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  1. #1
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    Oct 2005
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    What CD and DVD formats are best for photo storage?

    I want to store 1,000 photos to a blank recordable CD and/or DVD. There are different types: -R, +R, -RW, +RW. Also, there are 2x, 4x, 12x, 16x, and so on. What is the best to use and why?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by bascom View Post
    I want to store 1,000 photos to a blank recordable CD and/or DVD. There are different types: -R, +R, -RW, +RW. Also, there are 2x, 4x, 12x, 16x, and so on. What is the best to use and why?
    The x factors are speeds. In practice (from personal experience) I have never seen a 16x DVD recording at greater than 2.55x despite my having an 8x writer. The published speeds are IMHO a bit different from the reality.

    RW or R - RW CDs and DVDs can be used like floppy disks for transfer between computers. For long term storage they're reputed to be a poor option.

    CDs don't have a +/- version although some idiots writing catalogues think they do. With CDs it's either R or RW.

    For DVDs, the three formats are +, -, RAM. There are dual layer DVDs as well which are solely for use with dual layer drives.

    There's no difference between the formats for photo storage - they all work. There are technical differences but honestly they're not worth thinking about.

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Use DVD. You can store much more data and have all you photos on one disc, instead of several CDs.

    As far a R vs. RW, it is personal preference. R are cheaper but you can only burn to them once. RW can burn multiple sessions, but are a little more expensive (and reportedly don't last as long).

    I personally back my photos up every 6 months. I burn DVD-Rs. I make 2 copies, one goes into my fire safe and the other goes to my inlaws house so I will always have 2 copies in different locations. This is in addition to the fact that I save all my photos on my laptop and my home computer. It is imperative that you have multiple copies of photos in multiple locations. Nothing is worse than having your hard drive take a crap and realize all your pics are on that drive with no back up. Redundancy is a must.

    Write speed doesn't really matter, other than the fact the higher the write speed, the faster the DVD can be created. Use the fastest speed to decrease your time backing up your images.

    Hope this helps a bit.

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    Last edited by LeeSC; 06-18-2007 at 10:26 AM.
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  4. #4
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    Faster speed is better because it takes less time to write to the disk. If the disk is rated at a faster speed than your drive, then the drive will simply write at it's maximum speed.

    As long as your drive isn't REALLY old, + or - shouldn't make a difference. Anything less than 5 years old shouldn't be a problem.

    "R" means the disk can only be written to once. "RW" means you can erase the disk and write to it more than once. "RW" disks are slower, so writing to them takes longer. "RW" disks also can't usually be used in car, home stereo, or tv set-top players, and they won't work in an older computer drive that can't also write to "RW" disks, but that shouldn't be an issue since you're burning data disks not music cds or video dvds.

    Bear in mind when buying disks that quality counts. Off-brand or cheap-o disks are far more likely to fail. I've had excellent results with Fuji and Verbatim, and decent results with TDK.
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  5. #5
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    Great advice guys, thanks. I read that R images last longer than on RW. I talked to a clerk who said RW is terrible. He has seen RW's fail after only two days.

    I read with -R or +R you can view photos in a TV cd/dvd player as long as they are compatible.
    Last edited by bascom; 06-18-2007 at 01:28 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    2,132
    Yes you can, and -R is more widely accepted for compatibility.

    I use the Verbatim 16x DVD-R in the 100 packs. After their rebates they cost under $20 and are considered to be one of the highest quality discs. At 20 cents a piece you can't go wrong.

    Also something not mentioned yet, a CD holds 700mb while a DVD holds 4.7gb of data.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rhys View Post
    The x factors are speeds. In practice (from personal experience) I have never seen a 16x DVD recording at greater than 2.55x despite my having an 8x writer. The published speeds are IMHO a bit different from the reality.
    I burn my 16x discs at 12x for safety/compatibility reasons. I never burn at max speed. They always burn at the speed I select. Are you sure your drive is set up correctly? At 8x a full 4.7gb DVD should take only ~8 minutes to burn. At 12x its around ~6 minutes.
    Last edited by Visual Reality; 06-18-2007 at 04:34 PM.
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