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LaCie DJI Copilot - BOSS 4TB Portable External Hard Drive USB-C STGU2000400

  • LaCie DJI Copilot - BOSS 4TB Portable External Hard Drive USB-C STGU2000400 :: 0
  • LaCie DJI Copilot - BOSS 4TB Portable External Hard Drive USB-C STGU2000400 :: 1
  • LaCie DJI Copilot - BOSS 4TB Portable External Hard Drive USB-C STGU2000400 :: 2
  • LaCie DJI Copilot - BOSS 4TB Portable External Hard Drive USB-C STGU2000400 :: 3
LaCie DJI Copilot - BOSS 4TB Portable External Hard Drive USB-C STGU2000400 :: 0LaCie DJI Copilot - BOSS 4TB Portable External Hard Drive USB-C STGU2000400 :: 1LaCie DJI Copilot - BOSS 4TB Portable External Hard Drive USB-C STGU2000400 :: 2LaCie DJI Copilot - BOSS 4TB Portable External Hard Drive USB-C STGU2000400 :: 3
Model
BrandLaCie
ModelDJI Copilot BOSS
Part NumberSTGU2000400
Reviews
An okay device they can come in handy.
This LaCie DJI Copilot BOSS Computer-Free in-Field Direct Backup and Power Bank with SD Reader is an okay device for backing up files like photos and video. You might as well wait until you've filled an SD card because it will keep backing up all the pictures on it even ones already backed up everytime you back up the same card. It is pretty compact and not too heavy. It stores power so you can use it as a charger in a pinch. You need to plug it in to a regular outlet in order to charge it. So, this device is not bad and could be a handy device to have, it just has a few design quibbles.
Works like a charm for my forensic work, but several drawbacks
I am frequently out of town in the field taking photos and videos. This device not only lets me easily load my photos/videos from my SD card onto the drive, it "could" be used in a pinch to charge my iPhone with its internal battery. The downsides include no wireless transfer, no ability to charge it via USB (must use their brick power supply), it is a mechanical drive so crash concern over SSD, and it is kind of big. Also, the built in software/firmware only allows you to download the entire SD card, rather than let you choose the files you want to transfer. Kind of dumb, but I tend to use a separate SD card for each job so no big deal. The really nice feature includes the CoPilot Boss app on my iPhone and iPad that allows me to view and download my content, and then I can edit on the road. Finally, if you do need to charge your iPhone in a pinch and don't have easy access to wall power or a portable power pack (I carry a 26000 mAH unit), you should wait until you complete all your work transferring and editing so you don't lose power on the unit before you complete your work. Convert this unit to wireless and a 512GB SSD and you will really have something.
More weight means more memory
This field back up drive is heavy compared to the Western Digital My Passport Wireless SSD that I have. That weight is mainly do to the fact that the Lacie has a mechanical platter drive instead of the new Solid State Drives that are in use today. Not only does the platter drive weigh more, it is also slower than the SSD. Another let down of the Lacie is that it does not offer wireless file transfers like the WD MyPassport. This can be a bit more cumbersome if you are an iPhone photographer. In it's defense it does come with every cable imaginable to connect your iPhone or any other device. It also features an SD memory card slot. Like the WD the Lacie is wrapped in a removable rubber protective case. An additional similarity between the two is they both can act as a back up battery boost for your mobile devices. One advantage the Lacie has over the Western Digital that I really liked is the built in display that shows the remaining drive capacity. It also shows transfers status along with copy and cancels prompts. For better or worse depending on how you see it; the Lacie uses a standard AC adapter to charge the unit instead of a USB AC adapter. The Lacie DJI CoPilot offers twice the storage capacity at the roughly the same price of the Western Digital but at the cost of speed and weight.
This is a 5 Star and 1 Star Device; Pro Canon Shooters, Not For Us
This device is one of several hitting the market giving you on-the-field controllable wired or wireless transfer of images from card to device, with an iPhone/Android app providing a viewer. Nice idea. It also will charge your phone on the field. I've tested a couple of these, and the La Cie is probably the best of them all, but none of them are ready for prime time. If you're a Pro Canon shooter, the La Cie suffers the same stupid ommission of a CF slot as on the WD model. More on that in a min.

THE GOOD
- The concept is a great idea, albeit early in the development of these devices
- Build quality is no short of excellent
- The firmware that runs the device and makes it do what it does works well:
--- Copying successive times is done via time-named folders.
--- Card reader shows up as a drive when plugged into my laptop.
--- SD card copy to device is fast.
- 5200mAh charger for your phone. Don't plug your 12.9" iPad Pro on this, it needs 6900, it'll drain it. iPhone is about 3000, so I'd use this to just boost your perfecntage a bit then keep the remaining battery for image transfer.
- The display is very Apple-like, it looks like a silver finish but then it lights up with info. Better thn WD's here.
- Not wireless. Wait, what? That's a PLUS? Yep, I don't want this wireless, that's just added electronics and firmware and complexity, what's the point? I need to plug in my cards and copy, then transfer them back at the hotel to my laptop.
- Going back three decades I'm a Neil Poulton design fan, even though I have to be on Windows now I was a Mac user until 2002 or so. The unit looks great and the rubber cover has a great grip and feels tight. Can't stand the slippery loose rubber frame thing on the WD.
- Mechanical drive: Yep, a PLUS... reliability. I own dozens of SSDs that are in external drives, my tower, my laptop, my work PC, and the PCs I built for church. After becoming the standard and everyone loving teh speed, they are starting to fail when they hit 3-4 years (OK, not my Samsung SDs). I'm waiting for a SanDisk 500GB RMA as I write this, I've had a Mushkin fail, another SanDisk a couple years ago, a Corsair in my Pastor's PC I built a few years ago... at first I wanted an SSD in this devoce like the WD has, but WRITES are what freak an SSD out, at least where we are in 2018. Mechanical drives are simply more reliable in the long run. Plus a 2TB drive in a device like this is a lot cheaper. OK, it does use more battery, but for this application I'm more confident in the mechnical drive.
- Good weather resistant case

THE BAD
-OK, I have to keep this short because I'll go off on a tangent about this WRONG concept in the medi industry: This unit has NO CF Card slot. Are you kidding me? Somehow the CF cards are thought of as "old technology". WRONG: they are PRO technology. Only the recent UHS-II version of SDXC cards are considered faster than CF Cards, but if the cameras out there don;t use them then what's the point. I shoot a Canon 5D Mark IV. The top line Canon bodies that Pros use are the 1D X and 1D X Mark II, and the 5D Mark IV and III. They all shoot CF cards. The 5 series does have SD slots but they are UHS-I and basically useless for fast shooting environments like news, hockey games, large weddings, etc. Leaving this slot out and forcing pro shooters to use a dongle is as absurd as Apple's decision to remove the audio jack from the iPhone which is used for WAY more than earphones. It's like La Cie created this device only for drone users snd leaving the huge base of Canon shooters out to dry. Laptops don't have CF card slots; this was a chance to finally have support on the field by a device manufacturer. NOPE. The comments and literature for both La Cie and WD on this subject is "Oh, CF card users will need an adapter". Um, we'd be your biggest customer guys...
- It's big and heavy. It's not going in your pocket by any means. I'd almost rather just have a couple neoprene card wallets and a bunch of cards (which is what I have)
- Firmware update was quirky but I got through it. One weird bug is when you go to mount it on your PC, it takes a while and the display says No PC Connected. I ignore it. It shows up on my PC.
- Again, catering to the DJI market only seems weird, this could have been the shining star of pro shooters around the world. Hint La Cie: Cann has sold MILLIONS of pro cameras, all using CF slots. OK, I'll let that one rest.
- In order to get to the control area yu have to remove a big rubber cover. How many of us will lose that...

It's up to you on this one. If you shoot other cams that use SD cards, great. You only have to deal with the weight and the fact that you can't charge this via USB. But you'll get good robust image and video copy from your cards and a great way to review on your phone, that part works great.

La Cie: Come out with a Pro Shooter version with CF, better charging and an LCD imsge viewer. Charge us more, we don't care, we NEED this on the field.

Final thought: One month of Adobe... what pro doesn't already have that? Work it out with Adobe that existing customers can apply that free month to our already-existing subscription, THAT'D be a nice bonus.
Great Multipurpose Drive
Anyone that knows me, knows I love gadgets, so I am not easily impressed. However, the Lacie DJI Copilot BOSS Computer-Free in-Field Direct Backup and Power Bank with SD Reader, 2000GB + 1mo Adobe CC All Apps (2TB) truly impressed me. This review will be longer than my typical review, but hopefully, it will help answer questions for those in the market for such a device.

First off, the packaging was first class. It reminded me of the excellent packaging you get from Apple. Secondly, they provided several cables and a power cable that came with many different connectors for traveling abroad. Most importantly, it looks rugged in its rubbery skin. The main cable they provide for your phone or tablet tucks nicely into the device and the cable can be run around and tucked into a slit in the surface of the rubber. Then, you can use a removable rubber piece to cover the plugs so they aren’t exposed to the elements. My preference would have been for the rubber piece to stay connected, but it is a separate piece you don’t want to lose.

I thought this device would be a great way to back up SD cards on the road in case one of them got corrupted and this would save me from having to keep that second SD card backup that I use with my A7RIII. In other words, I just pop out my card, pop it into the Copilot and it will start to copy after hitting the “action button”. The LCD screen, which is very minimal, so don’t get too excited, will show you when the SD card is finished copying. At that point, I store the card and then reformat the second backup card and use it for shooting. This gives me a backup on the road without losing an additional SD card in the process. While I would prefer some way to actually see the photos that are copying on the screen, it is nice that I can just pop the iPhone out of my pocket and verify my photos are there (more about that later).

As I mentioned, the iPhone, which I always have on me, can connect to the device with their provided cable. I am a little bit concerned about what will happen if I lose this cable because I checked and didn’t see it for sell on Amazon. Maybe I will contact Lacie and see if I can buy a couple spares. I did test this with the mini-USB to lightning bolt cable that came with my Blue Raspberry Microphone, but it did not work.

When you use this with an iPhone, you download the CoPilot Boss app. This app was of great use to me. You can plug in an SD card or a USB thumb drive or both into the drive and access files on those devices directly from the iPhone, even when they files have not been copied to the drive. When a file format is not natively compatible, you can tell the app to use another app to view them. In my case, that was Infuse and VLC which I already had installed on my phone. I tested playing movies, Flac files, WMA lossless files, etc and the app found a way to play them or it would hand them off to another app that couple play them. This is ideal trips where you want to access music or movies from a thumb drive without taking up space on the Copilot drive, tablet, or phone. I should mention that I also tested this app on my iPad and it works the same way. Of course, files can move both ways. You can save them from the device or backup to the device.

One thing I did notice that is that the app showed my RAW Sony A7RIII on the screen with no problem. However, if I copied them to my iPhone, the Photos app does not see them. However, I could open them up with Lightroom and edit them and save them. I just have to get used to a bunch of blank files in my Photos app until Apple supports the format in iOS. It is fantastic that the file can be reviewed directly from the CoPilot app, though.

When using with a computer, it doesn’t require a separate app. I believe I had to hit the action button the first time I used it, but I haven’t found that necessary every time. I think that if you have used it with the computer once before and the CoPilot is on, it will just show up as an external drive. Anything connected to it…SD card or thumb drive will also show up in the computer’s menu of drives. This is so helpful for recent MBP owners if you don’t want to carry along a bunch of “dongles”. I was curious whether it could handle non-storage devices, so I plugged my DragonFly DAC into the Copilot and the computer recognized it as an audio device and it played back audio through the Dragonfly without any issues. Obviously, I am not commenting on whether sound quality is effected by this type of setup versus using a dongle, but I was happy to see that it works as a “dongle” for other devices.

Is this device perfect? No, the LCD could be better. I would prefer the detachable cover actually stayed attached. However, this device is ideal for my needs. It lets me transfer files, view them on my iPad and iPhone and copy them or backup my devices to its 2 terabyte drive. It also works to allow me to see (or backup) external devices plugged into it, which is ideal for those of us using MacBooks. Heck, in a pinch, it can be used to power your phone or tablet! This is easily one of my favorite, most useful, tech products. As you can tell, I am extremely happy with this device! Now I just have to find out how to get some backup cables!
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