!

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  10. Jeff Lopez

    I would love to have this for a wedding, during a full day of shooting it would be nice to have that extra piece of mind having their photos in a couple places.

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    • Anthony Thurston

      Yeah, throw a couple in there, put one in your car and one in your bag, and then you also have them on your card still.

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    • Jeff Lopez

      That would be awesome, I wish they had a cheaper 100Gb version, I’d rather have a few 100Gb than one 500Gb ;)

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    • Stan Rogers

      Not gonna happen — or, rather, it would be *more* expensive if it did happen. 500GB is the “small commodity size” these days, and smaller drives (unless you’re talking about SSDs rather than spinning rust) are lower-volume specialty gear. They *might* be able to shave $2-3 off of the price by using 250-ish GB drives (the very slow low-power ones used in things like netbooks), but that’s about it, and at that point there’s not enough savings to justify the big drop in performance, so it wouldn’t sell.

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  11. Al cu

    Someone is definitely listening to my phone conversations, I’ll take two please

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  12. Paul Faecks

    I gotta admit, that thing looks awesome!

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  13. Mark Iuzzolino

    Now that’s a smart drive. Would be cool if there was a small screen on the drive to check that the images really are on the drive.

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    • Anthony Thurston

      In theory you could use your phone, or a tablet/laptop to do that as well. I prefer the $$$ and battery life savings gained by not including one.

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    • Mark Iuzzolino

      Interesting. Looks like someone censored my original message. That is just BS. You have to be kidding. You have an article about shooting a hard drive with a shotgun and that’s ok. But I talk about my wife shooting me for getting another piece of equipment and that maybe this hard drive would be a good one for me, and you delete that. Please tell me you’re not a bunch of PC nuts!

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    • Mark Iuzzolino

      Please disregard my last post above. I must have been delusional. My bad!

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  14. Phil Bautista

    Or you can load a bunch of movies and music in them and have each member of the family do their own thing during a road trip. Imagine the possibilities.

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    • Anthony Thurston

      Exactly! Many great uses for this drive. (Obviously I took the photography angle for this post, since this is a photography news and education site)

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    • Eric Sharpe

      This is a really interesting concept.

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