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Everything You Need to Know About Hard Drives for Photographers
hard drive

Everything You Need to Know About Hard Drives for Photographers

Image storage is very important to consider. Hard drives are a common choice, as they come with plenty of space and a decent speed of reading and writing. Portable drives, for example, provide storage on the go. Keep reading to get all the information you need about hard drive photographers.

Common Hard Drive Questions

Inside and Out — What Is the Difference?

There are two types you can buy — indoor and outdoor. When we say ‘internal’ we mean inside your computer, inside a PC tower, or attached to your motherboard. These do not have a casing, as they usually live in a well-protected area.

Your PC needs an internal hard drive to operate. The hard drive serves as the ultimate device for your computer applications and operating system. Most PCs have several internal hard drives, giving you extra storage.

Internal hard drives are available for purchase and expansion as you see fit. This is for PC only. Mac makes it very difficult to replace an internal hard drive, in that case. Although impossible — some users have changed their primary HHD to their MacBook Pros to get a faster SSD.

For most Macs and laptops, there is only enough space for one hard drive. The hard drive needs to be connected unless additional storage is required. Here, you have the option of a portable, extended, or backup hard drive system. To make things even more confusing, you can use internal hard drives as external storage. You can use a fenced area or docking station to allow your computer to connect to hard drives. These are cheaper options and can be much larger than the last exterior stand-alone options. They have some weaknesses, so consider them when you decide.

Photo of an external hard drive sitting on top of a laptop

Best External Hard Drive for Photographers?

The external hard drive is very important for photographers. As new technologies emerge, larger decisions allow you to make full use of details and colors.

However, with a good resolution, it comes with a large file size. Today, digital images can capture up to, and exceed, 82 MB per shot. The raw file from the Sony a7R III will achieve this easily. It means that with a 16GB card, you can expect to take about 200 photos.

This can be a few days of photography if you are a photographer of the world. There are 256 GB CF or 1 TB SD cards you can use with your digital camera, but who wants to surround all their photos? What happens when you are outside and away from your backup hard drive at home? A local wedding can lead to thousands of photos in a few days. You need a way to keep them.

Camera memory cards are more expensive compared to external hard drives. For external hard drives, there are three different styles. It has backup hard drives, portable hard drives, and external hard drives.

Which Seagate Is Better Or WD External Hard Drive?

Seagate and Western Digital are two of the most popular HDD manufacturers and end-to-end SSD devices.

There is little difference between what they do and what they do. They have to be similar in both respects because of their competitiveness in the market.

However, each one will have reviews based on their quality, reliability, speed, and failure levels. This is similar to looking at two 85mm f / 1.4 lenses made by two different manufacturers.

Some users claim that Western Digital has a low failure rate. Some say they have no problem with hard drive manufacturers.

Photo of Seagate and Western Digital hard drives

What To Look For In Hard Drive?


Here, we look at cost and speed. The hard drive is very common and can work well.

The HDD uses magnetic heads to read and write and is limited in its speed. The ultimate SSD device uses bright memory and can read and write very quickly. SSD storage format is most effective on laptops.

Many users switch their internal CD drives or HDDs to get a faster SSD storage system. Hard Disk Drives are cheaper versions than smaller SSD siblings. You will need to pay for a faster literacy system.

Mac or Windows?

There are differences between Mac and Windows. Another big difference is the last platform they use.

If you’ve ever tried to connect a Windows-enabled storage device to a Mac, you know what I mean. Cross-platform storage is a bit complicated and often fails. Mac can read Windows file system formats, but not the other way around. Mac uses Mac OS Extended on all four different types but also gives you the option to format exrAT and FAT drives.

If you have a Windows operating system, you will need to configure your hard drive in Windows format. Another option is to try and format the drive to work on both Mac and Windows.

opened up hard drive so you can see the motherboard

Read or Write?

There are two ways you can use your last resource — reading and writing. Reading means pulling information and data from your hard drive. Typing allows you to save data to your storage device. Are you planning to use your hard drive to back up your photos?

Then you will need faster-writing speed. Reading speed will help those who want to edit photos sitting on their HDD. Knowing what you will need will guide you in the right direction when it comes to buying or using a hard drive. Knowing when you need faster speeds will help you find the right HDD or SSD. The 7200 RPM HDD will give you 80-160MB per second. The 5400 RPM HDD will give you about 100MB per second. But an SSD will give you speeds of anywhere between 200 and 550 MB per second.


There’s a lot to consider when choosing the best hard drive for photographers. There are tons of different hard drives with different reading and writing speeds, storage capacities, backup protection—the list goes on and on.

I hope this article has helped you learn about hard drives to help you make the best decision for which one you need.


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