Indie filmmakers get professional-level video with Blackmagic hardware

The lack of studio backing has always been both the independent film community’s greatest weakness and asset. An indie director doesn’t feel pressure from producers to alter his or her project to better target certain demographics. These individuals have complete control over their films. The only thing that really stands in their way to creating their movies on their own terms is financing. Without the backing of big-time producers and companies, even the most talented and creative video professionals may have trouble capturing their vision on film. That dichotomy can be frustrating to deal with and may ultimately make working outside of the traditional major studio system seem like an uphill battle.

Making a successful independent film has never been more difficult than in today’s climate. Moviefone columnist Gary Susman explained in a 2013 article that the film industry has veered away from smaller, character-based pieces in favor of bigger spectacles. Another major concern is that major studios have bought up distributors that previously helped independent filmmakers get their movies in front of an audience. Now that those outlets have been incorporated into the Hollywood studio environment, indie directors have lost a number of allies.

“Independent film is in a chaotic state of flux because the business model that made the indie renaissance of the past quarter century possible has collapsed into a shambles,” Susman wrote.

Susman also noted that it has become more difficult for these filmmakers to secure financing through traditional channels such as venture capitalists. If independent filmmakers are unable to get proper funding, they will likely have to settle for subpar recording equipment. Using inferior cameras and editing equipment will further prevent these individuals from creating movies that are able to effectively capture an audience. That’s why it’s so important that indie directors have access to high-quality hardware without needing to break the bank.

Blackmagic Design presents a ray of hope
In recent years, Blackmagic Design has helped bolster independent film productions with its line of high-performance cameras. With this equipment, crews can shoot raw uncompressed video that can stand toe-to-toe with major studio films. The emergence of the affordable Blackmagic Design brand has enabled numerous professionals working outside of the Hollywood system to pursue their passion projects.

Industry veteran Emmanuel Sapolsky was one such individual who felt squeezed out by the astronomic up-front costs needed to get movies off the ground. With several film credits under his belt, Sapolsky has worked with a number of both high- and low-end cameras. Often, this equipment presented a “pick your poison” situation in which crews could either suffer subpar transfers or stretch their budgets thin on a better machine.

“These cameras were either cheap with a poor image quality that didn’t look cinematic, or too expensive and hard to master,” Sapolsky said. “I remember when shooting with a digital film camera that emerged at the time for its ability to shoot RAW, we had to rent a special tripod because it was too heavy and an O’Connor Head to sustain the camera. It was noisy and drained the batteries faster than we could shoot and the workflow was complicated.”

Since working with fellow international film veteran Xin Wang to form Drunken Dragon Productions, Sapolsky and the organization’s crew members have looked to keep their costs down while still generating high-quality video. With the Blackmagic Cinema Camera, Drunken Dragon Productions has been able to achieve studio-level transfers without shelling out for expensive equipment or dealing with the shoddy compression techniques of inferior products.

Blackmagic cameras offer the total package of affordability, versatility and performance. Sapolsky’s crew has been able to customize his equipment to shoot with various approaches to framing as well as in numerous disparate locations. The ability to capture raw, uncompressed video has been a significant asset, as it has enabled the filmmakers to create films that look comparable to larger productions. The image clarity offered by Blackmagic cameras effectively levels the playing field and gives indie directors a fighting chance.

“The gap between big productions and indie filmmaking is narrowing thanks to guys like [Blackmagic Design CEO] Grant Petty,” said Sapolsky. “We feel he really cares about bringing solutions to the mass so new talents could emerge without emptying our bank accounts.”

Get reliable performance with high-quality SSD drives
When paired with the best acquisition media on the market, Blackmagic cameras can help independent filmmakers eliminate one of their biggest headaches: lost footage. Dropped frames and faulty transfers can grind small productions down to a halt, sending the crew racing to find a way to reshoot video they thought they had in the can. In many instances, these unenviable circumstances are the result of an ill-suited storage device. Many digital cameras including the Blackmagic Cinema Camera require a solid state drive to transfer video into usable files. If the SSD in question is not of a high caliber and designed specifically for video recording applications, its performance will likely suffer.

Most of these problems can be traced back to an SSD’s form factor. Off-the-shelf products are typically created for use in laptops, netbooks and PCs, meaning their specifications rarely match up with industry standards. A slimmer SSD, such as those commonly used in computers, will rattle around when placed inside a Blackmagic Cinema Camera. Given too much movement, that device may become damaged and put the integrity of any captured video at risk.

Meanwhile, an SSD drive that has been designed specifically for video recording purposes will alleviate these concerns. A product like DIGISTOR’s Video Professional Series SSD offers the precise form factor, format and design specifications to enable effective video capture when needed. With these SSD drives, independent filmmakers can avoid the kinds of acquisition media-related pitfalls that have derailed many productions in the past.

SSD drives offer better performance, durability for healthcare equipment

The healthcare industry faces a number of ever-increasing challenges, most notably relating to budgets and expenses. While costs are rising on all fronts across the sector, one area that industry members may want to focus on is equipment. Medical machinery is becoming more complex, resulting in a higher price tag and more funding needed to invest in the latest and best treatment tools. According to a study conducted by Lucintel, global spending on medical equipment will increase at a compound annual growth rate of 4.1 percent through 2017. At the time, the global medical equipment industry is predicted to be worth $93.6 billion.

The amount of capital dedicated to investing in new medical equipment should give healthcare officials pause, particularly regarding what happens to these machines once they have been installed. If this hardware is not properly configured or set up with the best components available, it may suffer from performance issues or be prone to outages. Not only will this translate into a poor use of hospital resources, but it could also impede medical staff's ability to provide quality treatment to patients.

Given the high stakes involved in the operation of medical equipment, hospitals need to be certain that they have the underlying components to properly support these machines. Data storage devices, in particular, present concerns if the right tools are not selected. Traditional disk-based devices rely on internal moving parts that can be easily disrupted and damaged. This will prevent sensitive equipment from functioning properly and could dramatically affect the quality of treatment offered by a hospital.

From a performance perspective, high-quality SSDs far outclass other options, as their flash memory allows data to be written or read as quickly as possible. This ensures that for extremely sensitive machines, they will continue to run accurately without harmful disruptions. Hospital networks are becoming increasingly complex, requiring every component to be finely tuned and function effectively. A number of critical devices rely on their storage solutions to continue performing without incident. This machinery may include patient monitoring systems and image testing equipment. Without an excellent SSD in place to seamlessly handle data read/write processes, this complex hardware may encounter performance errors that could impair their functionality and impede staff efforts to provide excellent care.

Durability required in critical environments
As KnownHost explained, organizations can benefit immensely by switching to a solid state drive for all of their data storage needs regarding high-performance and sensitive machinery. Because SSDs do not operate on movable parts, they are not vulnerable to the same durability issues as disk-based alternatives. SSD drives run on NAND flash memory, which is far more reliable for extended use. Even the most advanced HDD will be susceptible to the wear and tear of physical operations. The read/write heads that disk-based storage tools utilize will break down over time, either due to a gradual diminishing of their internal components or from sudden trauma.

The best SSDs on the market have robust features designed to enhance their durability and increase their lifespan. DIGISTOR's industrial-grade SSD drives contain processors with higher-level BCH ECC algorithms that reduce the potential for data to be incorrectly written to the cell memory. This error correction code functionality ensures that critical data is kept intact and prevents bits of information to be lost or corrupted during the read/write process. Healthcare officials should take note of such robust features when choosing an SSD drive as not all products on the market will have them. A poorly constructed SSD will ultimately provide little upside over a traditional solution.

DIGISTOR's industrial line of SSD drives also offer monitoring capabilities that enable personnel to check the status of their crucial components and identify potentially disruptive issues before they become more significant problems. With the S.M.A.R.T. monitoring system that comes packaged with every DIGISTOR Industrial SSD, key performance indicators can be viewed at anytime, allowing workers to identify and fix such issues early on. This foresight will prevent a number of costly operational disruptions from occurring with an organization's healthcare equipment.

When choosing a storage device for sensitive and complex hardware that is tasked with critical responsibilities, it's essential that healthcare authorities do their homework and look beyond off-the-shelf options. Those products may not contain the array of features needed to ensure long-term durability. DIGISTOR Industrial SSDs have the unparalleled robustness and performance needed to excel in a healthcare environment.

Blackmagic Cinema Camera passes professional eye test

With all the numerous products clogging the high-end camera market, it can be difficult for video professionals to choose the tool that will best meet their needs. They can look at all the touted features and product specs, but in the end, what's shown on paper may not be reflected by a camera's actual performance. The only way to know for sure how well a given piece of recording equipment will operate is to work with it hands-on, testing how it runs under conditions that the average filmmaker will consistently run into.

Even with the influx of new, insightful statistics in the sporting world, many professional analysts still rely on the "eye test" to assess the skill level of an athlete. There's no better way to gauge the performance of an individual than to see how he or she responds to in-game conditions. Camera equipment is no different in this regard. Production crews can shell out a lot of money on an expensive camera loaded with impressive features. When it's crunch time, however, that piece of hardware may not provide the value that it promised.

The BMCC gets assessed
Cinematographer Shane Hurlbut recently took this approach when assessing the performance of Blackmagic Design's Cinema Camera. With several years of experience in the film industry, working on high-profile projects such as "Terminator Salvation" and "Need for Speed", Hurlbut has seen his fair share of recording equipment. That experience has no doubt helped the professional cinematographer hone a keen eye for recognizing quality in high-end cameras.

Hurlbut subjected the Cinema Camera to a barrage of tests crafted around various circumstances that professional filmmakers may routinely find themselves in. For instance, Hurlbut wanted to see how the BMCC would handle itself when the person behind the camera attempted to execute a shadow transition. The BMCC excelled in this area, providing rich clarity as an image becomes progressively darker.

The BMCC also received praise for its ability to present skin tones in a realistic and lively manner. It can be difficult to achieve such an accurate presentation of the human figure when shooting on video, but BMCC was up to the challenge. Although Hurlbut noted some redness when testing Blackmagic Design's product, he chalked that up to the lens used with the camera.

Hurlbut went above and beyond normal testing conditions to see what the BMCC was really made of. He submitted video transfers to varying levels of both over- and underexposure. While Hurlbut was able to eventually push the camera to its breaking point in these instances, he came away impressed with its versatility, resiliency and overall performance.

"[T]he BMCC is a great bargain. I will be using this camera more often with the right glass and armed with the insight I have obtained through extensive testing," Hurlbut wrote.

Use quality SSDs to support the BMCC
To truly capitalize on Blackmagic Design hardware, professional filmmakers must have an equally high-quality solid state drive in place to flawlessly process data. It can be easy to overlook the importance of acquisition media when purchasing a new piece of high-end recording equipment, but these devices can be instrumental in achieving reliable video capture.

Many SSDs on the market have not been designed with video recording applications in mind, often making them ill-suited for these tasks. For instance, they are unlikely to have been produced with the industry-standard 9.5mm form factor. SSDs created for use with laptops or PCs may feature slimmer designs, meaning they will not fit inside the BMCC without rattling around during operation and run the risk of dropped frames. That movement can also easily result in the drive itself becoming damaged, resulting in a complete loss of any video that has been stored on the device.

Instead of rolling the dice on an off-the-shelf product, filmmakers should put their faith in the Professional Video Series SSD drives from DIGISTOR. This equipment has been designed from the ground-up with recording applications in mind, giving production crews the tools they need to consistently shoot scenes without worrying about lost video. Even when shooting raw, uncompressed transfers, DIGISTOR SSDs are able to shoulder the workload and facilitate the video capture processes without losing a single frame. This means that production crews can avoid ever encountering the dreaded circumstance of needing to redo an entire day's worth of work because the acquisition media device malfunctioned and lost everything that had been recorded.

Professional shoots run on tight schedules and tighter budgets. With the many different components that must work seamlessly together on a movie, film or commercial set, there's absolutely no room for error. An off-the-shelf SSD will only introduce another unknown factor for production crews to worry about and account for. Put any lingering fears about dropped frames and lost footage to rest by embracing the unparalleled features of DIGISTOR's Professional Video Series SSD drives. If professional filmmakers are going to use high-end cameras like the BMCC, they should invest in acquisition media that will wring the best performance from this equipment.

Industrial SSDs aid military vehicle diagnostics

Most drivers in the United States have encountered a moment when they were driving down the road and their dashboard suddenly lit up, notifying them of a potential engine problem. Vehicle diagnostics are commonplace today, giving otherwise unaware drivers a heads-up about everything from forthcoming engine failure to faulty airbags. These intricate systems help drivers to avoid causing major damage to their cars' engines and potentially being stranded on the side of the road when their vehicle suddenly breaks down.

Within the military sector, the need for on-board diagnostics is even more pressing, particularly for troops who have been deployed in war zones. Soldiers stationed in Afghanistan, Iraq and other areas of the world where armed conflict may occur need their vehicles to operate as flawlessly as possible. Even the military's most sophisticated land-based vehicles such as tanks and armored personnel carriers may encounter engine malfunction or failure. If this were to occur while a unit was out on patrol in a dangerous region, troops could be stranded and left waiting for help in a vulnerable position. That is why on-board diagnostic systems must perform at the highest level and continue providing military personnel with up-to-date information regarding the status of a particular vehicle.

On-board diagnostics improve vehicle condition
There are many benefits to utilizing on-board diagnostics for military purposes, including avoiding situations like the one described above. With a finely tuned system in place, APC or tank drivers could be notified of a pending problem with an engine component before it leads to a full-scale vehicle shutdown. According to Sohel Anwar, an engineering professor at Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis, drivers could use the advanced equipment in military vehicles to power off particular problematic components, enabling them to return to base without causing further damage. This would not only prevent more widespread damage to the engine, but would also help the military reduce its repair costs.

Cutting back on overall maintenance expenses is a major benefit of on-board diagnostics since operators can preemptively take their vehicles in for repair before an initial problem leads to deeper concerns. Because these systems reduce the amount of time elapsed between when a malfunction occurs and when it is addressed, they prevent military units from spending a great deal of government funding on extensive repairs that could have been avoided if caught sooner. Furthermore, a proactive approach to military vehicle maintenance will dramatically improve the health and performance of tanks, trucks and APCs.

Flash memory trounces the competition
To keep diagnostic systems running smoothly and properly recording and analyzing data, military personnel will need to utilize high-quality storage devices that are capable of handling these workloads. NAND flash memory has long surpassed disk-based drives for military applications as they can quickly and easily write or retrieve important information. Traditional hard disk drives are not appropriate for these instances since their read/write heads and magnetic platters require time to move into position. This translates into noticeable lag time that most every PC user has experienced on a regular basis.

Military personnel do not have the time to wait for their critical systems to boot up or for important applications to launch. If an error involving an engine component has occurred, drivers need to be notified right away. Because solid state drives run on flash memory, they are ideal for use with high-performance military vehicles. Information can be quickly retrieved from a memory block, enabling lightning-fast boot times.

Industrial-strength SSDs a necessity for military applications
Not all SSDs are fit for military use, however. Tanks and APCs will inevitably create and encounter extreme vibrations, increasing the likelihood that poorly made components will be damaged. Industrial-grade SSD drives are capable of performing under these conditions, providing consistent service even when a vehicle is driving across rugged terrain or comes within close proximity of an explosion. Lesser products are unlikely to continue operating, preventing important diagnostics systems from running effectively and giving operators critical updates regarding their vehicles.

Another benefit to using industrial SSDs, such as those provided by DIGISTOR, is that they can handle the extreme environments that military vehicles often run in. Over the past decade, the United States military has had a significant presence in the Middle East, stationing troops in arid conditions. The United States Marine Corps explained that those environments can wreak havoc on vehicles as well as their components, particularly since temperatures can swing to both extremes in the desert.

DIGISTOR Industrial Strength SSD Drives have been designed to handle such inhospitable operating conditions without experiencing component failure. These high-quality devices can withstand temperatures ranging from minus 45 degrees Celsius to 85 C, giving broad coverage in both extremely hot and cold environments. For military applications, this means that desert-based personnel will receive consistent performance from their SSDs even when temperatures plummet at night and rise back up to scorching levels during the day.

Military vehicles should only be outfitted with the very best equipment, and that includes SSD drives. DIGISTOR's products have been designed with durability and reliable performance foremost in mind, making them ideal for these types of applications.

Filmmakers flock to Blackmagic camera equipment

Both established and aspiring filmmakers have more resources at their fingertips for capturing professional-level video than ever before. In the past, it would have been difficult for an independent director to get the same quality of footage as a production team with thousands of dollars worth of cameras, lighting rigs and editing suites. Today, however, filmmakers and other video professionals can lean on new, high-quality hardware to get the performance needed to stand toe-to-toe with studio-backed projects. At the forefront of this push to offer advanced camera equipment at a reasonable price is Blackmagic Design.

Many media outlets have sung the praises of Blackmagic Design, noting the manufacturer's deft balance of quality and affordability with its equipment. For instance, when recently reviewing one of Blackmagic's latest products, the URSA 4K Digital Camera, Ahmad Hafiz took note of the company's overall dedication to performance. Furthermore, the Blackmagic goes above and beyond when considering what features should be added or improved upon to better meet the needs of its customers. User feedback is continually utilized to enhance the quality of Blackmagic products and deliver hardware that will effortlessly capture raw, uncompressed video.

"If you love photography and film, you'll have your arms wide open and ready to receive Blackmagic's 4K Digital Cameras," Hafiz wrote for The Fuse Joplin.

Blackmagic cameras aid professional shoots
Blackmagic adopters have provided numerous success stories outlining how these high-quality cameras helped on their productions. The latest video professional to heap praise upon the recording equipment manufacturer is Jon Hess, an award-winning director, producer and writer. Hess has helped shepherd several major productions to completion, including the Academy Award-nominated "American History X," which he co-produced. As a director, however, he has not released a film in over a decade.

With the help of the Blackmagic Cinema Camera and Pocket Cinema Camera, however, Hess has been able to return to the director's chair with his forthcoming release, "Dead Men Float." The Cinema Camera served as the primary recording instrument with the Pocket Cinema Camera used to help crew members get shots in more confined environments. Leaning on Blackmagic's equipment, Hess and his team were able to capture high-quality, raw video that displays every desired detail. With a large amount of crisp video to work with, the production's editors were able to effectively craft the story they wanted to tell.

"The camera really opened up what I could do creatively," Hess said. "One of the best examples of the camera's quality was during a pivotal night scene. We set up the camera, shot at ISO (1600) and were able to get this beautiful night scene, that in the past, would have taken a whole film crew and a large budget to get."

Consider acquisition media needs
When using a high-quality recording device like the Blackmagic Cinema Camera, it's important for filmmakers to consider their acquisition media needs. Some of this hardware requires a solid state drive to properly capture high-quality video, and short-changing this aspect of the process will come back to haunt a crew. If video professionals choose an off-the-shelf product – even one that has been cleared for Blackmagic use – they may encounter significant performance issues that could dramatically affect a shoot. Not all SSDs have been designed with video capture in mind. Many being released at this moment are actually specified for use with Netbook PCs, leading to form factor issues during the installation process. An ill-fitting SSD will rattle around inside a Blackmagic Cinema Camera, especially during more rigorous shoots. That activity could damage the device, resulting in the loss of whatever video had been recorded.

Video professionals should look to leverage SSD drives that have been engineered specifically for video capturing purposes. DIGISTOR's Professional Video Series SSDs are certified for Blackmagic use, making them ideal accessories for hardware that requires a solid state drive to operate. These high-performance tools ensure that uncompressed, raw video is recorded smoothly with no lags or dropped shots, giving filmmakers the professional-quality video transfer they need to compete in today's media industries.

Atomos approves DIGISTOR SSDs for video recording use

The video recording industry has changed dramatically over the years. Film has given way to digital formats, placing greater importance on the need for high-quality acquisition media. As such, many high-performance cameras require users to install a quality solid state drive to ensure that video is captured correctly and that no footage is lost during the process.

Camera manufacturers often hold high standards when it comes to approving SSD brands for use with their hardware – after all, certifying an inferior product would reflect poorly on their market standing. That’s why it’s always a big deal in the video recording world when a manufacturer places its seal of approval on a new storage device.

Australia-based camera manufacturer Atomos recently added DIGISTOR SSD drives to its stable of highly recommended storage devices, recognizing the products’ performance and functionality. Atomos is devoted to the development of high-tech solutions that benefit their customers, so any approved drive needs to adhere to those same principles.

DIGISTOR drives meet industry needs
DIGISTOR Professional Video Series SSDs have been specifically designed for video capture, making them ideal solutions for filmmakers and other users who are absolutely serious about their acquisition media needs. Many SSDs on the market have been created with other uses in mind, such as supporting Netbook PCs. Because these products have been designed for broader applications, they are often unsuitable video recording purposes.

DIGISTOR SSD drives are engineered to adhere to industry standards, sculpted to meet form factor specifications and configured to match widely used video formats. This enables DIGISTOR to offer video professionals what is essentially a plug ‘n’ play solution, eliminating potential headaches and streamlining the installation process.

Atomos has recognized that dedication to quality and ease-of-use, listing DIGISTOR Professional Video Series SSDs as “highly recommended drives” for use with the manufacturer’s products. Only a small handful of SSDs have been given this distinction, making DIGISTOR a member of an elite group of acquisition media vendors.

This latest distinction follows DIGISTOR’s long-standing position as a trusted provider of SSD drives compatible with Blackmagic Design hardware. By focusing efforts on specifically tailoring storage devices to the specific requirements of video capture applications, DIGISTOR has created the most effective and reliable SSD on the market for professional-level recording. Filmmakers, videographers and other production crew members who leverage only the best cameras available shouldn’t settle for inferior storage drives. DIGISTOR has the track record of success and distinction to demonstrate that it provides the most consistent and durable SSDs for video use on the market.

Keep a sharp eye on SSD bill of materials

There are many figures and benchmarks that businesses should pay attention to when considering purchasing a sold state drive. The price tag, data transfer speeds and type of NAND flash memory used should all be taken into account when assessing the value of an SSD drive. However, there is one item that consumers and business users alike consistently overlook during this process: the bill of materials. It's understandable why an individual would not give this checklist more than a passing glance. After all, manufacturers should only be using the best materials and components when creating their products. Furthermore, any large operation should place a premium on consistency and ensure that all devices share the same individual pieces. However, this is not always the case, and it's often the end user who suffers as a result.

At its most basic level, the bill of materials is nothing more than a list of the components that make up a larger product. Users may not feel that they need to concern themselves with this kind of minutiae, but issues with a product's BoM can directly affect its performance. TechTarget explained that BoM problems are usually defined by three criteria: completeness, consistency or correctness. Prospective SSD purchasers should take note of consistency in particular when deciding on a solution. Some manufacturers have shown an inability to use the same components with all of their products.

The drawbacks of flexible BoMs
TweakTown's Chris Ramseyer recently highlighted some of the most egregious examples of companies playing it fast and loose with their BoMs. OCZ Technology, for instance, once made an alteration to the BoM on one of its products, swapping out the NAND flash used. Because of the change, some prospective consumers were unable to use that SSD drive. Kingston pulled a similar stunt, replacing the 25nm synchronous NAND flash originally included with its V300 product with an inferior component approximately one year later.

It appears that manufacturer PNY Technologies has committed the same sin, releasing SSDs with varying BoMs. A TweakTown reader contacted Ramseyer and described how the SSD that the individual purchased did not feature a BoM that matched up with one previously reviewed on the website. According to Ramseyer, that reader bought the PNY product because of his glowing assessment of its performance. Because of the shifting BoM, however, that individual's SSD did not hit the same benchmarks.

A representative from PNY admitted that the company had shipped out SSDs with disparate BoMs, qualifying the move by noting that all of its products fall within "minimum advertised performance levels." When manufacturers neglect to lock down the components within their BoMs, consumers and business users may wind up with a product that doesn't meet their expectations. Ramseyer lamented that companies would choose to take such liberties and fail to adhere to full transparency with their BoMs.

"Sadly, we no longer have faith in PNY or Kingston SSDs as both companies have acted with poor judgment and misled SSD product reviewers, our readers and the buying public," Ramseyer wrote. "Even though both product changes should meet the advertised specifications, they are not in line with the products we and others tested. Hopefully other companies will not follow their lead."

Ramseyer's reaction to this turn of events – particularly his evident sense of betrayal – highlights why it is so important that SSD manufacturers value consistency in the creation of their BoMs. DIGISTOR SSD drives have long featured locked BoMs, including firmware, giving users the peace of mind knowing that any given item will offer the same performance and compatibility regardless of when it is purchased. No one should have to deal with the headaches of buying a product only to find out the features he or she thought would be present have been discarded in favor of utilizing more affordable components. With DIGISTOR SSDs, end users can be confident that they receive exactly what they pay for.

DIGISTOR Cinema SSD stands out from the crowd with exFAT

Given the many factors and expenses that production crews must consider, it’s understandable that some components are prioritized over others. However, filmmakers and other video professionals should never overlook the importance of quality acquisition media. The solid state drive used in tandem with a high-end camera can make all the difference between a successful production and one marred by reshoots and other delays. Off-the-shelf products are unlikely to provide the full range of features needed to ensure reliable video transfer. As such, it’s crucial that crew members choose an SSD designed with professional-grade video cameras in mind. Among the many factors that DIGISTOR technicians have taken into account when creating the Professional Video Series SSD Drive is the importance of format.

Video professionals who want to shoot with and get the best performance out of Blackmagic Design cameras will need an SSD that is compatible with the exFAT format. The camera and recording equipment manufacturer uses exFAT for all of its hardware, so any supplemental storage device will need to be able to run on it. This format offers a lot of advantages to those with video-editing needs, particularly if they are going to be using software on various computers. As Lifehacker’s Whitson Gordon noted, an external storage drive that is formatted to exFAT can be used on both Windows and Mac operating systems. This cross-platform functionality enables filmmakers do conduct their editing workload on numerous computers whenever needed.

DIGISTOR solves formatting issues
Because Blackmagic Design has selected exFAT as its preferred format, potential users will need SSD drives that share that compatibility. DIGISTOR Professional Video Series SSD Drives  are specifically designed with exFAT in mind, ensuring that users are able to begin shooting high-quality content on their Blackmagic hardware without delay. This way, filmmakers do not need to license and launch additional software to write directly to their camera’s storage drive, dramatically streamlining the recording and editing process.


When dealing with high-pressure and high-stakes video productions, crew members do not want to waste a minute on ineffective and inefficient equipment. Because DIGISTOR SSDs are certified and specifically designed for Blackmagic use, video professionals can be certain that their recording and editing hardware works as expected the first time. The functionality and reliability provided by DIGISTOR products ensure that productions are not slowed down by issues related to acquisition media. With DIGISTOR’s Professional Video Series SSD Drives, a film crew’s storage drive will always be a solution and never a problem.

The DIGISTOR difference: Meeting Blackmagic form factor needs

Video professionals from independent filmmakers to major production crew members have been brimming with excitement regarding Blackmagic Design’s line of high-quality cameras. This equipment enables users to capture raw, uncompressed video at a fraction of the cost presented by alternative products. The manufacturer has quickly established itself as a leading supplier of cost-effective tools that offer a professional-grade functionality and experience.

Blackmagic cameras have also been lauded for their versatility. Production equipment can often be cumbersome and heavy, making it difficult for crews to film in cramped conditions or make changes on the fly. Many Blackmagic offerings feature smaller form factors, enabling cameramen to shoot in a wide variety of conditions. Director Christopher Califano discovered these benefits when shooting his short film, “The Only Choice.”

“The advantages of using the [Blackmagic Cinema Camera] were really apparent,” Califano told Pro Video Coalition. “We got 2.5K raw and all that dynamic range allowed me to play around with the look and feel of the film in post, making my life much easier.”

Form factor concerns persist
Despite the advantages of having a smaller form factor, however, some users may discover that their off-the-shelf solid state drives are not able to fit in Blackmagic cameras without rattling around, potentially resulting in component damage and lost video. Many inferior SSDs were simply not designed with Blackmagic Design hardware – or video production – in mind. Blackmagic cameras support 9.5mm thick SSD drives – a standard that many manufacturers are moving away from in favor of thinner models specified for notebook PCs. Trying to repurpose these SSDs for Blackmagic use will result in functionality issues that could threaten to derail a shoot.

Video crew members who opt for ill-suited storage devices will need to find alternative methods of connecting their SSDs. As cinematographer and RedShark contributor Phil Rhodes noted, there is the possibility that such measures will damage the camera’s components.

“The camera will accommodate either 9.5mm or 7mm thick SSDs, although 7mm types will flop around noisily inside the SSD bay, potentially stressing the SATA connector, unless the plastic spacer supplied with many low-profile SSDs is used,” Rhodes wrote.

There is also the concern that using an ill-fitting SSD drive will affect the storage device itself and the quality of recorded video. Even with a spacer in place, a thin SSD may rattle around when in use, particularly during an extremely active shoot. This movement can shake an SSD drive to the point of hardware failure, resulting in the loss of any video being recorded. An incident like this could set production behind for days, requiring extensive reshoots. For independent filmmakers, that may be financially unfeasible.

DIGISTOR SSDs meet compatibility demands
Instead of taking a risk with an off-the-shelf product, Blackmagic users should entrust their media acquisition needs to a high-quality DIGISTOR SSD drive. DIGISTOR’s Professional Video Series SSD Drives are certified and specifically designed for Blackmagic hardware, ensuring that they meet the form factor demands of the manufacturer’s equipment. Regardless of what Blackmagic model a filmmaker chooses to use, DIGISTOR SSDs will offer the compatibility needed to begin shooting reliably without the need for additional accessories.

The functionality and compatibility offered by DIGISTOR SSDs ensures that production crews avoid costly recording errors and are able to capture uncompressed, raw video. With a DIGISTOR product specifically designed for use with Blackmagic cameras, lost footage, dropped video and other devastating issues can become a thing of the past. DIGISTOR SSD’s tight design and adherence to video production form factors and standards make them the ideal acquisition media accessories for the professional filmmaker.

Many production crews run on a tight budget with little room for error. Why risk losing hours of video because of a faulty solid state drive? Go with a DIGISTOR-brand SSD from the outset and put any fears to rest. The functionality, compatibility and performance offered by DIGISTOR SSD drives make them the ideal solutions for video professionals who want to enjoy the benefits of Blackmagic cameras without having to cope with any ensuing headaches.

The DIGISTOR Difference SSD Infographic

How to connect a DIGISTOR SSD to your Mac for video editing

Given Mac’s popularity with professionals with high-end video editing needs, it’s important that production crews successfully establish a bridge between their computers and their acquisition media devices. In order to ensure that they are able to capture clear, high-quality video without losing a single frame, many filmmakers supplement their high-end video cameras with a stable and trusted storage device like DIGISTOR’s Professional Video Series SSD. These powerful SSDs are especially popular among users who prefer to shoot video with Blackmagic Design cameras as they are specifically designed with the manufacturer’s preferred format and form factors in mind.

DIGISTOR SSDs, Thunderbolt adapters offer unmatched speed
When connecting a DIGISTOR SSD to a Mac computer, production crews may want to include an adapter to take full advantage of the solid state drive’s speed and transfer video without delay. The Seagate Backup Plus Portable Thunderbolt Adapter offers the fastest connection speeds possible for video professionals using Mac-based editing software. Like DIGISTOR products, the Thunderbolt adapter has been designed specifically with these individuals in mind, enabling them to transfer data 20 times faster than with a standard USB 2.0 connection.


Even considerably more sophisticated USB 3.0 ports can’t match the speed offered by Thunderbolt. Mac users may believe that a USB 3.0 connection will net the data transfer rates they need to ensure reliable, high-quality recording and editing capabilities when working with raw, uncompressed video. The truth is these ports are not up to the task of wringing the full performance out of a top-of-the-line SSD. Thunderbolt offers the only Mac-based connection fast enough to read and write data at full speed on an SSD drive. Furthermore, with its easy-to-use interface, Thunderbolt allows users to simply plug in their SSD drive and connect directly with Mac hardware.

By harnessing the speed and performance of both DIGISTOR’s SSDs and the Thunderbolt adapter, production crews can harness lightning-fast data transfers, migrating raw uncompressed video to their Macs for editing. Furthermore, because Thunderbolt accentuates the speed of Professional Video Series SSDs, filmmakers can edit their work right on the drive itself, eliminating potential headaches and costly delays.

Given the many rigors and stresses associated with professional film shoots, it’s important that industry members eliminate complications whenever possible. By pairing high-performance DIGISTOR SSDs with a Thunderbolt adapter, they can maximize their data connection speeds when working with Macs, drastically improving and streamlining the editing process. This combination ensures that production crews are able to capture clear, uncompressed video without losing an iota of quality.