For all the time that we spend scrutinizing our gear and workflow, sometimes our focus in one area can leave a gaping hole somewhere else. The weak link in the chain is not made apparent until the right tool makes it more efficient. Then, like a lightning bolt, you wonder why you didn’t make that change years ago. That was exactly my experience when first using the Lexar Professional Workflow system.
Let’s travel back to a time, not long ago, before I had examined my file transfer and backup workflow. Upon returning from a wedding shoot, I would dump all the cards on the desk, plug the first one directly into the computer CF card reader port and another into a generic USB CF card reader. I’d walk away and come back later hoping those were done, so that I could repeat the process with two more cards until all the cards were downloaded. I then backed up the whole set onto two other external drives—one that lives on my desktop and another portable one that goes with me for culling on the road. In hindsight, it’s kind of sad and almost embarrassing to share my old file transfer flow with you.
Luckily, I had someone show me a different way. Zenfolio Pro Team member Jeff Cable introduced the Lexar Professional Workflow system to me through his previous Favorite Things giveaway since it was one of his prizes. But it got me thinking about my own workflow and wondering why it was one of Jeff’s favorite things. It turns out there are a few obvious benefits that make the Lexar Professional Workflow system worth examining.
1. It has a modular system
Lexar has made the whole system around the Workflow Hub, a 4-bay tower that accepts any of the many types of Workflow units. There are two types of Workflow units: card readers and backup flash-based drives. There are different card readers for your needs, including CF, SDHC, SDXC, XQD, and Cfast. You also have your choice of 256GB and 512GB storage devices. Each of these units can be used directly with your computer without the hub, or you can insert any combination of the units into the Workflow Hub. I’m currently using all CF cards to download my wedding shoot images, and then I’ll slot in a 512GB storage drive to back it all up. Then I take that little storage drive with me to cull the set on my laptop when I’m away from my main workhorse desktop computer.
2. It has fast downloading and even faster file transfer
The first noticeable difference is the blazing speed. USB 3.0 is much faster than almost all other options out there, and it considerably reduced the time it takes for me to download my files to my computer. Transferring files from my computer to the D512 drive unit was extremely fast. This is particularly rewarding when you have just patiently waited for all the cards to download and now the whole backup of the set takes only as much time as a single card. I’ve gone with the HR1 version, which is a USB 3.0 reader, but Lexar also has a version called the HR2 that uses USB 3.0 as well as Thunderbolt 2.
3. It has a sleek design and is lightweight
Using Lexar’s workflow system is not quite as minimal as what I was doing before since I now have tons of extra USB 3.0 cables laying around, but it’s much more efficient and convenient. Those are the two big ingredients I look for to improve my workflow. An added perk is that it’s pretty easy on the eyes—sexy even. If I have to have another tower on my desk to improve my file-transfer workflow, at least it has a sleek design and doesn’t detract from the overall aesthetic of the workspace. I also appreciate the lightweight design as I take the units along with me—they are much lighter than my previous drives.
All in all, I’m a fan. It’s certainly another big item to have on the desk, but in the end it’s improved my workflow for file transferring. I highly recommend it—especially to those who, like me, have a functional workflow in place but haven’t examined it in a while. This may be a refreshingly helpful tool that you didn’t know you needed.
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Evan Chung is a San Francisco Bay Area wedding photographer and an expert in online web presence. His beautiful and engaging images showcase his love for people and capturing emotions on camera while his photography seminars and workshops display his passion for website excellence. It is easy to see his dedication to his craft and his desire to reinvest back into the photography community. Check out his work at www.EvanChungPhoto.com.