The LaCie DJI Copilot Allows Drone Operators to Manage Their Photos and Video On the Fly

Giving on-the-go professionals options

Images from the LaCie DJI Copilot event at Filmtools.

While the LaCie DJI Copilot might have made it’s official debut at CES 2018, Filmtools in Hollywood hosted an event that allowed attendees to get a hands on experience with the product that possesses 2TB of storage and can serve as a crucial backup solution and hub in the field.

The LaCie DJI Copilot represents Phase II of Seagate’s partnership with DJI. Phase I saw the debut of the DJI Fly Drive, but this new product takes the concept of empowering on-the-go drone operators one step further. While the Fly Drive enabled users to easily add backup storage to protect footage gathered via a drone, the new LaCie DJI Copilot allows users to manage their data straight from the drive itself. It’s the kind of capability users specifically asked to see developed, for numerous reasons.

“What we were hearing from creative professionals is that when they were going out into the field to capture drone footage, the last thing they wanted to do was lug a computer with them,” said Steve Hitchcock from Seagate. “Not having to bring a laptop into the field really makes a difference, and the CoPilot allows you to offload and manage drone footage or images without a computer. If you do bring your laptop, you can connect the Copilot to your MacBook Pro, and now you’ve got an SD card reader with the integrated microSD adapter that it comes with. So it’s really a hard drive as well as a dock.”

These features are all about giving on-the-go professionals options in terms of what works best for them with their project or preferred workflow, and those options are as robust as they are powerful. The battery inside the Copilot is so strong that users can actually port power to another hard drive off of it, so they can send the power and data over to a standard rugged drive to ensure all files are properly backed up.

A built in screen allows you to move and copy files to an SD card, and you can also watch video playback, all without ever plugging into a computer. This allows you to this allows to watch content, photos or videos in full resolution, without compression. The Copilot takes in info via a USB port or SD card slot, and a microSD-to-SD card adapter is also available. With the USB hub you can connect any USB card reader for other media than SD cards, and those SD and USB ports become a hub for your mobile devices. You can also connect to a computer through USB-C or USB 3.0.

We mentioned that this device has been created for on-the-go professionals who are out and about flying their drones in a variety of locations across the world. Outside of that though, what type of person is going to be able to get the most out of the Copilot?

“This product was designed for creative professionals,” Hitchcock told ProVideo Coalition. “Whether that’s a field audio professional, a photographer, a DP or even a field editor, we wanted to give users the tools they need to do just about whatever they want to do while they’re on the go without having to come back to their computer. If you want to get specific though, I think it’s a perfect fit for anyone who uses YouTube to post their content because the connection to iPad, iPhone or Android mobile devices is wired to enable plug and play. We’re the only ones that allow content creators to review their content in full resolution, including 4K footage, which is not possible through a wireless connection. Since the device works with the iOS file system, NLE systems like LumaTouch will act as a scratch disk for you. Again, it’s all about creating options for creatives who either can’t or don’t want to have their laptop with them at all times.”

Watch the video below to get a better sense of what it means to use the LaCie DJI Copilot to copy files directly from drones, memory cards, action cams, DSLR cameras, phones, USB hard drives, USB flash drives, and more.


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Jeremiah Karpowicz moved to Los Angeles to become a screenwriter but quickly realized making a film was about much more than the script. He worked at a post house where films like Watchmen (2009), Gamer…