Lets see the basic options one have for digital photograph storage. Like any digital data photographs also can be stored in any digital storage device. The basic division would be physical devices and virtual storage. Now physical devices can have large storage devices and small capacity. Also we can have permanent storage and erasable storage. Some examples would be storage cards, external hard drives, optical storage like blue ray discs or DVDs, online storage.
Top priorities when selecting the storage option:-
1. Capacity:- It is possible to take tens to hundreds of GB of photographs even in very short shoots. Remember less than 100 raw images make a Gigabyte. So the total capacity of storage possible on selected medium is of very high importance. Tera byte hard disks are common place today. A very attractive storage solution providing very large amount of storage space would be online service, both photo dedicated services or normal data services.
2. Cost:- When we are dealing with Tera bytes of data the cost are important because photographs make an ever flowing stream of data and your storage requirement increases everyday. So give due importance to the cost per Gigabyte of the storage you select. There are cases where other features like security or persistence that may over way the cost and will make the decision of selecting a costlier storage justifiable.
3. Security:- How secure is the storage there are two things about security one is will any one else steal your photos. If you are a professional the question about others obtaining your photos without your permission is very relevant, mainly because your photos make money for you and loosing them means loosing money. This kind of security should be thought about before selecting any online storage service, some times public service like flikr provide very little security in this regard. The other security is the case where the device is lost or stolen in this scenario you might loose all your photo at a go which is a very devastating situation. An ideal example would be selecting between an external hard drive and an internal hard drive, as you carry around the external the chances of it getting stolen or lost is much higher than the internal hard disk.
4. Persistence:- This is regarding the recover-ability of the data in case of some damage or lose. Usually paid online storage services guarantee the data and thus are actually risk free in this regard. Some RAID configurations of internal hard drive etc also provide data recover-ability features. These are to be considered when the loss of the data (photos) leads to loss of money. Those devices or services that offer persistence will be more expensive but the cost is justified if the photographs are bringing money.
5. Speed:- Last in this list of most important things to consider when selecting a storage medium is speed of access. This is technology dependent that is some cards offer USB 2.0 speeds but hard disk offer even better speeds and so on. The portability and other factors can be given weight-age and the speed compromised but this is a top priority no matter what because if you have 10 Gigs to transfer and you are on a slow medium means that you will simply waste lots of precious time. The online services offer extremely high speeds when they are paid but your Internet connection should also support those speeds so as to achieve the offered transfer rates.