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 Sinclairification by Grant Sinclair

Don’t Leave Home Without It: A Digital Wallet review

30 Aug 2009

As mentioned in this article, a great way to store your digital photos without a computer is a digital wallet.  This may be the best way of the five options in the article; you have to carry around very little, but your eggs are, as the article states, in one basket.  If your digital wallet with all your photos is lost, stolen or destroyed, all your pictures are gone, too.

However, with some care, planning and back ups (like carrying an extra hard drive, copying your pictures to it and keeping it separate from your digital wallet), you should be okay.

Recently I picked up a digital wallet.  I got the Sanho Hyperdrive Colorspace UDMA 500GB.  That’s a lot to remember, but don’t worry, there are links at the end of this article.

This is an expensive item.  I thought it was easily affordable because I am made of money.  It turns out the money I am made of is Confederate Dollars and Italian Lire, so I had to make some financial adjustments to make this purchase.  Hey, we have two kidneys for a reason, right?

I was skeptical, I admit, to purchase an item from a company called Sanho; it’s an unfamiliar name that sounds like a Sony knock-off, like something I would find in the dodgy electronics area of New York.  “Sanho is same as Sony!  Is same!  Different outside, Sony guts!”  If you know what that is a reference to, I’m sorry.

In any case, the reviews on B&H Photo’s Web site for other Sanho products were glowing, so I gave it a shot.  And I’m glad I did; this thing is amazing.  It’s small, fast and easy to use.

Let me explain how it works:
1) You go out and take pictures all day.
2) During the day, when your card is full, you copy the images onto the Colorspace.  You can then erase the images off your photo card and reuse it.
3) When you eventually get to a computer, plug the Colorspace in to the USB slot and copy the images (which are in neatly arranged folders) to the computer.
4) Do with the images what you will; make CDs or DVDs, print the images, E-mail to friends, etcetera. 

Seriously, this thing couldn’t be easier to use.  There are two slots for photo cards; one for CF cards on top and the other slot for smaller cards on the side.  The menus are clear and easy to read and the full color display lets you review your images.

The hard drive inside the Colorspace is a SATA hard drive, so, if you’re technically inclined, you can buy just the casing for the device off the Sanho Web site and a 500GB SATA hard drive from someplace else – like Best Buy or Fry’s – and put it together yourself for less money than the 500GB version directly from the retailer.  Keep an eye on the sales and you could find a good deal.  I brought my pieces to Fry’s and they did it for me in about five minutes, for free.  Though I did buy the hard drive there.

There are a couple things to note once you get a Colorspace:

- The device comes with a tiny screwdriver for the tiny screws.  You’ll need to open the back to install your own personal SATA drive (if you buy one) and to remove the plastic by the battery.  There is a thin piece of plastic between the battery and the metal inside the case.  This is probably to protect the unit during transit, but you’ll need to remove the plastic, otherwise the battery won’t charge.

Tiny, tiny screws.  I used a macro lens for this picture.  The opening on the left is the CF card slot.

- Keep it dry.  Like iPhones and Gremlins, water is its enemy.  And not only water, but dust, dirt, etcetera.  One of my few complaints is that there are no covers for the USB or photo card slots.  The item does come with a case, but that only helps when the Colorspace is not in use.

- Keep it still while transferring.  This may or may not be important, but more than one person has told me that while you’re transferring images from the card to the Colorspace, it’s probably best to keep it still; set it on a table, your lap, a rock or some other stationary device.  It may harm the device if you jostle it around in your pack while it is tranferring.  It may be fine, but why take the chance?

- The images are stored like computer files.  When you look at the images on the Colorspace itself or on a computer as a USB device, they will be in folders labeled “SANHODEF.001”, “SANHODEF.002,” etcetera.  When you open each folder, you’ll find another folder labeled “DCIM” and another one labeled (for we Canon users) “335CANON.”  It’s a lot of digging to get to your images, but that is how they are stored.

- It will turn itself off when not in use for a while.  Like, maybe a minute or two.  It will not shut itself off when in USB mode.

- The buttons are kina clunky.  They take some getting used to, but that’s not really that big a deal.

Buttons; kinda clunky but not a big deal.

As I said, I love mine and look forward to bringing it across the globe with me.  It’s been quite reliable so far.  Let’s hope this luck continues.

© 2009


Hyperdrive size compared to an iPhone and US Dollar bill.

Hyperdrive full color screen.

Hyperdrive power switch and CF card slot.

Hyperdrive CF card slot and USB port.

Hyperdrive DC in plug.

Sanho's Hyperdrive Web site:

Hyperdrive UDMA:

Hyperdrive Case ONLY (No hard drive):

Amazon links:

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