OK, so this is not a typical GoPro accessory at all but I came across the NEXTO DI NCB-20 while searching for a good backup device for my GoPro footage while traveling so it kind of fits the brief.
I was searching for something that:
- Is small, lightweight, perfect for traveling
- Fast data backup from SD and MicroSD cards
- Independent – no need for a laptop
- compatible with external HDD or internal HDD
- Ideally, battery powered, if not USB powered
- LCD display
So after hours of googling, I found a bunch of options with probably the most popular being the LaCie Rugged series. It`s a tough, rugged external HDD that is hugely popular with photographers and videographers who travel a lot and need to back up their footage but the major downside is that you need to have a laptop to use it.
Another awesome product I found is the GNARBOX – This is by far the closest thing to a perfect device since it is battery powered, shock and waterproof has an internal HDD for backup, has different card slots, is capable of editing raw and 4k files and uses your mobile device as a display. The only slight downside is that it only has 128 GB of storage, so if you want to back up shitloads of 4k video and raw files this is not enough.
The third good find was the NEXTO DI NCB-20. It`s a rather professional tool used on larger production sets where you have multiple cameras and thus multiple cards to back up simultaneously. The rather archaic looking interface even gives it away as a serious tool not a fun gadget for the average millennial with a fancy camera.
Here are the NEXTO DI NCB-20 main features.
- Multiple memory card reader and copier
- Automatic Labeling
- 100% data safety with Multi-copy
- Multi-slot USB card reader
- Card Eraser
- Versatile power options
NEXTO DI NCB-20 Specifications
Weight: 200g / 0.4lb
Dimension: 156 x 80 x 34 (mm) / 6.1 x 3.1 x 1.3 (inches)
LCD: 2.4-inch Color TFT LCD: 320*240, 64K color
Memory card Support:
SD Model (supports UHS speed)
- SD / SDHC / SDXC 8 slot
- MicroSD 8 slot
- CFast(1.1&2.0) 4 slot
Storage: External drive
Two USB3.0 host port for any USB3.0 drive, max 32TB
Supports Advanced Format storage, i.e., sector size bigger than 512 byte
- Memory card
- FAT32, exFAT, UDF, HFS+
- USB External drive
XAVC 4K, XAVC 2K, AVC Ultra 4K, AVC Ultra 2K,
XF-AVC 4K, XF-AVC 2K, H.264 (.mov), AVCHD 2K,
PRORES 4K, PRORES 2K, DNxHD 2K,
MPEG 444/422/420, DVCPRO HD
USB 3.0 : 5Gbit/sec
Windows XP / VISTA / 7 / 8 / 10
(Windows XP requires exFAT patch update)
MAC OS 10.6.5 or later, Linux 2.4.18 or later
Recommended: DC 12V/2A
Operational range: DC ±6~25V, external diameter 3.5Φ, internal diameter 1.3Φ
USB Power Bank
Supply power to the Computer (USB Power Bank) port with a USB3.0 micro-B cable or a USB2.0 micro-B cable (5 pin cable used for the smart phone charger).
5V, 10,000mAH or more. 2.1A output. (Limited operation)
V mount Battery (Optional)
V mount batteries are supported on models with V mount plates.
NEXTO DI NCB-20 – What Can It Do?
So now that we have covered the boring tech specs let`s take a closer look. NEXTO DI NCB-20 is a good companion in your gear bag if you want to be sure that your files are safe! The best way to do that is to ALWAYS back up your files and to be even more certain back them up on two devices. This is where the NEXTO DI NCB-20 shines.
It features multiple card slots (I was testing the SD model that has 8 SD and 8 SD / SDHC / SDXC slots) that ALL works simultaneously, so if you work on some mega production you actually can offload all your cameras at once and quickly transfer all your files on an external HDD. Imagine working on a project that includes a few people taking pictures and s few taking videos, once the shoot is over you all offload the files on a single HDD (or two, to be safe) and the editing guy can start working right away without waiting for everyone to offload and organize the files.
But even if you are working solo and just using one device, let`s say your GoPro this device can be pretty handy. I find it the most useful when traveling without a laptop. You go out, you shoot some videos, the memory card gets full and you panic, because you start going through the footage deciding what to delete or you need to back some stuff up so you can free the card. If you have multiple cards you are golden, but those tiny things are soooooooooooo easy to lose, I know, I have lost two.
So, Take out your NEXTO DI NCB-20, plug it in – you need a power source of some kind. Actually, this is my biggest beef with this: the battery is an optional accessory and you need to plug in the AC adapter or hook it up to any power source like a Power Bank or a Laptop. (You will have a limited number of usable card slots and USB ports due to USB power limitations)
So you either spend some cash and buy the battery or use a Power bank.
Once you have some juice you can turn it on by long pressing the power button. The bootup time is pretty instant and you are ready to go!
Now all you have to do is slide in all the cards you have and let the NEXTO DI NCB-20 do its magic. I was really impressed by the copying speeds but that also depends on what you are backing on to.
Basically, the two main features you will be using is the batch copy and the card reader mode. Batch delete for me is a nice to have feature but I doubt I`ll be needing it much.
Batch Copy Mode
Slide in the memory cards you want to back up and connect the external USB devices to back up to and turn the NCB-20 on. The device will detect the USB devices and then you are ready to copy.
You have two options: Fast Copy and Copy & Verify
Once the process has started you can keep an eye on the progress of the specific card slot. Once the first card has been copied you will see a checkmark on it and the process automatically takes on the next card in a slot. You will hear a loud beep once the copying precesses has been finished. The thing I love is that there is no manual ejecting or proper shutdown process needed – you can just pull the memory cards and the power cable out if you want and it`s totally safe.
One thing I love about the NCB-20 is that you can preview all the files before you copy them. Let`s say you have 8 cards in the slots and you are not sure if you want to back up all of them. You can easily navigate to each card and take a quick look at what`s on it. Granted, the screen resolution and quality is not something you find on your phone or DSLR or at the back of your GoPro but it`s enough to see what`s in the picture.
Card Reader Mode
Card Reader mode is pretty easy and self-explanatory. Switch NCB-20 into Card Reader mode from the Settings and voila, you have a massive card reader that creates as many removable devices as many cards you have inserted. So you can in theory copy stuff from one card to another also.
Navigation and Menus
You only have two buttons on the NCB-20, the Power button, and the joystick. The joystick moves up/down/left/right and acts as a button that you can press. It recognizes long presses and short presses and that`s one of the main ways to navigate. Short press to confirm/select and long press to go back.
Although the menu is really simple and easy to understand and navigate using the joystick i do have one huge issue! In some cases there is no way to go back, the only option is to turn the device off and on again to start from the beginning. This can sometimes be really annoying and I think should be fixed. I mean, it doesn`t make sense to not be able to go back in the menu right?
NEXTO DI NCB-20 appearance and build quality
Whenever I test a product I take some time to go over the packaging, the look and feel of the product and the quaily of the materials. With NCB-20 I think the story is a bit different. This is a tool aimed at someone who takes the thing seriously and doesn’t need a flashy suit to be taken seriously – NCH-20 is the grumpy mechanic at the back of the shop tinkering with an engine with his hands covered in oil while the young eager mechanic talks the ear off the customer.
I do have to admit it feels a bit plasticky and the buttons feel a bit flimsy and I were to drop it on the floor I would definitely panic. I know it`s not supposed to be as durable as the Gnarbox but still.
The box, on the other hand, feels super high end and I love that NEXTO DI has put some thought into it. Nice matte black with silver logo on the outside and black foam inside to keep the NCH-20 safe. You have your basic accessories inside like the AC adapter, the USB cable and the manual and that`s pretty much all you need.
A small but nice thing is that since it uses the USB Micro-B cable it`s a bit different than probably most of your cables in your bag. The cable provided is blue so it`s really easy to spot it. I know this might be a non-issue for most people but I love when different brands have different colored USB cables so I always know if I have the right cable.
What I love about NEXTO DI NCB-20
- Multiple card slots
- can be used as a standalone card reader
- Batch copying and verifying
- Batch delete
- Fast boot up
- simultaneous backup to 2 hard drives
- Needs an external power source if you don`t buy the battery pack
Things I don`t love
- Screen is low quality
- Feels a bit plasticky
- Somewhat awkward navigation
NEXTO DI NCB-20 – Final Verdict
If you are working with multiple cameras and you can`t afford to lose your footage this is definitely for you. If you are just a regular GoPro user with one memory card and on a strict budget you can probably live without it.
You can get it from nextodi.com