Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Get HideMyAss! VPN, PC Mag's Top 10 VPNs of 2016 for 55% off for a Limited Time ×
Data Storage Media Hardware

Ask Slashdot: Storing Family Videos and Pictures For Posterity? 174

New submitter jalvarez13 writes: I'm in my early 40's and I will become a dad in less than a month. Until now I've been quite happy with a Canon Powershot S110 for taking pictures and video, but now I'm thinking in longer terms. If some of you have already thought or done something about this, what did you consider when buying photo/video equipment? What about a plan to store the files you generate? I guess there are important decisions you made about to image quality, file formats, storage type, organizing and labelling software, etc.

I'm also wondering if there are any other technologies (stereoscopic cameras?) that I haven't thought about and may be interesting to look at.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Ask Slashdot: Storing Family Videos and Pictures For Posterity?

Comments Filter:
  • by Rinisari ( 521266 ) on Saturday September 05, 2015 @02:49PM (#50463269) Homepage Journal

    I have a NAS that I regularly upgrade with new hard drives when the old ones' warranties expire. I just recently went from 4x 1 TB + 4x 750 GB in two RAID5 arrays to 8x 2TB in RAID6. That NAS is backed up off-site to another, similar NAS at trusted, non-corporate location, but only the parts of it which are 100% irreplaceable: pictures, video, financial paperwork, schoolwork, etc. The drives in the second NAS are from different batch and are 4x 3TB in RAID5.

    I've considered also paying for a service like Amazon Glacier to archive those really important things, but the price still seems too high for the amount I have to store and I have concerns about the security of it. Tarsnap is a crowd favorite, but you certainly pay for its paranoid level of security. I'm eager to see what comes of Maidsafe and Storj, which are distributed systems to which I could certainly lend a whole lot of spare space.

    • Good thinking. I have a similar (but smaller) setup and make the same considerations about cloud storage.

      I wonder if you have a strategy to fight bit rot.

      • by mlts ( 1038732 )

        Bit rot needs to be fought on multiple levels. I have wound up (just because it is easier than using multiple programs) using WinRAR with its recovery record feature for long term storage. If there is bit rot, it can be detected and recovered, especially with the 128 bit CRCs that WinRAR 5.x uses.

        Drive-wise, it would be nice if someone could come up with a special archive filesystem, preferably with WORM capabilities.

        Take UDF. Expand it to the PB realm, not the existing 2TB. Add some ZFS features like d

        • But what about the bitwise media, as opposed to the hardware media? OP asked about that as well.

          It seems obvious that lossless compression is preferable to no compression, and an open-source algorithm should be used. (Like lossless PNGs for stills, FLAC for audio. Video is still kind of up for grabs, and one might have to settle for lossy compression.)

          For very long-term storage, you'd want to have the source code for your decompression/display software.

          M.disc, as opposed to standard CD or DVD, is e
        • The downside of WinRAR is that it is an archive, which means efficiently updating it in place is cumbersome.

          At some point I started to generate PAR files for my photos (using PAR2s generated by MultiPar - which is scriptable [multipar.eu]). This achieves a comparable recovery capability as the recovery records of WinRAR, but is much simpler to deal with when doing updates to what the PAR files cover and uploading those changes to a remote location. The PARs exist on the directory level and before regenerating them in the

        • Take UDF. Expand it to the PB realm, not the existing 2TB. Add some ZFS features like ditto blocks, 64-128 bit CRCs, cryptographically signed writes with public keys, standard encryption, standard compression, ability to duplicate the filesystem as an image (so rsync utilities are usable to preserve hierarchy), snapshot directories a la OneFS/WAFL,

          ZFS is probably your best bet for now. Oracle built filesystem-level encryption into the Solaris offering, no luck for the free versions. No cryptographic signing of writes, but that is imho overkill when you have to trust the whole kernel and filesystem layer and so whole-disk encryption plus SHA256 checksums gives basically the same assurance that no data has been modified. You can hold snapshots in ZFS to prevent them from being accidentally deleted and treat them as basically WORM.

    • I've got about a terabyte of photos and video and and was also looking at glacier which seemed reasonable for .01 per gigabyte per month (basically $10/month for me) which I thought was reasonable until halfway through uploading everything a friend pointed out that Amazon had *unlimited* storage for $60/year on their Amazon Cloud Drive. So I'm now about halfway through uploading everything to that.

      The cloud drive has some nicer features in that all the data is private and I can share files are folders as I

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        Amazon's unlimited storage is only available in the US it seems. For the rest of us there is Glacier, but Google's Nearline is better. Same price ($0.01/gigabyte/month) but instant access (Glacier can take hours to get your files for you).

        I'm using Microsoft's OneDrive for backup at the moment. $6.99/month (sign up via the US site and it's cheaper than the UK site, don't know about the Euro price) for 1TB and a subscription copy of MS Office. If you got here [onedrive.com] you can sign up for a free upgrade to unlimited s

        • With all the talk about bitrot I'm kinda curious what kind of strategy these cloud services use to prevent that sort of thing (if at all) - Do they make backups of all the cloud storage? Disk redundancy? File verification? Or am I essentially just storing everything on a Windows NTFS drive at a remote location?

          • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

            Redundancy and a filesystem like ZFS that can detect and correct bitrot type errors and disk failures.

    • Add into this mix a cheap tape drive. I have an old LTO-3 drive which I picked a pair up off ebay for $100. New media is still easy to find. Every 3 months or so I make a new tape and take it to my parents.

      I am assuming in this case though that you aren't actually backing up 9TB of photos and family vids.

    • You need simplicity, reliability, format independence, and no particular speed or latency. Don't do RAID or NAS for backups.

      Sure, NAS and RAID and the like are great for online reliability, and for your current copies, but for backups, you want something that you can plug in 5 years from now, be sure it'll work, and don't care if it's a bit slow. So buy a few individual drives with the most portable formats available (seems to be 2TB with USB2 and eSATA for now), and every couple of years, copy to new m

      • You should totally be using them, instead of keeping your copies at home, because it's much more reliable, they've got better hardware, geographic redundancy, paid staffs, and nothing can go w(#($!_*$@#RR

      • Regarding file formats: I may be mistaken, but most of the issues I see are with old formats from the pre-internet era and more primitive/obscure OSes. Sure, we all have read stories of old disks which are now unreadable because the hardware doesn't exist anymore, but that is *hardware*. For files, I see VLC can open nearly every video and audio format in existence, and certainly any photo viewer worth using can open more image formats than what I have seen.

        Most of us know what we have in our hard drives. I

    • So from your smallest box 3x 3TB = 9 TB of data, and Glacier and Google nearline (maybe others too?) are charging $0.01/GB-month, so about $90/month if you back up the whole thing. I don't know how much you pay for electricity in both locations, but if a box can run/idle at 100W and you leave it on all the time you spend ~900KW a year. At $0.20/KWh that's about $180/year per server. Disks every 3 years (if you get HGST's warranty) is $140/year (using $0.035/GB rough cost today), or $27/month per server f

  • by WoodburyMan ( 1288090 ) on Saturday September 05, 2015 @02:53PM (#50463287)
    For storage, I have a 4 bay WD NAS, DL4100. Populated with 4x4TB drives in RAID5. Store all my photos and video on there. I have a 8TB USB Seagate Archive v2 Drive attached to it that I plug in once in a while to back it up to. The RAID5 helps with hardware failure, but backing up to the USB drive guarantees if it somehow gets deleted I'm good. WD has "recycle bin" like feature, but I never trust it. The WD NAS has DLNA and Media Server capabilities to stream to many TV's that have it built in. Synology also has a few models that are comparable as well. Whatever model you get check storage transfer speeds and get something that can max out giabit, copying a 1080p video file can take a while if it's a long video at slow speeds.
    • To add to this, the WD NAS allows off site replication with another WD NAS that you setup elsewhere. Copying and transfer files to a new version of a NAS if you replace it later on as well.
  • Don't overthink it (Score:5, Insightful)

    by schnell ( 163007 ) <{ten.llenhcs} {ta} {em}> on Saturday September 05, 2015 @02:55PM (#50463291) Homepage

    I bought a fancy new DSLR camera five years ago when my first child was born. During the first 12 months of the child's life, I'd say I generated close to 15 GB of photos of her - every first burp, every time she went for a walk, etc. was absolutely precious.

    Flash forward a couple years and the DSLR sits on a shelf because I realized that 1.) all the photos I took of her seemed incredibly important at the time but are never looked at any more, 2.) I don't really need 16 megapixels of every moment of her life, and 3.) what's most important to me is always having the camera with me for the truly cute and memorable times I do want to take pictures of her or her little sister.

    So all the photos of my older daughter since age 1 1/2 or so and all the photos since her little sister was born have been taken with a cellphone camera. It's good enough for anything but a portrait/Christmas card staged photo, and it's with me all the time. The only time I wish I still carried the DSLR all the time is when the kids are doing something split-second and the cellphone camera doesn't shoot quickly enough to capture it. Your mileage may vary, but just don't be surprised if whatever awesome setup you invest in becomes less and less used over time...

    • by fermion ( 181285 )
      My oldest and be preserved photos are slides. They are kept in a plastic viewing apparatus. For important videos I have a 3CCD DV camera. The mini DV tape should last at least 20 years. Printed photos, especially color, will degrade quickly unless they are professionally printed and store adequately. This can be done at home using archival ink and paper. I have a DSLR. I wish I would have just kept the memory cards instead of downloading them to a two hard disks. As luck would have it, the portable
    • by trout007 ( 975317 ) on Saturday September 05, 2015 @04:04PM (#50463581)

      The most important thing is being there in the moment. Cell phones are fine for a couple of pictures or short videos but spend time actually experiencing life, not watching it through a 6" screen.

      • by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Saturday September 05, 2015 @05:06PM (#50463853)

        The most important thing is being there in the moment. Cell phones are fine for a couple of pictures or short videos but spend time actually experiencing life, not watching it through a 6" screen.

        Also, when people look at the photos years later, they will value most the pictures of people going about their routine life. They will have less interest in "posed" photos, and no interest in photos of the parade at Disneyland. About once a month, I will grab a camera and walk around taking pictures of the family preparing dinner, or the kids playing with their friends.

    • by dkman ( 863999 )
      This is the gist of what I came to say. I have an older Canon camera that takes nice pictures and can do video, but when my daughter was born I looked around for a true video camera and all that jazz. I never truly found anything I was into, but cell phones are smaller, always around, have longer battery life, etc. So you can get a dedicated device if you want, but don't blow the budget on it because it's likely to find a spot on a shelf to live out its days.

      As far as formats I usually just transfer th
    • My solution: bought a DSLR when my first kid was about to be born, already had a Sony digicam at the time. Eventually upgraded to a DSLR that could do decent video too.

      But you know what? I bought a Nikon waterproof/shockproof CoolPix back in 2011, and have discovered that almost ALL my video is done via that, along with some of the best family photos. For a DSLR to work well, you have to take the time to have the camera on hand, compose the frame, meter the light, etc. I still take it on hikes, and to p

    • I guess you more or less summarized my first reaction to the question. A technical question is asked here (how to preserve my pictures), but the the real question is is psychological/sociological one: which pictures should be reserved for the future generations?

      The technical question is really easily solved: use a well catered file format, use back-ups, also off-site. Really nothing new here, that is what you do with all your important data.

      And the answer to the ‘soft’ question is not that hard

      • Agree - keep all the gigabytes you like, nobody will ever browse them (and they'll be unbrowsable by the Standards 50 years hence). Now and then, or after family etc occasions, curate an 'album' of say 50 printed pages. Plenty of services to bind them nicely, much cheaper than hardware. In 100 years, that's all anyone will remember of you. Just possibly by then an AI system will have your virtual ghost communicating with questioners, but don't bank on it - they might not ask.
    • Use a DSLR if you want to take and keep nice pictures. It's what a DSRL is designed for. It might be bulky, but I'd rather carry that and take a beautiful picture, than not and get a flat or blurry picture on my phone. Cellphones can come in handy, but the pictures they take are flat and boring. They're also very slow and suck in low light. They're nice to share pictures quickly with family, but they won't be the pictures you come back to years later... I don't own a mirrorless camera, but maybe it can be
      • Well, the man already has a Canon Powershot S110. It already takes very nice pictures - even RAW if you want. So a DSLR is way overkill and more importantly, won't be in your pocket when you need it.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by CptJeanLuc ( 1889586 )

      This. Do not overinvest. I purchased USD 4k worth of equipment, which a year later sat mostly in its bag. Rarely bothering to bring it anywhere because who wants an extra bag in addition to all the other baby stuff you are bringing along. I would still have gotten some less expensive but still decent gear, for taking the occasional "extra nice" photo. Not being a pro, the idea of having a great camera around when there is that opportunity for a great show which comes along - in my experience, if you need a

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      I've noticed that parents take a lot more photos and videos these days, mostly with their phones. This generation is going to be the first that grows up with their early life documented in detail on Facebook. Most of my childhood only exists as a few photos in an album and my memories, but these kids will be able to see it all digitally preserved.

    • 1.) all the photos I took of her seemed incredibly important at the time but are never looked at any more

      Yeah, photos have a weird W-shaped utility; They get shared and looked at a lot when brand new. After 6 months to a year they sit in boxes/drives for years and after about 20 years the utility climbs again until ~150 years later when no living relatives remember the people in the photos. Then after a few more decades they have historical value. Hence the need to plan for long-term storage.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    LUMIX dmc-zs50 as the camera. Fits in a pocket, 30x optical zoom, captures raw, and does nice hd video. Has a standard tripod mount. Put a nice 64gb high speed card in it. Seriously you don't want or need some massive slr or production-ready video cam. Don't be that guy at soccer games and school plays.

    Use a folder structure to group pictures by event. Don't worry about dates-all of that is in pic metadata if you set date/time correctly. Use picasa to organize pictures and do the facial recognize each time

  • Easiest solution is likely to get some of them printed, in a photographer's shop for example.
    If you're taking hundreds of photos, perhaps delete half of them outright and print like a tenth or a twelfth of them. It's dead easy to have multiple prints of a photo too.

    For digital storage, on the hardware side you might have three hard drives. Backup, backup's backup. If one is well off enough I guess it'd be easy to have a 2.5" HDD just for that purpose. Soon they'll be up to 1TB per platter (so, 2TB dual plat

  • For snapahots. It will be easy, convenient, compact. If you want to step up then get a DSLR for higher def photos. As a amateur photographer using Pentax products since 1976, I've collected quite a stash of their cameras and lenses. I now have a Pentax DSLR that has the same lens mount as all those lenses I've collected, some very rare and hard to get, but I always grab my Cannon Powershot for those need it now times.
  • I have an off topic suggestion for you. I saw someone do this years ago and thought it was a great idea. What you do is buy a set of clothes that an average 21 year old would wear. Then, you set the newborn on the clothes. Every year you take the clothes out and do a picture. Up through the time they can actually wear them.
    • What you do is buy a set of clothes that an average 21 year old would wear. Then, you set the newborn on the clothes. Every year you take the clothes out and do a picture. Up through the time they can actually wear them.

      By which time no 21 year-old would be caught dead wearing that stuff.

      Better to take a picture of them in front of your car every year....

      • Actually, 31 years is about how long it takes for fashion trends to come around again. Yes, we're living in the 80's. I really hated re-living '70s fashion, and Vuarnet doesn't appear to have returned, so I'll live with it.

        So buy a set of clothes that an average 21 year old would have worn 10 years ago, and you're all set.

        • I'll take your word for the 31 year period.

          I agree completely that fashion recycles itself, so wearing clothes the father would have worn in high school or college will probably work reasonably well for this purpose....

  • by trawg ( 308495 ) on Saturday September 05, 2015 @03:34PM (#50463461) Homepage

    A few years ago I decided the only thing I cared about in my mess of digital stuff was my photo collection so went through the same thing.

    So far what I'm doing is maintaining a bunch of separate backups of my photo collection. I have a "master" copy at home on my desktop PC. I recently put this in a Dropbox folder too, so the local copy is also automagically backed up online (I know Dropbox isn't everyone's cup of tea; I don't like the non-encrypted nature of it but for me it's a good balance of features & services).

    I then have a separate external USB drive that I keep for backups. I have another one of these drives at my parents (that I update when I'm there every few months). I have another one in my office which I update less often.

    BUT, that is only part of it - I've been worried about subtle disk failure screwing up my files. So a while back I wrote some scripts to store hashes of all the files and stuff them into a database. Every few months I run scripts to compare the actual contents of my file stores against "known good" hashes.

    On two occasions I've found a bunch of photos that had been silently corrupted (once on my "master" and once on one of the backups). I almost certainly wouldn't have noticed.

    I've also started to think about using par2 files to add another layer of redundancy; it's kinda trivial to script but it'd add a bit of storage overhead. For now though I'm kinda happy with what I've got - as long as I check the backups every few months against the known good setup, I can be confident in my storage.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    LTO-6 tape [wikipedia.org] will give you 15 to 30 years of shelf life storage.

  • Go lower tech (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mjensen ( 118105 ) on Saturday September 05, 2015 @03:46PM (#50463507) Journal

    First of all, this question comes up every 4-6 months "How to store data long term?".

    Take the best pictures, get them printed on quality material, and laminate that and make a photo album. It can now easily be shown to anyone who visits and will survive past the lifespan of your children. I have family pictures from 130 years ago in non-digital format.

    • First of all, this question comes up every 4-6 months "How to store data long term?".

      Take the best pictures, get them printed on quality material, and laminate that and make a photo album. It can now easily be shown to anyone who visits and will survive past the lifespan of your children. I have family pictures from 130 years ago in non-digital format.

      I went the other way: I have family pictures from 130 years ago in digital format. I've also printed out magazines of photo collections, which are great, as they can be viewed and damaged, and when they're worn out, I can just do another run. It also means I can share these albums with other family members as gifts for relatively little money.

      Oh, and don't laminate your photos -- the acids in the laminating plastic will eat away at the photo. You want archival printing on archival photo paper mounted in

    • I have family pictures from 130 years ago in non-digital format.

      The geek assumes that his children will know where to find his digital archieves, how to access them and how to read them. That they won't be won't be overwhelmed by the complexity of the systems he has left behind.

  • I used to be an advanced amateur photographer before I had kids. The kids were born in the days of film photography. I digitized all my film, and I've been storing all of my pictures in a NAS at home, of which I also keep an off-site backup. I don't worry too much about the possible obsolescence of file formats.
  • I always wondered about bitrot and lately ransomware encryption.

    I too have a RAID setup for redundancy and backup to an external HDD, all get replaced every few years. But bitrot can set in and ruin pictures and if the worst happens, such as ransomware encrypting your data, everything can be ruined when you backup your data and overwrite the old files with the encrypted ones.

    I've been thinking lately of using something like ZFS with versioning. I'm still researching this, but apparently ZFS can help
    • If you use the right kind of online backup place, ransomeware can't harm you. Some places build in incremental backup or offer it for an additional fee. So even if the virus locks you out, you can still respite from a known good time.

    • by vux984 ( 928602 )

      plus with a versioning system any ransomware encryption would just create another version you could roll back to

      Ok... maybe.

      1) Windows for example, does have versioning, with Shadow copy etc. Cryptolocker defeats it, and wipes out the shadow copies, at least on a local volume. It might save your ass on a network share. I haven't run into that scenario yet.

      2) Restoring 10s of thousands of files in folder structures after they've all been destroyed by cryptolocker, even if you have versioning/retention that wasn't defeated -- make sure you've thought through how you are actually going to do the recovery. Obviously on L

  • Clone them once in a while so you have the latest data, keep one at work, keep one at home, etc... just encrypt them if you don't want anyone snooping.

  • For family snapshots, you're probably better off with a new phone with a good camera than a dedicated camera like a powershot these days. The image quality is getting surprisingly close, and the availability difference inherent in having your phone's camera in arms reach all day every day will likely lead to capturing more interesting moments. The latest iPhones are a safe bet, and some androids are getting pretty good these days as well, but you'll want to research the exact model you're getting to make

  • To capture anything good in low light you need a fast lens. A fast lens is one where the aperture number is small, like 1.8 or 1.4. A fast lens means that you don't have to wait for a flash to warm up and you don't have to carry it around.

    The downside to a large aperture is that focusing will be hard, even with autofocus, and the exposure will get all weird. The exposure will be weird because your focus area is small, but the exposure logic generally is set to measure the entire picture. You don't really ca

    • I don't know what photography class you took, but the aperture number of a lens has nothing to do with speed. It has to do with how far the lens iris will open relative to the size of the lens (it's a ratio; e.g., 1.8:1 or 1.4:1) and therefore how much light the lens can get to the sensor; the lower the number the closer to 1:1 you get and the more light you get. Aperture also controls the depth of field for a shot with a larger aperture decreasing depth of field and a smaller one increasing it. This affect
      • by Pulzar ( 81031 )

        I don't know what photography class you took, but the aperture number of a lens has nothing to do with speed.

        It is very common, at least in North America, and in North American English, to call a lens with a large aperture "fast". Since, as you said, large aperture allows more light in, so it takes less time to expose the sensor/film, therefore the lens is "fast".

        Googling "fast lens" will come up with many examples such as this one: http://digital-photography-school.com/what-is-a-fast-lens/ [digital-ph...school.com]

        Maybe you're from

  • For camera I would recommend a mid-high end compact. Look for ease of use and fast autofocus, not for megapixels or many features. I would not get a DSLR if you have not had one before.

    For storage there are any number of options but if you are serious about durability get m-disc and recorder; this is a special type of DVD that is predicted to last for a thousand years.
    • If you're serious about durability go for a proprietary format where disc composition is a trade secret created by a company that has only existed for a few years and pinky promises you that the discs last longer than normal ones?

      Better idea: If you're serious about durability then opt for diversity in media, location and provide lots of redundancy and error checking.

  • Several things make this possible, with everything available locally plus redundant offsite backups.

    Get one or a pair of big hard drives. 4 TB drives are cheap. Various tests put 4 TB drives as a class as more reliable than 3 or 5 TB drives. If you get a pair, RAID 1 them, either with software raid or lvm. Put everything on there. I really like lvm, so that when one drive fails, or is close to failing, you can replace it and keep the whole collection intact locally. Hardware RAID is not necessary, and poten

  • by larwe ( 858929 ) on Saturday September 05, 2015 @04:08PM (#50463605) Homepage
    I hope my wife doesn't read your post - I'm 40, and have been telling her for several years now that it is too late, and I am too old, to become a dad. Anyway: It's not clear to me if you're asking the question "what is the best technology I can use to capture the most information about this object" or "what is the best/safest means I can use to store these images, once recorded, so that they have the best chance of surviving many years". On the first question, it absolutely doesn't matter. By the time this creature is old enough to be looking at these images, the technology you used to capture them will be long obsolete regardless of what you use. People our age grew up with scratchy, poorly-exposed 35mm color prints and Super 8 film of ourselves. Our parents grew up with some black and white photos, some color. The thing you have to keep in mind is that unless you happen to be a president, serial killer or rock star, these recordings are of absolutely no documentary interest whatsoever to the world at large and have no intrinsic value. The only purpose they serve is to remind you, and the kid, and potentially a few family members or friends, of the occasion that is being recorded. The quality of the recording is immaterial because it's just a stimulus to unlock a memory cascade in you, the viewer, who was present at the event anyway. And those memories will be much higher quality than any recording you can make. You could create a daguerrotype, use a brownie box camera, or aim a hand-cranked silent movie camera with B&W film and the pleasure you get from watching the result at a later date will be absolutely identical to that you'd receive from a 3D IMAX recording with octophonic sound and Feelarama(tm). TL;DR: don't sweat the tech, because it won't matter. 10 years from now you'll look at whatever you recorded and think "that ancient tech was so quaint", regardless. The second question is more interesting. There is no storage medium of high enough density for your needs that will last "indefinitely", and you also have the fun problem that codecs evolve. You should absolutely not use any file format that doesn't have an open-source decoder (not that there are many of those in common use these days). And as for the physical storage of the bits, you'll have to keep rolling them from media to media. Since most people can't be bothered making offsite backups, etc - I'd advise picking two disparate technologies for your backup strategy, e.g. writable DVDs and hard drives, and refresh them regularly. If you're comfortable with it, paid cloud storage is also an option (again, diversity is your friend - one copy on amazon and one copy on google and you can be fairly sure a single disaster won't wipe out both). Frankly, you probably don't feel this way right now, but if you think back objectively to your own childhood, you'll know that 99% of these irreplaceable memories sit in shoeboxes from the moment shortly after they were developed to the moment they're rummaged through while people are sorting your estate. So, don't over-invest in this.
    • by King_TJ ( 85913 )

      IMO, this post was FULL of truth and reality!

      I will say though, as someone who is really growing tired of constantly paying for subscription based services that keep chipping away at my income month after month -- I'm not so thrilled about "cloud storage/backup" solutions.

      I know some people hate Apple and Macs but I can definitely see one reason they're a popular computer choice with people into photography. The fact that Mac OS X does backups automatically with "Time Machine" and any external USB hard dri

  • by ka9dgx ( 72702 ) on Saturday September 05, 2015 @04:13PM (#50463629) Homepage Journal

    With old time photos, you could write all the names of people (and descriptions) on the back... please be sure to add metadata to the jpeg files, so that 50 years from now your grandkids will know who is who.

  • Being a father of two and started to use digital cameras in last century, I collected sizable archive. It's too easy to take them and costly to process them. After each session (vacation, getway, event) I quickly sit down and process them using Picassa. Delete ones that are grosly bad, let my wife have a pass too, then adjust the rest. Last step is to download them to my picture frames which I build from old laptops. This is where the fun is as my fam constantly sees the pictures and we often stop and marv

  • RAW format is bulky, so I store each terabyte of new images on a 1TB external drive, and maintain a continuous cloud secondary backup to the CrashPlan subscription service. Because I only have one or two of the external drives (I have a whole drawerful of them by now) connected at one time, I keep everything organized in Adobe Lightroom 6. It's the only photo editor/organizer I know of that keeps track of external disks that are not mounted.

  • Repeat after me until it sinks in. RAID is not backup.

    RAID is not backup.

    If you want to keep your pictures, make multiple copies and keep one in a different location. Tape has a 30-year shelf-life and no logic board or mechanical parts to fail, and there will always be services available to restore them. Tape drives are unfortunately prohibitively expensive.

    Find a way. But remember. RAID is not backup.

    • by thogard ( 43403 )

      Alos remember that the RAID controller in the NAS might be the only thing that will ever be able to read the drives so if lightning takes out the NAS, so long all the data even if the drives don't get zapped.

      RAID also doesn't quite ccope with the problem that on large sotrage systems, the MTBF means that something is always broken and undetected and it is only going to get worse.

  • RAW is really huge on disk, but you'll never regret being able to fix that low-exposure shot of the first birthday candle in the dark! Light room works pretty well on local NAS. If you'll be mounting it over WiFi, invest in a really good router. Quality matters when you're wondering why your throughput just fell off a cliff.
  • Storage - you just need an external HD - a few TB Backup - find a willing friend/relative and use BitTorrent Sync for your photo/video folders.
  • ZFS. ZFS in some form. FreeNAS with ZFS, FreeBSD with ZFS. Don't run anything else. Checksumming, self healing, stable, future proof. Don't risk bitrot or corruption or data loss. Just do it. As far as metadata, thats a bitch. Ive yet to find an open metadata format that is widely supported, and will be around in 50 years. Im hoping someone here chimes in with a good metadata solution! Ive yet to find one I love.
  • by multimediavt ( 965608 ) on Saturday September 05, 2015 @07:11PM (#50464403)

    I'm in my early 40's and I will become a dad in less than a month. Until now I've been quite happy with a Canon Powershot S110 for taking pictures and video, but now I'm thinking in longer terms. If some of you have already thought or done something about this, what did you consider when buying photo/video equipment? What about a plan to store the files you generate? I guess there are important decisions you made about to image quality, file formats, storage type, organizing and labelling software, etc. I'm also wondering if there are any other technologies (stereoscopic cameras?) that I haven't thought about and may be interesting to look at.

    Wow, there are a lot of questions in there that require a lot of detailed and somewhat subjective answers. I've been doing photography since I was seven years old when I got my first real 35mm range finder camera, and have done my own developing and printing, and moved to digital photography very early on in its evolution and still use it today. Let me see if I can give you some quick answers that you can go do more detailed research on yourself.

    1. Cameras with interchangeable lenses are the best buy if this is something you're going to get serious about. If not, stick to what you have or get some simple point-and-shoot with a good sensor and a decent zoom lens (with its optical zoom properties taking priority over digital zoom). I'd recommend something with at least 16 MP or higher so anything can be blown up to an 11"x17" size and not look too grainy. B&H Photo is a good place to get gear and get reviews by photographers and not just the average Joe.
    2. Store the photos on a hard drive, preferably an array of at least RAID 1 so if one drive fails you don't lose everything. Others have pretty much answered this above. Long term you need to look at either redundancy of the array or tape. Yep tape. Costly, but if it's that important tape is still the best medium for long term storage integrity.
    3. ALWAYS shoot at the highest quality setting (image size) for the camera you are using. Again, if quality is important file size is not an issue with today's storage costs.
    4. Format will depend on the camera, but most will be at least JPEG format. Again, ALWAYS use the highest quality setting! Buy a bigger card for the camera. I can shoot all day with a 32 GB card with my 24 megapixel DSLR. I've taken well over 1000 pictures in a day and had no problem storing them util I got back to my laptop.
    5. If the camera supports RAW, USE IT! You can use it in conjunction with JPEG (the RAW+JPEG setting). Why? It's a lot easier to adjust image color, saturation, exposure, etc. after the fact in an image editing app (that also supports RAW, very important) with a RAW format image. Again, this gets important if you want to print the images or ever want to do any pro photography.
    6. Organizing and labeling? I can tell you from experience that if you're not doing photography for money that whole business gets tedious very quickly, and you'll not do it for long nor consistently. I use well labelled file folders and then label the best photos with tags or keywords in the file properties. I use a Mac so that stuff is there, Windows also supports file attributes you can use to add keywords, etc. Yes, I still do this for my very large projects with thousands of raw photos. I'll just mark the ones I've enhanced or otherwise like and just sort based on the tag or keyword and they float to the top. Modern OSes and filesystems are pretty good for this anymore without the need for some sort of specific software like Apple's Photos.

    Your last question about novelty photography will get one comment from me: Stay away! Sure 3D images are cool, but the added expense of a camera capable of doing that sort of thing is not worth it once the novelty wears off. It's like the organizing and labeling stuff, really.

    Ok, go forth and buy a new camera if you need to. There are several nice point and shoot cameras in the 16 MP

    • by Pulzar ( 81031 )

      If the camera supports RAW, USE IT! You can use it in conjunction with JPEG (the RAW+JPEG setting). Why? It's a lot easier to adjust image color, saturation, exposure, etc. after the fact in an image editing app (that also supports RAW, very important) with a RAW format image. Again, this gets important if you want to print the images or ever want to do any pro photography.

      Another great reason is that you can go back to them many years later and "re-develop" them using improved RAW processing technologies,

  • I am an old retired computer guy with a dozen Rubbermaid tubs of old photos, documents and film/video inherited from my parents that go back generations and are priceless to my family. My goal is to have a method of preserving both physical and digital resources in such a way that they are accessible in 50 years. I have photos that are over 100 years old, so that is a reasonable goal.

    After months of research, I have become most impressed by a "museum" approach. That means, cataloging the media resources w
  • When I bought a BlueRay drive it came with a sample CD m@disk that's made to last a 1000 years.

    I've never used it, it's more of a conversation piece as they are spendy and lack storage space (4.7Gigs).

    Yet tossed out as an option with foreseeable future technological problems. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

    • I've never used it, it's more of a conversation piece as they are spendy and lack storage space (4.7Gigs).

      I'm a purist, all my work is saved as .TIF's.

  • It seems that a lot of people in the western world are voluntarily (and involuntarily) spending more and more of their lives under the unforgiving gaze of cameras, each with a keen and heartless memory. People, particularly kids, can now grow up having seen their own birth (and some, their own conception), and every goofy, funny, embarrassing, or horrifying moment from then to the present day, all in HD quality, stored on media that may outlast their own lives. Some of it may haunt them later in life it it

  • Hundreds (if not thousands) of years from now, others will look on us as the "first people". This is the beginning of time that is documented digitally. Be proud, we are the first people.

  • Truthfully, cellphone cameras wind up the most useful tool simply because you're most likely to be carrying one with you, whenever opportunity strikes to take a worthwhile photo.

    IMO though, this is also why the "point and shoot" camera category is dying a slow death. If you care about your photos to the point you demand better quality than you're getting from a cellphone, you may as well invest a bit more and go with a digital SLR with interchangeable lenses. Then you have a camera worthy of investing some

  • Even a single copy on M-DISC [mdisc.com] in a media-grade fire resistant safe is more likely to survive the next 35 years intact and readable than the alternatives. Cloud, hard disk arrays, tapes, whatever. The total maintenance cost over this time is dramatically lower than the alternatives, too (virtually zero).

    And I would not worry about availability of readers in 35 years. I don't see passive physical media completely going away. Passive media carrier that does not include electronics. There will always be a niche

  • Print things, on photosensitive paper for two reasons:

    1) photosensitive paper, i.e. the same paper that was used to print 1980's analog photos, has proven to be very durable. Don't use inkjets etc, which may fade over time (or they may not -I prefer to not take the risk).

    2) a HD full of photos is good for indexing and searching, but I rarely browse these picture. The ones I have printed in a small album lying around are browsed regularly, either by meself or visitors.

  • I'll raise you a single mustard-colored Polaroid photograph.
    Add several hundred process film prints, and a few surviving rolls of negatives.
    Add several hundred thousand digital camera shots with shutterbug duplication (ie busy! no time to sort!)
    Add a thousand crappy cellphone videos with pixel faces, square teeth and indecipherable audio.
    Add some better video from digital cameras, better picture but crappy builtin mic. Finger noise louder than voices.

    Now we're talking, an old video camera with bulky accesso

  • And before someone dings me for suggesting cloud services..yadda yadda privacy/NSA/Whatever:

    1. Easy Button Easy. No need to maintain your own NAS, and Yahoo/Google/whatever handles the redundancy.

    2. You can use them in addition to local backups on USB storage/NAS

    2. If you really worried about privacy, tar/zip/stuffit/rar up your folders and gnupg encrypt them.

  • For still images, there is no more robust way of preserving them than prints. Anything that requires ongoing maintenance is unlikely to survive even a century.
  • MDisk is DVD technology that is supposed to last for 100 years. The drives cost the same as a regular DVD drive. The disks are expensive, though.
    • by bscott ( 460706 )

      MO-DISC (or Milleniata) discs are what I use for offline storage. They're not THAT expensive - I only do a backup onto them once per year (Time Machine to an onsite server for everyday), and so far my wife's annual output of photos and video can be coaxed to fit onto a box of 10 DVDs, for roughly $35-40ish

      I put 'em in a fire-resistant waterproof portable safe hidden elsewhere on the property, and consider myself safe from lightning/flood, theft and a few similar gotchas. I originally had a plan to put a w

  • Becoming a dad usually takes about 9 months.

    Once you have a good camera and setup hold onto it because you probably won't be able to afford a new one for the next decade and a half.

    If you do have the money, invest it in a professional once in a while. Spend some good time with your kids instead of managing their pictures, technology will come that sorts it out for you, iPhoto is great for that or anything that sorts pictures based on GPS data. Just save it at least twice at home and twice off-site such as a

  • Posterity is a nosy bastard. Don't tell me you haven't noticed.

  • ...late to the party. But here's what I'd do today: Keep the S110. There's not much out there that does what it does as well while being tough and fast (to power on and shoot). Get a compact inexpensive SD-card based video camera with a reputation for reliability and durability (Canon R300 etc). Carry the pocket camera. Use the videocam when conveniently accessible or when you know to take it along. Storage, I still haven't figured out. I have a lot of analog Hi8 tapes which I'm slowly getting on DVD. I'm d

The reason computer chips are so small is computers don't eat much.

Working...