best ssd for photo storage

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best ssd for photo storage

When it comes to portable SSDs, photographers should choose one that makes them feel safe and that they will have access to their files quickly when they need them. In order to make sure their files are backed up quickly and securely, photographers have turned to solid state drives. When it comes to preserving the best moments, you will need to pick one or more of the 11 best SSD for photo storage. They are durable, fast and reliable.

There are no moving parts on portable SSDs, which makes them less likely to break than older hard drives. Despite its benefits, this new technology is not free. There is a cost premium associated with the best portable SSDs compared to the best portable hard drives. The drive is smaller, lighter, and has a more durable construction inside, but it is faster and has a much faster data transfer speed.

A portable SSD does not require any drivers, either. Using your drive without reformatting is as simple as connecting it to a Mac or PC. Read more on Best PCI E Gen3 M.2 SSDs to Buy in 2023

11 best ssd for photo storage

LaCie Rugged USB-C

External drives for photographers that are the best

 best ssd for photo storage
LaCie Rugged USB-C

Those looking for rugged protection and a large capacity will appreciate the LaCie Rugged USB-C portable hard drive. Featuring capacities of 1TB, 2TB, 4TB, and 5TB, this USB-C portable drive is priced under $100, making it easy to connect this drive to your Mac or PC with a USB port or Thunderbolt port. The Thunderbolt 3 or 4 port can be used to connect USB-C drives! It is a fact that is little known by many people.

When I travel, I use one of these 5TB USB-C models from LaCie’s famed Rugged drive lineup. The large 5TB capacity of this drive is perfect for archiving my most recent year’s work, even though I typically use faster SSD drives in the field.

LaCie Rugged USB-C Price Check:  Amazon

Sandisk Extreme Portable SSD V2

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 best ssd for photo storage
Sandisk Extreme Portable SSD V2

Available in 500GB, 1TB, 2TB, and 4TB capacities, the Sandisk Extreme Portable SSD V2 offers a range of storage options. In a package small enough to fit in a shirt pocket, it delivers 1050MB/s read and 1000MB/s write speeds with USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 (10Gb/s) connectivity. Water and dust resistance of IP55 keeps your photos safe during unexpected circumstances, even when submerged briefly in water. A great value can be found in this external SSD.

Sandisk Extreme SSD’s NVMe SSD is identical to that in Sandisk Professional G-Drive SSD because Western Digital owns both Sandisk and G-Technology (now rebranded Sandisk Professional).

Those who want a more robust IP67 enclosure and those who are willing to spend a little more money can opt for the G-Drive SSD version.

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Sandisk Extreme Pro Portable SSD V2

Price Check: Sandisk Extreme Portable SSD  Amazon

Sandisk Extreme Portable SSD V2

These portable SSDs are available in capacities of 1TB, 2TB, and 4TB and are a bit larger than the non-PRO version. This portable drive features a USB 2.0 Type-C connector that is twice as fast as its smaller sibling – up to 2000 MB/s read and write speeds.

In spite of the fact that USB 3.2 is not a common connection protocol, it is still considered important. It should be noted that at the time of the writing of this guide, neither Apple computers nor PCs support this type of connection. The drive will run at 1000MB/s if your computer is not capable of supporting it due to the drive being non-compatible. That would mean that you might have paid more for a PRO version, but got no greater performance than you would have gotten if you had bought a non-PRO version instead. There is no point in wasting money on this! It is very important to make sure that your computer is capable of running USB two-way before purchasing this drive.

In addition to dust and water resistance, the Extreme PRO is also 6-feet drop-resistant, just like the smaller Extreme SSD. In terms of read and write speeds, this is an exceptional portable drive if you can use it to its full potential.

Read our review on Crucial BX500 SSD

Sandisk Extreme Portable SSD Price Check: Amazon

OWC Envoy Pro Elektron

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 best ssd for photo storage
OWC Envoy Pro Elektron

In case you are interested in protecting your files while traveling, the OWC Envoy Pro Elektron is the perfect solution. It is crushproof, dustproof and waterproof to IP67 standards, as it is milled from a solid block of aluminum.

The IP67 rating protects it from dust and allows it to be submerged in water for 30 minutes at 1 meter.

With a USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10Gb/s) connection, the Envoy Pro Elektron is theoretically capable of reading and writing speeds up to 1011MB/s. OWC Elektron delivers impressive speeds, as I demonstrated in my review. With its speed, durability, and size, the Elektron SSD is a great choice for travelers. There are two downsides: the price and maximum storage size of 2TB, which are understandably higher than Sandisk SSDs. There should be a 4TB version available soon.

Also related: Best SSD for Music Production Options

Samsung T5 SSD

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There is a wide range of Samsung T5 SSDs available and they are incredibly popular. This SSD is a reliable option if you’re looking for a no-frills SSD. A downside is that the NAND flash SSD technology used in the OWC Elektron and Sandisk Extreme is outdated compared to the newer NVMe SSD technology. Thus, the maximum read and write speed is roughly half that of the competition at 540 Mbps.

There are often sales on Sandisk Extreme SSDs. When they are on sale, they have similar prices to the Samsung T5, but offer more robust designs and much faster speeds. Make sure you do your research on this one. Buy Sandisk SSDs if they are on sale first and check the latest price. Otherwise, the T5 will do the trick on a tight budget.

Samsung T7 Shield SSD

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In the latest Samsung solid-state drive, Samsung has introduced the T7 Shield. PCIe NVMe technology gives it twice as fast speeds as the T5, clocking in at 1050 MB/s, plus it comes with a rubber case that is drop-resistant 3m and dust-proof IP65. Despite its slightly lower price than the Sandisk Extreme SSD, it is slightly more durable than its main competitor. However, prices should be compared since the Sandisk Extreme is often on sale.

Compact and lightweight, this mini-SSD comes in capacity options of 1TB and 2TB, measuring 0.5 by 2.3 by 3.5 inches. Even though Samsung offers a regular version of the T7 that isn’t rugged, I have little interest in it. You can greatly increase the protection of your photos by investing a few dollars more in the ruggedized Shield version.

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LaCie Rugged SSD PRO

best SSD for photographers

LaCie Rugged USB-C Price Check:  Amazon

With a Thunderbolt 3 connection, the LaCie Rugged SSD Pro delivers write and read speeds up to 2800MB/s. There are three sizes to choose from: 1TB, 2TB, and 4TB. This is one of the fastest external drives on the market. And it is ideal for photographers who also want to edit multiple streams of 4K, 6K, or 8K video music from a variety of sources. LaCie also offers a much more affordable USB-C version of the Rugged SSD. This is handy if you don’t require editing uncompressed high-resolution video directly from the drive.



LaCie Rugged USB-C Price Check:  Amazon

WD My Passport Ultra

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You can choose from 1TB, 2TB, 4TB, or 5TB capacities of Western Digital (WD) My Passport Ultra T. With its cheaper price and often on sale, this is an excellent choice if you don’t need the extra protection of a more rugged portable drive. Featuring a USB-C port, the My Passport Ultra comes with a USB-C to USB-C cable, as well as a USB-C to USB-A adapter that allows it to work with Macs and PCs alike. SSD versions of the WD My Passport are also available for those seeking extra speed and reliability.

HDD vs SSD: what is the difference?

Solid State Drives (SSD) or Hard Disk Drives (HDD)? Photographers often ask themselves this question. However, SSDs are significantly faster than HDDs, which are typically much less expensive.

An HDD records your data using moving parts and is older technology. Your data is recorded on magnetic tape and spinning wheels and arms using mechanical parts.

There are many advantages to SSDs over HDDs, including their size, weight and speed. SSDs work by simultaneously reading and writing data across their many cells through flash chips. In addition to making them faster, this also increases their cost. There is generally a huge difference in price between SSDs and HDDs when it comes to gigabytes.

A backup of your backup is also a good idea, as flash cells wear out over time.

Read more on  Best SSD for video editing

SSD or HDD: which is best?

A HDD is probably the best option if all you want to do is preserve an archive of photographs for posterity. Although mechanical parts will wear and tear over time, they shouldn’t cause too much damage if they are simply used to store your image archives. There is, however, a risk of shock occurring with HDDs.

Using your external drive for daily or weekly backups and working with your external drive as part of your daily workflow will likely require SSDs with large capacities and faster read and write speeds.

The technology behind SSDs is continuing to develop, which means that they will increasingly become the dominant devices in the near future. The price of these products will also be pushed down as a result.

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External or portable storage: what is the difference?

External drives, excluding SSDs and HDDs, can be divided into two types: self-powered, large storage devices used at home for backups. Optical discs are typically stored on these drives outside of your computer. Compared to USB-C and Thunderbolt drives, USB external drives are now very slow and should only be used for backup, but they’re also super cheap for their capacities, so it’s well worth buying one to back up everything.

You should look for an external drive with USB-C or Thunderbolt 3.0 connectivity if you are editing video and need an external as a working drive.

Power is supplied by the machine with which portable drives are being used. If you want a portable that won’t break, make sure that you get one with an appropriate connector, USB-C is ideal, besides that, older USB, but steer clear of USB 3.0 – most portables that fail have crappy connectors.

Things to consider when shopping for external computer storage

It is important to consider the storage capacity of the drive as well as the read and write speeds when shopping for computer storage. A drive with a larger capacity and a faster read/write speed will usually be more expensive than one with a smaller capacity and a slower speed.


In the case of photographers, speed and reliability are probably the most important features. In the case of videographers, capacity is likely to be more of a concern. For you to take full advantage of futureproofing the speed of your computer storage, you should choose USB 3.1 or 3.2 models. The 3.0 models, and slower.

Drives built for outdoor use or in a location with limited desk space may benefit from rugged construction. Rugged features tend to offer additional protection. It is necessary to format the SSD based on the platform you intend to use it on. You should do this before it can be used on either Mac or PC. SSD drives are generally compatible with both Mac and PC platforms.


In terms of computer storage, physical size, colors, and design elements can vary greatly, but the most important factors are performance and capacity. However, the most important thing about SSDs is that they can fit your bag and fit all your files. We suggest these photo storage options for people who want to keep their photos in their pockets.


There are a lot of USB-C drives available on the market right now. When choosing a device, ensure that it comes with a cable that is compatible with the actual connections on your computer. You may need to carry an external cable with some drives since they already have the cable integrated. If a cable dies, the whole device will be lost. The former makes it easier to find cables (you’ll never be out of luck if you forget a cable), but if it dies, the entire device will be lost.

Final thoughts on best ssd for photo storage

It takes an average HDD about five years to reach its end of life. If the drive has been properly maintained and has not suffered accidental damage, this should be the case. Conversely, the failure rate of a SSD can be determined. To do this dividing the amount of data that is written to the disk over the course of its lifetime. Additionally a backup drive can fail for a variety of reasons.  sometimes there is no denying that they are unpredictable. As well as this, there are some other factors that could account for it lasting much longer than expected. Keep your HDD/SSD in good health and you will be in good health too.

What size hard drive do I need?

Leave some room for growth in the future when estimating the amount of data, you backup. You should start with 1TB of space.  And it will often be enough to add more files as they become available. However, if you have thousands of RAW photos, you might benefit from extra storage. This may also apply when you work on large projects like videos