Seagate’s Flying High With New Drone Drive, Photography and Tech Press Say

Seagate DJI Fly DriveWe’re hearing a lot of excitement and feedback from our creative professional friends since we announced the Seagate DJI Fly Drive — the world’s first hard drive aimed at making life easier for drone photographers.

Why did we work with DJI to design a convenient, field-ready hard drive that’s perfect for drone pilots? We want to help you make visually stunning videos. So you’ll have more time for fun, and spend less time messing with the little stuff.

There are several ways the Fly Drive does this, but basically it helps you stay in control of your data, so you can focus on creating like a pro. It’s a simple premise, but the details are important. Luckily, the tech press, photography press and drone-aficionado press are all over this awesome new product, so let’s let them explain:

What is the Seagate DJI Fly Drive for?

In their intro to the new Fly Drive, photographer-favorite blog PetaPixel gets at the core reason for Fly Drive. “As affordable drone cameras get better, one of the main issues confounding drone videographers is storage. When you’re shooting at 4K that little microSD card fills up fast, which is why DJI teamed up with Seagate to create the Fly Drive.”

CNET chimes in to make the case for the drone pilot in need: “If you’ve been struggling to find enough space to store your drone’s footage when you’re out and about, Seagate has something for you.”

Oh, and CNET quickly clarifies — we’re talking about a lot of storage, so: “No, this is not a drive that you mount on your drone; rather, it’s for storing content after each flight.”

Indeed, many folks have been saying the time is ripe to make drone video easier to store — photographers want to back up their footage as soon as possible, to avoid losing any data between being in the field and getting home. agrees, “There has been quite a bit of buzz about drones in the last few years, from hobbyists, to buzzing planes, to protesters, to professional camera work. The drone market is growing larger and more serious and the data that is now being generated by drones has blown up. In order to help pilots and creative professionals deal with this large about of data, Seagate and DJI have introduced the Fly Drive.”

How does Fly Drive make your workflow easier?

So how does Fly Drive help your workflow? PC Magazine describes the basic scenario. “[This] is how Seagate envisions most people will use the Fly Drive: as a data receptacle that’s always close at hand in the field so that footage can be offloaded from a drone while you swap its batteries before sending it back up in the air.”

UberGizmo explains how convenient it is to drag and drop your footage to the Fly Drive. “With its integrated USB Type-C cable, the DJI Fly Drive offers up to 2TB of storage which will be ample for hours and hours worth of drone footage.” But beyond cabling for attaching to your PC, says UberGizmo, “It does have something which sets it apart from most external hard drives. The Seagate DJI Fly Drive features a built-in microSD card slot which isn’t something that you normally find on an external hard drive. Seagate says that it has built a microSD card slot into the hard drive so that users can quickly transfer drone footage to the hard drive while they’re out and about.”

How much video footage can Fly Drive store?

How much footage, you ask? Tech Radar hits on the value of a 2TB receptacle on hand. “With that maximum storage capacity, it’s possible to store over 60 hours of 4K video footage (shot at 30 fps), which as DJI notes, when used with a drone like its Mavic Pro and looking at average sort of usage, means you can store clips from around 250 flights.”

Tech Radar also touts the drive’s extra protection: “The Fly Drive also benefits from a durable build, with a protective bumper to give some protection should the unit get dropped.” And PC Magazine adds, “any extra protection should come in handy if you’re using the drive on a rocky landing surface, for instance.”

Fly Drive is uniquely suited to drone photography

Drone pilots, can you imagine how much will this improve your fun and efficiency in the field? Slash Gear lauds the drive’s unique suitability for the purpose. “While portable hard drives are nothing new, the Fly Drive is unique due to its integrated microSD card slot. In most cases, drone cameras record photos and videos to microSD cards rather than larger cards, meaning most drone operators will be able to use the Fly Drive to transfers their aerial content directly to the larger hard drive.”

Unmanned Aerial magazine agrees the setup should make life simpler for drone pilots juggling devices in the field. “For managing multiple SD cards, readers and cables in the field, users can drag and drop 4K files from the MicroSD card to the Fly Drive or their computer, thanks to an integrated hub that’s UHS-II-rated.”

And for yet another bonus, CNET adds — Seagate even helps with post-production chores: “Seagate says the drive also includes a two-month subscription to Adobe Premiere Pro CC.”

What are the features and highlights of the Seagate DJI Fly Drive?

If you’re at NAB this week come visit Seagate booth SL4527 and DJI booth C2807 to see the Fly Drive in person. And if you haven’t read the press release, check out all those product details here:

Capacity: Up to 2TB

With this kind of space, Fly Drive can store over 60 hours of 4K 30fps video footage. On a drone like the DJI Mavic Pro, that’s more than 250 flights* worth of content.

MicroSD Card Slot

Managing multiple SD cards, readers and cables in the field is a pain. Thanks to an integrated hub that’s UHS-II-rated, you’ll be more effective in the field by being able to quickly drag and drop 4K files from your MicroSD card to Fly Drive or your computer.

Protective Bumper

The drive’s integrated, protective bumper helps provide shock resistance against inevitables in the field, like being jostled around or dropped while packing and traveling. Safely tucked inside of the bumper is its USB-C cable, ideal for on-the-spot file transfers.

USB 3.1 Interface

Compatible with both Mac and Windows, Fly Drive’s USB 3.1 Type-C interface allows for fast file transfers with the latest generation Thunderbolt™ 3 and USB 3.1 computers.

Adobe Premiere Pro CC

Fly Drive features two months of complimentary access to Adobe Premiere Pro CC, the industry’s leading video editing software—a US $19.99 per month value based on the annual subscription price—so that users can immediately get to editing.

Equipped with a drone, laptop, Fly Drive, and Adobe Premiere Pro CC, creatives will have everything they need to capture, edit, and share awesome videos. The Seagate DJI Fly Drive will be available this summer for an MSRP of $119.99, but curious minds can see it this week at the NAB Show in Las Vegas, where drone enthusiasts will show first hand how it’s improving their workflow in the field. Stop by Seagate booth SL4527 and DJI booth C2807 to check it out.


About the Author:

John Paulsen
John Paulsen is a "Data for Good" advocate, with nearly 20 years in the data storage industry. He's helped launch many industry-firsts including HAMR technology, 10K-rpm and 15K-rpm hard drives, drives designed specifically for video and for gaming, Serial ATA drives, fluid dynamic HDD motors, 60TB SSDs, and MACH.2 multi-actuator technology.