July 3, 2015 at 9:02PM

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Portable HDD for dumping footage in the field

I'm searching for a reliable portable battery powered HDD that can dump footage from SD cards (from Blackmagic Pocket, A7S) without a pc/mac. I found a Western Digital version, though I wonder what other recommendations people have.

WD My Passport 1TB Wireless Portable Hard Drive (https://www.jbhifi.com.au/computers-tablets/all-computers--tablets/wd/wd...)

2TB (https://www.jbhifi.com.au/computers-tablets/all-computers--tablets/wd/wd...)

These options look pretty GREAT to be honest, no wires, battery powered, wireless connection to ios/android app for browsing files, media streaming, usb 3 etc.

12 Comments

Wow, nice!

I'm in the same situation as you, looking for a rugged external HD to take with me on a 1 month trip to Mexico. Didn't know they made those with SD card slots.

Do you know how the transfer works without a computer?

I was about to buy this one from BH, but the 2TB at 169$ might be worth a check.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1060469-REG/transcend_ts2tsj25m3_2...

Cheers!

July 4, 2015 at 9:57AM

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JP Torres
Director of Photography
158

This hard-drive requires a computer to transfer the files, where the battery powered Western Digital drive with a card reader appears to be entirely self contained.

WD 2TB My Passport Wireless
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1076399-REG/wd_wdbdaf0020bbk_nesn_...

July 4, 2015 at 6:18PM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
33316

I believe the device just automatically moves the files over. This begs the question of how do you reformat the sd card? For instance, in my bmpcc, you can reformat in-camera, but what if this makes the sd card unreadable by the drive? I guess you'd just have to buy one and see.

July 4, 2015 at 5:15PM

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Edmund Lloyd
Cinematographer/Director
243

The WD HDD can reformat, as well as the BMPCC, which should be enough, though I'm not 100% on the A7S for that.

July 5, 2015 at 4:16AM

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Zachariel Shanahan
Writer/Director
998

are you talking about formatting the card inside of the a7s after dumping your footage?

July 7, 2015 at 10:00AM

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Taylor Chase
Videographer / Editor
147

Yes.

July 7, 2015 at 8:25PM

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Zachariel Shanahan
Writer/Director
998

Wow, personally I'd be really nervous to format a card just trusting that a hard drive had copied all the files off of it (with no way to verify).
I assumed the OP was just looking to make a copy for the sake of redundancy.

July 9, 2015 at 7:07AM, Edited July 9, 7:07AM

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We plan to dump the footage twice for safety, then rotate cards, but not erasing unless in necessary. Pro Res 422 HQ will fill up fast, as we're using a recorder for the A7S, as well. You can actually verify by streaming the footage to a tablet/phone via app, for matching, if required.
Yeah, it's for an indie Feature film, and the HDD is only required for an intense 2 weeks of production abroad in Japan.

July 9, 2015 at 10:14PM

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Zachariel Shanahan
Writer/Director
998

Auto-double post...when will nofs fix this...

July 9, 2015 at 10:14PM, Edited July 9, 10:14PM

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Zachariel Shanahan
Writer/Director
998

Personally, I went through the same search when I went on vacation a couple months ago. I finally just bit the bullet and picked up the Nexto DI ND2901 (1TB version) with the external battery. I also brought a 2TB WD passport that could connect directly to the Nexto for mobile/computer-free back up although I never needed it. I was shooting ML raw so maybe that's a bit much for normal 1080p shoots (??). Also, I haven't really checked this further, but I figure you could probably buy the cheapest Nexto version and put your own larger hard drive in it later (although I'm sure it'll void the warranty).
Anyways, I relied on it daily for 2 weeks, and it never let me down. It does present a new level of file management awareness, bcuz the Nexto drive and the external battery become another piece of equipment you have to make sure are both fully charged the night before + you'll want to know exactly how many transfers you can complete in the field before you run out of power.
All that said, no regrets (yet) and media-wise it takes CompactFlash/SD/SDHC/SDXC cards, so I feel like I'm fairly well future proofed (as long as I don't end up with a CFast camera :-)

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1061094-REG/nexto_di_nese_nd29011t...

July 7, 2015 at 10:09AM, Edited July 7, 10:12AM

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Ty Harper
Producer/Documentarian/Broadcaster
142

Thanks all, I think the WD My Passport Wireless Portable Hard Drive is the best option.

July 7, 2015 at 11:26PM

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Zachariel Shanahan
Writer/Director
998

How did the WD Wireless Drive workout for you? I'm looking for a hard drive for storing footage in the field (and would like to find a way to not carry my laptop with me), and I was tempted to get the WD Wireless Drive, but the Amazon comments about the unreliability and slowness of the transfer have me spooked. So I still need to find a solution for this ASAP.

August 26, 2015 at 4:52AM, Edited August 26, 4:52AM

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