If you’ve been watching the Rio Olympics, you’ve probably seen that cool Google commercial where people are capturing their priceless moments on their mobile device and they run out of storage space. It’s an ingenious bit of marketing. The iPhone is incapable of adding storage (because they want you to buy the larger model), so when you run out, you run out.
Android, by contrast, offers the ability to add a miniSD card on several models. Since Apple has no plans whatsoever to add external storage, what’s a mobile filmmaker to do? Well, SanDisk comes to the rescue with iXpand, a flash drive for your iPhone, and it’s bound to be a life line for shooting in 4K.
Now this isn’t a new product. Sandisk has had it for awhile, but the second generation of the iXpand is streamlined with an extremely small footprint. Sandisk has redesigned it, removing the iXpand’s battery to save on space, so it has to rely on phantom power of the iPhone to power it. But really, how much of an impact can that have?
The benefits of the iXpand is that it enables mobile filmmakers to offload completed scenes and free up space quickly. It automatically backs up all photos and videos through SanDisk’s My iXpand Drive app.
It also does double duty by giving users an easy to read overview of the storage space available for both the iPhone and the iXpand. Once the files are copied, users can then backed connect them to a computer or network quickly via USB. Or, you can view files and backup and restore them in a similar fashion. You can even move the data to another device like a secondary iPhone or iPad.
- Free up space on your iPhone by moving photos and videos to your iXpand flash
- Videos automatically saved to the drive if captured from within the iXpand Drive app
- Automatically back-up photos and videos from your camera, plus contacts
- Watch popular video on your iPhone or iPad
- Designed with a flexible connector to fit through most iPhone cases
- High-speed USB 3.0 transfer to and from your computer
- Secure file storage across your computer, iPhone and iPad
The design is very snug as the lightning connector curls around the USB plug, providing a nice tight fit so it can’t pop off accidentally. When you plug it in, the iPhone will recognize it and take you to the iXpand app page to download and install [link to Drive app, and link to Sync app]. Once you’ve installed it, you’re ready to offload all your images and videos.
Looking at the design, I think it’ll fit nicely inside a mobile film cage like a BeastGrip, without getting to much in the way, though I’ll have to try one out with mine to see for sure. The bottom line is, regardless of the design, I think it’s a welcome accessory for mobile filmmakers who can then swap out with a second one while on set.
Meanwhile, they keep getting their scene files offloaded and backed up for post-production. It also means you can shoot your source videos at 4K without worrying about losing space in the middle of a great scene.
The only real beef I’m hearing from users is that the iXpand is the price. I don’t know about that. Looking on Amazon, the price for the iXpand is $53 for the 32GB – $100 for 128GB. That’s a deal to me, especially considering that the Lightning connector requires the Apple premium. If the iXpand performs as well as it looks to, then every mobile filmmaker should have at least two of them. Heck, every iPhone user should have one. Otherwise they may end up with this:
For more information, visit the iXpand website here.