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Lifesaver from the future

Posted on Jan 30, 2020

 The Samsung Portable SSD X5 is known for its speed, robustness and portability – and now it can add lifesaver to its USPs, as DIT Thomas Patrick discovers


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The world of the digital image technician was created by digital cinematography, but not by filmmaking. From this skewed start it became a crew job that defied categorisation, vilified by some but supported and nurtured by others. Now there are calls for more standardisation and accredited training as DITs look to practise their art further up the signal chain.

The role of the DIT starts with the camera – working with the DOP and camera team to ascertain the objectives they have in choosing the specific camera system they’re planning to use. This includes assisting with camera set-ups, inspecting the images coming out of the camera, recording the data, making back-up copies and ensuring the right metadata is captured – checking all through the process that all the media recorded is in good order and correctly logged – it’s all part of what the DIT does.

Cats movie

Thomas Patrick is a very experienced DIT and works on a mixture of movies, high-end television shows and commercials. One of those movies, Cats, is currently on worldwide release and was a very complicated shoot with terabytes of data being recorded and wrangled.

Production took place at Leavesden Studios between December 2018 and April last year with cinematographer, Christopher Ross BSC, shooting with multiple cameras, and DIT Thomas Patrick working alongside him. Alec Garner and Patrick King operated the digital lab near-set and a digital service company supplied VFX pulls to the many companies around the world working on the visual effects. “Unfortunately, I didn’t have the Samsung Portable SSD X5 with me on the Cats shoot, but now I’m using it and love everything about it. I will definitely get some of these; it’s a great form factor, looks very futuristic and is lightning fast,” says Patrick.

The Samsung Portable SSD X5 design is actually inspired by a supercar, emphasising its performance and elegance through its dynamic and streamlined shape. With technological synergies between NVMe and Thunderbolt 3 technology, the Samsung portable drive offers incredible read/write speeds up to 2800/2300MB/s respectively. These are 5.2x/4.5x faster than Samsung’s SSD (SATA) and up to 25.5x/20.9x faster than a standard HDD.

Patrick is also impressed with the security available for the Samsung Portable SSD X5 as this is very important for a high-end transfer drive such as this. With Samsung’s portable SSD software, the product securely protects your data. It provides optional password protection through its AES 256-bit hardware encryption.

Lifesaver

As the DIT on-set, Patrick has a vital ‘quality control’ role during production and is relied upon to flag up any problems with what’s being recorded. A thorough knowledge of cameras, recording formats and back-up systems is, therefore, essential, as is a full understanding of the science of image capture, in terms of spatial and temporal resolution, how colour space works and can be manipulated.

Images DIT carts are rugged and mobile for on-set use, such as for colour grading, and is a home for high-end drives like the Samsung Portable SSD X5 Images DIT carts are rugged and mobile for on-set use, such as for colour grading, and is a home for high-end drives like the Samsung Portable SSD X5

As we all know, you have to expect the unexpected in a production environment, but fortunately for Patrick he managed to come out of a recent highly stressful moment on a commercial shoot looking like the hero – and it was down to the Samsung Portable SSD X5 .

He explains what happened: “I was using a system to transcode files and at the last minute the client on a commercial decided they wanted higher resolution files for review. To make high-resolution files for them, I had to move some rushes over to another system that was much more powerful and quicker to transcode from. It was a lot quicker to move them and do them on another system than to just go slower on the original one.

“These were big camera original files, which normally would have taken a while to move over and would have the client waiting to review them, which is never a great feeling. But with the Samsung Portable SSD X5, I was able to make a back-up and then move the files over to the new system very quickly. It definitely was a lifesaver and got me out of jail. You also then have a happy client, which is very important.

“To add to the drama, I needed to get out of the location very quickly so without the Samsung portable drive it would have been an issue. This moment alone has made me decide to get at least one of these drives.”

Patrick is also happy with the Samsung Portable SSD X5 thermal management technology. Featuring Dynamic Thermal Guard, the portable drive maintains optimal temperature by operating speed. Its heat sink prevents overheating while the portable drive is in use, keeping the surface temperature below 45°.

Images The Samsung Portable SSD X5 was the fastest way Patrick could transfer his rushes Images The Samsung Portable SSD X5 was the fastest way Patrick could transfer his rushes

The Samsung Portable SSD X5 was a lifesaver. I’ve decided to get at least one of these drives

Future-proofing

Patrick can see that the Samsung Portable SSD X5 would be of major use as an almost instant transfer of rushes to heads of departments. “We have to understand that the effects of different kinds of compression is important, too – knowing what can be used in certain applications – and what must be avoided. So we know which files and at what resolution have to go to people like the DOP,” he explains. “Selection of rushes takes a while, so to quicken that up with such a fast, portable drive makes you look impressive, especially at the end of the day.”

Whatever Patrick goes on to next, whether it’s commercials, movies or TV shows, you can bet the smart-looking, secure and superfast Samsung Portable SSD X5 will be there with him.

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