length/aperture that could very easily become the
new optical workhorse in your camera bag. Plus, the
Tamron 24-70mm costs significantly less than Canon’s
comparable lens and you get Vibration Compensation
thrown in to boot. Sounds like a bargain to us.
Tamron sP 24-70mm F/2.8 Di VC UsD
Pros: Solid but lightweight professional-grade build; Vibration Compensation helps for
shooting at slower shutter speeds in low light;
fast, virtually silent focusing; great resolving
power and excellent image quality results
Cons: A step slower focusing in low light than
Canon’s comparable lens; zoom ring is stiff and
slow to turn; some fall-off in corner sharpness
WD My Book
Quickly store your work with this fast-as-lightning
I’ve been writing about a lot of high-resolution cameras lately, such as the 36.3-megapixel Nikon D800 reviewed in the July issue. And every time I write about
these pixel-popping monsters, I note that the massive
image files and huge HD videos they capture are going to force photographers to seriously reevaluate their
storage options. Now, finally, I’d like to recommend a
fast and relatively inexpensive storage solution for all
of you Nikon D800, Pentax 645D, and assorted Leaf,
Phase One, and Hasselblad users out there.
It’s called the My Book Thunderbolt Duo from WD
The My Book Thunderbolt Duo offers a ton of storage but
doesn’t take up much space on your desk.
(aka Western Digital) and this RAID system is what
many photographers in recent Mac-based work environments have been waiting for. (I say recent Mac
computers because, at the time of this writing, that’s
all that use the speedy Thunderbolt connectivity.)
In transferring images to the Thunderbolt Duo in
the system’s default RAID “0” setting, which has both
drives working together as one for maximum capacity, my 10-gb video files flew over in about ten to 15
seconds. Though that’s not quite the Thunderbolt
Duo’s advertised maximum 10 gb/s transfer rate, it’s
pretty quick. Meanwhile, my imposing 50-mb RAW
image files from the D800 zipped over in a split second. Cool.
The plastic build-quality of WD’s dual-drive storage system doesn’t feel as sturdy as, for instance,
an all-metal Thunderbolt RAID from LaCie, but WD’s
product is about $100 cheaper. Inside the silver plastic casing of the WD My Book Thunderbolt Duo in the
6-tb model I tried out, are two 3-tb WD disk drives.
Though that’s a significant amount of storage, the
Thunderbolt Duo, at 6. 5 (h) x 3. 9 (w) x 6. 2 (d) inches,
took up very little space on my desk, sitting right behind my iMac, practically unnoticed.
One confounding thing about this system is that
WD does not give any RPM speeds for the two drives,
though, according to online estimates, they are rated
about 5900 RPM. That’s a tad slow, especially if you’re
doing heavy video editing, which really requires 7200
RPM drives to prevent getting bogged down. In the
Thunderbolt Duo’s default RAID “0” setting, I didn’t
notice much of a problem but in the safer RAID “ 1”
configuration, where one disk stores the files and the
second one acts as mirrored back-up, things slowed
The benefit of the Thunderbolt Duo’s slower drives
is that they’re whisper-quiet, use less energy and don’t
heat up as much as 7200 RPM models, which is part of
the reason metal exteriors are not necessary.
Along with providing a significant amount of space
to archive your work on its own, Thunderbolt Duo has
two Thunderbolt ports so you can daisy chain multiple
storage devices, HD displays and other peripherals.
THE BOT TOM LINE
So you just bought a 36.3-megapixel Nikon D800 and
have no idea where you’re going to put all those huge
RAW image and HD video files. Here’s an idea: Get the
WD My Book Thunderbolt Duo and quickly and painlessly back up and store your work.
WD My Book Thunderbolt Duo
Pros: A very speedy storage solution for
backing up big image and video files
Cons: Drive speed a tad slow for heavy
PriCes: $699 ( 6 tb); $599 ( 4 tb)
©Copyright 2012. Matthews Studio Equipment, Inc. All rights reserved. OVER 1400 GRIP & LIGHTING CONTROL PRODUCTS
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