In years past, creatives had to rely on small SD cards or portable HDDs to capture their work. But now, with the advent of portable SSDs, you can store, protect, and transport your files faster and easier than ever before. And, if you’re thinking about whether to get an internal or external SSD, try our helpful comparison of which is faster to help you make your decision.

Here are four advantages that photographers and videographers will enjoy after switching to a portable SSD:

External SSDs provide plenty of space

One of the most obvious reasons for choosing an SSD to back up your photos and videos is because of the sheer amount of storage you will need. Rather than fumbling around with multiple flash drives or HDDs, a portable SSD provides one simple and compact solution for photographers.

Photographers can easily store their entire body of work on a single drive. Image sizes range from 250KB for a low-res shot to over 6MB for a hi-res photo meant for physical printing. At an average file size of 5MB, your 1TB SSD holds 200,000 images. 

For videographers, the storage needs are even more acute. Depending on the camera you’re using, an hour of 4K footage could take up anywhere from 42GB to over 740GB. And, as a photographer, you likely want to edit your photos to reflect the highest quality, making the hardware for graphic design that you use all the more important. You’re dealing with a massive amount of data to store and transfer, especially once it comes time to edit the footage. 

From a workflow perspective, having multiple shots on the same drive allows your editing team to build sequences without needing to transfer massive amounts of data from different drives.

External SSDs are faster

SSDs are also significantly faster than other portable storage options. For example, the Crucial X10 Po Portable SSD can reach speeds up to 2,100MB/s, while an average HDD won’t break 150 MB/s. That speed advantage means seconds or minutes saved each time you access or export files. 

There are two elements of speed when discussing a portable SSD, both of which are important to creatives: read speed and write speed. Read speed measures how long it takes to open a file from a device. Write speed refers to how long it takes to save a file to the device. 

How does this difference in read and write speed have an impact on a real-life situation? Imagine being in the field. Your camera is getting full and you’re running out of daylight. You need to back up your files so you can get back to shooting. If you’re using a portable HDD, it might take 70 minutes for those files. Your portable SSD, on the other hand, would take less than 10 minutes to save. 

Read speed becomes important for photographers and videographers during the editing process. Whether you are touching up images in Photoshop or laying down tracks in Premiere Pro, the read speed will determine how quickly you can access the data. For data-heavy tasks, such as editing a 4K video, this can have a huge impact on your workflow. 

Fast read speeds will allow you to edit your files without having to first copy them onto your main computer.

Portable SSDs make collaboration easier

As the name would suggest, a portable SSD is, well, portable. So why would this be important for a creative in the field? 

For starters, this saves you the trouble of trying to copy your files only onto a laptop or PC. Not only is this unwieldy (imagine yourself carrying a desktop computer around a forest and trying to find power), but it also limits your workflow. 

With a portable SSD, you can quickly give your files to an editor or collaborator without waiting for hours to upload everything to the cloud. Plus, if you are in a remote location with no internet, you have a secure backup of your files. 

Even better, the SSD allows you to edit and read files directly from the drive, saving you the trouble of having to copy over every single file to your computer. This can especially come in handy when dealing with large file sizes while editing video, for example.

External SSDs are more durable than HDDs

If you’re shooting in the wilderness or trekking about town, you can relax knowing your files are safe with an SSD. Portable SSDs are built for extreme conditions and can handle the rough-and-tumble lifestyle of a creative in the field.

Unlike older HDDs, which rely on spinning disks to read information, SSDs have no moving parts. This makes them much more resilient against shocks, bumps, vibrations, and drops. When you are far from an internet connection, a secure backup is doubly important. 

Reliable storage is crucial to the workflow of photographers and videographers. Portable SSDs provide a faster and more durable solution over older HDDs and flash drives. Creatives can easily back up their files without an internet connection, transport massive projects to collaborators, and edit their files directly from the drive without any loss in productivity.


  • Do I need an SSD for photography?

    If you’re an avid photographer dealing with larger files or finding yourself in need of faster data transfers, an SSD is a must. External SSDs are a more lightweight, compact storage solution that’s durable, fast, and energy efficient.

  • What size SSD do I need for photo editing?

    Crucial offers external SSD capacities that range from 500MB to 4TB. Your selection will depend on the number of photos you plan to take, store, and edit. One terabyte may be a good place to start for secure, long-term storage that’s portable and spacious. But, if you’re a professional dealing with high volumes of photos regularly, we recommend saving yourself time now and going for 4TB.   

  • Is an external drive a good place to store photos?

    When it comes to saving your photos, you want to consider more than one location to account for possible problems in the future. It’s best to store your work locally or on the cloud, as well as on a drive to minimize the chance of anything getting lost.

  • How many pictures can 1 TB hold?

    One terabyte can hold roughly 200,000 pictures that are at an average file size of 5MB. These numbers will vary depending on the file size and if you include videos.


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