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Best External Hard Drive for Photos [2022 Review]

In: 
Published: 16/06/2021

As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

Every photographer’s nightmare is running low on storage without a backup external hard drive. Equipping yourself with the best external hard drive for photos is the only way to avoid such scenarios. In this review, we detail everything you may need to know to make an informed decision.

Our Top External Hard Drive Reviews

External hard drives are crucial components in the multi-step digital workflow process. The review below focuses on the best external hard drive for photos that will suit your storage needs.

Table could not be displayed.

Here's a quick recap of our top recommended external hard drives listed in this article. In this table, we've also included an overview of their top features.

ProductStorage CapacitySpeedWeight (Pounds)
Oyen Digital 10TB MiniPro10TB250MB/S2.83
SanDisk Professional 5TB G-Drive5TB130MB/S0.9
Transcend StoreJet 25M3 2TB2TB625MB/S0.5
WD 5TB My Passport5TB126MB/S0.5
Lacie Rugged Mini 5TB5TB130MB/S0.9
G-Technology 4TB ArmorATD4TB135MB/S0.8
LaCie Mobile Drive 2TB2TB130MB/S0.4
Transcend 4TB StoreJet 25H3B4TB625MB/S0.7
Toshiba Canvio Basics 4TB4TB153.8MB/S0.5
Seagate Portable 4TB4TB625MB/S0.5

Oyen Digital 10TB MiniPro

The No products found. comes with a whopping storage capacity of 10TB, the largest storage capacity on our list. It features a dual-bay RAID enclosure consisting of Type-C connectivity, as well as Thunderbolt 3 and USB 3.1 Gen 1 support for better transfer speeds. 

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Also, it provides RAID storage options, including mirroring, independent drives, striping, and merged drives. It features a spin-down capability to reduce power consumption and increase efficiency, a feature you won’t see in models like the Seagate Portable 4TB. 

However, it’s the heaviest on our list, which is inconvenient if you were to shoot for a prolonged duration. Like the SanDisk Professional 5TB G-Drive, it features a shockproof construction of an aluminum enclosure with a silicon rubber sleeve, making it impact-resistant.

Pros

  • It has the least power consumption on our list
  • It has the largest storage capacity on our list
  • It’s shockproof, suitable for any environment

Cons

  • It’s the heaviest on our list, making it hard to carry on shoots
  • It’s not strong as other models like the SanDisk Professional 5TB G-Drive 

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SanDisk Professional 5TB G-Drive

Whether you are in the studio or always moving from one place to another, the No products found. will provide you with pro-grade durability to protect your footage and photos. Like the G-Technology 4TB ArmorATD, this hard drive features a triple-layer drop and shock resistance made of the anodized aluminum enclosure. 

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Also, it has a durable rubber bumper and shock mounts, allowing it to withstand a pressure of around 1000 pounds. 

It comes with a large storage capacity of 5TB with an excellent speed of 130MB/s, which allows you to transfer your files fast and store thousands of high-resolution photos, unlike the LaCie Mobile Drive 2TB. 

It’s also compatible with Mac OS 10.12 and Apple’s Time Machine, and you can still reformat it to use with Windows 10. However, reformatting may be challenging to beginners, and ready to use options like the Toshiba Canvio Basics 4TB may be preferable. 

Pros

  • The construction is sturdy, ideal for tough circumstances
  • The storage capacity is bigger than that of Transcend StoreJet 25M3 2TB
  • It has better compatibility than the WD 5TB My Passport

Cons

  • It has a slower speed than G-Technology 4TB ArmorATD
  • It’s not Linux compatible, unlike Transcend StoreJet 25M3 2TB

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Transcend StoreJet 25M3 2TB

The No products found. is a stylish military green portable external hard drive, convenient for photography with its excellent transfer speed of around 5GB/s. Like the WD 5TB My Passport, it comes with an integrated 256-bit AES encryption to secure your data. 

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It comes with a built-in suspension system, a military silicone rubber sleeve, and reinforced casing, making it drop and shock-resistant, ideal for use in tough situations. 

It’s compatible with Operating systems from Windows 7, Mac OS X 10.7, Linux, and later versions, unlike the WD 5TB My Passport. Although it features the Transcend Elite data management software for organizing photos, it lacks automatic backup like the Seagate Portable 4TB.

Pros

  • It comes with data management software, helping you organize your photos
  • It is compatible with many operating systems, unlike the WD 5TB My Passport
  • It has advanced data encryption, ensuring photo security

Cons

  • It has a smaller storage capacity than SanDisk Professional 5TB G-Drive
  • The data transfer speed is less impressive than the LaCie Mobile Drive 2TB

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WD 5TB My Passport

The No products found. is a portable external hard drive featuring a slim design, allowing you to carry it around while shooting your photos. Unlike the Transcend StoreJet 25M3 2TB, it comes with a large storage capacity of 5TB, allowing you to store thousands of photos in RAW format. 

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Also, it features 256-bit encryption to enhance the protection of your images. To allow you to transfer your photos fast and continue with your real estate photography, it features a USB 3.2 Gen 1 connectivity for better transfer speeds. 

Unlike the Lacie Rugged Mini 5TB, it’s only NTFS formatted for Windows 10 and Windows 8.1, which is its biggest downside.

Pros

  • It has a large capacity that suits photography needs
  • It features a slim design, making it portable
  • It uses data encryption which helps secure your photos

Cons

  • Its compatibility is limited, unlike the Transcend StoreJet 25M3 2TB
  • It has the lowest transfer speed on our list, making it unsuitable if time is a concern

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LaCie Rugged Mini 5TB

Equipped with a rubber sleeve, the No products found. is designed for videographers and photographers in mind. It’s pressure and shock-resistant, unlike the WD 5TB My Passport, making it suitable for all environments. 

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Despite the small storage capacity, it features a USB 3.1 Gen 1 and USB 3.2 Gen 1, allowing it to deliver impressive transfer speeds of around 130MB/s. Nevertheless, it lacks management software, leaving the photos disorganized, and you may need to manually create a photo library. 

Unlike the WD 5TB My Passport, it’s compatible with Windows 7 and 8, the Mac OS 10.5 and later versions, making it more flexible.

Pros

  • It meets pressure-resistant, suitable for use in tough situations
  • It has impressive data transfer speeds
  • It’s compatible with many operating systems making it more flexible, unlike the WD 5TB My Passport

Cons

  • It has a smaller storage capacity than the Oyen Digital 10TB MiniPro
  • It doesn’t come with a built-in automatic backup, unlike the Seagate Portable 4TB 

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G-Technology 4TB ArmorATD

If you want an external hard drive that can take a beating, the No products found. is an all-terrain, rugged drive. It features a triple-layer drop and shock resistance, making it ideal for use even in the toughest conditions. 

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It’s equipped with an aluminum enclosure, a durable rubber bumper, and internal shock mounts, allowing it to withstand a pressure of around 1000, better than the Transcend StoreJet 25M3 2TB. 

Although it’s equipped with USB Type- C to Type-A and USB Type-C to Type-C cables to enhance versatility, it’s not compatible with Linux operating systems. Unlike the Lacie Rugged Mini 5TB, it comes with an impressive data transfer speed of 135MB/s, and a capacity of 4TB, making it suitable for image storage.

Pros

  • It features USB Type- C to Type-A and USB Type-C to Type-C cable, making it more versatile
  • It has better transfer speed than Lacie Rugged Mini 5TB
  • It features pressure resistant construction

Cons

  • The storage capacity is smaller than WD 5TB My Passport
  • It’s not as power-efficient as theOyen Digital 10TB MiniPro

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LaCie Mobile Drive 2TB

The No products found. comes with an enhanced data transfer speed of around 5Gb/s to 10GB/s, a high transfer rate that every photographer desires. Although it comes with USB Type-C and Type-A cables, the lack of micro-USB limits it.  

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Also, it comes with high-resolution multimedia storage options for videos and photos to suit your real estate photography needs, unlike the G-Technology 4TB ArmorATD. 

Besides, it comes with the LaCie Toolkit for folder mirroring across devices and automatic backups in a one-click process, ensuring you don’t lose your photos. It’s compatible with Mac OS and Windows operating systems for enhanced flexibility, unlike the WD 5TB My Passport.

Pros

  • It has the best transfer speed on our list
  • It’s the most lightweight on our list, convenient for carrying around
  • It comes with USB Type-C and Type-A cables, enhancing versatility

Cons

  • The lack of micro-USB limits its versatility 
  • It has a smaller storage capacity than SanDisk Professional 5TB G-Drive

No products found.

Transcend 4TB StoreJet 25H3B

The No products found. comes with a high-level three-stage protection system that meets the military drop-test standards, giving you data safety and the confidence your photos will be safe while moving from one location to another. 

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To meet these standards, it features internal hard drive suspension technology with a durable anti-shock outer shell made of military-grade shock resistance silicone. However, without data management software, you may face problems organizing your photo library. 

When transferring data, it uses an LED indicator which helps you to know when the transfer is complete. Like the LaCie Mobile Drive 2TB, it features a one-click backup for automatic data backup, ensuring you don’t lose your photos.

Pros

  • It has the best pressure resistance on our list
  • It features an LED indicator light, helping you know when the transfer is complete
  • It comes with an automatic backup, ensuring your photos are secure

Cons

  • It has a smaller storage capacity than Oyen Digital 10TB MiniPro
  • It’s doesn’t come with a data management program, and you will have to organize photos manually

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Toshiba Canvio Basics 4TB

The No products found. features a sleek profile design that is dust and moisture resistant, ideal for use in harsh temperatures. It features USB 3.0 for fast data transfer and a 4TB storage capacity, suitable for storing thousands of high-resolution photos, unlike the Transcend StoreJet 25M3 2TB. 

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Although it’s heavier than the LaCie Mobile Drive 2TB, the sleek design makes it compact and convenient for carrying around when shooting different properties. 

It comes ready to use with the Windows and Mac OS operating systems, and you don’t need an additional software installation to use this hard drive. Unlike the Transcend StoreJet 25M3 2TB, it’s not compatible with the Linux operating system.

Pros

  • It comes with a sleek design, suitable for carrying
  • It comes ready to use with the compatible operating systems
  • It’s dust and moisture resistant, suitable for all environments

Cons

  • Despite having a 4TB storage capacity, it’s not great like Oyen Digital 10TB MiniPro
  • Without an LED indicator, you may not know when the transfer is interrupted

No products found.

Seagate Portable 4TB

The No products found. is designed to grow your photo library, featuring an exFAT format and compatible with Mac 10.11 and Windows 7 and later versions of operating systems. It’s bus-powered, and you won’t need an additional power supply, making it convenient for carrying around. 

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Like the LaCie Mobile Drive 2TB, it features a downloadable Backup Toolkit that allows mirror folders for more effective file management.  However, you will need to manually download the toolkit, which may inconvenience you, especially in poor network coverage. 

Unlike Toshiba Canvio Basics 4TB, it comes with micro-USB to USB Type-A supporting USB 3.1 Gen 1 for faster data transfers and enhanced versatility.

Pros

  • It doesn’t require an additional power supply, enhancing portability
  • It supports an automatic backup toolkit to enhance photo security
  • It comes with micro-USB to USB Type-A, enhancing versatility

Cons

  • You will need to download the automatic backup toolkit, unlike Transcend 4TB StoreJet 25H3B
  • The lack of USB Type-C and Type-A cables limits its versatility

No products found.

External hard drive connected to a laptop

Conclusion

External hard drives for photos vary in capacity, features, and speed, and choosing the right one may be challenging. Although the best choice will depend on your storage goals, you can’t go wrong with any external hard drive from the above list.

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