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A portable solution to full photo memory cards

With Spring in full bloom, Summer isn’t far behind and with it, come opportunities for mission trips, vacations and other situations in which we find ourselves traveling about with our digital camera. And with this so too comes the prospect of running out of space on your camera’s memory card, as many of us traveling to Jordan discovered the hard way.

For example, though Chuck Holton and I had planned on FTP’ing our photos to the blogJordan photo gallery, we soon found the dial-up lines at the various Internet cafés and hotels too slow. Fortunately, a member of our trip had a laptop with a CD ROM burner and was generous enough to let us ‘burninate’ a CD or three.

This of course assumes you have the time and wherewithal to download and burn your memory card to a single CD, as Glenn Reynolds reminds us:

“I bought a 512MB card, which I managed to fill entirely on my trip Wednesday. I’m reluctant to go bigger, though, because I like being able to archive a whole card on CD. I guess I’ll get another. I hope the price keeps dropping.”

But traveling with a laptop can be a royal pain. Aside from getting ‘gate raped’ at various airports, you’re always worried it’s going to get stolen, going to crash, or going to burn to a crisp because not every country does AC power the U.S. way … even if the power converter ‘says’ you can.

So the next time I go on some extended trip, and instead of waiting for ‘the prices to keep dropping’ on memory cards, I think I’m going to put my hard-earned cash into something like the Kanguru FC-RW: Portable Flash Card Burner. A device, that for about $200, allows me to directly plug in a memory card of any format and burn it to a CD without having to deal with the flaming hoops of bringing along a laptop, with a USB card-reader/adapter, then firing up my CD burning software, dragging and dropping the files, etc … just to plug’n’play while the device does the dirty work for you.

How about you guys and gals? Got suggestions and/or solutions? Leave a comment and let’s discuss.


  1. Get a iPod (3G) and the media adapter. Admittedly this is more expensive, but you get a lot more space and it works as music and a backup hard drive…

  2. Sorry, but whenever I evaluate one of these special purpose gizmos, I always come back to my trusty laptop. I travel a fair amount (have not been to Jordan, though) and I always take my laptop. It has everything I need in one box, not much bigger than the Kanguru device.

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  4. You could also use a XDrive II which reads & stores images onto its 40Gb hard drive. Works on its own without a notebook, less bulk than loose CDs in the bag, perhaps.

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