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Samsung: Chasing the stars

Posted on Mar 5, 2024

Motorbike man Stuart Holland needs to move fast to keep up with the action. Luckily, the Samsung Portable SSD T9 can match his pace

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Batman, James Bond, Indiana Jones, The Flash and Ethan Hunt of Mission: Impossible are only a few of the famous film characters who have been chased at close quarters by Stuart Holland on his custom-made electric motorbike.

With a huge, gimbal-mounted camera on the front and massive pack of batteries on the rear to balance the weight, this silent machine can do 75mph to give a unique close-up view of those spectacular chase scenes that pepper so many modern action movies.

“But it’s not always as glamorous as that,” says Holland. “Recently, I had to do almost 140 takes for an advert on a street set as ducks flew by and people played street rugby.” Never work with animals, as the saying goes.

For the past 14 years, Holland has mixed his skills in riding motorcycles with a passion for engineering to carve out a niche as a rider of tracking bikes and master of precision driving. As a former motorcycle racer, he was often building his own bikes by taking the engine out of one machine and transplanting it into another. Now, he builds his own custom filming rigs that allow all sorts of cameras and gimbals to be fitted on either the front or the back to give an incredibly immersive view of the action.

So when directors complained the bike was noisy and engine vibrations could affect the stability of the camera, he built his own stealth bike by using a variety of controllers from electric cars and various battery packs to make them work in a two-wheeler.

When it comes to engineering and build quality, Holland certainly knows his stuff. That comes down to his choice of rigging equipment for the cameras as well as hard drives for either backing up footage on-set or to record directly from certain cameras.

“If you are on a big film with millions invested in the production, it’s crucial that everything works perfectly and is robust enough to avoid any damage, as well as being up to speed,” he says. “Ideally, everything needs to be as light as possible.” So when Holland got the chance to try out the latest Samsung Portable SSD T9, he carefully tested it to make sure it was up to the task.

“It’s well-built and has a rubber cover to fend off any vibrations. I can mount it to the standard clamps we use, and it’s fast enough for even the highest resolution cameras. At just 122g, it’s light and compact, so doesn’t get in the way,” he says. “And with up to 4TB of space, that’s plenty for any shoots.”

MAKE CONNECTIONS | Compatible with Windows, macOS and Android, as well as various games consoles and 12K cameras, the Samsung Portable SSD T9 is versatile

The Samsung Portable SSD T9 is assured to withstand a 3m/9.8ft drop, as well as being tested to simulate shocks. Speed isn’t a problem thanks to its USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 interface and TurboWrite buffer size up to 180GB. Top performance is guaranteed when transferring large files and encoding or decoding video. Utilising the NVMe protocol, read and write speeds of up to 2000MB/s are superfast when using a computer with a quick connection. The portable drive supports USB-C, but comes with a choice of two cables – one to connect to USB-C and a second for legacy USB-A devices.

The aforementioned advert was a tough test for the portable drive. With the footage from each run having to be checked closely to ensure the trained ducks and sportsmen were all in the right place, the footage was carefully transferred to the Samsung Portable SSD T9 and watched back carefully on-set. With some of the cameras shooting at 500fps, which creates a huge amount of data even for a short run, the portable drive was more than capable.

Heat management is a crucial issue when working with massive files, as this can lead to performance drops or even failure of devices in extreme situations. As well as low power consumption, the Samsung Portable SSD T9 is built with thermal materials including silicon and aluminium to keep things cool.

“After trying to get flying ducks to perform on cue, as well as all the actors and talent, it’s nice to know the footage is safely stored and backed up on location,” says Holland. “The Samsung Portable SSD T9 is now part of the equipment I can rely on, when chasing anything from mallards to Marvel superheroes!”

BENEFITS OF THE SAMSUNG PORTABLE SSD T9

Both hardware and firmware are developed exclusively for the Samsung Portable SSD T9. As it is a dedicated PCB design rather than an M.2 SSD, it’s compatible with PCs, mobile phones, TVs, game consoles and cameras. Among other benefits, this enables low power usage. It uses 0.67W at idle and up to 7.3W peak when connected by USB-C. Samsung’s tests show that, when using the portable drive on the same host device and left to idle, battery life is extended by more than 30 minutes compared to some products.* To maintain peak performance, the included Samsung Magician software offers benchmarking, security functions, firmware updates and a health status check in real time. The latest version offers data migration, PSSD software and a card authentication tool.

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

samsung.com/uk/memorystorage/portable-ssd/

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