LaCie DJI Copilot 2TB Review

LaCie DJI Copilot by LaCie is a very welcomed addition to the portable hard drive market that was really lacking a solid player for anyone wanting to back up data on the go. As more and more people create amazing content in spectacular places around the world the need to back those valuable megabytes is growing. So far GNARBOX has been the go-to choice for many content creators with its varied compatibility and powerful editing options but it lacks in the storage capacity department. So a lot of photographers and videographers default to the standard combo of dragging along a laptop and a backup drive like the LaCie Rugged. The LaCie DJI Copilot came out with a bang and claimed its spot on the market where no other competing products existed.

DJI Copilot
DJI Copilot

LaCie DJI Copilot Overview

  • No laptop needed
  • Copy files directly from drones, memory cards, action cams, DSLR cameras, phones, USB hard drives, USB flash drives, and more.
  • Monitor or check the file transfer status, available capacity, and battery power using the integrated status screen.
  • Review your footage on your mobile phone or tablet—just attach the cable and view/playback with the Copilot BOSS app.
  • Manage and organize files too: rename, file, and delete with the Copilot BOSS app.
  • Use as a backup battery pack for USB chargeable devices.
  • Drop resistant, splash resistant, dust resistant
  • 2000GB (2TB) stores over 60 hours of 4K video.1
  • 3-year Rescue Data Recovery Services plan
  • Publish stunning videos and photos with a 1-month membership to Adobe® Creative Cloud All Apps plan.2 Explore the entire collection of CC desktop and mobile apps.
  • Design by Neil Poulton
  • Size: 5.354in x 4.37in x 1.417in / 136mm x 111mm x 36mm
  • Weight: 1.177 lb/0.534 kg

DJI Copilot

LaCie DJI Copilot System Requirements:

Mobile phone or tablet running iOS 10.3 or Android 4.4 or later
Compatible with: Computer running Windows® 10 or higher; or Mac OS® X 10.10 or higher with an available USB-C (3.1), Thunderbolt™ 3, USB 3.0, or USB 2.0 port

Offloads from most:

  • SD cards (UHS-I and UHS-II)
  • microSD cards (with included adapter)
  • USB card readers
  • USB external hard drives and SSDs
  • MTP/PTP-enabled devices
  • Drones
  • Digital cameras
  • Digital video cameras

What’s Included:

  • LaCie® DJI Copilot with integrated status screen and SD card slot
  • microSD to SD card adapter
  • USB-C drive to laptop cables:
    • USB-C (USB3.1)
    • USB-C to USB-A
  • Mobile connection cables:
    • Lightning cable (for iOS)
    • micro USB (for most Android)
    • USB-C (for newer Android)
  • Wall charger
  • Removable cover
  • Quick start guide
  • 3-year Rescue Data Recovery Services plan
  • 1-month membership to Adobe® Creative Cloud All Apps

LaCie DJI Copilot – what is it?

Basically, the LaCie DJI Copilot is an external hard drive + battery pack + Card reader + direct backup.
The purpose of the Copilot is to eliminate the need to carry around a heavy laptop and still be able to make sure you can back up all your files or dump a bunch of material on an external drive to free up disk space. This is especially needed for people who travel a lot and whos everyday work is taking pictures and videos. So the Copilot is both for everyday users AND professionals.

LaCie DJI Copilot – first impressions

I always like to take a minute to pay attention to the packaging and the Copilot keeps the LaCie high standard in that regard. Inside the box, you will find the LaCie DJI Copilot that fits nice and snug in the white foam mold that separates everything in the box. You also get a bunch of USB cables to fit whatever device you will be using the Copilot with and the Micro SD card adapter. The cool thing is that the cable you will use will sort of merge into the rubber bumper of the drive and the cord wraps around, hiding in the groove, so you will always have your cable attached but it will never get tangled. A cool little feature that I really love is that the cable connector has a magnet (or the face of the drive where the ports are) so that the plug sticks to the surface making it easy to attach the rubber cover. A small and seemingly insignificant feature but it really shows the product engineers have thought of every detail on this.

The third compartment hides the charger cable and all the different power adapters. You can pick the one you need in your current region and clip it onto the adapter. Great for people who travel all around the world!

DJI Copilot
DJI Copilot

The Copilot itself follows the legendary Rugged design (by Neil Poulton). The hard drive is surrounded by a rubber bumper and if you are used to the iconic orange then the Copilot takes a different path and comes in solid gray. As with all the other Rugged devices, the rubber is matte and extremely slip-proof.

The interface of the LaCie DJI Copilot is really really simple!

All you get is a screen that kind of looks like e-paper and ONE button, that `s it, and it`s all you need to have. Everything else is controlled via the Copilot BOSS app. The Action button has either short press or long press depending on whether you want to initiate, confirm or cancel any actions.

The screen has all the indicators you need to use the device without any mobile device tethered starting from battery level to copying progress and hard drive capacity. Everything feels intuitive and when you have played around with tech before you will quickly pick up on everything without the need of a manual.

One thing I have an issue with is the material of the rubber bumper. I feel like compared to the LaCie Rugged legendary orange bumper, this one is a bit softer. The good thing is that it has more grip on smooth surfaces to keep it from sliding but it`s also like a powerful magnet for dust. Once you take it out of the plastic wrapping and start using it it will never be completely clear of dust again.

LaCie DJI Copilot – hands-on

OK, let`s dive in!

A short press on the Action button will display the remaining space on the drive and the battery status. This works in a split second so it`s really convenient, especially to check if you have sufficient battery remaining to back up your footage.

You can connect your cameras, GoPro cameras, other external drives, or memory cards to the Copilot and back up files with just a few presses of the button.

There is an SD memory card slot on the device and you also get a Micro SD adapter so all your bases are covered. Slide the card in and the Copilot recognizes it. A single tap on the button and the Copilot prompts you if you want to back it up – confirm with a single push and the process starts. During the copy process, you will see a progress bar alternating with the battery status, so you can keep an eye on it and make sure you don`t run out of juice midway of the copy process. Once done you can also run a confirmation process. Slide the SD card out and move on to the next one or connect another device.

With a GoPro, the process is pretty much the same. You can either take the Micro SD card out and connect it directly or use the USB cable and go through the same steps.  You can also control all the backup processes via a Smartphone and the Copilot BOSS app.

 

Copilot BOSS app

Once you connect your smartphone to the DJI Copilot and open the Copilot BOSS app (Backup On-Set Solution) You can see the connected devices, the battery level and the free space left on the drive.

DJI Copilot BOSS App
DJI Copilot BOSS App

You can browse the files on your phone and back them up, you can view images on your SD card or external drive and move or copy them from one place to another. One of the surprising things I noticed is how fast the Copilot generates thumbnails – even for RAW files and videos. Scrolling through hundreds of thumbnails is so easy because of that. You can sort the files by name, date or file type but what I found would really help is SORTING. This function is missing but hopefully, LaCie will include it in future updates of the app. If you are looking for a specific video file for example that you took a while ago and don`t remember the date you need to scroll through all the videos and you also need to scroll past other files. A filtering option would hide all unnecessary file formats so there`s much less to scroll through. Other than that, going through the files is as easy as it can.

DJI Copilot BOSS App
DJI Copilot BOSS App

Once you find the file you need you can preview it in full screen and check the EXIF info of the file. You have the basics like the date, file type, resolution etc. but you can also click for More info that tells you what mode was used, exposure and all that jazz.

Selecting and moving or copying files is easy. You need to select all files one by one and there is no “Select All” option so to select everything you just need to move up to move the whole folder. I would like to see a “Select all” option because then you can just deselect a few you don`t want. You can either Move a file – this deletes it from the original location, or Copy a file. If you select Move the app confirms if you want to delete from the original source so you don`t accidentally lose the file.

You can also create new folders for specific files you want to keep separate from the rest and for some reason that was the only time I felt a slight lag. Creating a new folder took about 3-4 seconds that I found curious. Everything else works lightning fast.

So working with the app is a breeze and the UI is well thought out and simple. I`m sure there will be some new features in the app as the community gives feedback about the product and the app becomes even better.

DJI Copilot BOSS App
DJI Copilot BOSS App

CoPilot VS Gnarbox

As soon as the news broke about the Copilot people started to compare it to the Gnarbox. Although they both work as an on-location back up device they are very different and I think there`s room for both on the market. And I dont`t hink one can be considered better than the other, they are very differnet and having used both they are both absolutely TOP NOTCH!

The Gnarbox:

  • Is waterproof
  • Has SSD instead of HDD
  • Less storage (up to 1TB for Ver. 2.0, Up to 256 GB ver. 1.0)
  • Has photo and video editing built-in
  • Longer battery life
  • weighs less
  • Is smaller
  • Wireless connection to a smartphone
  • Charges via USB
  • More expensive

DJI CoPilot:

  • Is water/dust resistant
  • Has HDD
  • More storage (2TB)
  • No built-in editing
  • Bigger and heavier
  • Tethered connection to Smartphones
  • Charges via dedicated power adapter
  • A lot cheaper
DJI Copilot
DJI Copilot

LaCie DJI Copilot Conclusion

Love it. I have tried TWO devices for on-location backup. The NEXTO DI NCB-20 Multiple memory card reader and copier and the GNARBOX. The Nexto DI NCB-20 is a very specific pro tool for larger productions but so far the Gnarbox has been the top dog in my opinion for most people. I think the Gnarbox and the Copilot will be competing against each other but they are also very different. The Copilot is perfect if you have A LOT of gigabytes you need to back up on the go and perhaps even duplicate to make sure you never lose anything. You don`t need a power source and the drive features the same rugged design LaCie products are so famous for. I`t easy to use, it`s durable, and you can take it with you anywhere. An awesome product for all photographers and videographers.

What I love about the DJI Copilot

  • Great design
  • Drop resistant, splash resistant, dust resistant
  • The cord wraps inside the bumper
  • Massive storage
  • Good battery life
  • Built-in display
  • Every process is very fast
  • All ports are completely covered
  • Magnetic front to attach the end of the cord
  • Can be used as a battery bank
  • Multiple connections
  • Very good app
  • Comes with Adobe Creative Cloud trial
  • 3-year Rescue Data Recovery Services plan

Neutrals

It`s relatively heavy (534 Grams)

Things I don`t like

The bumper takes on dust so easily.

So if you are on the move a lot on you want or absolutely NEED to back up your files this is a great option for you.

DJI Copilot
DJI Copilot

Get it from:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

 

 

 

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