Gadgets & Gizmos

A Special LaCie/Better Photography Promotion

Incredibly Small and Fast

No Compromise Storage in a Go-Everywhere Package!

Peter Eastway reviews the highly portable Rugged SSD Pro storage solution from LaCie, from the remotest location on Earth – Antarctica!

One of the many fun aspects of writing for a photography magazine are the toys we get to play with. And the most recent toy I have to report on is the LaCie® Rugged® SSD Pro portable storage device.

As its name suggests, the Rugged SSD Pro is designed for life on the road – and the high seas as I recently took it on a voyage to Antarctica.

The Rugged series’ well known plastic protective shell in vibrant orange has been replaced by a suave matte black, distinguishing it from the standard Rugged SSD. But, what else makes the Rugged SSD Pro different?

In a word, speed.

Plug the LaCie Rugged SSD Pro into any Thunderbolt 3 or USB 3.1 on your laptop and enjoy the speed

2800MB/s Fast!

The LaCie Rugged SSD Pro has been designed to meet the requirements of both photographers processing large image files and film-makers with their gigabytes of motion – especially out on location.

However, not only does the Rugged SSD Pro provide additional storage space, it can work as a scratch disk with high-speed data transfers and editing power.

For photographers, this means that when you open your image files in Photoshop, Lightroom or Capture One, etc., it doesn’t matter whether they’re stored on your laptop’s internal drive or the Rugged SSD Pro, your software won’t hesitate as it opens, edits and saves your work.

Inside the Rugged SSD Pro is a Seagate® FireCuda® NVMe solid state drive offering super fast Thunderbolt 3 speeds up to 2800MB/s (compared to 1000MB/s on the standard Rugged SSD).

The benefit for photographers is that it really is so fast, it’s just like working on an internal drive. And if you’re into film and video production, then you’ll be able to play back 6K, 8K, and super slow motion source files anywhere – without transcoding.

So, what happens if your computer doesn’t have Thunderbolt 3 connectivity? No trouble! LaCie has thought about that too!

Previously, Thunderbolt 3 devices would only work with Thunderbolt 3 computers; now, the LaCie Rugged SSD Pro features the latest Thunderbolt 3 controller and is the first Thunderbolt 3 portable storage solution offering USB 3.1 compatibility for seamless plug and play connectivity.

Don’t try this intentionally, but the LaCie Rugged SSD Pro will survive for 30 minutes under one metre of water! Now that’s rugged!

Super Rugged too

Now, I do have a small confession to make. I’m not sure if I came even close to pushing the ruggedness of the Rugged SSD Pro while in Antarctica.

You see, the Rugged SSD Pro has very impressive IP67-rated dust and water resistance, a three-metre drop tolerance and two-ton car crush resistance. And it is the first Thunderbolt 3 storage solution that can be immersed in water down to one metre for up to 30 minutes.

While I tested the Rugged SSD Pro extensively and took it with me when we landed onshore in Antarctica, my test unit spent most of its time inside a comfortable cabin on an expedition ship. Nevertheless, rough seas can see hard drives fall off desks. Our transfer out to the ship was by water and there’s a wonderful sense of security knowing that this small, high capacity solid state drive is looking after your images.

Attaching the LaCie Rugged SSD Pro to your laptop or computer is simplicity itself!

Five-Year Warranty

And it’s reassuring to know LaCie thinks the same way. Like all LaCie’s Rugged range, the SSD Pro comes with a fiveyear limited warranty protection plan featuring Rescue Data Recovery Services.

And there’s also a one-month complimentary membership to Adobe® Creative Cloud® All Apps Plan for access to awesome photo and video editing apps.

The 140 gram Rugged SSD Pro is compatible with both Mac and Windows computers and comes in 1TB and 2TB configurations.

If you’re looking for a small, robust drive for using out on location that can also double as a super-fast scratch disk, the LaCie Rugged SSD Pro has all the anwers.

For more information, visit, a specialist photo supplier or better computer suppliers Australiawide.

Congratulations to us for reaching 100 issues of Better Photography magazine! It is now available online for all subscribers in digital form, but for paper readers, there are a few changes.

With the COVID-19 issue, we have postponed printing Issue 100 for the newstands and, to be honest, we are unlikely to do so. With the number of newsagencies in decline and the current economic climate, it may not be viable again.

However, we love producing the paper product, so while we have readers who share our passion for turning pages, we will continue to print the magazine for subscribers only. We have teamed up with Momento Pro who is currently printing Issue 100 and it will be available in the second week of June (everything going to plan). 

If you normally wander down to the newsagent to buy your copy of Better Photography, it won't be there. However, you can subscribe online and we'll post it to you, but if you want to get Issue 100, you should act quickly and subscribe now. We've printed a few extra magazines, but essentially we will be printing 'on demand' going forwards, so unless we have your order ahead of time, you may miss out.

And all subscribers to the paper version of Better Photography automatically receive access to the online version - and its archive of nearly 50 back issues.

Click here to visit the website!

If you have any problems or don't have your login details, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for assistance (Kim works three days a week, so allow a little time just in case).

Issue 100 content includes: 

  • Art Wolfe's Human Canvas

  • Murray Fredericks on Art

  • Luminosity Masking For Colour

  • Shooting Butterflies

  • Fujifilm X-T4

  • and lots lots more, of course!

AS PHOTOGRAPHERS, we mightn’t realise quite how many lowcost and potentially unsafe drones are hitting the Australian market. However, we probably all realise just how many people are flying their drones contrary to CASA guidelines. And being involved with photography competitions, it’s interesting to see a number of photographs that were obviously taken outside the guidelines (for example, there’s a person directly below the drone).

There is now a new safety symbol to look for when buying a drone, which means you are purchasing from a responsible retailer, manufacturer or wholesaler.

“Drone safety advocates have pledged to follow a specific set of guidelines when selling drones,” CASA spokesman Peter Gibson says.

“The guidelines ensure they are providing consumers with important safety information on when, where and how they can use their drone safely— and stay within the law.”

DJI, Zero-X, C.R. Kennedy, EE Group Australia, Fly the Farm, Officeworks and Rise Above Custom Drone Solutions are Australia’s first drone safety advocates.

“This is a voluntary joint initiative between CASA, retailers, wholesalers and manufacturers,” Mr Gibson says. “The outcome will be better drone safety education and encouragement for safe and responsible flying from the first time a new drone takes to the skies.

“Our research indicates consumers expect to be informed about the drone safety rules at the time they purchase their drone. Drones are great fun and by following the simple rules, everyone can enjoy flying safely.”

Australia’s drone safety rules have been in effect since 2002 and are designed to protect people, property and other aircraft. So, what are the rules we need to follow? Here’s a summary:

To begin, you must not fly your drone higher than 120 metres (400 feet) above ground level. You must also keep your drone at least 30 metres away from other people and you can only fly one drone at a time! Now, keeping your drone away from people in busy public spaces can be pretty challenging, even more so when you start flying in an empty field and then find you have visitors arriving.

You must keep your drone within visual line-of-sight. This means always being able to see the drone with your own eyes (rather than through a device, screen or goggles), and you must not fly over or above people or in a populous area. This includes beaches, parks, events and sport ovals when there is a game in progress.

CASA also requires us to respect personal privacy, meaning we don’t record or photograph people without their consent as this may breach other laws. This rule could be clarified because, generally speaking in Australia, there’s no law to prevent us from photographing people in public, but then again, these laws didn’t consider drones flying over private property.

If your drone weighs more than 100 grams, you must fly at least 5.5 kilometres away from a controlled airport, which generally has a control tower at it. You must not operate your drone in a way that creates a hazard to another aircraft, person or property, you must only fly during the day and you must not fly through cloud or fog.

You must not fly your drone over or near an area affecting public safety or where emergency operations are underway. This could include situations such as a car crash, police operations, a fire or firefighting efforts, or search and rescue.

If you’re near a helicopter landing site or smaller aerodrome without a control tower, you can fly your drone within 5.5 kilometres, but if you become aware of a manned aircraft nearby, you will have to manoeuvre away and land your drone as quickly and safely as possible.

And finally, it is illegal to fly for money or reward unless you have a remote pilot licence (RePL) or you’re flying in the excluded category (meaning the drone weighs less than two kilograms or you’re flying over private land with the landholder’s permission).

For more information, visit knowyourdrone/drone-rules.

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