TV-BAY Issue 88

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TECHNOLOGY When the going gets tough by Will Strauss W hen working ‘in the field’, the kit we use has to withstand a fair old battering. And I’m not just talking about the cameras, viewfinders and those expensive lenses. While glass still needs protecting, these days so does your laptop, your storage, your memory cards: the lot. They all need bags, cases and toughened exteriors that can deal with whatever temperature, precipitation, dust or bumps come their way. Here are some examples of recent ‘tough guy’ innovations, including several that you can see this month at NAB, capable of doing just that. Laptops and editing When explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes and his crew crossed the Antarctic during the winter months in 2012, a journey that only the hardiest would attempt, they took with them Panasonic AP-HPX250 cameras, P2 cards and Panasonic Toughbooks. 20-inch tablet computer with not just a strong chassis and impressive graphics capabilities but also a 4k screen. The Toughpad 4K UT-MA6 performance model has an Intel Core i7 vPro processor with an NVIDIA Quadro GPU and is said to be ideal for mobile video editing, graphics work or even as an on-set dailies review device. As far as durability is concerned it has a 2.5-foot drop rating, magnesium alloy chassis and GFRP (Glass Fiber Reinforced Polymer) rear case. Sturdy stuff. On a similar theme, on show at NAB will be the DuraPAC from ACME Portable Machines. Described as a “portable graphics solution for live video editing” it is tank of a portable computer with a rugged chassis that is designed for editing, transcoding or grading as well as live graphics overlays. Built around an Intel Core i7-4770K Haswell 3.5GHz Quad-Core desktop processor and GeForce GTX 760 it even features rubber corners and bumpers for added Grrrr. One of its latest innovations, introduced at CES this year, is a robust 42 | TV-BAY MAGAZINE: ISSUE 88 APRIL 2014 As we know storage is now not only portable it also comes in various shapes and sizes including ‘compact’. In that category, at IBC last year, Sony announced its fi rst SSD and HDD portable storage range. The PSZ- SA25 SSD drive and the PSZ-HA50 and PSZ-HA1T HDD drives are for backing up footage, not surprisingly, and can transfer content via USB 3.0 up to 400MB per second for SSD and 120MB per second for HDD. As rugged as an ice road trucker with a hangover, they are capable of absorbing falls of up to 2.3 metres (SSD). They’re even compliant with the 810G military standard and thanks to a silicon cover are also dust-proof and splash proof. Storage Faced with snow, ice and temperatures that plunged to below -70 degrees Celsius, the kit had to be pretty resilient. So, Panasonic probably knows a thing or two about rugged design. As rugged as an ice road trucker with a hangover These days video storage is no longer just kept in air-conditioned machine rooms. It can be portable too. Take G-technology’s G-RAID mini for example. This device features both RAID 0 and fail-safe RAID 1 operation and has a high-speed quad interface and storage capacities up to 2TB. Small but tough it has an all-aluminum enclosure that makes it “perfect for capturing and editing on the go or while working on location.” Bags There is a whole industry built around broadcast cases and bags – so much so that even Luis Vuitton offers a camera bag these days. So, for me to attempt to provide a comprehensive overview of this market in a few paragraphs would be foolhardy. But here’s some that might tickle your fancy if you use HDSLRs. Petrol’s Digibag PD221 Camera Bag and its over-the-shoulder DSLR Sling Bag, the PD333, are designed to be portable but sturdy. Used during