What’s Inside the Travel Kit of Ch7 Tech Expert, Val Quinn
A veteran in helping people understand technology, Val Quinn covers breaking news and products as resident tech expert and on-air commentator for Channel 7, as well as Managing Editor for leading Australian tech blog, GadgetGuy. We take a look inside his storage travel kit which boasts portability, speed, ruggedness and security.
Tasked with covering the latest technology announcements, trends and products as his day-to-day job, Val often finds himself flying between countries attending events, presenting and creating tech content – whether that’s shooting a segment in Berlin one day, and hopping over to the Atlantic for a live cross in Silicon Valley the next.
Depending on where he is, this means he is working with a variety of crews, broadcast types, cameras and equipment. “As you’d expect with TV, we’re under extreme time pressures, especially for a big story event like the latest smartphone launch,” says Val. “For pre-recorded packages we have to capture the story from various locations, record interviews and voiceovers, grab B-roll and shoot pieces to camera – there’s a lot involved within a short time period.”
Within this workflow, all footage must be consolidated on site so they can pick the shots they want, before assembling rough cuts and sending them back to the editors. We take a look inside Val’s travel-ready, high-speed storage kit, which allows him to adapt quickly, avoid file sharing bottlenecks, and of course, protect his footage, as there is often no option to reshoot!
CAMERA CARDS & READERS
Whilst the large (and heavy) ENG cameras are the norm in live TV and production, Val also opts for a smaller mirrorless camera when traveling to shoot his shallow depth of field B-roll.
“For these cameras we use the V90 rated1 SanDisk Extreme® Pro SD Memory Card. These have up to 300MB/s transfer speeds2, meaning they can support high frame rate 4K footage and even RAW files. We have found these to be very reliable,” he says.
Val also carries an SD card reader with him in case the crew’s laptops don’t have an SD card reader built in. “In the past I have found these painfully slow, however, thankfully SanDisk has a perfect complement to its SD cards with the Extreme PRO SD Card USB-C™ Reader. When I use it, I know it’s maxing out the card’s transfer rate – it’s a must- have in my bag.”
SanDisk Professional PRO-G40 SSD
Once the event comes to a close, Val likes to drop rough cuts onto a timeline right away. They often make their way to the nearest cafe to start reviewing and transferring footage, to ensure no footage is lost if something unforeseen occurs, such as camera card corruption. During this stage, Val uses the SanDisk Professional PRO-G40™ SSD to jump straight to transcoding and editing, right from the external drive.
“I remember having to sit around for 20 or even 30 minutes waiting for footage dumps, and this really wasn’t so long ago. Now we can do it in under 5 minutes, with this drive capable of moving 50GB in 30 seconds or less! And when it’s all said and done, we need to mirror everything onto a second drive for safekeeping, so transfer times can really add up with slow equipment.”
SanDisk Professional G-DRIVE ArmorLock SSD
When on the road, anything can happen, from missed flights and lost luggage, to stolen equipment and weather damage. To avoid these potential disasters, another must-have in Val’s travel kit is the SanDisk Professional G-DRIVE ArmorLock™ SSD, which he uses to back up working footage.
“This SSD is amazingly secure with high-grade 256-bit encryption and elliptic curve-based key management,” says Val. “Not to mention- it’s got super-fast up to 1,000MB/s USB-C data transfers4, and unmatched durability with up to 3-meter drop protection5, and IP67 dust and water resistance.”
Gone are the days of having to remember access passwords. Val explains that with the ArmorLock App, you can simply use your phone as the key as long as it is in proximity when plugged into a computer.
VAL’S TOP FIVE TRAVEL KIT TIPS
- Plan for every possibility – bring versatile gear that works not only with your stuff but with anyone’s.
- Speed is key – use the fastest equipment you can get your hands on.
- Centralise – there’s nothing worse than mixing up file versions or edits, so try to collaborate from a single, reliable source.
- Maximise redundancy – things get lost and broken, so plan for it. Backup, have plenty of storage space too so you don’t have to wipe anything, and sync to the cloud if you can. Lastly, be sure to tag and track your kit with an Apple® AirTag™.
- Don’t skimp on quality – you might be able to buy something cheap from a no-name on Amazon, but go with brands you trust as reliability is worth the extra spend.
SanDisk, the SanDisk logo, the SanDisk design, SanDisk Professional, the SanDisk Professional logo and G-DRIVE are registered trademarks or trademarks of Western Digital Corporation or its affiliates in the US and/or other countries. USB-C is a trademark of USB Implementers Forum, Inc. The NVMe mark is a registered trademark of NVM Express, Inc. Mac, macOS and Time Machine are trademarks of Apple Inc. Windows is a trademark or registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation in the US and/or other countries. Thunderbolt is a trademark of Intel Corporation
1 UHS Speed Class 3 (U3) and Video Speed Class V90 (V90) designate performance options designed to support real-time video recording with UHS enabled host devices. See www.sdcard.org/consumers/speed for additional details.
2 Up to 300 MB/s read/transfer speed. Write/shot speed up to 260 MB/s. Based on internal testing; performance will vary based on host device. Full performance requires SanDisk UHS-II Reader. 1MB < 1,000,000 bytes.
3 Based on read speed. 1 MB/s = 1 million bytes per second. Based on internal testing; performance may vary depending upon host device, usage conditions, drive capacity, and other factors.
4 Based on read and write speeds. 1 MB/s = 1 million bytes per second. Based on internal testing; performance may vary depending upon host device, usage conditions, drive capacity, and other factors.
5 On carpeted concrete floor.
resident technology expert and on-air commentator
Valens Quinn is Seven Network Australia's resident technology expert and on-air commentator, and Managing Partner at creative technology agency, Theory of Invention (formerly The Gadget Group).
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