Riding on a wave: Samsung

Posted on Jul 1, 2024

The high-tech Samsung Portable SSD T9 was the speedy solution to a beach shoot with a world champion surfer

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When the call goes out for a filmmaker to capture speed in a truly filmic way, with few chances for retakes, Brit David Spurdens is the action man of choice. Even if the shoot is on the other side of the world.

An award-winning sports photographer who has shot everything from the FA Cup final to the Ryder Cup, the Olympics to Alpine sports, Spurdens transitioned into cinematography at the advent of digital movie capture and has carved out a niche in shooting incredible slow-motion visuals. From military aircraft to multi-million-pound racehorses and more, he uses the latest high-speed cinema cameras to create art from motion – and is used to working under pressure as he usually has only one shot.

So when asked to shoot the adaptive surfing world champion training before a huge contest, Spurdens made the 24-hour journey to Ocean Grove near Melbourne, Australia. He packed as light as he could, with a cine camera, lenses from ultra wide to 800mm and a trusty laptop in tow – along with the speedy and secure memory needed to keep up: the Samsung Portable SSD T9. This pocket-sized portable drive is designed with curved diagonal lines and reverse carbon patterns to give a comfortable, luxurious feel for the user – ideal when you have thousands of miles to travel.

“Laurie Phipps is a world champion, two years running. She went through a horrific time after a drunk driver hit her on a moped in France back in 2019. She lost her lower leg, just below the knee,” introduces Spurdens.

“She currently uses a prosthetic leg for walking, a running blade and surfing prosthetic. She is an incredible character, full of the zest for life, always smiling and positive about the situation she found herself in. Laurie has triumphed over her disability mentally and on the world sporting stage.”

Phipps is also starting a charity to help children who have lost limbs in war zones acquire modern prosthetic limbs, so this shoot was important to her and them. But she has a limit to how long her prosthetics can be worn. Since the shoot was a couple of days before her title defence, any issues could mean a risk of not being able to compete.

“The filming time was severely limited, and being able to film her surfing and running was gold dust so close to the biggest contest of her life. The pinnacle often happens one time only, with many of the other shots being second or third rate, which is not good enough,” continues Spurdens.

Shooting the action on a beach, after every sprint he downloaded the clips to a Samsung Portable SSD T9 linked to his laptop to check the rushes. Resistant to drops up to 3m and guaranteed with a five-year limited warranty, the portable drive is built to keep data safe – which was a relief for Spurdens.

“Using the fast and durable portable drive throughout the day meant I could say to Laurie that the shoot was securely backed up. There was no room for error. When a person is working as hard as she is in her circumstances to help others in dire situations, I absolutely have to believe in my kit 110%.”

The portable drive comes with a USB-C connection and choice of two cables, one to connect to USB-C or Thunderbolt and a second for legacy USB-A devices. With up to 2000MB/s read and write speeds, the Samsung Portable SSD T9 is blazing fast – it’s able to transfer a 4GB file in just two seconds. Samsung has increased the TurboWrite buffer size to 180GB, ensuring maximum performance for longer when transferring large files or encoding and decoding video files. With massive Redcode Raw files in super-high frame rates, that’s a massive test only the biggest and best memory can handle.

“The Samsung portable drive was the perfect partner as it is rapid, has plug-and-play simplicity and is big enough for most shoots at 4TB,” adds Spurdens. Capacities of 1TB and 2TB are available too, depending on your needs.

The Samsung Portable SSD T9 offers more than fast storage, as it comes pre-installed with Samsung Magician software that provides performance benchmark, security functions, firmware updates and a health status check in real time. The newest version offers data migration and a card authentication tool, supporting Windows, Mac and Android.

It’s tested to be compatible with PCs, mobile phones, TVs, game consoles and cameras, thanks to its dedicated PCB design. As the hardware and firmware is developed exclusively for the Samsung Portable SSD T9, power usage is very low; it consumes 0.67W idle power and peak power up to 7.3W when connected by USB-C. That means battery life can be extended by more than 30 minutes compared to rival products* – crucial for on a beach without a mains plug in sight!

Under blazing sun, heat management is key. Large video files cause a lot of heat, which can lead to performance drops or device failure. But Samsung’s Dynamic Thermal Guard technology, along with thermal materials including silicon and aluminium, keeps things cool even in the most intense sessions.

“As the Aussies say, there were ‘no worries’ when it came to the Samsung Portable SSD T9,” concludes Spurdens. Phipps not only went on to win the world title again in Australia, she then took the Para Surfing World Championship title in California. Next up, the Olympics!

*Power consumption results based on Samsung internal testing, conducted under controlled conditions. Idle status defined as eight minutes without I/O operations.

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