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Drobo adds Thunderbolt connectivity to its 5D3 DAS for Windows

The Photography show at Birmingham’s NEC is one of the largest of its kind in the world. While the majority of the hall space is given over to the latest and greatest in capture, lighting and editing kit – there is a small, but significant area assigned to back up and storage. Apple users have had access to super-fast products for a while. As file sizes increase, speed is of the essence. Drobo believe the 5D3 with Windows support will give professionals and serious users the back up speeds they need. PLUS there’s a chance you can win one in March!

DSLR manufacturers like Canon held out as long as possible when it came to the integration of video capture functionality at HD, 4K and beyond.  The 5D Mark II represented a cross-over point. The ability to use a range of high-quality lenses with an affordable capture system proved too tempting for the TV/movie production business. Pretty soon, shows like House were evangelising about the new hybrid technologies – shooting entire episodes on (relatively) low cost DSLRs.

KitGuru’s team pretty much standardised on Panasonic 4K kit a while ago and now even smartphones like the iPhone 8+ are able to capture 4K at 60 frames per second.

All of this is wonderful, but as ultra high quality video becomes easier and cheaper to capture, it’s easy to be oblivious to the file sizes involved. Until you need to back them up.

Using intelligent compression and the latest CODECs, the Apple iPhone 8+ creates the following file sizes ‘per minute’ of video shot:-

We calculated approximate values for the time needed to back up an hour of video with these compression rates. Note that higher quality/broadcast cameras would be generating much bigger files.

At the NEC, we spoke with Drobo’s Chief Technical Officer, Rod Harrison, who told us. “Although the change on the outside might seem small, it really opens up a lot of possibilities”.

“When the new drivers, we will enable Thunderbolt performance on a Windows compatible products which should be available to the public in a couple of months. It will be possible to configure a Drobo DAS with multiple mechanical hard drives and still achieve 800MB/sec back up speeds”, he explained.

We got Rod to point out the good bit and we also shot a close up.

When KitGuru looked at the Mac version of this product last Summer, we were very impressed. Even at £739, it still picked up our top award. To celebrate the launch of the Windows-enabling driver version, the Drobo team engaged with designer Lawrence Mann. He created a custom skin for the prize unit, which incorporates the design schematics for the 5D3.

For a chance to win, all you need to do is post a shot of the Drobo 5D3 on Twitter and/or Instagram with the hashtags #DroboLove and #UKPhotoShow. This is a Drobo competition, so nothing to do with KitGuru, but it’s got to be worth a punt! Winners will be announced on 30th March 2018 by Drobo. Here’s a shot of the 5D3 that we took earlier.

KitGuru says: We’re all storing more and more files – so data transfer times are increasingly important for everyone. Apple users have had it good for a while – it’s time that the PC posse got some of the good stuff.

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