Author Topic: SSD and computer in a battery grip - not joking!  (Read 4097 times)

Andy600

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SSD and computer in a battery grip - not joking!
« on: May 22, 2013, 06:22:17 PM »
I've seen a few posts exploring the possibility of converting card slots to enable the output of data to bigger storage devices and seeing this http://davidhunt.ie/?p=2641 got me thinking.

It might be possible to build something similar with a small SSD as a back-up drive directly in the handgrip. This can be taken one stage further with the use of a Rasberry PI computer (as in David Hunt's example) to pull raw files from the SD/CF card and maybe even convert the raw data into any codec installed in the internal OS. This frees SD/CF card space and you also have NLE ready files (conversion might be a step too far for the PI but who knows?). The Rasberry PI runs on it's own ARM GNU/Linux OS and has USB, HDMI and ethernet ports plus an SD slot and it can playback full HD video AND it's ridiculously cheap.

It would take some programming to get the camera and grip talking but the hardware part of it is relatively simple and can probably be built for under 100 Euros (excluding SSD). This method will also negate the need for anyone to butcher the CF slot door in order to fit a cable output, damaging weather sealing in the process (on expensive camera bodies)

Going even further, an SSD docking bay could be fitted making hotswapping of drives easy. This would be at the expense of a battery for space reasons unless someone can design a new style grip to incorporate everything. Alternatively a VMount could be added although that would bulk things up more so not ideal for some situations.

I doubt this will allow for faster transfers of data from the camera in place of the SD or CF card but might mean you only need one fast card as data is offloaded. The best bit is that the battery grip port already has the ability to send to external storage either via USB or Wifi with an appropriate BG such as the WFT-E3A http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/520284-REG/Canon_2375B002_WFT_E3A_Wireless_File_Transmitter.html

Rasberry PI - http://www.raspberrypi.org


Update: I'm going to attempt to build a test version outside of a battery grip as I only need to order an RPI and temporary power source. I might need some assistance with a script to test basic cam-to-PI communications. If all goes well I will look at the other options detailed in this post and then try to fit it all in a grip. 
Colorist working with Davinci Resolve, Baselight, Nuke, After Effects & Premier Pro. Occasional Sunday afternoon DOP. Developer of Cinelog-C Colorspace Management and LUTs - www.cinelogdcp.com

AnotherDave

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Re: SSD and computer in a battery grip - not joking!
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2013, 06:35:27 PM »
That is pretty cool, but I think it is probably a way off from possible.

What we really need is faster, bigger CF cards... or a specially designed CF to ANYTHING FASTER converter.

There is no magic here.  What we need to make this more practical simply doesn't exist yet...

If you can design the computer-in-a-grip... go for it! :-)  But I'd rather see a SSD dock-in-a-grip with a CF converter...

Andy600

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Re: SSD and computer in a battery grip - not joking!
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2013, 06:42:55 PM »
It's perfectly feasible and eveything is there to enable it except the code. I think the battery grip will have a limited speed (probably USB2/100/10Mbit ethernet rates) so moving heavy raw video data direct to an external drive will likely be impossible.... but maybe there is some connection there that will allow the data to be routed faster so that a faster CF controller can be mounted in the grip. In that case, why bother with CF, just use an SSD controller instead :)

I think a mass storage grip is very doable. An SSD recording device in place of a CF not so much.
Colorist working with Davinci Resolve, Baselight, Nuke, After Effects & Premier Pro. Occasional Sunday afternoon DOP. Developer of Cinelog-C Colorspace Management and LUTs - www.cinelogdcp.com