Review: Nexto DI 500 GB NVS1501 Photo and Video Storage
Kerry’s Quick Shot: The Nexto DI NVS1501 is flat out the fastest and most reliable backup device I have ever used. I simply won’t leave home without it!
Last year I took my wife to Maui for our anniversary and on the very first day the hard drive in my laptop crashed. At the time I had the Nexto DI eXtreme portable storage which allowed me to quickly back up my CF cards each night. Without a portable backup solution, I would have been nervous about losing my data until I got home. Data loss is the ultimate enemy of the photographer so the sooner you get a backup the better off you are. With more and more video projects coming in, I wanted to make sure I had a backup solution for video files as well as still images and the Nexto DI NVS1501 was an obvious choice since I had liked the Nexto DI eXtreme so much. Let’s take a look and see if the NVS1501 is a worthy successor to the eXtreme.
While the very unassuming case features only an On/Off button and a single small joystick style control, the system itself is actually crammed with features.
In addition to backing up your memory cards, the NVS1501 also allows you to copy your files onto other devices, such as USB drives or memory cards, using an external card reader or the optional Ikegami GFPAK. Data can also be burned directly to Blu-ray Discs.
Nexto DI gave this device safety features such as shock protection, in the form of a built-in free-fall sensor and rubber bumpers. The NVS1501 can also detect and recover from bad sectors by moving data to a safe sector.
- Back Up from Various Memory Cards
- Offload data from various memory cards (CF, Microdrive, SDHC, SDXC, MS) up to 500 GB
- Supports SDXC
- The NVS1501 supports the exFAT file system used in SDXC.
- Copy Mode and Performance
- Fast Copy: Make a new folder and copy all the memory card data into the folder
Copy and Verify: Same as Fast Copy, but after copying, the data on the memory card is compared with the copied data on the NVS1501 hard drive. Each bit is verified
Safe Copy: Before copying data, the NVS1501 verifies that its hard drive area is safe. If a bad sector is detected, a new, safe area is found – then copying (Fast Copy) will begin
- CF: 80 MB/s – 6 minutes, 40 seconds to transfer 32 GB
SDHC/SDXC: 22 MB/s – 24 minutes, 14 seconds to transfer 32 GB
SDHC/SDXC, UHS-1: 60 MB/s – 8 minutes, 53 seconds to transfer 32 GB
MS: 12 MB/s – 44 minutes, 26 seconds to transfer 32 GB
- Preview Video and Photo Clip
- User can preview video and photo clips with the built-in color LCD. A preview of both files on internal HDD and external device (CF, SDHC, SDXC, MS, USB external HDD) is supported
- Making a Secondary Copy to USB Hard Drive
- User can generate (sync) a second copy onto an external USB HDD. Export internal data to an external USB hard drive without needing a laptop. Each time you plug in an external USB hard drive to the NVS1501, any files recorded since the last sync will be transferred. Automatically compare the video folders by file names and sizesThe wall power adapter should be connected to both the NVS1501 and the USB external hard drive. Supports copy from USB card reader or GFPAK using USB host connectivity through eSATA/USB combo port
- Multi-Copy Onto Two Separate HDD at the Same Time
- MCopy (Multi-Copy) enables mirrored data to be copied onto the NVS1501 and an external USB HDD at the same time, to achieve maximum data safety
- Designed for Data Safety Shock Protection
- Featuring advanced data management capabilities including Recover folder from bad sector, shock protection and success (or failure) feedback of previous backup operationShock protection:
1. Built-in free-fall sensor
The NVS1501 senses when it’s being dropped – it will be triggered to move the read/write head of the HDD away from platter, parking at its original position. The main power will be automatically switched-off
2. Supplied with Rubber Bumpers
A pair of rubber bumper supplied for an additional protectionBad Sector Recovery
If a video folder contains a bad sector the NVS1501 recovers the video folder. It copies data onto good sectors and replaces unusable sectors with a format dependent on dummy sectors. The frames that contain dummy sectors block noises but the rest of frames become usableSuccess (or Failure) Feedback
Next time you switch on the NVS1501, it will display the previous backup result, in order to help the user to determine the deletion of data stored on the memory card
- Using the NVS1501 As a Hard Drive
- Supports high-speed data transfer to NLE systemIEEE1394b (FireWire 800): 75 MB/s – 7 minutes, 10 seconds to transfer 32 GB
USB 2.0: 33 MB/s – 16 minutes, 17 seconds to transfer 32 GB
- Versatile Power Options
- Its built-in internal battery makes the NVS1501 the perfect companion for working in the field. The NVS1501 can also be powered by the power adapter, interface cables, a ‘AA’ battery holder, or external battery
|Compatible Memory Cards||CF Type 1/2, Microdrive
SD, SDHC, SDXC, MS, MS Pro-HG, MS Pro MagicGate
|Hard Drive Support||USB 2.0: 480 Mb/s|
|LCD||2.4″ (6.1 cm) color TFT LCD, 320 x 240, 64K colors|
|Interface||USB 2.0: 480 Mb/s
IEEE 1394b (FireWire 800): 800 Mb/s
|Battery||Internal: 3.7 V, 4400 mA rechargeable lithium-polymer battery (120 minutes)|
|Power||Power input: 100-240 V AC
Output power: 12 V/1 A DC
Bus power operation: Operate with USB bus power or IEEE 1394b (FireWire 800) cable power
|Utilities||Internal hard drive: FAT32 / exFAT
Memory card (including SxS): FAT 12/16/32exFAT
|OS Compatibility||Windows 7, Vista, XP, 2000, ME
Mac OS 9.2 or above, Linux 2, 4, 18 or above
|Dimensions||6.1 x 3.6 x 1.3″ (15.5 x 9.1 x 3.3 cm)|
|Weight||0.94 lb / 0.43 kg|
- Charging Time
- Approximately 5 hours via power adapter / FireWire 800
Approximately 9 hours via interface cable
Approximately 10 hours via ‘AA’ battery holder
Other than charging the battery, there isn’t anything to setup. I plugged the NVS1501 into my laptop overnight to make sure it had a good full charge on it. Aside from that, you are ready to plug your memory cards in and start backing up.
If you are going to backup to a secondary device, you will want to plug that in and make sure everything is working correctly, for me, I just use the NVS1501 as my initial CF card reader after a shoot, then I plug it into my computer as an external drive to copy the files to the computer for processing. Each night, automatic processes backup the processing system to redundant storage systems, only after I have verified that those backups worked properly do I remove them from the NVS1501. This helps to ensure that I never lose any data.
As I mentioned, the NVS1501 has a very simple interface with only a single directional controller aside from the power switch. When the system powers up, the initial screen you get will say “XCopy Ready”, at this point you can insert your memory card.
Once you select the copy method, it just blazes through the copy process. If you are a wedding photographer that uses a second shooter, this is a HUGE time saver for you, within only a few minutes you can back up your second shooter’s cards and send them on their way. I use 16gb cards for everything and the typical backup takes about three minutes.
My big gripe about the earlier Nexto eXtreme was the eXtremely tiny LCD display, it was almost impossible to read and had no preview function. While the NVS1501 does have a larger color LCD and does support both still and video playback the screen is still too small to check images for focus and delete images you don’t want.
For some people, also being able to do a secondary backup to another device is a really big deal, especially if you are on the road for extended periods of time before getting back to the office to dump your files.
Probably the biggest improvements, besides the faster transfer, larger LCD, and massive storage, are the safety features. With both free-fall and shock detection, your system is likely to survive falls and bumps that would destroy competing systems.
If you believe in the phrase “you get what you pay for” than you will certainly apply that to the NVS1501. Coming in at $999.99, the NVS1501 is not cheap by any standard but when compared to its biggest rival, the Epson P-7000 at $799.99 the Nexto DI NVS1501 wins in a number of areas including storage (500gb vs 160gb), speed, security, safety, and reliability. To give Epson credit, the P-7000 wins on the display side with a large clear LCD that really allows you to manage and display images and video.
For the photographer on the go, the NVS1501 is a big investment but if you value the security of your images and want the speed that the NVS1501 delivers, than you will find it to be well worth the price.
The Nexto DI NVS1501 scores top marks for its ease of use, speed, safety features, and overall design. I did ding the NVS1501 on the features due only to the small screen. Even with the small screen, a better job could be done on the image preview and file management, both things that could be solved with a software update.
On the overall value, I did knock off a point because of the price tag. While the NVS1501 is certainly a valuable tool it is priced out of the range of many people. Fortunately, there are products available from as low as $200 but you will be sacrificing the speed and durability of the NVS1501.