Samsung: Making waves

Posted on Nov 23, 2022

Wakeboard filmmaker Gareth Downing pushes creativity to the extremes. This time, he takes the rapid, rugged Samsung Portable SSD T7 Shield along for the ride

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Given the choice between a comfortable studio and the frigid waters of a lake, most creatives would opt for the former in a heartbeat. But Gareth Downing is not most creatives. Like mastering the probing detail of documentary or careful considerations of the commercial world, the action sports genre has its set of challenges. Overcome, and framed through this filmmaker’s lens, the results are spectacular.

“I do a lot of charity work for wakeboarding organisations, to promote the sport. I also work more directly with some of the top riders in the UK. Content is used for marketing campaigns on social media and beyond,” Downing explains. “My latest shoot was a Team GB training session, which required a same-day output, ready to be used to help find sponsorships ahead of the World Championships.”

As an end-to-end filmmaker, full responsibility falls to Downing. From the very beginning, stakes are high. Thankfully, he had the Samsung Portable SSD T7 Shield on hand.

“Constantly, throughout the shoot, I strip footage onto an SSD. If we’re doing drone work, I’ll swap the card and batteries every time it comes back to land. If I’m out in the boat, it’s the same process at the earliest opportunity. Fast storage is essential for that turnaround.

“When an athlete lands a trick six times, they might all look good to a spectator, but to them, there’s only one perfect take. If I miss that key moment because I’m transferring files instead of recording, it’s definitely upsetting.”

RAT RACE | In the fast-paced world of social media, kit that enables a quick turnaround is a must

With maximum respective read and write speeds of 1050MB/s and 1000MB/s, excessive downtime is a thing of the past. Sizable blocks of data can be pulled from a card onto the Portable SSD T7 Shield in seconds, leaving more time for what matters most on location.

“The drive’s weather resistance is also extremely important to me,” Downing continues. “When I’m filming from the boat as riders get towed, people are getting in and out, they’re wet and their gear is everywhere. Just knowing that the drive is protected, even if it takes a little bit of a tumble, gives me peace of mind.”

What would leave most SSDs damaged beyond repair is light work for this rugged tech. The Portable SSD T7 Shield’s lack of moving parts is protected further by a built-in rubber casing – doubling as some much-needed grip, in Downing’s operation. All in all, it keeps your files safe against drops of 3m, sprays of water and showers of dust.

“The drive is tiny, too,” the filmmaker notes, addressing the drive’s other impressive features. “There’s 2TB of storage and it’s so fast, but it easily fits in your pocket. I’ve been doing this quite a while and, when I first started, I was carrying a lot of kit. Now, I’ve managed to get it down to just one tiny case. The Portable SSD T7 Shield fits very nicely within that. Ultimately, it means when I have to move quickly to the other side of the lake, I don’t have to waste time with three trips.”

For Downing, like many others, the shoot is only half the story. True to form, however, his post-production demands are far from light. It was another challenge the drive took on seamlessly.

“Half the time, editing on location is a must,” he says. “I’ll try and get a video turned around within the same day, to really keep my clients’ social media channels flowing. We don’t want to announce a competition ahead of a weekend, get people excited, then have radio silence at the time. Often these will be three-day events, as well, with a new video on each day.

“Old external disk drives were so slow that you couldn’t effectively edit off them, but SSD improved that greatly. The Portable SSD T7 Shield is especially impressive. If you’re shooting in 4K Raw, those files get quite demanding, but even with my highest-resolution footage, the drive doesn’t struggle. I’ve never encountered any issues, even with a lot of post effects. There’s no notable difference between the external source and files on the computer’s hard drive. The great benefit is I can carry on working straight off the Portable SSD T7 Shield on any machine, and the project is all still there.”

IN-HOUSE JOB | Editing straight off the drive is easy with the Samsung Portable SSD T7 Shield

Whether it’s hopping between a Mac laptop and tower, over to a PC or an Android device, gaming console or beyond, the Portable SSD T7 Shield effortlessly adapts. As filmmaking workflows become more evolved, only you know where the potential could end.

Having beaten the lag of lesser devices, the Samsung portable drive targets another common issue. Overheating is alleviated by an advanced Dynamic Thermal Guard design. No matter where you choose to edit, or how large the project, the Portable SSD T7 Shield will remain a cool companion.

“I hope to get my hands on the drive again,” Downing concludes. “I’ve used earlier Samsung SSDs and loved their speed, and I’ve used other rugged drives – but I’d never found a combination of both.”

The reason is simple. When it comes to speed and sturdiness, the Samsung Portable SSD T7 Shield is one of a kind.

This article appears in the December 2022 Issue of Definition. Read the full magazine here.

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