NAB Wrap Up, Part 3

Putting those pixels somewhere

While it’s great to see trends in production and display, as an editor I’m driven to several things at NAB. One of them is storage. As cameras capture more and more pixels, where are we going to put them?

For storage on location, I saw displays of camera cards. CFast, an evolutionary step from the original Compact Flash card, is being used by more and more camera manufacturers. And now the cards are storing half a terabyte.

Putting those pixels somewhere
SanDisk is delivering even more storage than this: CFast cards—now at 512 GB.

A more recent update in the CF family is CF Express. While CFast is designed to operate like a drive, CF Express works more like RAM so it can achieve faster speeds. Faster speeds are important: As cameras increase in resolution, they have to write more pixels per frame. And the frame rates aren’t slowing down! A card that used to handle writing 2,000 pixels per 1/24 of a second might not be able to reliably handle 4,000 or 8,000 pixels in the same amount of time.

Putting those pixels somewhere
Lexar showed a prototype CFAST card with 1000 MB/s write speed.

Beyond camera cards, getting the footage from production to post requires storage with different requirements. One essential element is ruggedness. At NAB, G-technology showed off their ArmorATD.

As I work on projects, I’m surprised how often I receive drives delivered by people who aren’t part of the production team. Couriers, etc., may not see the need to treat delivery of a drive any differently than a box of staples. The ArmorATD can survive the crushing weight of half a ton.

Putting those pixels somewhere
Up to 4 TB of rugged storage.

Next time, drives for the edit suite on the NAB floor.