LaCie DJI Copilot Hard Drive – First Look – By Droneflyers.com
Unlike the DJI/Segate Fly Drive which we reviewed earlier, the CoPilot is designed to work without the need for a companion computer. This means that Drone and Image/Video pros no longer have to tote a laptop along to enjoy backup and larger storage capacities. As many of us have learned, the newer 4K video files can easily outstrip the storage capabilities of SD and MicroSD cards and even tax our laptops, most of which have only 256G or 512G of SSD storage – and less than 1/2 that after the basic OS and other programs and some photos and music are installed.
What it Does
The LaCie DJI CoPilot has a built in rechargeable battery and numerous ports to allow connection to most any device. It also features a built-in LCD screen which gives status messages. The entire system is controlled by a smartphone or tablet (IOS or Android) and an app provided by LaCie. This app is effectively a File Manager, allowing the copying of various media to the CoPilot drive. In addition to the battery powered storage, the CoPilot can also serve as a USB charger – meaning it can be the single device you bring with your kit into the field. If your phone runs low on power you can plug it into the included full size USB port and quickly gain enough power to get that last great shot or video clip.
In addition to these features, the drive is part of the LaCie Ruggedized line – and also slash and water resistant. It is completely surrounded by thick rubber bumpers which even covers the ports – some of them can even be covered while in use (a small slot in the sides allows the wires to extend out for connection).
Who is it for?
Given the price of $349 (suggested list – street price may be lower), this drive is most suited for those who make income from their drone and/or camera services. Pros are well aware that trusting their data to a single source (the drone MicroSD card, etc.) can be chancy – therefore they often desire to back up “on set”. The Copilot allows them to do so without lugging a larger laptop and external drive. When they get back to their office or studio, they can mount the CoPilot as a hard drive and either use the files directly from it or move them to a desktop machine or other larger storage and editing arrays.
A hobbyist who travels or often gets “once in a lifetime” shots may want to spring for a solution such as this, despite the relatively high cost. After all, losing the footage from that trip to Iceland or Africa would be very disappointing. The same goes for important images such as those taken at weddings and other such events.
Our Experience and Initial Testing
The box, packing and included accessories all indicate a product that was built with quality in mind. Included are the hard drive with a rubberized bumper (built-in battery), a power supply and a number of cables and ports which allow connection tThe o most any phone, tablet, computer, drone, camera or SD/MicroSD card. Plug the power supply in so that you can charge the CoPilot internal battery while you learn the basics. [Read more…]