What I Won’t Travel Without: Fstoppers Reviews Caldigit’s Tuff Nano

Between 45 MP raw files and 4K video, it’s tougher than ever to ensure that the content you produce on a trip can actually make it home. Add Apple’s absurd pricing for a soldered-in SSD, and you can probably spend as much on storage for a trip as a business class plane ticket. Caldigit is a name you might not be familiar with, but it might offer the perfect solution.When it comes to storage and backup in the field, there’s a multitude of options. While I’ve known some photographers to just pack a bag full of memory cards, this doesn’t work for me. Not only do I want to have the safety net of making backup copies of my files, but it’s also great to be able to get started with post-processing right in the hotel room. This is also a great practice for another reason: checking your files on a bigger screen. In the past, I’ve caught everything from annoying dust spots to an AF miscalibration, saving hundreds of subsequent shots that would otherwise be impacted.For use in the field, I’ve got a few requirements: the storage needs to be bus-powered (meaning no external power bricks needed), fast enough not to bottleneck my workflow, and durable. Before SSDs dropped in price, I used Western Digital’s My Passport drives. At 1 and 2 TB, these were plenty spacious, but I had some durability concerns. They use a delicate micro USB cable and a shock-sensitive spinning disk, making them not a great setup for travel. Over the last year or so, SSD prices have fallen enough to make external SSDs a viable option. If you keep an eye on sales, you can find 1 TB for less than $100, or 512 GB for less than $70.CalDigit’s Tuff NanoSince I first switched over to SSDs, I’ve been using Sabrent’s Rocket Nano, but recently, I thought I’d try out CalDigit’s Tuff Nano. The Tuff Nano has a design reminiscent of Lacie’s Rugged line, with a grippy rubber bumper running around the edges (thankfully, they left out Lacie’s absurd price premium). On the drive is a USB-C port, hidden under a rubber flap. The packaging is surprisingly great for a mundane computer accessory, with the drive, USB-C, and USB-A cables all coming in a sturdy, reusable plastic clamshell case.

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