I had a second go-around with Panasonic’s AG-MSU10 card reader/hard drive unit, and have definitely confirmed that this is a great little in-the-field backup device tool.
This time I copied a full 8GB R series P2 card to its SSD drive, and it took 1 minutes, 34 seconds. That’s with Verification OFF. With Verification ON, the same card needed 3 minutes, 6 seconds…still pretty good!
This means that a 32GB card will probably copy in a little more than 6 minutes, 15 seconds….or 12:30 if you’re paranoid about using verification. That’s damn good for a device that you can hold in your hand, runs on a small battery, and you can shake like crazy without worrying about data damage. To put 6 minutes, 15 seconds in perspective: I can copy a 32GB E series card using a PCD35 to a FireWire 800 drive in about 5 minutes 45 seconds. Or to my Mac Pro’s 8-drive RAID in about 4 minutes ….ie, faster than the MSU10, but not that much faster.
Anyway, here’s a video clip of the MSU10 in my hands. You can see that the standard Panasonic HVX200/HPX170 battery can power it (not sure for how long yet), and is smartly set inside the MSU10’s housing, so you can’t accidentally knock the battery off. You can see me slip in a P2 card, and the copy process starting, but what you can’t see is me hitting the Start button to start it. One other thing you can’t see is that the MSU10 has eSATA and USB ports built into the housing, in case you want to connect MORE hard drives to it.
One more thing: the MSU10’s viewscreen makes it easy to see how much room you still have on your SSD, and how many card’s you’ve copied to it (each card is treated as a partition). The screen lets you see thumbnails for any card’s clips (from the card, or once on the SSD), but you can’t actually playback clips on the screen. I guess that requires too much horsepower.
Here’s a second video that shows me pulling out the removable 2.5” SSD drive enclosure, and shows two USB ports on one side of the enclosure, and a single eSATA port on the other side. To attach the drive enclosure to a computer, you’ll connect one of the USB2 ports for power, and either another USB2 port for data, or the faster eSATA for data.
By the way, copying the 8GB card’s data from the drive enclosure to a Mac Pro via USB2 took 3 minutes, 6 seconds.
And again, you can put your own SSD into the enclosure (screw driver required), so as SSD’s drop in price and grow in capacity, you can always upgrade. The SSD in this particular model I used is, I believe, a 128GB model from Corsair, and sells at NewEgg for about $375.