The remarkable Sean Viljoen of Conservation Film Company put the new G-Tech Armor ATD External Hard Drive through its paces to give us a comprehensive review from an industry professional’s perspective. Keep scrolling to find out what he thought!

Article by Sean Viljoen

Workflows within the filmmaking and photography worlds are becoming more streamlined as technology advances and it becomes possible to edit photographs on an iPad while out in the field, store incredible amounts of data on pocket-sized devices and carry it all in a backpack.


Our production company, Conservation Film Company, works with talented filmmakers from around the world to tell conservation stories and we are often operating in harsh conditions, for extended periods of time. My focus has become filmmaking, first and foremost, but a passion for wildlife and landscape photography is what got me involved in the industry in the first place. Our projects involve a lot of international travel and minimalism has become somewhat of an obsession of mine – how can you achieve the highest production value possible with the least amount of gear?


Everyone has different needs when it comes to media storage. When on-location, we are usually filming high volumes of 4K 10-bit footage, often on multiple cameras for a few days at a time. Returning to base camp after a long day, we need to then dump the media, back it up, review footage, and often turn around quick edits for social media. 

I have found that using a combination of portable SSD drives and external hard drives offers the best of both worlds for our media management. The faster but more pricey portable SSD drives can be used for editing video on location and the external hard drives can be used for backing up the content and editing stills on a separate device concurrently.  

Unfortunately, drives with spinning disks are more prone to failure and I’ve had this painful experience multiple times – not a great feeling when you’re in the middle of nowhere! The biggest benefit of the G-Tech Armor ATD 2TB hard drive, in my eyes, is that it helps to reduce that risk with its robust design and without breaking the bank. 


The 2TB G-Tech Armor ATD has a crush-resistant core that meets the IP54 specifications for repelling rain and dust, with the ability to withstand drops over 1m. The internal shock mounts, solid aluminum enclosure, protective rubber bumper, and water resistance will go a long way towards protecting your data, without the need for a pelican case dedicated to your hard drives. 

The Armor ATD features a USB 3.1 Type-C interface. By default, the drive is formatted in the exFAT file format, so it works on both Mac and Windows out of the box. In terms of speed, it placed near the top of the test group of comparable rugged drives in the BlackMagic 3.1 Disk Speed Test (the most relevant test for our workflow), with a read speed of 124MBps and a write speed of 125MBps. All things considered, the price of the Armor ATD is reasonable per gigabyte, and performance will not disappoint you when it counts. 

In summary, the G-Tech Armor ATD provides a budget-friendly alternative to SSD’s for backing up content on-location with the added bonus of extra protection. I’m looking forward to throwing a few in my bag for the next adventure! 

Keep up with Sean and his adventures on the frontline of conservation by following him on Instagram.

Shop the G-Tech Armor ATD 2TB on Orms Direct.

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