Nexto Di NSB-25 John Ford - Head of Film by John Ford, Head of Film

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4k video production and the Nexto DI NSB25

During the last 17 years we’ve flown around the world filming in obscene heat and blistering cold. Our 4k video production camera kit (and crew) have had to work with high-pressures in insecure and unpredictable environments. After all this time it seems crazy to me that we’ve never lost a single days rushes. Nothing at all.

Now, I don’t necessarily think that looking after your footage is anything to brag about. We all know that there is nothing more valuable on a shoot than that data that represents everyones hard work All those days, weeks, or months of planning. But s**t does happen. Things do go wrong, and every now and then the unthinkable happens.

So what do I put it down to? Experience, strict processes and a little range of products by NEXTO DI. Here is a video review of their latest machine, the NSB-25.

The Evolution of NEXTO DI for 4k video production

So, chances are you already know about the NEXTO DI Drives. I think we can be fairly clear and say that these products are never going to be the hottest topic in the prattling production gear community. However for me, the evolution of the NEXTO DI field drives have made my life easier and my stress levels a whole lot lower. Even more so when deal with the amount of data gathered on a 4k video production.

NEXTO STORAGE BRIDGE NSB-25 in use on a recent Contra shoot 4k video production
NEXTO STORAGE BRIDGE NSB-25 in use on a recent Contra shoot

So now NEXTO DI have gifted us with the NSB-25, and the story hasn’t changed. When Contra made the move to solid state acquisition, the NVS 2500 made it easy. Now, we’ve taken another leap and bought ourselves a shiny new RED EPIC DRAGON. Despite the massive data-rates the NSB-25 has made our upgrade to 6K raw smoother than I thought possible.

NEXTO STORAGE BRIDGE NSB-25 in use with the Arri Amira 4k video production
The NEXTO STORAGE BRIDGE NSB-25 works well with the big, lovely cameras such as the Arri Amira, Sony F55 and Red Epic Dragon

Breaking down the NSB-25

The NSB-25 is a significant leap forwards for NEXTO DI. It has all the great features of it’s predecessors, like simultaneous copying and roll management tools, but with plenty of added bonuses.

So what exactly makes this drives such a step forward?

Well to start, the addition of a touch-screen 5” 24-bit colour LCD is a really great move. Firstly it provides the ability to really easily review your footage immediately after transfer. This means that once you’ve de-rigged or even mid-shoot, you’re able to view your clips on the drive and relax that your footage is a little bit safer. If the 5” monitor isn’t good enough then this little box can throw out a 2K feed via HDMI. The good folk at NEXTO DI have even added a headphone jack and mono speaker so that you can check your audio is clean as well.

NEXTO STORAGE BRIDGE NSB-25 with the Red Epic Dragon 4k video production
The NEXTO STORAGE BRIDGE NSB-25 works with the RedMags and will soon work with the Red Minimags

As well as this the NSB-25 has two built-in memory slots for CF, SD and various interface ports. But the biggest feature for us is a 4K customisable slot. This customisable slot gives you flexibility over RED MAGs and minis, C-Fast and SxS. On top of this you have two removable bridge pellets that hold caddies for 2.5 SATA disk or solid state drives. These removable drives really prove that NEXTO DI are taking technological trends and advancements seriously.

So as well as thinking about your shooting formats, NEXTO DI are clearly also considering your time and sanity. What makes one of the biggest impacts for me is the fact that the NSB-25 is able to simultaneously back-up to 3 drives. I was basically blown away when I managed to archive a 128GB RedMag to two drives in 15 minutes. Call me naive but I had to thoroughly check that there wasn’t a problem, because that sort of speed just seems a little unreal to me. Rest assured its not.

The NEXTO STORAGE BRIDGE NSB-25 back at the Contra Production office 4k video production
NEXTO STORAGE BRIDGE NSB-25 has a lovely big touch screen for previewing rushes

The touch-screen LCD monitor is responsive and has an intuitive menu structure. You can name and organise multiple backups as well as generating LOG files to keep track of usage. If you’re archiving via a RAID then the NSB-25 will sync automatically, or for higher data-rates you can store your 2.5” drives as verified mirror copies. For us this is the ideal solution. Whereas we’ve been using RAID’s in the past, multiple archives straight to HHDs means that we can affordably archive RAW data rates on and off-site. Ideal when dealing with 6k or 4k video production.

NEXTO STORAGE BRIDGE NSB-25 4k video production
NEXTO STORAGE BRIDGE NSB-25 can handle all kinds of tough conditions

Summary

I’m not sure what else to say about this drive. I won’t go into the tech details because these are all over the NEXTO DI website. All I feel I need to say is that once again the tech-wizards at NEXTO DI have delivered a reliable, functional and dare I say it, cutting edge product. At Contra we definitely have a soft-spot for our shiny new RED EPIC DRAGON, but it’s comforting to know that the NSB-25 will give us flexibility when a job requires shooting on any camera, from CFast on the Amira or SxS on the F55.

To check out our portfolio follow this link: https://film.contra.agency/portfolio/

John Ford - Head of Film by John Ford, Head of Film
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