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Nexto DI Mobile Storage Solutions
Pro Video NVS2500 and other Nexto DI location backup devices.


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Old December 19th, 2009, 05:37 PM   #1
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workflow for shooting in Africa

I have a shoot that just came up for January in eastern Africa.

I will be using my HPX 170 camera and shoot 720p24.

I won't be able to take my Macbook Pro (older model with Express Card slot) and a I don't want to buy a new Macbook Pro since don't have the Express Card slot and my Duel Adaptor won't work with Snow Leopard anyway.

In fact I am trying to not take a laptop at all on this trip. I really need to travel with a minimal amount of gear this time.

I have two 16 gig cards and will get a 32 gig card. This will give me about 160 minutes of shooting a day which will be plenty for what I need to do.

I understand that I can connect a small powered hard drive to the camera via Firewire and then use the camera to dump the files to the hard drive.

I am thinking of buying two small 500 gig drives to back up the data to each night.

Has anyone tried this workflow?

I am interested in the Nexto Di Extreme video box, but it costs $2000.

I know that people have gone with the small Netbook solution, but I am trying to keep my gear to a minimum.

I would appreciate any and all suggestions.

Thanks,

Daniel Weber
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Old December 19th, 2009, 10:55 PM   #2
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How long will you be gone? I filled quite a few hard drives on a three week trip.
You're going to shoot way more than you probably think you will.

I packed a HPX-300 a 15" laptop, hard drives, fluid head and a bunch of other stuff in a single carry-on bag. I also wore a photographers vest incase they weighed the bag and I had to take anything out I could stuff it in there and just wear the vest onboard. I bought a cheap carbon fiber tripod that my wife carried on board with her and we were pretty much set.

I'd plan to take more than you think you need cause once you're there it's kind of tough to just pick up a hard drive in the bush. :)
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Old December 20th, 2009, 04:14 AM   #3
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Kevin,

Thank you for the feedback. The shoot is only for 3 days of shooting in the DRC. I shoot in Africa all the time and in fact I am in Senegal as I write this.

When I go to Africa I will be fact be coming back from a trip to the Middle East and will have only 3 hours to clear customs and then meet my wife, change out gear from a Canon 7D kit to the HPX 170 kit, then re-check back in to fly back across the pond. I am trying to minimize my gear to the minimum. If I can go without a computer that makes it so much better.

I was wondering if anyone had tried the copy direct to hard drive method that the manual talks about. I am curious how long it takes to copy a full 16 gig card. Since you connect the camera via FW it would seem that it shouldn't take that long. The camera will also checksum the data.

If I can get by with doing this every night in the hotel, it would seem like a good solution.

Thanks for the advice,

Daniel Weber
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Old December 20th, 2009, 03:58 PM   #4
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Hi Daniel:

I have used the 170 to dump directly to drives. It is REALLY slow, about 45 minutes to dump a 16GB card. Not sure if you will want to spend the time when you can dump the same 16GB card with a laptop in 8 minutes. If you have the time, you can forget the laptop but if you need to not spend hours each day dumping your footage, I would look into the Nexto or drag a laptop.

Dan
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Old December 20th, 2009, 04:36 PM   #5
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Dan,

Thank you. That was exactly the information I was looking for!!

I was afraid that it sounded to good to be true. I wish that the Nexto cost half of what it sells for.

If I take a new Macbook Pro and use the camera as a card reader to transfer the files to a USB drive, how long will it take? I am referring to the 16 gig cards.

Thanks,

Daniel Weber
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Old December 20th, 2009, 06:43 PM   #6
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Hey Dan (Brockett),

Have you seen this:

Nexto DI - Next Generation Storage with Digital Interface

I saw it on the Nexto DI website. They say that you can download directly to it from the Panasonic cameras via USB. It has a 500 gig hard drive. They claim that they can download a 16 gig card in 11:30. That's not to bad, if it is really true.

B&H sells this unit for $550.

Thanks,

Daniel Weber
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Old December 20th, 2009, 09:47 PM   #7
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Ned Soltz reviewed one of the Nexto Drives in the latest issue of DV Magazine, not sure if it was this exact model. It was okay, not great but a viable way to work for some.

I was just in Copenhagen this past week for the COP 15 Climate Summit and shot many hours with my 170. I dragged my 15" PB G4 and it worked like a dream. I would not have had enough time to deal with using the camera as a reader, it is really slow as well. I think mine takes about 30 minutes to dump a 16GB card when using the camera as a reader on my MBP at home. The PB is MUCH faster. PITA to drag all over the world but it works and is a known quantity.

Dan
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