When you need to do a lot of shooting in the field, you might need more than a plethora of 60-minute tapes or memory cards to get you by. This review looks at two types of portable storage and recording devices to help your production continue smoothly without a bump.
Great things can happen when great companies come together. Such as the iVDR VC102 which combines Maxells removable “Field Tough Media with Shining Technologys CitiDISK tapeless video recorder. This is one piece of battle gear that is definitely fit for the field.
The iVDR VC102 couldn’t have arrived at a better time. My daughter’s graduation was just days away and would provide a great opportunity for testing the device’s virtues. One of my cameras is an older, prosumer class JVC, with a problem. The heads are starting to go and I find that strange digital artifacts tend to appear at the most inconvenient places in the image. If I could bypass the heads and record directly to disk I could still take advantage of the camera’s otherwise beautiful recording abilities.
The 250GB hard drive, aptly categorized as “Field Tough Media” and built to military standards for ruggedness and durability in the field, slides into the iVDR VC102 adapter and locks securely into place. Both components slide into the included hot shoe adapter. Also included is a swivel adapter that screws into the unit at one end and slides into the camera’s accessory shoe on the other. A FireWire cable (included) attaches the adapter to the camera and you’re set to go.
Three simple buttons control power, recording and playback. Numerous adjustable options are available via a simple-to-navigate on-screen menu. My camera required that a tape be inserted, while some models allow direct-to-disk recording without a tape or other media present.
The result was a beautifully recorded graduation memory – direct to disk – and without the digital artifacts I would have had using tape.
If you’re shooting tapeless and don’t have an unlimited supply of media cards (who does?) then what do you do when it comes time to offload footage from your card so you can continue shooting? Of course, you can always lug a laptop around or you can grab yourself a Nexto DI Video Storage Pro NVS500.
Another fit-for-the-field device, the NVS2500 is compact, lightweight and allows you to quickly offload footage from a variety of media cards to its 500GB internal hard drive. Card types include Sony SXS, SD, CompactFlash, MS and xD. The built-in color LCD display allows you browse thumbnails and preview footage.
Some great features include Multi-Copy, Sync and Verify. Multi-Copy allows you to plug in a second drive and transfer files from your memory card to both the NVS2500 and the second drive simultaneously, instantly creating a back up copy. With Sync you can plug in your backup drive and only the new files that have been recorded since the last “sync” will be transferred. And finally, Verify compares footage copied to the NVS2500 to the footage on the media card to ensure that an accurate copy has been achieved.
Tech Specs: Maxell
iVDR VC102 Intelligent Adapter
Supported Formats: DV, DVCAM, DVCPRO, DVCPRO 50, DVCPRO HD & HDV; QuickTime, AVI
File Format: AVI, MOV, M2T (HDV), RAWDV
Storage Capacity: 250GB (500GB also available)
Recording Time (250GB): DV – up to 19 hrs; HD – up to 4.5 hrs (MPEG-2)
Battery Life: 90 minutes continuous recording (internal)
iVDR-Xtreme External Media
Form Factor: 2.5″
Durability Cycles: 10,000
Hard Drive Speed: 5400rpm
Weight: 155.9g / 6.1oz
OS Compatibility: PC, Mac and Linux
Transfer Speed: 830 Mbps
- Improved direct-to-disk workflow eliminates capture time
- Drives hot swappable – swap in fresh drive and continue shooting while first drive goes straight to editing
- Display difficult to read – dark blue text against light blue background
Maxell Corporation of America
3 Garret Mountain Plaza,
3rd Floor, Suite #300
Woodland Park, NJ 07424-3352
Tech Specs: Nexto
LCD: 2.4″ Color TFT; 320X240, 64K color
Video Preview: XDCAM MPEG-2 4:2:0 (.mp4), HDV MPEG-2-TS / DVCAM / DV AVI Type 1 / Raw DV (.m2t, .avi, .dv), AVC-Intra 100 / AVC-Intra 50 (.mxf) – at a preliminary speed, DVCPRO HD / DVCPRO 50 / DVCPRO / DV (.mxf), Ikegami MPEG-2 4:2:2 (.mxf), Convergent Design MPEG-2 (.mxf, .mov), JVC MPEG-2 4:2:0 (.mov, .mp4)
Card Slots: SXS Express Card/34 Compatible; CF Type 1/2, Micro Drive; 3 in 1 SD / SDHC / MMC / MMCPlus; Memory Stick / MS Pro-HG / MS Pro MagicGate
Back-Up Speeds: SXS – Avg. 80MB/sec; P2 – Avg. 56 MB/s; P2E: Avg. 70 MB/s; CF – Avg. 26 MB/s; SDHC – Avg. 20 MB/s; MS Pro: Avg. 10 MB/s
Battery: Internal – 3.7V 4600mA rechargeable Li-Poly battery (120 min.); External – AA Battery holder for recharging internal battery with four standard AA batteries (40 min.)
Bus Power Operation: Operate with USB or FireWire cable; Computer interface using eSATA (3.0 Gb/s) or USB 2.0 (480 Mb/s)
Control Buttons: Single button control with four-way jog stick for browsing and power on/off button
Data Safety: Verify function, Sync function, and internal shock absorbers inside the enclosure. Rugged jacket to protect the storage unit from external shocks.
Weight: 430g / 15.1 oz (with hard drive)
- Rugged yet highly portable
- Fast, convenient transfer of footage from a variety of media cards
- Create simultaneous backups with Multi-Copy feature
- Menu simple to navigate
- Display easy to read
- None to speak of
Nexto DI USA
945 West Hyde Park Blvd.
Inglewood, CA 90302
If you’re a video pro or enthusiast seeking a solution to working with solid state media then the Nexto DI Video Storage Pro NVS2500 or the iVDR VC102 might just be the ticket to your media management solution.
Mark Holder is a video producer and trainer.