Jobo AG has announced what looks to be an intriguing upgrade of its flagship GIGA Vu PRO portable storage device.
Called the GIGA Vu PRO evolution, it's aimed squarely at the working photographer with features such as promised speedy transfer from a CompactFlash card to the internal hard drive, support for the USB OTG protocol for direct connection to USB cameras, an image verification function, RAW file support (including decoding the RAW data for full-resolution zooming), a 3.7 inch or 4 inch LCD (there is a discrepancy in the supplied screen specifications), built-in FTP functionality, Wi-Fi compatibility (using a third-party Wi-Fi CompactFlash card), histogram, EXIF and individual R,G,B channel views, a DVI external display connector plus NTSC/PAL video out, the ability to show various digital movie formats at 640x480/30 fps and more.
While some of these features are also found in the current GIGA Vu PRO, the upcoming evolution version's higher-resolution screen, DVI-out, possible faster card transfer rates, direct connection to USB cameras, higher-capacity internal drive options and other refinements appear to make it a powerful upgrade to an already well-specified device.
The packet of information we received on the GIGA Vu PRO evolution raises as many questions as it answers, including what the real-world throughput of the the claimed high-speed CompactFlash card slot is (a Jobo document says 44X, which is only a moderately quick 6.45MB/second), how fast it can decode RAW data during image magnification and which RAW formats are to be supported (a list of supported formats for the existing GIGA Vu Pro is here), what the maximum resolution of the DVI output is, whether the colour and contrast of the screen is reasonably accurate and whether the FTP capabilities are both client and server (Jobo literature mentions FTP server functionality only).
Nevertheless, in a category of what are mostly underwhelming me-too products that lack essential features for the pro photographer, the GIGA Vu PRO evolution is one that we can't wait to try out here. It's slated to ship in January 2006 in capacities up to 120GB. A Jobo press release gives estimated prices, presumably for European markets, of 499 EUR for 40GB and 699 EUR for 80GB. As of this writing, most of the information on the GIGA Vu PRO evolution is in German only on the Jobo AG site.
GIGA Vu PRO evolution