Although I always try to follow the 3-2-1 rule for my backups, it’s the “offsite” part that has always been the weakest. I have a Dropbox pro account that I use for most of my other files, but 1TB ain’t enough for all of those PLUS my photos. I use Google Photos to back up all my JPEGS, but they are at reduced resolution. I upload all my “finished” photos to Flickr at full resolution, but that doesn’t save any raw files. Amazon Prime Photos seems to fill that gap, and since I pay for Prime anyway, it’s no added expense. I’m currently uploading all my raw files (using the 100megabit connection at work), so I guess we shall see how well it works!
Anyway, this was just a PSA in case, like me, you already had a Prime subscription and you didn’t know about the ability to back up your raws.
Amazon had three cloud drive services: S3, Glacier, and Amazon Drive. S3 is scalable fast cloud storage, and you pay by the GB and bandwidth used for both upload and download. Glacier is unlimited back up “on ice.” You pay cheaply by the GB stored, and only pay for bandwidth when you download anything (upload is included with your nominal fee). These two are not part of Prime, you pay separately. Amazon Drive comes as part of your Prime membership (although you can pay for it by itself if you want), which gives you 5gb for any type of file, but unlimited photo storage, including raw files. To my knowledge, it’s the only such service in this price tier that does so.
Also, you can pay for Amazon EC2, which is a parallel processing computing architecture to run large processes. You can specify a Linux OS when you set up your EC2 job, and can connect to your S3 drive space. I’ve dallied with that a bit in my “day job”.
Quick update. I used the basic “drag n’ drop” web interface to start my upload yesterday from my fast campus internet connection. I started just with my 2018 photos, and I’m currently on file 1193 of 2745. So, it’s slow uploading, but not too, too bad. I will just plan to let it go over the weekend the next several weekends while I upload year by year. I only have digital photos going back to 2002 (my first digital camera), and the early years have fewer images and they are very small (no raw files back then!). I did something similar when I first started using Google Photos as a JPEG backup, so not the end of the world, even if a Linux client would be nice. I’m planning to use this as a strict offsite backup, so I’m not too worried about upload and download speeds.
There is a way to upload a whole nested file tree in one go. From the main Prime Photos page, find the “Add” button near the search bar, click it, and select “upload folder.” I pointed it to the base Photography directory on my external drive, and it found all 29596 images (don’t know how long it will take to upload, but I’ll leave it over the weekend).
Although the official documentation states that it only fully supports preview of Nikon and Cannon raw formats, I have found that it displays the embedded JPG preview in my Olympus ORF files just fine. It can NOT read the date/time stamps from those ORF files, however, so they are ordered by file name. You may want to do a batch rename to date-time stamp on all your raw files if they are not sequential. Mine are… mixed. But I think it’s more or less in order.
I’ve been backing my captures to Amazon Photos for some time, but only via drag and drop. Their daemon does not gracefully work with mapped drives. All my photos are on a Synology NAS and thus accessed via a mapped drive.
There is some hocus pocus you can go through to use mapped drives, but playing with it in the past only succeeded in deleting a bunch of photos from my NAS. Luckily I had a USB drive that I use for yet another backup…
Just a quick final update. I left it running over the weekend and all ~26k images uploaded fine, including raw files. It did NOT recognize any xmp sidecars, however, but that was expected. I feel a lot safer now knowing that my full res raws are backed up off site. Do I fully trust Amazon? Nope. But at least it’s something seemingly workable for the time being.