Photo Focused and Cloud Backup Solutions for Drone Pilots and Content Creators

In this article, I will discuss and share details about the extent of the different Cloud Backup Solutions for Drone Pilots and Content Creators, as well as universal applications. It is important to understand all differences between providers, because they may seem the same, there are usually differences. We will also take a look at any file restrictions.

In the following sections, I will explain the difference between Dropbox, Google Drive, Box, and other services, and how you can use any of these cloud storage services to back up your photos and any limitations. It is worth considering using one or more of these services to ensure that your files are protected against loss.

Table of Contents

Backblaze Backup Awareness Stats

Every June, Backblaze conducts a poll for Backup Awareness Month to get a better understanding of how folks think about their data, what they use for their primary backups, and their history with data loss.

Backblaze shared some interesting consumer backup statistics to help you make smart decisions about your own data protection plans.

  • One in five people who own a computer and never back their data up are at risk of losing all the data on their computer.
  • Of the people who own a computer: 
    • 62% have lost data at some point.
    • 76% have deleted something by accident.
    • 51% have had an internal or external hard drive crash.
    • 52% have lost access to their data. 
    • 61% had a security incident (with 25% of those happening within the last year).
  • Only 9% of people who use the cloud utilize an actual cloud backup service (like Backblaze).
    • 36% use a cloud drive service as their primary backup while 17% use a cloud sync service as their primary backup. (However, it is crucial to use a cloud backup service as backup and sync services are very different.)

Photo Focused Cloud Backup Solutions

Google Photos

Starting June 1, 2021, any new photos and videos you upload will count towards the free 15 GB of storage that comes with every Google Account or the additional storage you’ve purchased as a Google One member.

If you have a Pixel 1-5, photos uploaded from that device won’t be impacted. Photos and videos uploaded in High quality from that device will continue to be exempt from this change, even after June 1, 2021.

Google’s words

If you plan to back up only photos and videos, I recommend Google Photos, but what about your layered PSD and TIFF files? These are not supported file types. I also found the ability to sort my content very flawed, but on the other hand, the automatic AI tagging feature helps to find what I’m looking for.

Now mainly because Google has changed its stance on non-pixel phones and has built-in storage limits. This is the case for frugal photo hoarders, but what about paid plans? Read on. I’ll go into the Google One plans in more detail later in this article.

File Requirements

Photos: .jpg, .png, .webp, .gif, and some RAW files.
Videos: .mpg, .mod, .mmv, .tod, .wmv, .asf, .avi, .divx, .mov, .m4v, .3gp, .3g2, .mp4, .m2t, .m2ts, .mts, and .mkv files.
RAW: Google Photos supports a whole bunch of RAW file formats. See Google Help Center.

Your files are not backed up if they: photos larger than 200 MB or 150 MP, and items smaller than 256 x 256 in resolution. I could not find any mention of a maximum video resolution, but these types of files are limited to 20 GB file size.

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Pixel Phone Advantage

If you have a Pixel / Pixel XL phone, you may still be able to upload an unlimited number of photos and videos in original quality from the device itself. You can copy your RAW or 4K video files to the phone and these are not included within your storage limits.

The original Pixel still has a lifetime duration of this perk, while the Pixel 2 lost this bonus in 2020 and the Pixel 3 until January 31, 2022.

You could buy a used original Pixel / Pixel XL dedicated only to just uploading to Google Photos for free. Amazon has the Pixel XL (Renewed) for $109 in Quite Black or Very Silver. 🙂

Amazon Photos Storage

This is particularly useful if you have already subscribed to Amazon Prime. You might as well use all the services you pay for and consider upgrading if you need more document (non-photo) storage.

Prime Members100GB1TB
Unlimited full-res photo storage
5 GB of video / document storage
per month
per month
Source: Amazon Photos

File Requirements

Photos: JPEG, BMP, PNG, GIF, most TIFF, HEIF, HEVC, HEIC, and some RAW format files.
Videos: MP4, QuickTime, AVI, MTS, MPG, ASF, WMV, Flash, HEIF, HEVC, and OGG.
RAW: Nikon (NEF files), Canon (CR2 Files), ARW (Sony), CRW (Canon RAW CIFF image), ORF (Olympus) files, DNG files
Source: File Requirements for Amazon Photos and Amazon Drive

If you fit well under these conditions or are already a Prime Member, this could be of great value for backing up your photos and some videos.

Don’t have Prime? Learn more about Prime and register here for a 30-day free trial and give its unlimited photo storage a try.

What I do really appreciate about this solution is that you can backup from your smartphone and/or desktop computer, automatically, whereas other solutions can be limited to just a phone or just a computer.

Amazon Photos in a Chrome tab accepts both the Sony A7RIII and DJI Mavic 2 Pro RAW files without any hassle from the Amazon site. It largely maximizes the 20-24Mbps upload of my Internet connection. You can organize your photos into albums through the interface on the Web, Android, or Apple apps.

There are options up to 30 TB as well with Amazon Photos Storage at $1,799.70 / year.

Flickr Pro

Monthly Plan3-month ProAnnual Plan
/ 1 month
/ 3 months
/ 12 months
Unlimited StorageUnlimited StorageUnlimited Storage
Source: Flickr

At $59.99 or less than $5 / a month is great value for unlimited photo storage, but RAW formats are not supported, so this is an important consideration when shooting in RAW file formats.

Sign up for a free Flickr account to test the user interface and ease of use for your use case. This is considered the “free trial” of Flickr and gives you a taste of how it all works. You can upload a certain amount of MB each month, you can see up to 200 photos on your Flickr stream, you can create 3 sets and you can join groups and the like, just like someone with a paid membership.

If you like what you see, you can purchase Flickr Pro with features like an unlimited number of photos, people and groups, unlimited storage, bulk uploads, privacy features and much more.

Cloud Backup Solutions for Drone Pilots

One of the easiest ways to get your files backed up outside of your household is to copy your files to a backup cloud provider like Google Drive or Backblaze.

Backblaze Unlimited Backup

Backblaze offers unlimited backup for your computer with a few limitations.

Option 1Option 2Option 3
computer / month
computer / year
computer / 2-year
Unlimited StorageUnlimited StorageUnlimited Storage
Source: Pricing for Backblaze Online Backup

File Requirements

There are no file restrictions that I could find for its service which is perfect for our large RAW files, DNG, and layered TIFF compositions.

The Good

If you find yourself needing a file you need to download you can download them one at a time or multiple files via a compressed zip file or all of the files from anywhere in the world.

There is also an option to have a flash drive or external drive sent to you with your files (for the price of the drive). iPhone, iPad, and Android Apps are available to you. You can choose to keep the restore drive at a cost or return it within 30 days for a refund.

There is no limit on the file size of the content you back up with the service which is quite miraculous, so there is no need to chop up your larger video content.


The biggest consideration is if you backup an external hard drive and decide later that you wish to remove this storage device, you will eventually be emailed an alert to plug back in the drive or risk having the service delete all of the files from this drive from the account. You may de-attach any HDD for up to 30 days.

Backblaze might be best for those who have a desktop with or without connected hard drives. If your use case can work with these considerations, this is one of the best values out there for cloud backup. You can try Backblaze for 15-days for free. No credit card required.

Google One

15GB – Free

100GB200GB2000GB (2TB)
per month
per month
per month
or $19.99
per year
or $29.99
per year
or $99.99
per year

File Requirements

With Google Drive you can upload any type of file, including executables (for example, .exe or .vbs) and compressed files.

Not a file requirement but something to keep in mind. Individual users can upload up to 750 GB per day between My Drive and all shared drives. If you reach this amount of data transfer you will need to wait until the next day to continue uploading. This is a very possible scenario for those with fiber internet.

To increase the storage space of your Google Account, you will need to upgrade from the free 15GB plan to its 100GB, 200GB, or 2TB Google One plan. These plans might be big enough for some but I have far surpassed these options.

It appears as of August 2019 there are also 10 TB, 20 TB, and 30 TB plans for $49.99/month, $99.99/month, and $149.99/month, respectively.

Google Workspace

Business StarterBusiness StandardBusiness Plus
$6 USD
/ user / month
$12 USD
/ user / month
$18 USD
/ user / month
30 GB cloud storage
per user
2 TB cloud storage
per user
5 TB cloud storage
per user

Google has abolished its unlimited storage, but at least you can get up to 5TB per user with the Business Plus plan for $12 USD / per user / per month.

Grandfathered G Suite plans

It was a hidden gem before Google removed G Suite Business plans which included limited space but it didn’t enforce the noted user requirement of 4+ users for unlimited storage. 🙂

Additional storage can be purchased beyond your plan but it gets quite costly at $89.00/per month for an extra 1TB of storage.

Final Verdict

What service should you use? It varies greatly depending on the type of photo / video files you want to back up, the number of files you want to back up, and the size of your files. In addition, if you already have Amazon Prime or have invested in an ecosystem like Apple, it could have a big impact on which service makes the most sense for you.

For me, my grandfathered G Suite plan is suited well for my needs if they allow me to keep this storage, otherwise I am going to be in a world of hurt if I need to transfer all of these files someplace else. There is quite possibly a way to buy one of these accounts somewhere on the internet.

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By Graydon Schwartz

Find out more about Graydon on the About Me page.

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