THINK OF A WORD with zero sex appeal and ‘workflow’ would fit the bill, but throw further words into that mix and ‘data management’ would run it close. However, before your eyes close and you head off to check out the latest camera candy online, let’s spare a thought for the art of this unseen back room/studio arena.
If you use multiple media devices such as cameras, drones, sound mixers and the like you will be creating data and, most probably, veritable Gigabytes of it. Memory has now become relatively affordable and we’re all being encouraged to capture 4K, 6K even 8K of it in our video footage. Even audio ﬁles are increasing in size across the board, with the widespread adoption of 32-bit float ﬁles for improved quality.
I WOULD ENCOURAGE purchasers of this device to also consider tying in a piece of dedicated data transfer software, such as Hedge https://hedge.video/ hedge. Admittedly this does come with a $129-a-year fee, but on the plus side it adds control and data verification, along with priceless peace of mind.
The Kingston Workflow Station utilises a USB 3.2 interface, so offload speeds are super quick. From my tests it also works seamlessly on PC or Mac, including the new M1 laptops. Personally the one thing I would love to see being added is additional card support for the swappable hubs, as it would be great to be able to mix in CFast with the SD cards in the future. I’m told that Kingston is surveying the market before deciding which miniHubs will be next to be added to the line-up.
That’s the thing about data management. It’s definitely not sexy but it’s unarguably necessary, and Kingston’s Workﬂow Station is a well thought through, cost effective solution that will add to your card control.
The question posed by all of this heavyduty data acquisition is this: how do you get the files from all of those memory cards that you’re filling up swiftly and, most importantly, safely into your computer or storage drives, especially as the latest Macs tend to be mean in the extreme with the number of input slots they offer?
This is where Kingston’s Workflow Station comes in, acting as a simple one-stop-shop for ingesting memory cards into your edit suite. At the centre of everything is a four dock, mains powered, central hub that enables multiple cards to be read on the desktop all at the same time, connected through a single USB C input. Each slot accommodates a miniHub that comes with two SD or Mini SD card slots and so it’s possible to be reading up to eight cards at one time if necessary, although to handle that kind of input you would be looking at working with a computer that features a Thunderbolt 3 connection.
This allows you to come back from a shoot and to transfer your files from four cards at maximum speed in one hit, greatly speeding up the entire process. I would ﬁnd this really useful if, for example, I’m in a hotel and need to offload multiple cards to different destinations to clients who might be screaming for the work, or even just to download cards for security reasons before wiping them for re-use the next day.
The main unit is a studio based rectangular shape, which I would probably keep with my edit suite. The individual miniHubs slot into this base unit, and each is capable of operating as a standalone reader. I love the flexibility of this design as it allows you to choose what suits you in the ﬁeld. Sometimes you’ll take the mother unit with you, at other times just the single slot-in unit, which can be bus powered directly from a laptop.
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