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G-RAID Mini: Mmm… New Tech Makes Me Warm Inside

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The camera I use, a Canon HV20, films to mini DV tape. For editing, I capture footage to a 500GB LaCie Quadra drive, and access it via FireWire. I do this so as not to burn out the internal hard drive on my MacBook (as recommended by the Apple Store peeps), and also because HD footage takes up a lot of space. Alhamdulillah, this setup has suited me fine for a good 18 months.

However, in spite of taking this precaution, my MacBook hard drive still decided to conk out back in May, and ever since, I’ve been on the prowl for a new external hard drive to use for editing, so that I can use the LaCie as a Time Machine backup disk. As my hard drive failure also coincided with the setup of the Film Club, I decided that the new drive should be portable so that I could edit ‘on the go’, and more easily pass on footage to other SFC members, if and when the need arose. Further, I wanted the drive to be FireWire compatible, and spin at 7200rpm (as opposed to the more standard 5400rpm).

Keeping all this is mind – along with my limited budget – I decided to purchase a G-Raid Mini, 500GB. Yes, it’s more expensive than most other brands, but it is probably the most reliable portable drive I could have invested in, especially as it is specifically designed for the intensive task of video editing, and not just as a storage solution. Plus it came highly recommended by other editors in the many forum threads I came across during my research.

The only problem was that every online supplier I checked at the time had run out of the 500GB 7200rpm model – most likely because everyone wanted that spec for the same reason I did: a smaller capacity would be too small, and the larger capacity was out of budget.

Anyhoo, to make a boring story short, I placed the product on back-order and finally got a call yesterday saying it had arrived in the country. Alhamdulillah, it’s now sat in the front room – which I have claimed as my unofficial, second workspace – and I shall be testing it out asap, insha’Allah. Obligatory photo below.

Sparkly new G-Raid Mini sat on top of the more mature Lacie Quadra.


3 responses »

  1. I’ve found through my own experience that most reliable and cost effective method of using hard drives is to get a Hard Drive Dock.

    If you’re going to be working on many projects, You’ll probably need about 1 TB per project at least.

    In the U.S. is an excellent resource for HDD purchases. 1TB HDDs run for less than $100 each. Stick to Seagate and Western Digital brands. I’ve never had one fail on me. This is with all the traveling I do.

    • Thanks for the advice. Do you film to tape, or digital? Right now our projects are generally v.short, and I can fit the footage happily onto a 500GB hard disk. I delete the files once I know I’ve finished editing. I have the tapes to hand, but of course it means having to spend more time capturing if I ever need the same footage again.

  2. Hm…I’ll have to look into something similar to this soon. I have a Western Digital 1TB Hard Drive, that’s slowly filling up. Before last weekend it had about 300gb left. Then, I videotaped a seminar for a client, 77gb used up.

    Gonna definitely look into portable. Will be so much easier for travel or carrying around the hdd.


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