As packages get smaller and smaller, it often feels like the largest piece of kit we are dragging with us to set is our (2015 or earlier) Macbook Pro for downloading/culling/backup in the field. Gnarbox was originally introduced for both video and stills but seems to have taken off mostly with photographers so far. It's a simple hard drive unit with an SD slot for downloading and backing up your images in the field. SD cards are cheap enough you probably won't fill them up in the field, but having only a single backup makes most of us nervous, and Gnarbox let you get a second copy without the hassle of dragging your laptop into the field with you.

The best part was that the original Gnarbox let you connect to the device via wifi for basic editing, organizing, and culling. Gnarbox is now back with the Gnarbox 2.0 SSD, and on top of its still photographer functionality, this version has added a bunch of tools that make this something a lot of filmmakers might consider. 

One positive upgrade is a size increase the size all the way up to a 1TB SSD. An added on-unit display and buttons have been added to make navigating the system easier even when not connected via wifi. There's also an upgrade to USB C which should make the device function with new machines into the future while still being only an adapter away from working with your old computers.

As other products move into the space Gnarbox initially pioneered (standalone download units), the company is pursuing a strategy not only of powerful hardware but also the widest array of integrations to keep their product viable. Gnarbox has also announced a partnership with Luma Fusion to provide full professional level iOs editing for iPhone or iPad in conjunction with Gnarbox media. This will allow users in the field to quickly edit and post their footage without the need of a full computer, working just off an IPad or even their phone, to turn their images into posts as quickly as possible.


Nofilmschool_gnarbox_platformCredit: MyGnar

While clearly targeted at use during production, we're excited about the possibilities of using the Gnarbox in post; keeping a version of projects synced on it so, if a client needs tweaks while we're on a trip, we can easily make them and free ourselves of the need to bring the full-size Pro laptop with us wherever we go. Of course, the easier it is to tweak projects the more clients will expect us to do so, but that's not Gnarbox's fault. Gnarbox 2.0 will also integrate full with Adobe Premiere, Lightroom, and Dropbox.

For now, it remains an SD card-based device, so it's great for backups on your X-H1 and GH-5S and EVA1 shoots, but won't provide a great solution on a RED job. You can connect to CFast or CF cards via USB, but that might be a hair slow on the bigger formats. Of course, on that RED job, you'll be taking out enough kit that a laptop won't seem like a hassle. But for mirrorless, DSLR, drone, and other run-and-gun type shooters the Gnarbox could potentially be a real life saver.

Head on over to the Gnarbox page for details on the Kickstarter for Gnarbox 2.0

Tech Specs

  • Intel Quad Core, 2.40GHZ CPU
  • 4 Core Intel HD Graphics GPU
  • 867mbps 802.11 ac/b/g/n WiFi
  • 4GB RAM
  • NVMe SSD up to 1TB
  • SD Card Backup: 100MB/sec write speeds
  • USB-C Backup: 500MB/sec read/write speeds
  • USB-C Computer Connect: 500MB/sec read/write speeds
  • USB-C x2, SD & miniHDMI ports
  • 4-hour continuous use
  • 3200mAh 7.4v removable lithium ion battery
  • IP67 – Waterproof to 1m for 30minutes
  • Dimension - 6” x 3” x 1.16” / ~1lb