Seagate Technology, the data storage leader has collaborated with DJI, one of the leading drone manufacturers to develop a portable external hard drive with 2TB of storage that can be used with one of DJI’s drones or as a standalone unit. The latest entry in the ‘LaCie’ line of rugged, premium portable drives from Seagate, this one’s named LaCie DJI Co-Pilot.
Unveiled at the CES 2018, the Copilot is essentially designed for drone photography and allows speedier management of drone photos and videos faster.
The CoPilot comes with a wide range of cables and adapters that allows it to be used with a large number of devices. The device, when available in the market, will sell for US$349 (approx. A$445).
The CoPilot is targeted towards photographers and videographers who require on-the-spot or live backup of photos or video footage. With the in-built memory drive, the CoPilot can create a back-up of all the saved media. The user thus need not bring an additional storage system (read laptop) to the location.
The Copilot allows pictures and videos from the drive to be viewed on a mobile device in full resolution. An integrated cable (with microUSB, USB-C, and Lightning capabilities) can be used to connect the drive to a wide range of mobile devices, including a PC. A companion app (available for both iOS and Android) enables end-to-end management of files on the drive, from viewing to copying, moving, renaming or even deleting.
An integrated reader allows copying of footage directly from the memory card to the CoPilot. This back-up ensures that the card can be immediately reused for further data collection. The CoPilot comes with a basic black and white LCD display (no touchscreen here) to save on power consumption and maximise the output of the built-in rechargeable battery. The DJI Copilot also includes an older USB port to connect directly to a camera.
- Can work as a standalone device
- The LCD display has a protective covering around it, with multiple ports (power, SD card, Type-A and Type-C USB) and a short mobile cable at the side
- The USB-C port is used to connect to a PC or Mac
- The USB-A is used to connect a memory stick
- Works as a portable battery that can be used to charge mobile devices
- Storage capacity of 2TB implies space for 65 hours of 4K 30fps video or 20,000+ photos
- The re-chargeable battery can be used for up to 30 hours of 4K footage
- The integrated cable ensures efficient streaming of 4K videos, bypassing potential connectivity issues associated with wireless connections
Drone photography has taken off in the last few years, with both professionals and hobbyists fully utilising the advances in technology. However, photography using drones require certain skills and precision. It is imperative that users spend a majority of their time focusing on the photography rather than on the technicalities of capturing the images or videos and taking their back-ups.
The LaCie Copilot offers to take care of the nitty-gritty of storage of captured footage. While the LaCie DJI Copilot is aimed at drone enthusiasts, its feature-packed capabilities makes it an equally valuable aid to traditional photographers.