Jeremiah Rogers

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Gear Suggestion: Cheap SSDs and Smart Previews in Lightroom

A few months ago I wrote about using a $100 256gb flash thumb drive as a mobile photography backup solution. Over time the drive got slower and slower to be almost unusable. I no longer recommend doing this.

Recently at a computer store in Phnom Penh I bought a 512GB SSD like this for only $200 USD. I put the drive into a cheap $13 housing like this, which was a totally non-intimidating process, and now have a lighting fast mobile backup solution for my laptop.

The drive is also fast enough to use as an external hosted library for my back catalog of images. In Lightroom you can add files from an external disk and as long as you build smart previews can even edit the images at close to full size without having the external disk attached. I wish I’d know about this earlier.

Current SSD prices are much lower than what I saw only seven months ago. For my trip I originally considered using a 480GB OWC SSD but balked at the $400 price tag. For $210 I think that the 512GB solution I outlined above is much more reasonable.