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Hubs

Wondering how to connect all those devices to your computer – here are the best hubs. With a special Apple event scheduled for Monday and rumours about the new laptops everyone’s hoping will be announced, speculation is also rife about which ports the new computers will feature.

Since the introduction of the Thunderbolt/USB-C ports for input/output including power, hubs become a necessary addition to kit lists. Too few peripherals had, or still have, usb-c interfaces so hubs became a way of attaching old devices and increasing the number of peripherals we could attach. On photoshoots these days it’s common for 3 back-up drives, 2 monitors, a printer, power input plus of course a tether cable to be attached at once to the computer as a basic set-up. That’s more than the 4 ports any MacBook Pro allows and even a Mac Pro could be maxed out so hubs are essential. Here are some of the best hubs to use with your computer that Digi-techs use and recommend:

There are plenty more available which are both cheap and cheerful but we don’t recommend skimping as hubs are real workhorses on set.

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Links summary

We’ve compiled the various links into a summary for tech and equipment we use and recommend in the other articles here, just so it’s easier to find:

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Making portable SSDs

The price of reliable external drives that use SSDs has really fallen over the last year. You can read more about the drives digiK usually works with for client data backup and provision here. They’re all good brands with warranties provided for peace of mind. But if you’re keen to keep the cost down and want to make a portable SSD drive for your images, music, movies or other data files then it’s not difficult at all. A large drive can allow a number of recent jobs to be carried easily in case anyone needs access to data quickly while on the go.

Simply pop a PCIe NVME SSD into an enclosure and you’re good to go. A size like M.2 is thin and slim and there are plenty of enclosures that fit that form factor. Just make sure you get one with decent heat-dissipation qualities as they get hot in use! I’ve included some Amazon links for ease below. These are components I’ve tried and tested myself for making portable SSDs:

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Hard Drives

At the end of the shoot we’ll make sure that there’s a hard drive to take away with the shoot session on it plus any requested processed files or storyboards. That drive could be for the photographer, agency, retoucher, client or all 4! Below are some of the best hard drives that we regularly use for data backup.

1TB is usually enough for a day’s shoot, 2TB should cover a week’s shoot. While we can use any drive you supply, we recommend a faster drive as there could be a lot of data to copy from our computers to the drives throughout the day.

The Sandisk and Samsung SSDs are an good choice for this and don’t cost much more than the much slower but frequently used Lacie Ruggeds. There are plenty more manufacturers but we’ve used these drives plenty of times for data backup. We’ll be in touch before the shoot to check your requirements so that we can bring along a suitable drive on the day but If you want to buy and supply your own, here are some well priced options on Amazon for quick delivery:

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COVID-19 update

The AOP have issued their latest update in light of restriction easing in England from 19th July 2021. Link here.

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Canon 5D Mark IV tethering on M1 MacBook Pro

Canon issued a firmware update a couple of days ago that can be found here that will now allow the Canon 5D Mark IV to tether to the new series of Apple MacBook Pro M1. We’ve been waiting ages for this update but we can confirm that the firmware update works and tethered shooting is amazingly fast in Capture One v21.

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CalDigit Element Hub

CalDigit make excellent hubs that have been a mainstay on shoots for the last few years. Their newest addition is the CalDigit Thunderbolt 4 Element Hub with USB-C/Thunderbolt 4 ports and USB-A ports, all in a tiny little package. Now in the kit list for use in the studio. Also available on Amazon: