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Filmmaker Gareth Pon punts WD’s My Cloud EX4100

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An independent South African filmmaker, photographer and creative consultant, Gareth Pon is best known as Africa’s Top Instagrammer. Having spent the last few years investigating the potential of mobile photography while growing his worldwide network of friends and creatives, Pon shares his knowledge of film, photography and social media community-building with brands and agencies to help them to maximise Instagram as a platform for marketing.
As a photographer, his work enables him to spends much time abroad traveling, creating premium content for international brands and clients, or performing as a brand advocate through the creation of compelling photography and video content for social media marketing.

The challenge
Creating high-quality visual content for brands is both time-consuming and data-intensive. Gareth Pon produces significant quantities of data that needs to be safely stored and easily accessible while traveling locally and internationally. Given that each image is 50MB when shooting stills with a DSLR camera, it’s easy to see how Pon can gather over 30GB of digital content in a single outing, and when it comes to video footage, Pon gathers more than 100GB per shoot.
“My previous storage set-up was unreliable,” says Pon, “I was using a couple of USB 3 hard drives that I would carry around with me. At home, I had an external casing that I would need to plug in every time I wanted to do back-ups, which wasn’t ideal. So I’d go out, shoot and have to plug in my hard drives when I got home and leave them to copy overnight. My biggest gripe was also constantly having external hard drives plugged into my laptop – if I wanted to move to another room of the house I’d run the risk of bumping the drive loose, and having files lost or damaged from an improperly ejected drive.”

The solution
To meet his intense data storage requirements, Gareth Pon needed a solution that offers flexibility, accessibility and security without compromising on mobility and performance.
WD’s My Cloud EX4100 network-attached storage solution was exactly what Pon needed to simplify his post-shoot production set-up and workflow. Having spent the last three months working with a 16TB drive for shoots and travel
Now, Pon is able to store his content on one ready-to-go, high powered NAS solution and can access files anytime, anywhere from any smart device. He can take to the road confident in the knowledge that his content is secured with multiple backup options, and come home to convenience.

The results
“I come home, and I can access my images and footage straight away. I can do this from anywhere in my house, or even when I’m on the go. Being wire-free? It’s magic,” Pon enthuses. Having proven accessible, Pon also welcomes the reliability and ease-of-use of the My Cloud EX4100.
With built-in, one-touch copy button conveniently located on the front of the NAS device, Pon is now able to automatically copy all the photos and videos stored on any external USB or camera to the My Cloud EX4100, keeping his media and files in one safe, central location. Noting that the device and solution was easy to set up and configure, Pon appreciates the impact that this has had on his time. “I don’t have to wait for overnight transfers between USB devices since using the EX4100, as it offers me instant gratification,” he says.
Such performance and convenience is made possible by a strong Marvell ARMADA 388 1.6 GHz dual-core processor, which offers “ultra-fast transfer speeds of 116 MB/s upload and 116 MB/s downloads, which is why Pon now has more free time to focus on producing visually-compelling content, instead of waiting for data transfers,” explains Anamika Budree, WD Brand Sales Manager for South Africa.
While Pon is satisfied with storage capacity on the My Cloud EX4100 solution, he does anticipate needing additional capacity in the future. “I’m a data hound, which means I never delete anything. Over the years I’ve curated content but because I never delete it I always need somewhere safe to store it. The devices I use to shoot content capture them at high quality, which means the file sizes will be huge and because I’m always capturing content during my travels and trips, I’m always going to be data hungry when it comes to my storage collection.
“Would I recommend this NAS solution to other photographers? Without question. It’s simplified my life, given me peace of mind that my data is always secure and available. It’s made my creative processes more fluid and it fits perfectly with my mobile lifestyle, personally and professionally,” Pon concludes.