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Rich: If you're shooting Time Lapse, you're going to have a lot of data. Therefore, you're going to need some hard drives. I just want to talk a little bit about choosing a drive based upon your needs. Now, if you're going to be shooting in the field a lot, you're going to want a portable solution. Maybe it's a BUS powered solution. Something like this drive here, notice it connects out. Important thing here is these days, I look for USB3. It's a bus powered drive that's fast and gives you significently quiker transfer rates.
Much higher data rate throughput then Firewire or USB2. Now, that's what I would go if I needed something that I plugged into the laptop and it just ran off of the laptop's battery. However, a lot of times in the field, I want some redundancy and security. I tend to now take out this unit. This is a portable RAID from Drobo, there are other portable RAIDs out there. You will need to plug a RAID into a power source. Now it could be a cigarette lighter in your car, the power in your hotel room. But having a multi-drive solution means that one of the drives in that container can fail and you won't likely lose data. Now in the past there were some portable RAIDs available that could run off of FireWire 800 power.
However these drives are not able to be run off of the Thunderbolt or the USB3 port. So, for many of you, you won't have enough power. And don't think you can get clever by going a Thunderbolt to FireWire 800 adapter, it still won't have enough power to run it. So, if you're going to have to plug it into the wall anyways, make sure you get a ray that gives you the protection and the power that you want. I like to have something that has multiple disc redundancy. And, a good fast connection. In this case I'm going Thunderbolt into my Mac and when I'm using my HP Laptop, I'll go from USB3 to into the USB3 port, works great. Any case, it'll be a simple work flow for you and give you that power. Now, on the desktop side its pretty straight forward. Choose a drive that is reliable and fast.
Now, there are lots of single type drive enclosures where you have a single disk inside of a case. These tend to be more affordable, but don't necessarily have the throughput. A lot of times what you'll see are drives in larger cases where two drives are paired or striped together. Now, this striping can be either for protection or performance. Typically we go for the performance here which is a RAID 0. You might be saying, why do I need performance with all those stills? It's no longer stills. You're going to find yourself in situations where you're trying to pull 30 of those stills through in a second.
And those files could be very high resolution RAW photos. Now, doing the basic developing, a slower hard drive is fine. But as you get into actually building your Time Lapse movies and rendering your Time Lapse movies, you want something fast. So look for things like USB3 or Thunderbolt. Look for things like a RAID where you have some performance. Maybe it's a fusion drive, an mSATA accelerator card, it doesn't matter. But Time Lapse can really begin to get annoying if you start to have drive throughput issues. So, go for the best drive you can afford, and make sure your data is backed up to more than one location.
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