David Newton: Storage on-the-go in the Lake District

David Newton: Storage on-the-go in the Lake District

David Newton is a pro photographer and filmmaker based in the UK. He recently tested the Canon C200 camera with an array of G-Technology products designed for location shoots. Here, David describes his latest production and how he used G-Technology ev Series products to keep his data moving and safe.

There are many parts to a film shoot. Whether you work as a solo or small crew shooter, or you’re part of a bigger team, there are lots of moving parts and things are constantly in flux. Getting as much tied down and organized before the shoot pays dividends in the long run. One of these is your data storage solution. It’s not sexy, but it is crucial. You need to have something in place at every stage from capture to output otherwise you’ll be on a path to failure.

On a recent shoot to produce a short documentary film about a trail runner in the English Lake District, I put data storage front and center of my planning. The goal of the shoot was to test the Canon EOS C200 and also make sure that my workflow processes were as robust as possible in preparation for future shoots in the pipeline.

 

Working with just one other person on set, plus the talent, not to mention the shoot being out in the wilds, I needed confidence that everything was as simple to use as possible and would provide the performance I needed.

I was working with the Canon EOS C200 and shooting in 4K RAW internally to CFast 2.0 memory cards, and also taking a 2K feed out to an Atomos external recorder. This gave me a larger monitoring screen and also the backup of a second recording medium. The camera is my favorite device for 4K shooting right now as it offers great performance and simple operation when working solo. It’s also not too big or heavy to hike up mountains with.

Once the day’s shooting was done, I used the G-SPEED Shuttle XL ev Series in Thunderbolt 3 guise to backup my data and review the rushes. With 4K RAW, you’re generating a lot of data. When you add a 2K feed to that as well, it just grows and grows. Here the challenges are two-fold: both data volume and data intensity. If you want to be able to store all your content, you need high capacity. If you want to be able to view it too, then you need high speed, especially when working with 4K RAW. Also, on a shoot, time is a very finite resource, so any way you can streamline the process is a huge benefit. I used the Evolution “ev” bays of the G-SPEED Shuttle XL with both the ev Series CFast 2.0 card reader and also as a bare slot to download data from the cards and Atomos Master Caddy 4K directly into the Shuttle. This is much faster than going through a card reader or separate dock as it allows full bus access rather than passing through an adapter.

Once the data was on the Shuttle, I could then use the ev bay with a 2TB G-DRIVE ev RaW SSD to backup data from the Shuttle and hand it off to another team member. This meant I had triplicate backup of all my files and was about as protected from failure or loss as possible. For an extra layer of security, the G-DRIVE ev RaW SSD was then stored in an All-Terrain Case (ATC) with Thunderbolt case so even if it was dropped or got wet on location, I knew it would survive.

 

The shoot was an interesting challenge. Being in the Lake District, there was a lot of hiking, and in the evenings, I was working remotely out of my location van. The Shuttle was perfect. During the day I had it stored in the Peli case to keep it safe, and in the evening I could run it from my inverter without killing my on-board batteries.

Working alone means it’s important to keep things as simple as possible too. The G-Technology products provide a logical workflow from capture through to ingest, edit and back-up and they make the process as quick and seamless as possible. They also provide peace of mind in addition to the performance. My data is the most important aspect of a shoot. Being able to trust the products I use to work whatever the situation, is incredibly important. It allows me to concentrate on being creative rather than wasting energy on worrying about data integrity.

And at the end of the day, that is how data storage should be – easy to use, fast, reliable, and with enough capacity to handle all your data. If the storage solution is essentially invisible in your mind, then it has done its job and made your life just a little easier.

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Kit:
Camera: Canon EOS C200 with Canon lenses
Memory Cards: SanDisk Extreme PRO CFast 2.0 (128GB)
Recorder: Atomos Shogun Inferno with G-Technology Atomos Master Caddy 4K
Software: Canon Cinema RAW developer and Adobe Premiere Pro
Tripod: Vinten Flowtech 75
Workstation: Apple MacBook Pro 15
Storage: G-Technology G-SPEED Shuttle XL with ev Series Bay Adapters
G-Technology ev All-Terrain Case with Thunderbolt
G-Technology ev Series Reader CFast 2.0 edition
G-Technology G-DRIVE ev RaW SSD 2TB
Luggage: G-SPEED Shuttle XL Protective Case

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David Newton: Storage on-the-go in the Lake District