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Hard drives options for location editing and storage


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#1 Drew

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Posted 04 August 2008 - 01:04 PM

With the recent debate on various HD cameras going to flash media and hard drives, I thought it'd be appropriate to name a few drives that make on location backup and even editing easier.

With many newer laptops carry FW400, FW800 and even eSATA connections, it's now possible to get fast enough drive enclosures to make archiving in the field easier. With the use of eSATA connections allows fast speed access via the laptop. Note that presently eSATA express 34 cards in express 34 slots on laptops are limited to 134MB/s, probably due to the architecture of the slots. Comparatively a real Express 54 slot on a desktop, which can easily go much faster.

The first compact enclosure to hit 1TB is the La Cie Big Little Disk Quadra. This enclosure is made of aluminum and mates 2 2.5" 500GB SATA drives together. The interfaces include eSATA, FW800 (400 compatible) and USB 2.0. What is cool about this device is you can use it in RAID 0 or 1 and it can be FW bus powered. However the eSATA and USB interfaces rely on the supplied power supply, which limits it's portability. It's also pretty heavy but it does look very cool. I have the older version. The price: MSRP$699 Street approx $550.

A much more versatile device is the Sonnet Technologies Fusion F2 1 TB system. This design is a bigger unit than the La Cie but it does something that the La Cie can't. It can use the eSATA interface while using the FW bus power from your laptop, making it a truly portable drive solution. It also uses 2 2.5 SATA drives and can be set as RAID 0 or 1. It can even take Pro Res HD HQ from an AJA iOHD. MSRP$999 Street approx $800

Now if those alternatives are a little too much investment, there are cheaper, less versatile (but no less functional) storage options.

The Nextodi Extreme ND 2700 enclosure that have built-in 9 format card reader onto a 2.5" SATA drive which has eSATA and USB connections. It has its own power source (Li ION battery that is rechargeable) and automatically downloads the cards without the use of a laptop. The Video Storage ND2725 allows the backup of Sony's EX series and Panasonic HVX series cameras with direct USB connections to the cameras. Both enclosures can fit a 2.5" 500GB harddrive. Both have li ION batteries built in which can be recharged via the USB port. However, they are technically not buspowered as the battery will drain even when plugged in via USB.

With these new tools, field backup and even editing has taken new life and offers compact solutions for those shooting on locations or travelling.

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#2 craig

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Posted 05 August 2008 - 07:27 AM

There is also the G-Tech G-RAID Mini. It is a two drive, 2.5" aluminum chassis that supports hardware RAID 0. It lacks the RAID 1 and eSata features of the others and, for some reason, is still not offered with the 500GB drives. It could certainly take them and I expect they will when availability improves.
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#3 cor

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Posted 05 August 2008 - 11:06 AM

I guess for video it's good to have bigger drives, but i love the toughdrive 2.5" drives from Freecom. You can buy them in 500GB version now, buspowered. Two of those, weighing 200 grams each, take up no room at all and are well protected.
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#4 Drew

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Posted 05 August 2008 - 02:11 PM

Thanks guys. The reason I wrote this was to emphasize eSATA connections have moved mainstream. While FW800 is adequate for backing up, it is limited to 66MB/s, whereas eSATA is at 134MB/s. The eSATA interface isn't bus powered but the extra speed helps smooth out the workflow of backing up and clearing the flash cards for further shooting. The most important thing is these drives are fast enough to edit with multiple streams of HQ codecs like Pro Res 422HQ.
Furthermore, the drives selected for use are OEM drives which have freefall detection/shock isolation features, something that isn't easily available in the public yet.
For those looking to add eSATA to their laptops, all of the eSATA express 34 cards use the Silicon Image Sil3132 chipset. So buying any card with that chipset is all that is needed. The prices vary from $35-99, but these cards will work with Mac OSX. Windows and Linux if you download the drivers from Silicon Image directly. The more expensive cards usually give you a CD with all the drivers downloaded... a $60 feature. :)

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#5 cor

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Posted 05 August 2008 - 03:28 PM

Ive switched to eSATA for everything at home as well, it's just so much faster. It's great to see they're now selling these more mobile disks with eSATA! Cool stuff.
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#6 echeng

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Posted 05 August 2008 - 03:57 PM

Like Cor, I use a combination of eSATA and gigabit ethernet for everything at home. I use FW800 on the road. I hate the idea of having to put an eSATA card into my computer and then power the drive off of some other bus.

But I don't do any crazy video stuff.
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#7 Drew

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Posted 05 August 2008 - 04:39 PM

Eric I know what you mean...esp on a MBP where the FW800 plug and Express card are on opposite sides of the computer, requiring longer cables... another PITA to travel with.
It's definitely not something for everyone, but the functionality is unprecedented for mobile storage and with video moving towards flash media, it couldn't come at a better time.

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#8 jeremypayne

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Posted 11 August 2008 - 10:19 AM

There is also the G-Tech G-RAID Mini. It is a two drive, 2.5" aluminum chassis that supports hardware RAID 0. It lacks the RAID 1 and eSata features of the others and, for some reason, is still not offered with the 500GB drives. It could certainly take them and I expect they will when availability improves.

I was very interested in this little guy, but the deal-breaker for me was that it didn't take bus-power off the USB - even with a double cord - only FW.

I'd love to get a 2.5" double-drive RAID device that could be powered off the USB 2.0 port of my Thinkpad.

Anyone know of anything like that?
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#9 Drew

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Posted 11 August 2008 - 11:45 AM

Jeremy
The Nextodi I listed has a built-in Li ION battery that can be recharged via USB, although not powered by the bus. USB can only supply max 500mA throughout the bus, whereas firewire (IEE1394a/b) can supply 1.5A at 30v in the bus (6 pin connectors only) if I remember correctly.
The reason I didn't add the G-Tech. is because there is no eSATA connectivity, which for video shooters adds superior speed in backing up and editing.

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#10 jeremypayne

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Posted 11 August 2008 - 11:58 AM

Jeremy
The Nextodi I listed has a built-in Li ION battery that can be recharged via USB, although not powered by the bus. USB can only supply max 500mA throughout the bus, whereas firewire (IEE1394a/b) can supply 1.5A at 30v in the bus (6 pin connectors only) if I remember correctly.
The reason I didn't add the G-Tech. is because there is no eSATA connectivity, which for video shooters adds superior speed in backing up and editing.

Makes sense ... I didn't realize the power specs were so different between USB 2.0 and FW ...

That Nextodi looks very nice as a field-backup. I go back and forth between wanting something like this that can offer nice stand-alone features and something like the G-Tech that in combination with my laptop would give me a "fully-functional" lightroom on the road as well as back up storage. I reality, a backup like this is probably all I really need as Lightroom works fine with a small travel catalog stored on the internal 7200rpm drive.
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#11 Scuba_SI

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Posted 11 August 2008 - 12:01 PM

Can't sleep Drew?

Don't suppose you now of a vendor for Lacie in Sing do you? I think im going to go buy my toys in the morning :drink:

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#12 Bill Macdonald

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Posted 11 August 2008 - 06:53 PM

Can't sleep Drew?

Don't suppose you now of a vendor for Lacie in Sing do you? I think im going to go buy my toys in the morning :drink:



SCUBA_SI


Hope you had some luck shopping.
In Singapore there is a tech shopping center near the Peninsula Hotel
by Coleman Street, there's a train stop a block away. If you found a
better one, let me know.

You cats are far out, going with the chip technology. I'm still in HDV tapes,
slow to change. But those LaCie 160GB Rugged portable drves allow me to
edit to FCP Studio from my MacBook Pro no problem. All sorts of space.
However, you folks are in the eye of the tiger with this new chip format.
Methinks I will watch and listen to the chatter. And basically
pissed at having format stuff be discontinued constantly.

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#13 jonny shaw

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Posted 13 August 2008 - 07:20 PM

Just came back from a little looking around for storage drives and western digital have a studio raid 2TB disk which is around $600 AUD

http://www.wdc.com/e...asp?driveid=410

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#14 DeanB

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 06:40 AM

:chatterbox:

My ickle brain hurts... :o

Dive safe

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#15 jonny shaw

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 02:24 PM

Deano,
What are you using for storage at the mo? Still that 500 gig lacie with no backup?
I feel tears could be on the way....
It isn't an easy decision though, although I reckon if you only store usable material as opposed to everything you shoot it will reduce the total size by loads.

By the way how many SxS cards have you got?

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#16 DeanB

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Posted 15 August 2008 - 03:50 AM

Why Jon.. You old stick in the mud !!...lol

Yep and its a 350 not a 500... Ive dropped it twice and kicked the bugger a few times and its still working.. :chatterbox:

Mate.. My EX1 is in a bag by my desk.. I havent used it really.. :o Im still working on a dvd from my tapes off the old A1.. I have a couple of projects coming up which stil wont need the EX1 so its going to Stay where it is.. Ive had it for 5 months and shot about 2hrs of footage... Still only got the 2x8GB cards that came with it...

Dive safe

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