A lot of people have asked me what I used on location for editing and transmitting images. The simple answer is a laptop. The more "complicated" answer is a laptop in a box.
This may sound like a pretty simple answer and it is. When Im on location and need to edit or transmit photos I take my MacBook Pro with me. The more complicated part is how I carry it and how it is set up.
For the first part, lets talk about the "box." I use a Pelican 1490CC1 case. Its a briefcase style pelican case which offers two advantages. 1) Its briefcase size so its small enough to travel with but has plenty of room for accessories. 2) Its a Pelican case so its tough as nails, waterproof, and pretty much indestructible.
The great thing about the 1490CC1 is it comes with a laptop tray that can hold up to a 15" laptop. It also comes with the lid organizer that holds tons of accessories. The best part about the laptop tray for me is the fact that it is customizable. It has pick and pluck foam under where the laptop sits that you can shape to fit your gear and its a soft rubber type material that can be easily cut to make room for cables to run through.
The second part is the accessories. In the case I have an external hard drive, USB 3.0 hub, XQD reader, CF reader, wireless mouse, ethernet adaptor, ethernet cable, power cable, iPhone cable, and ear plugs.
The external hard drive I picked was a Lacie 1TB Rugged Thunderbolt Mobile HDD. Its small, super durable and the tunderbolt (and optional USB 3.0) makes its super fast. It sits under the laptop and the cable is weaved through the case and plugged into the laptop. This gives me the ability to keep the photos on my laptop for quick access and have a second backup copy on an external drive. Redundancy is huge on location. I dont want to loose any photos before I get them home and onto my network storage.
The card readers I chose were the Lexar Workflow XR2 and CFR1 card readers. I use the same card readers at home in a Lexar Workflow Hub. They are USB 3.0 so they are super fast and are super reliable.
Both card readers are plugged into the USB 3.0 hub along with the wireless mouse and the iPhone Thunderbolt cable. The USB hub also sits under the laptop in the pick and plug foam and the cable for it is weaved through the laptop tray and plugged into the laptop.
With the setup I've talked about so far I can literally open the case, turn on the laptop and start transferring images from the cards to both computer and external drive in under 60 seconds. This is because everything in the case is "installed" and already hooked up ready to go. There's no need to try and find a cable or hook anything up.
Moving onto transmitting images. When I have to transmit from location I have three options. The first is wired network. Well the MacBook I have doesn't have a ethernet port so I carry a Thunderbolt to RJ-45 ethernet adaptor. I also carry a 50 foot lay flat ethernet cable so I can plug into a switch or network access point.
The second option is wireless which is built in so no extra gear needed. The last option is tethering to my iPhone. This is why I have a Thunderbolt iPhone cable hardwired into the case. There are plenty of times where I dont have internet access from the facility so I will plug in my iPhone, tether the laptop, and start transmitting. This is my least favorite because of the data that is used but its still quick and effective if you dont have any other options.
The final part to this whole setup, and to some might be the most important, is the security. The case comes with latches that lock and are very secure. So when Im not around I can close the lid, lock it, and nobody is getting in. The second part is the rings for the shoulder strap are solid on the side of the case and I can use a simple safety cable to secure it to a desk (or anything solid) and lock it so it wont walk away.
All in all this is the best solution that I have found. Its an evolving process and Im sure it will change in the future based on my needs but so far so good. Hope this helps someone out. Check out the video above to see the case and the equipment inside.