Thursday, August 26, 2010

SanDisk Extreme PRO ExpressCard Adapter install in Win7 PRO 64-bit

SanDisk Extreme PRO ExpressCard Adapter install in Win7 PRO 64-bit  ...

* Here's a Important tip you might miss ... even though it is right on the install CD:
You MUST have both the CF (Compact Flash Card) AND the SanDisk Extreme PRO Adapter in the ExpressCard Slot  BEFORE  you start the Installation CD !

It will not run the install without it.

But, if you do that ... it will install quickly and flawlessly  on a  i7 Quad Core Laptop running Win7 PRO 64-bit OS.    Zero issues.
And YES,  it's  FAST !   Period.

I already know it's FAST.    Have read others tests ( )
But, there is nothing like doing a test yourself.   Even though you know it works well.  It's nice to stress it a little.

So, first thing  I do is format two of my SanDisk Extreme PRO 16gb CF cards in different D700's.
Both, format to 14.9 gb.
Then I upload  14.9gb aprox  to both CF cards   (which left 96kb open on both cards)
Interestingly it takes more than twice as long to upload to the CF (11:16 min) using the ExpressCard Adapter as it does Downloading to the Laptop 7,200rpm HardDrive , guess it should not be a surprise because the HD is fast, with a large cache.
Laptop is a 17" 1080p ASUS i7 quad core , two(2) 7,200rpm hard drives C: , and D:  ... with a ExpressCard slot 34. running Win7 PRO 64-bit.

* I should note  ... that I can see why others feel the CF slot guides are too short.  IF, you are not careful you "could" damage Pins on the Adapter/Reader.
Another small critique is the ExpressCard sticks out of the Laptop far enough away that it could easily get damaged imho.

My advice is to always:  Put the CF card into the SanDisk ExpressCard Adapter "FIRST" , then ...  put the ExpressCard Adapter into the ExpressCard 34 slot in the Laptop.
imho, it helps with two issues ...   the short card guide (that could damage your pins) ... and,  sometimes you might loose your ExpressCard Drive listing in Windows.
* but, it is easily solved by taking out and putting back in the ExpressCard Adapter.

Loading it this way , Kills two birds ... with a sensible technique of loading the CF.

One thing good about the design is , it does look like it will pack easy.   My only small concern is it's durability in a bag with other stuff.
The weak link seems to be the  metal to plastic connection , right where it sticks out of the Laptop.

Ok, now the Fun part ...   my TEST results.
fyi: after each  Copy from  Extreme PRO CF  to Laptop   ...  I did a  Delete >>>  Clean Recycle bin >>. then a full shut down and Start up.

Copy being done in Win7 Pro 64-bit and PowerDesk Pro (file Manager).

1)  SanDisk Extreme PRO 16gb CF  and SanDisk Extreme PRO ExpressCard Adapter  via Copy to Laptop  took  5:07 min and 5:00 min on the re-test

Anyone that has had to download this amount (14.8 gb) of  DNG, NEF, JPG  knows how long this could take.
* This is  FAST !    Real  FAST !

When you are downloading on location  ... this kind of Speed makes a differance.
You will notice this kind of speed  way before  the  in camera speed of this card on a Nikon D700/D3 ... shot to shot.  (even though the speed is there, even in camera)

Note: I mainly care about  CF to Laptop download speed.   
I already know the  Extreme PRO CF is way fast enough on a D700 for every day shooting.  measuring it does not matter to me.

2)  Now my old All in One USB Reader ... SanDisk ImageMate 12 in 1 USB and the same CF card  ...  it does all kinds of cards ...
It's time was a painful  17:40 mins.  and 17:29  on the re-test.

3)  Internal Multi Card reader on a i7 quad core Dell XPS with two fast 7,200 rpm Hard Drives  ... now this was a surprise because I normally do not watch the download.
31:47 mins !    ...  I only did   this once.   That was enough.

It's time to look for a ExpressCard Reader slot  add-on for my Desktop ... I think.

The combo of the SanDisk Extreme PRO CF and SanDisk Extreme PRO ExpressCard Adapter  was sooo Fast it was not even close.

When you have a Need for Speed.  
This combo is it ! ... 
SanDisk Extreme PRO CF and SanDisk Extreme PRO ExpressCard Adapter in a ExpressCard 34  slot.

And based on my prior experiance with SanDisk Extreme CF cards and the new SanDisk Extreme PRO CF 16gb  card  since Nov. 2009    ... these Cards are very reliable. With very good support.

Your in camera speed might be different depending on your Camera's support for UDMA 6.
So, watch for the  gotcha  there.

Hope this helps ...

Ross Hamamura
The Tourist of Light      :)

Saturday, August 21, 2010

BackUP ... Off Site Stratagy ... a must do

Any working PRO knows BackUps are a way of life.
On the job (hopefully)  via a  dual write in your camera   (waiting for a new Nikon D800 that has this ... and better yet a  CF/SD combo dual slot)

Or using a Portable disk like Wolverine MVP that has a Reader built in ... so you can just plug in your card and download for a fast back up On-site (at job).  and it is relatively small for a HD and Reader.
and can fit in a beltbag.

But, back in the office ... I have been loving the "modern" way of Off Site Internet based BackUP!
I should not have to tell you the value of Off Site BackUP.   Just think Fire or Robbery. Yes, it could happen to you. (even if you have an Alarm)
IF, your data is important (money) ... Off site BackUP is not an option , it is a MUST.

I use Carbonite.
Started thinking about this blog when I was automatically notified that there was a update to do ... which was Fast and Easy.  Talking minuites easy.  Did not even need a Re-Boot (but I did anyway).
Other wise I forgot about Carbonite.

* Just "Install it, Launch it, Forget about it"   ...   a quote from the Boston Globe, ...  Believe it! :)
Oh, you might want to click on a option:  " Display colored status dots on my files and folders "
This tells you in any Windows folder ... what files are Backed up ... which are going to be backed up ... and which will not be ... and just as important , YOU can choose which files are a PRIORITY to BackUP.
imho,   Last IN first OUT  on BackUps are the way to go.  
So, the Back up should go to the most recent unpaid jobs first.

You can easily do this in "any" file manager in windows  ... I have used it on WinXP, VISTA, Win7 Home, Win7 PRO.
Easy as Highlight the files you want ... Right mouse click  ...  go to Carbonite on the Menu ...  Click on " Back up this file as soon as possible "  ... Easy, DONE!

Things to note:  Carbonite by default does NOT back up  Video Files, and Program files.  You need to choose them.  (which for me is a smart default)   ...
You can do this with a Ctrl+A to highlight a whole folder and  do the Right Mouse click thing to bring up the Menu.  and Choose to have Carbonite BackUp anything you want.

Being that I have about  500gb of  image files that I feel are a priority  ...  * this is one thing about Carbonite I don't like. :)
When you first start Backing Up your files Off Site to the Carbonite Secure server  ... it trys to Download your files as fast as your Internet connection allows (more or less).
But, here's the wrinkle  ....   the First 30gb  goes fast  ... THEN,  Carbonite  throttles back your download speed  ... which is a tad slow for a  PRO photog shooting RAW  imho.

Have talked to Carbonite about this ... and they don't have a PRO  account ... yet. :)    Which would allow you to back up faster ... and keep up with your most recent shoots.

Right now I have 400gb on Carbonite and over 100gb still to go  ... and this is not even all my data files.   and I have been using Carbonite for a year.
fyi: Carbonite only Downloads when the computer is idle.
What I will say is ...  the files that are critical , are on Priority and are Downloaded.
* You just need to make sure to "choose" them as  " Back up this file as soon as possible ".
So, it's not as bad as it sounds.

I also have a 1tb  Network  Hard Drive   on a gig network ... that I  SYNC   after a job.    So, it only updates the changed files.
(this has saved me ,  when I did something "bad" other than a delete to a file ... and had to go back to the original file)

So, there you go  ...    this is my new  BackUP workflow.  Old School "BackUp programs" are "Dead to me".   as is multiple Hard Drives and  Optical Drive (DVD, Blue-Ray) BackUps.

I have been buying larger and larger HardDrives each year ...  and even though they are getting cheaper ... they are not more reliable ... and they are a humbug to take them Off Site, on a regular basis.  So, the cost of Carbonite every year is worth it.

This is my workflow:
* Carbonite for the AUTOMATIC ,  Off Site BackUps  ... as my Main BackUP

* Network Drive for after shoot  back up  ... on a Fast, easy (Memorized settings, in PowerDesk a file manager I love)  SYNC  of my image Data folder.   (this is so, I have a copy ... before I work on the files ... fyi: I also keep the files on the CF cards ... till after the SYNC or after the EDIT)
* Once a week  (more like once a month lol)   SYNC to a USB 1tb Hard Drive ... so I have a older version back up too.  
But, note:  Carbonite ALSO has some versions of your Backups ... Off Site.  (but, I am not clear on what and how)

* I should also note that I TURN OFF  the two external Hard Drives when I am not using them. So, nothing can flow on to them  ... like a Virus ... when not in use.
This is handy on the USB SYNC  HD  ... where I will go a week to a month , on the SYNC (sometimes longer).

The two Hard Drive BackUp's are just paranoia ... because I never really use them ... I go to Carbonite First. It's way toooo easy to Resore.   I am talking about using Carbonite's File manager looking utility, find the file , right click, Restore.  Done.
And Carbonite does do a SCAN of the files.

Hope this helps someone,
Ross Hamamura
The Tourist of Light   :)

Friday, August 20, 2010

UV and Polarizing Filters Test ... read this before you Buy!

If, you plan to buy UV and Polarizing Filters  for your expensive Lens  ... you should "really" read this FIRST !

Seriously,  if I read this  last year   ... I would not have bought my Expensive Heliopan UV and POL filters.
Particularly on UV, basically you just want it to get out of the way and be thin ... and cheap enough that if anything happens to it , you don't think twice about "just" replacing it.
this UV, Hoya HMC UV-0 gets my vote over the Expensive Hiliopan I currently own. and at LESS than 1/3 the Cost !
But, honestly I would probably buy the more expensive PRO-1 version  ... no Silly, not because it has PRO in the name LOL ...  because it should be more water and dirt resistant , and is THINNER which is important on a  wide.
Hoya Pro1 Digital MC UV-0

9/1/2013 UPDATE  ...  thought I would do a small Update to this blog.
I did buy the Hoya PRO 1 , and the Multi coat "ONLY" lasted me about two months before it was COVERED in Dings.
note: I shoot at golf events that I use a Black Rapid Double Strap with both my cameras hanging Down.
The Dings could NOT be taken out with my FAV   LENS PEN.
imho, it the LENS PEN cannot take it out ... it's gone.

What I will say to Hoya USA credit ...  They let me mail it to them and replaced it with the Newer MORE Durable  Hoya HD UV Line.
And I have been using it for about a year now.
Would say it is about as durable as my Heliopan Multi coat  CIR POL SH-PMC and UV  ... and "that" is saying something.

It's a matter of  Performance/Price/Value
IF, it is sooo close as it almost cannot be measured , or if it is clearly "Better" (which is crazy) ... what would justify the higher cost?  
As you can see by my gear list , I am not afraid of price ... but, there needs to be a "Clear" Performance HIT.

That being said,  it's not that the Heliopan's  (which I own three, from B+H)  are poor performers  ... the question that is debate-able  is ,  Is it worth the Price?   I submit: it is NOT.    
I am not a believer of defending an expensive product, just because I own it. :)

* So, I am hoping these LINKS will help others, make "Better" decisions. *

UV Filters:

Polarizing Filters:

4/27/2009 Reveiw Update:

Bottom line is  ... there is Differances  ... and paying more does NOT mean you get more.
And know, Just like Lens ... there is some "hard" numbers  that  can be comparied between Filters.
It's not just the Coat, or how many. Or the Price.

My Heliopan filters  are great when something splashes on them   ... things just roll off them.
The CIR POL turns very smoothly, and goes on and off easily. and the one I have has numbers markings on it  1 thru 26, which helps you remember where you had it at.
But, the two things I think are most important is. 
1) Light Transmission
2) * Flare Control

On Polarizing filters  add scattering   ... of course there is other stuff :)

And the non-optical part is  ...  I do want "Stuff" not to stick to it.   
* Want Water to roll Off it   .. which the Heliopan "does" do well (talking water splash , and a shake of the lens drops the water off it), 
but ... these test (on the LINKS)  clearly show under performance for these expensive filters, Optically.

So, NO   ...  if I had to do it over again  ...  I would buy another brand, on the TOP of the list.

note: yes, I do realize you should take any test with a grain of salt.
But, there is two things ...  Transmission , which is a measured number, not much room for human error. 
And Flare you can clearly see.
imho, would be easy to compare  ...  Filter OFF vs Filter ON.  :)

So,  learn from my mistake  ... research some tests/reviews ... before you buy.
wow, even on a filter  ...  there are tests out there.

Buyer beware, and read some Tests ... 
* Don't make the mistake I did and just go with a person you "think" knows ... word for it. :)  ... it takes a peson with access to many filters to do a compaire.
Here's another write up on my choice of a  CIR POL  , the Marumi DHG Super Circular P.L.D
And LensTIP:
AND, the cost is no less than 50% cheaper than my Heliopan ES Pol circ. SH-PMC  or a B+W
What's interesting about a TEST that is public ... in writing, on the web ... is that it is up to debate and fact checks.
Not talking "Spell Check/Grammar Check" ... talking  FACT CHECK.   
and you can BET,  that someplace, on a forum somewhere  ... that TEST will be debated and Fact checked. :)      ...  got to love the web!

Hope this helps someone   ...  it should save you a few dollars spent unnecessarily ,   I hope.

Ross Hamamura
" The Tourist of Light "

Friday, August 13, 2010

SanDisk Extreme PRO CF issues I had , are all solved

Just wanted to blog this in case someone missed it in my updates.

1)  My issue with my Extreme PRO 16gb CF card  not formating with my D700 ...
within 10 days SanDisk sent me (UPS 2nd Day air)  a New CF  ... YES, right out of the box it formatted on both my D700's  ... and it went thru that weekends shoot with no problems ... over 1,000 16-bit RAW shots in 2 days.  
and by the way has been humming along since.   fyi: I always format before a paid gig.

* I am impressed with SanDisk Customer Support  ... there  24/7  WEB Chat Support  ... and  the way (speed) they handeled my  problem.

It's going to be "real" hard for me to change to anything else.

2)  On the shipping version of Lightroom v3  ... while the Extreme PRO CF is in a D700 it ... can now Tether shoot  ...  
it could not with the Lighroom v3 BETA 2 
So, I guess it was a Lightroom issue that was fixed by Adobe ... and not a  D700 or Extreme PRO CF issue.
Or at the very least  Adobe found a work around.

So, YES  ... I am again Very  happy with this  FAST, FAST  ... Super FAST  CF card!

Now it's on to the SanDisk    Extreme PRO  "ExpressCard" Reader     ...   arguably the fastest Reader you can buy when combined with a Extreme PRO CF.

Need to mention that I have been using Sandisk CF's  since  Sandisk Extreme II. 
and still have them. (although they are in retirement ... or should I say BackUp)

Just thought I should UPDATE

Hope this helps someone,
Ross Hamamura  
The Tourist of Light    :)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Hawaii Wedding ... Lehua and Sonny ... Haleiwa, Hawaii

Did a really COOL wedding this weekend!     (can I still use Cool and Hip to describe?)

Lehua and Sonny

They have soooo much LIFE and FUN.      Tried to shoot it that way.

Probably one of the most FUN and casual weddings I have done to date.

It really did not feel like a job.
It was like I was taking images of a celebration.

a Crazy afternoon SUN ... either Bright backlight , or heavy overcast.
Had to fight the open sun all afternoon.

There ceremony was on a open / gated lot (large) overlooking Pipeline

... which is owned by surfer Kelly Slater (who was there, I think).
and was just below where they live.   (if you know anything about surfing and/or Pipeline, you know who he is lol)

They set up a huge tent , right in front of there home. complete with

a shuttle to a separate parking lot.  Nice touch.

They also had, an "old school" North Shore Ice cream truck doing dessert.

Really, thought I was shooting a young surf wedding movie. lol    ... all I can say is WOW  ...  glad I was a small part of it.
It was so much fun ...  hope my images reflect that.

with Music playing in the background, they "Rocked" the poses!