By Manuel Delgado
With the 1big Dock SSD Pro and the 1big Dock, LaCie’s storage experts have introduced two new storage solutions. According to the company, the two new products are aimed at creative professionals and prosumers.
Designed by Neil Poulton, the LaCie 1big Dock SSD Pro (2 TB and 4 TB SSD capacities) and 1big Dock (4 TB, 8 TB, and 16 TB HDD capacities) add to LaCie's line of versatile data storage systems built for visual content creators.
LaCie’s 1big Dock Pro and 1big Dock are a high capacity workhorse as external hard-drives. Creative pros can purchase both options in confidence knowing they feature an enterprise-class drive and comes backed by a five-year warranty and data recovery coverage. While it is pricey for the average consumer, it is quite the bang for the buck for prosumers. If you think that the priciest option gives too much power, well, the photography market is going into that direction and the 61MP-monster from Sony a7R IV or the Canon EOS R5 are just some hints of why more powerful drivers are needed and the investment is worth it. Or do you want to have fun filming and waiting centuries while it renders?
With the 1big Dock Pro, LaCie is clearly targeting users who need a powerful SSD. Especially for particularly data-hungry applications, demanding users can benefit. For example, the premium SSD can easily be used for 6K or even 8K video projects.
The 1big Dock Pro is based on a Seagate FireCuda NVMe SSD. With the built-in Thunderbolt 3 interface, speeds of up to 2800 Mbps are possible. In addition to the Thunderbolt 3 interface, two USB-C ports are also available to the user.
The docking station itself also has an integrated USB 3.0 port. In addition, the docking station has connections for memory cards and an output for DisplayPort 1.4. It is the ideal peripheral for most professional cinema cameras including leading brands like ARRI, Blackmagic, RED, and Canon.
The 1big Dock is the less powerful storage solution among the two new options. However, this only applies in relation to its big brother. After all, the 1big Dock still offers satiable performance at a more affordable price tag. Unlike the 1big Dock Pro, the 1big Dock is also available in an HDD version. Here, the user can choose between 4, 8, or 16 TB of storage space. Although the speeds and general performance should be significantly below the SSD variant, the HDD version should be able to offer most of the functions of the SSD variant.
Regardless of their performance, both versions offer practical features. Contents of memory cards and USB devices can be transferred directly to the device. Conveniently, all storage media can be accessed from the computer via the Dock.
Thus, 1big Dock and 1big Dock Pro replace common adapters. With the help of both versions, even laptops can be loaded with a power up to 70W via the USB-C port. This makes the two docks a real all-rounder and practical companion. One cable is sufficient to supply the laptop with power and data at the same time.
For professional users, the 1big Dock SSD Pro comes complete with two Thunderbolt 3 ports for daisy-chaining up to six devices and device charging as well as a USB 3.0 port for docking or charging mobile devices. A DisplayPort 1.4 connector caters for monitors up to 8K resolution at 60hz, while card slots for professional media will accept CFexpress, CFast 2.0, and SD cards.
The 1big Dock gives them all the same connectivity, DisplayPort 1.4, and SD card capabilities of the SSD Pro version, but with CompactFlash card slots instead of CFexpress and CFast 2.0, that will suit both semi-pro and professional users alike. This alternative has an HDD core.
LaCie includes a month of membership to Adobe Creative Cloud All Apps plan, which enables you to use all of Adobe's Creative Cloud applications for free, almost $53.00 USD value. And, to top things off, it comes backed by five years of Rescue Data Recovery Services in case disaster strikes. That's a big plus.
When it comes to storage media, the idea behind it´s pretty simple. At a basic level, there’s a choice between HDDs and SSDs and single drives. These are then connected up to our computers and they’re ready to store or back up any of the files we deal with.
Not only do the 1big Dock systems give you extra connectivity, but they also free up the existing ports on your machine, keeping your desktop tidier and free from messy cables.
But when it comes to getting the very best performance out of a storage system in a world that now requires us to work with video files upwards of 6K or 8K in resolution, the humble storage system needs to become so much more than just a place for files.
You get what you pay for, that´s for sure. The 1big Dock Pro seems like a dream come true to cinematographers, but if you are one of them, be ready to open your wallet and pay $2,501.00 (2,849 Euros) for the most complete option with a memory of 4TB. Of course, you can choose the less expensive version without SSD, but with an HDD drive and with a storage capacity of 4TB for $354.00 (399 Euros).
As a documentary photographer, on an assignment that lasts 1-2 weeks, I shoot an average of 10,000 pictures or more (and I know that the number could be low compared to other photographers). This means that I have an increasing need for having quality memory solutions to store, backup, and edit a big amount of information in a safe way.
After photographing, I always do a minimum of two backups of all the images I have taken in external hard drives that I keep in separate places to minimize the risk of losing them at once. As soon as I´m back at home, I transfer all my content into my desktop hard drive that I use as the main core of my workflow.
In LaCie, I have found the perfect balance between spiffy-looking, pocket-size mega-storage, and extreme-robust portable drives. Are they perfect? No one is, but so far these devices have withstood constant hustle and bustle without any complaints.
If you are a cinematographer that demands high-data solutions, for sure you are going to appreciate much more the capabilities of the 1big Dock and the 1big Dock SSD Pro to store and edit your 8K videos.
It seems that 8K is approaching faster than we could imagine, and we should prepare for it. But shooting in 8K does not mean only that we have to upgrade our cameras. Our whole workflow needs to get nice lifting as well. That includes our cards, our editing stations, and, last but not least, our hard drives.
I don´t even have an 8K TV, however, for me, it is clear that as we move forward and video files become ever larger, our storage systems need to keep pace both in terms of speed and when it comes to media management. With a choice between the 1big Dock and the 1big Dock SSD Pro, users now have a media hub storage solution to suit a wide range of budgets as well as being ready for the new generation of 8K-capable devices.
Based in Germany, Manuel Delgado is a professional photographer who also enjoys writing about photography and video topics. His portfolio can be found here.
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