How to use external HDD/Pendrive with android to backup your DSLR pics on the go

When i travel, i generally carry my 32gb card and an 8 gb one. But sometimes when travelling for more than a week, one needs more storage when shooting RAW images and specially Videos. For my Ladakh trip, i knew i couldn’t count on those virus infected cyber cafes to backup my Pics and videos. So then ? carry a laptop ? Sure if its possible, but what if you’re backpacking through the mountains on a bike, or you cannot carry a heavy suitcase to some place you are headed ? It can be anything.

The Main purpose of this post if that if by any chance one cannot or does not want to carry an extra device to just backup some pictures/videos from their camera, you can do so with just an Android device with an OTG capability.

So lets begin with the things we need for it.

  1. A camera of any kind which takes in a memory card
  2. A card reader which can take in the camera memory card you are using
  3. An Android phone capable of OTG (How to tell if your phone Supports OTG)
  4. A USB OTG Cable
  5. A backup drive, like an external HDD or a pen drive

So first you would be transferring the data from the camera to your phone.


In this case you can do two things.

1. You either transfer directly from the Camera to the phone or

2. you plug in the memory card from the camera to the card reader and then transfer to the phone.

Now why i did the latter was because a lot of cameras or phones don’t yet support import of RAW files. So its better to stick to the card reader style for the “mass storage” mode.

So you transfer the data on to your phone storage (internal or external depending on how big the files are and the size of your phone storage).


Now after you have transferred the files to your phone, its time to take out the card reader usb from the OTG and plug the external HDD or a pen drive to that end of the OTG cable, once it’s done, the android phone should show the device automatically and sometimes even open the file browser. Now you navigate to the folder in your phone where your stored your files and copy/move them to the new device connected (In my case it was the USB Drive A).


It’s as simple as that. For your convenience, i have also attached a video showing the process.

Stuff which i have used in my scenario –

  • Card Reader: Monoprice card reader Usb 3
  • Pen Drive: Corsair Flash Voyager GT 64gb 3.0
  • HDD: Seagate 2TB Backup Plus Portable
  • Phone: Samsung Galaxy S IV (GT i9500) running 4.4.2
  • CF Card: Sandisk 32gb Compact Flash 60mb/s speed
  • Camera: Canon 5D Mark II
  • OTG Cable: Local make from eBay

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