GIGA Vu SONIC Picture Storage Device

Recently I read an article about a photographer who detailed what he brought when he went on assignments. One of the items was a laptop computer, for "copying and backing up picture files" he's taken. I guess he has a strong back to lug that behemoth around. Some camera backpacks even come have pockets to accommodate laptops. Too bad this character never thought of the JOBO GIGA Vu SONIC.

No one seems to agree on what to call these gadgets. One company refers to them as "photo safes." Another tags them as "photo storage devices." JOBO calls its GIGA Vu SONIC model a "picture storage device," so we'll go with that. What it does is similar to the JOBO Spectator: it allows you to insert small SD and CompactFlash cards and copy them to the hard drive within. (Four hard disc capacities up to 250 GB are available.) Its download speed is 2 GB of data a minute. At 10 ounces, it's certainly not going to break your back to bring it along on shots. In fact, its case even has a belt loop so you can attach it right next to your cell phone.

It comes with a USB cable, AC adapter (100-240V), and car adapter. In a stroke of genius, the USB cord can attach to the AC adapter or the car adapter, so you only need one cord. It can do RAW decoding of numerous RAW image files, such as the Canon format, which we tested. It has a large high resolution 3.2 "color display and can perform numerous picture functions, like zooming in and examining a picture for focus.

The instruction manual is the weakest link in the product package. While it can get you up and running, it omits several procedures and explanations. How do you create "shortcuts" that appear on the opening menu? What's the difference between "Incremental backup" and "Incremental backup (OTG)?" What do they mean by OTG? On the Go?

Apart from that, the GIGA Vu SONIC is easy enough to use and, unlike competitive models, can do incremental backups as well as full backups. (One maker said that incremental backups would be "too hard" to devise for his product.) Incremental backups ensure that the device does not fill up with needless duplicates of picture files. The screen has three brightness levels for battery conservation. You can also benchmark both its hard drive and the memory card you insert, displaying its best and worse performances. It also has a USB mode, should you want to access (or delete) its contents.

This is a worthy tool to own and could replace your unwieldy travel laptop.


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