Hands On with the DJI Copilot
The DJI Copilot is a rugged 2TB hard drive made for photographers, videographers and drone pilots to manage and backup data on set in any location. The Copilot is a BOSS (Backup On-Set Solutions) drive, developed from a partnership between DJI and LaCie, announced at this year’s CES.
The Copilot is designed to transfer data without a computer, cutting down on kit. You’re also able to organise your files using a mobile device making it the ideal travel hard drive.
We’ve taken the Copilot out on a few aerial and ground shoots since receiving our first shipment, testing out its capabilities in real-world situations.
In this post, we’ll be guiding you through using the DJI Copilot and showing you how to get the most out of this impressive hard drive when you’re out on a shoot.
DJI Copilot Features
The Copilot is a BOSS drive that’s used to backup data from an SD Card or device without a computer. It works in conjunction with a mobile device through the Copilot BOSS app. The app allows you to view and manage your stored data on the move and without an internet connection; renaming and deleting files as required.
The Copilot is compatible with Android and Apple devices and can be used with the majority of DSLRs, mirrorless camera, the DJI range and some other hard drives. Although developed in partnership with DJI, the Copilot is not limited to drone use and is an ideal storage solution for all creatives.
The Copilot is water and dust resistant, as well as shock resistant, allowing it to keep up with the challenging conditions found on some video and photo shoots. It can be carried in a bag or loose in the boot of your car without the worry of damaging it.
There’s also the added benefit that you can use the Copilot to charge your phone when you’re out and about.
DJI Copilot Specifications
Let’s start by looking at the specifications of the DJI Copilot:
|Lacie DJI Copilot 2TB STGU2000400|
|136 mm x 111 mm x 36 mm (Length x Width x Depth)|
|Drop resistant, splash resistant, dust resistant|
|Mobile phone or tablet running iOS 10.3 or Android 4.4 or later|
|Computer running Windows® 10 or higher; or Mac OS® X 10.10 or higher with an available USB-C (3.1), Thunderbolt™ 3, USB 3.0, or USB 2.0 port|
Offloads from most:
What’s in the Box?
Next, let’s look at what’s included with the Copilot.
The Copilot comes in its rugged rubber covering offering the water and dust protection. The covering does attract dust and dirt but it can easily be cleaned when required.
A wide range of cables are included with the DJI Copilot, compatible with the majority of modern smartphones and computers.
There’s also a MicroSD adapter included, a handy addition to the package, especially for drone pilots.
The package includes a month trial to Adobe® Creative Cloud, giving you the opportunity to test out some of Adobe’s apps.
DJI Copilot Features
The Copilot has a simple, minimalist design with a protected LCD screen and only one button. The button has different functionalities depending on how it’s pressed. A short tap is used to power on the device followed by another short tap for yes and a longer tap for no.
You don’t have to worry about damaging the screen as it is set back under the rubber and protected by a plastic coating.
The are several connectivity options available on the Copilot (left to right):
- Charging Port
- USB-A Port – Used to connect to a device
- USB-C Port – Used to connect to a computer
- SD Card Slot
- Micro USB – Used to connect your mobile device with one of the cables provided
Using the DJI Copilot
In this section, we’ll be detailing the various functions available on the DJI Copilot.
DJI Copilot Setup
Once you’ve received your Copilot, charge the hard drive using the power cable and a wall socket. You’ll then need to download the Copilot BOSS app from either the App Store or Google Play.
Once charged, use the cable that’s compatible with your mobile device, connect to the Copilot and press the action button. The Copilot will detect your device and open the Copilot app. If the app isn’t automatically launched, manually launch the app to begin connection.
The Copilot will then automatically go through the setup process which takes around 20 seconds.
Backing up Data
Once you’ve completed the setup, you can begin transferring files from your device or SD Card. Just connect to the Copilot and press the action button once. The Copilot will identify the connection and give you the option to begin the transfer. Tap the action button to begin the transfer or hold for three seconds to cancel.
Once the transfer is complete you will be notified then free to remove the connection. The data from the SD Card or device will be transferred into a new folder on the Copilot and with the time and date visible.
The Copilot will also advise the space it has available and its battery life on the built-in LCD screen.
DJI Copilot with a Smartphone
Connect your Copilot to your mobile device and enter the Copilot BOSS app.
On the app, there are several options available to you, allowing you to control a range of areas without using a laptop.
Below is the homepage available on the app:
At the top of the app, a summary of the available space and the battery level is given.
You can also use the three dots at the top right to control several features including the view:
You’re able to view, rename and delete files that have been backed up on the Copilot, on your mobile device, or on a connected SD Card or device. You can also change the settings to suit your needs.
Copilot Hard Drive
Using the app, you can enter the hard drive to and view the folder you have moved from your SD card or device. Once moved onto the Copilot, the files will be stored in Backups and assigned the time and date of their upload.
With each of the folders, you’re able to complete the above actions allowing you to begin organising your files on the move.
You can then enter individual folders to view the stored data.
For each individual file, you can view the image or video, then complete the following actions:
There’s also the option to open the files within different apps on your mobile device to begin editing or send the files by email etc.
The next menu available on the app is the option to access the mobile device.
This allows you to view your photos and videos saved on your device.
There’s also an offline folder in this menu where you can save files from the hard drive to access them without plugging in the drive. This is a great way of viewing important files quickly.
Like in the menu for the hard drive, you can organise images and videos saved on the SD card, changing names, deleting files and move them to your mobile device. You can also clear and SD card to create space, allowing you to instantly use the card again in your drone or camera.
DJI Copilot Settings
The final option available on the Copilot BOSS app is the Settings Menu.
In the Settings, you’re able to control various aspects and preferences of the hard drive.
In this menu, we left the majority of settings as default but it’s handy being able to control settings.
The power saving mode is a useful aspect if you’re out in the field without access to a power socket as USB charging isn’t possible.
DJI Copilot with a Computer
When using the Copilot with a computer, standard hard drive functionality is available.
You can edit and view files directly from the hard drive, again cutting down on the kit you need to take with you.
DJI Copilot Summary
The DJI Copilot is the ideal hard drive for anyone who captures a great deal of data who wants to quickly backup their files without carrying around a laptop. As the Copilot BOSS app allows you to view and organise your images on the move, it is a great option for creatives travelling for work as it gives you the ability to sort through your shots before getting back to your base.
It’s extremely simple to use and completes transfers quickly, even when you’re transferring large amounts of data.
The Copilot can also keep up with harsh conditions through its water and dust proofing, giving you peace of mind that your data is safe. This lets you focus on what’s important, the creative process and capturing your images and video.
To discuss any information from the above post or any DJI or Freefly product, please give one of our team a call on 862 298 5964 or email us at [email protected].
Keep checking back to Heliguy’s Insider Blog for more announcements, insights into drones and, of course, the latest news from the drone industry.
David is Heliguy’s Blogger and Head of Digital Content Production. David keeps our readers up to date with drone news within the ever-changing industry.