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FFV on-board digital recorder first impressions...


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#1 Frederic Chamberland

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Posted 07 March 2007 - 06:54 PM

Hi all,

I have just received a nice little recorder for my sled. The NDT-200 from Fast forward video in California.

All specs are on their web site FFV so please check them out to understand my review.

First off, the unit looks well built and sturdy, no cheap plastic parts here. More like ABS casing and cash register buttons. The unit looks rugged and that's a big plus.
629 grams/ 1.6 lbs with the hard drive in. And there is no battery inside, it can only be powered by an external source. That's a bit heavy but if it performs as flawlessly as my old Sony GVD200, I'll be happy.
External power : 7 to 40 volts dc ... no more downconverters or just scared of blowing it with too much power. It takes it all.
Simple RCA in and outs for video. No fuss here. As you can see, it has a lot of features of the Sony recorders. They actually built this unit to replace the sony in the fields.

There is also a "ipod" control wheel to scroll in the menus ... Simple and efficient , very "ipod" style so it takes a minute to find all the options. This "ipod" wheel I want to try in the canadian cold weather to see how it performs. My real IPOD still works in minus degrees conditions but the screen freezes... I want to see this screen in the cold also. Not to mention you theoricaly don't need to go thru the menus to record and playback what you just recorded : The hard buttons will do that but if you want to see a previous clip...that's another story.

Also , different playback speeds are a must... You will be able to see the exact playback speed, not a "twice as fast " playback only or a "very slow motion" option... And the "ohmygodohmygod" factor kicks in when you are doing a playback and hit the "scrub" button and use the "ipod" wheel... You actually become a scratching VJ with video. It does exactly what it tells you: SCRUB the video image, back and forth, slow or fast, just play with the wheel and the image follows your finger with crystal clear results....
Very clever when you think you just missed a flag or a boom shadow in the mirror, scrub a bit and you have the exact image you are looking for in a split second.
All of this "record , playback, scrub, fast forward, reverse tricks" are INSTANT, no waiting, no lagging, it is completly transparent to your actions. The only thing that is not is the formatting of the hard disk. It takes about 30 seconds for the machine to achieve, but you will most probably do it once a day or a week to clear memory.
USB plug that connects to any computer (mac or pc): a marvelous thing is that all your clips are already ready to be exported in the Quicktime format to your laptop. Nice.

Service now: Mark Playdon is the sale manager and has been very responsive to all my email. this item is brand new and just out of the oven so it took a bit more time to deliver but it came in with apologies and all so I am very pleased for now of the service I have received from them. They are mostly "video assist " oriented but they seem to want to offer same quality service to "others" like steadicam operators.

Enough for now, a cable from sled to recorder is being made by David Hable in Vancouver as we speak. I hope to get it soon to fly this new toy.
A follow up story will be posted as soon as I use it in "real set condition".
Ah yes, almost forgot: 1500$US with nothing, no hard drive, no power supply ?!?, no variable speed, everything is an option, so goes around 2000$ all dressed depending on software options.
Cheers

Press record before flying safe.[attachment=1411:attachment]
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#2 Brant S. Fagan SOC

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Posted 08 March 2007 - 09:36 AM

Frederic--

This sounds like a great addition to the Steadicam kit!

How about physical dimensions? Standard or Metric, no problem.

Also, for those not so computer savvy, what are the hard drive options and requirements?

Any idea on power draw?

Thanks!

Best,

Brant S. Fagan, SOC
Steadicam/Camera Operator
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#3 Charles Papert

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Posted 08 March 2007 - 04:05 PM

Doesn't FFV make a smaller recorder with a lot of the same features...?
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#4 Mark Playdon

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Posted 08 March 2007 - 04:13 PM

Hi Fred,

Thanks for the great write up on the NDT 200 and I really hope it works out well for you. Remember I am only a phone call away if you do have any questions or need help with anything, and that also goes for anyone esle who has any questions on the new NDT 200 from FFV.

Thanks Again

Mark Playdon
Sales Director
Fast Forward Video
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#5 Fred Davis

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Posted 08 March 2007 - 04:14 PM

Frederic--

This sounds like a great addition to the Steadicam kit!
How about physical dimensions? Standard or Metric, no problem.
Also, for those not so computer savvy, what are the hard drive options and requirements?
Any idea on power draw?

Just spoke with Mark Playdon @ FFV. He was very helpful! (949) 852-8404. Me, I'm pleased to learn the interface. (type M coax = power (big range), RCA = Video)
looks like a VERY accessable bit o' gear. 8-)
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#6 Mark Playdon

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Posted 08 March 2007 - 04:24 PM

The units take standard 2.5" SATA drives 5400rpm or above, which are available a most electronic stores or on line for $40 - $130 depending on the size you buy. We recommend the Hitachi Travelstar drives which seem to be the most common anyway.

The power draw is only 6 Watts and most of that is becuase of the power required by the drive.

Size 5 1/8" x 5" x 1 3/4"

Hope this helps

Mark Playdon
FFV
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#7 Frenzy

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Posted 18 April 2007 - 03:07 PM

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