About 12 or so months ago I wrote about an external drive from Seagate that proudly also carried the DJI (of drone fame) moniker. At that time, we were testing GoPro Karma drones up at Hervey Bay whilst whale watching and pretending to be fishing and felt this little gadget could be just the duck’s guts to store drone footage as against the laptop.
Whilst the concept was good, in truth it was nothing more than a hard disk with an SD port nailed to it with no ‘smarts’ at all.
Well now, a new version has appeared on the market, also from Seagate, but now branded with their LaCie logo and once again, the DJI moniker and called the LaCie DJI Copilot Boss.
Is it any better?
Firstly, the capacity has been expanded to 2TB, and the drive is mounted securely in a rubber box about the size of a large smartphone. And this time, the faux LCD screen really IS an LCD screen, as software has been developed for it to have the previously missing smarts. This software – LaCie DJI Copilot – is downloaded from the Google Playstore or Apple App Store and then by connecting your phone to the CoPilot via USB / Thunderbolt. All hardware cables are in the box by the way.
Once installed, you have the option of copying and moving files from connected SD cards, USB storage or mobile devices or connecting the Copilot to a Mac or PC to act as a super-sized hard storage or back up device.
A single ‘Action’ button causes the LaCie DJI Copilot to search the currently tethered cable or port (there are USB, Thunderbolt, CF and SD cards slots) for a mobile device or card.
For example, we inserted a microSD card via adaptor, with footage from a low level high tide GoPro Karma drone flight where we at presently at Ramada Eco Beach Resort south of Broome in Western Australia, and using the Action button was easily able to copy the files from the card to the hard drive of the LaCie DJI Copilot.
Once completed, a message appeared confirming the copying process.
A separate folder is created for each device and all files are copied to that folder from the root folder of the card / USB device.
You can then, if you wish, view the contents of the LaCie DJI Copilot using the smartphone app.
The whole concept is smart, elegant and easy to use. Out in the field, if like us you have a multitude of gadgets with you, all using SD cards or USB connectivity, the LaCie DJI Copilot is a must have in our opinion. It takes up much less room than a laptop, is faster, works anywhere and is multifunctional.
At AUD$549 it is not inexpensive however, as a comparable external 2TB drive only can be had for lower than $100 – also from Seagate.
You have to ask yourself then, are the ‘smarts’, the convenience and the peace of mind worth the extra $400 odd? That’s your decision, but we think so, in our game of video anyway. For pure data (as against photos and video) maybe not. Fast turnaround of free storage is imperative in the video game, and it is in this area we feel the LaCie DJI Copilot Boss has its market, well and truly.
Let’s hope the next version also supports wireless / Bluetooth to ad auto-tragically transferring files from cameras, camcorders, smartphones etc. Then it WILL be duck’s guts!
We want one.