What are the two things a photographer can’t get enough of? If you answered lenses and photo ops, then you’re wrong. (Okay, maybe you’re right, but that’s not the point.) The two things a photographer can’t get enough of (at least for the purpose of this article) are space and security. There could never be too much space out there in the binary world when it comes to storage of photos and videos. And you can never really be too secure when it comes to the safety and well-being of your beloved artworks, moments, and memories.
That is, until now, with Western Digital’s My Passport Wireless. It’s a hard-drive capable of Wi-Fi which can keep up to 2TB. So Western Digital may be coming in a little late in the game, having just announced their own wireless drive in early September, and not having it available until later in the month. However, what they churned out seems to have enough muscle that it was worth the wait after all. What then makes this latecomer different from the rest? One big thing in particular, and a bunch of little things on the side: its own SD card slot and some very handy, fine-tuned features.
The main draw of the WD My Passport Wireless is its SD card slot and what it can do. This nifty feature eliminates the need of having to lug around a laptop or find a desktop just to backup photos. By simply inserting the card into the slot, you can automatically backup your shots or backup your shots and clear them from the card – which in turn spares you from the extra work of having to erase everything in-camera. If you’re the type of photographer who’s constantly traveling or is on the road, this could be a real game-changer.
On top of the SD card slot, the WD My Passport Wireless also has built-in FTP capabilities. Thus, if your DSLR can support it, you can backup files straight from your camera. This allows you to back-up your photos right as they’re taken. Just imagine the guarantee that affords you that no matter what happens in your camera, your photos are safe.
Of course, it doesn’t end there. Because really, backing up your photos in a hard drive isn’t enough is it? No. With the WD My Passport Wireless’s Wi-Fi capabilities, you can also peruse through your files via the WD My Cloud app on your cell phone or tablet. And it’s not just you. The device can support up to eight Wi-Fi clients, meaning that up to eight people can use the hard drive at the same time. If you have videos or movies on there, up to four people can stream at the same time. It’s also a pretty fast device with Wi-Fi speeds higher than most of its competitors, as well as decent reading and writing speed.
If you get tired of all the modernity though, you can always go retro and plug the device on a laptop through its USB 3.0 port. The hard drive however doesn’t automatically swap functions. You’ll have to switch off the wireless connection by pressing a button to make it work as a normal hard drive.
Like everything else though, the WD My Passport Wireless isn’t perfect. Its biggest crutch is a battery life that isn’t quite as powerful as the others. Though it claims a battery life of six hours if it’s in use, and twenty hours on standby, it really only averages five. This is not such a bad thing, when looking at its other features, but the My Passport Wireless’s competitors can outperform it in this aspect. Streaming also gets pretty choppy in HD, oftentimes needing noticeable time to buffer before playing again. The My Cloud app also has room for improvement in terms of loading speed. And lastly, the kinds of files it can read are limited to generally just media files.
Despite these setbacks though, the WD My Passport Wireless is still a pretty nifty device to say the least. With the convenience of mobility, portability, and ease of use, on top of its actual functions, this device will easily make itself the photographer’s very good friend.
Julia Escano – Shoot The Frame