Copy of Pro Moviemaker January/February 2022 - Web



The bewildering world of batteries and chargers comes under the ProMoviemaker microscope


I f you want to spend a day confusing yourself, then you could do worse than poring over battery manufacturers’ spec sheets, in a bid to work out what you need to juice up your kit. There is a huge range available in a wide variety of fitments, sizes, capacities, power ratings andmore. If you are just looking for some spare batteries for your mirrorless or DSLR, then you can order the specific replacements from the camera manufacturer, or compatible batteries from a whole array of aftermarket suppliers. Job done. But when it comes to powering larger cameras, often with their countless accessories – like monitors and wireless kits – you need to pay close attention to what you are buying. There are lots of things to consider. Andmany of these batteries can be used to power ancillaries, so you need to think about that, too. Some of the most common batteries are the Canon BP and Sony NP-F series, the sort that are bought to power camcorders. These are often called 7.2V, but sometimes are claimed as 7.2-8.4V, since they can go this high when fully charged. The main difference between the Canon and Sony is the fit, although the batteries

POWER STATION Large batteries can be used on location for cinema cameras and lights

– sometimes more than one of each. These 12V D-Tap sockets can also provide power to accessories like monitors. But the real big boys are the V-Lock types, which are larger and lock onto the back of some cameras, larger accessories, or customplates. GoldMount is a similar option, but V-Lock is more popular. V-Locks are typically 14.8V and can be used to power even 7V cameras, as well as monitors and accessories, as they normally have lots of power outlet options – like D-Tap or USB. Certain V-Locks can be clipped together to provide even more power for a longer period. Some are compact for travelling or smaller cameras; others have lots of accessories, like built-in LED lights or high-rated USB-C outputs that can charge a laptop at up to 60W. You need to look for the capacity of the battery in terms of Watt-hours (Wh) andmaximum current draw. The Wh is essentially how long the battery will power an accessory for. For example, a 190Wh battery works on a 100W light for 1.9 hours. The maximum current draw is also important, as some accessories need batteries with a large current to power themproperly. So, a big LED light – like a powerful Aputure 120d – requires a battery with a 9A draw. Youmust check the draw of the kit you are aiming to power, before choosing the battery.

are similar, and available from a wide variety of manufacturers. The Canon batteries are becoming common, and are even used in the Red Komodo, but it’s the Sony NP-F that’s more popular. This fitment is used to power some Sony camcorders, but is often pressed into service to provide power for accessories like Atomos monitor/recorders, small LED lights, wireless transmitters andmore. They come in different sizes to give power for longer, but all have the same NP-F fit. A selection of these also have a USB or DC output to power things like phone chargers or other 7.2V-compatible gadgets. Some accessory manufacturers allow you to use two together on an adapter plate, providing a 14.4V output. That 14.4V is a bit of a magic number, as it’s the voltage put out by the Sony BP-U series and larger V-Mount or V-Lock batteries. The BP-U series tend to be used in larger cinema cameras. The better ones can have more power outputs, such as USB or D-Tap

“When it comes to powering larger cameras with their accessories, likemonitors and wireless kits, you need to pay close attention”



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