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 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
-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.