Battery Solution Options for 4K Camera

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William Carswell

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Battery Solution Options for 4K Camera

PostWed May 15, 2013 10:42 pm

Can anyone shed some light on choosing between the Anton Bauer, Bebob, Switronix, Ikan and other battery systems.

Thanks.
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Peter J. DeCrescenzo

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Re: Battery Solution Options for 4K Camera

PostWed May 15, 2013 11:13 pm

The new BMPC-4K may have similar power requirements as the original BMCC.

Since we don't know yet what the exact power consumption spec is for the new BMPC-4K -- and it may be a while before we do -- I'd recommend holding off on buying a battery system for it until the cam is actually shipping ... and maybe not until you have the camera in-hand. (My guess is that it'll require <25 watts, but that's just a wild guess). Battery prices tend to go down over time, so waiting can be profitable. Plus, when exactly the BMPC-4K will actually start shipping is a total unknown. Unless you have a need for the battery with another cam in the meantime, wait until you have your cam.

As far as how you'd decide which battery system to choose, it mostly gets down to budget & personal preference.

Anton-Bauer ("gold mount"/3-stud) and IDX (V-lock) battery systems are industry standards. Outside the US, I think PAG is also very popular, but I could be wrong about that. These battery systems tend to be relatively expensive, but also very rugged, well-designed (high-output, physically strong & have many mounting options), and high-performance (including their charging systems). Because they are popular you can find replacement batteries, chargers, mounts, cables, etc. for these batteries almost anywhere in the world. Like anything else, you get what you pay for.

These days there are many other good battery systems choices, too, including for BMD's cameras. Switronix, IKAN, Hawk-Woods, Bebob, GlobalMediaPro, Bescor, and others sell batteries designed for use with BMD cams, or compatible with them via an appropriate cable.
Last edited by Peter J. DeCrescenzo on Wed May 15, 2013 11:28 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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William Carswell

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Re: Battery Solution Options for 4K Camera

PostWed May 15, 2013 11:26 pm

Dear Peter,

I appreciate your feedback. Have you had any experience with any of the systems you mentioned in your post? Any configuration suggestions?

Thanks.
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Peter J. DeCrescenzo

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Re: Battery Solution Options for 4K Camera

PostWed May 15, 2013 11:40 pm

I've used Anton-Bauer power systems for years and I like them. Many of my colleagues use AB and also various v-lock (especially IDX) systems, and those seem excellent, too.

This is a handy item for d-tap/p-tap batt cable users:
http://www.antonbauer.com/Products/PowerTapMulti

AB, IDX and other batt systems use cables with p-tap/d-tap (same thing) connectors. These cables & connectors are generally rugged and can only be plugged-in one way (the right way).

Yesterday I shipped one of my AB Dionic-90 batts. to John Ritter to get it re-celled. It's a lithium-ion battery that has given me many years of reliable service, and re-celling it costs $180 inc. shipping. So, I get a "new" AB (equivalent) for about half the cost of buying it new. Caveat: This is the first time I've used John's service, but I've heard very good things about him. I'll report back after he sends the re-celled batt to me. If I like his service, I'll also have him re-cell my two several-year-old AB Hytron-50 NiMH batts, too. http://www.ritterbattery.com

Lion batts weigh less, are smaller & have higher output per pound, and cost more than NiMH batts of the same output rating. Both technologies are great; it gets down to your budget and preferences about batt weight & size.

There's info about how I'll be rigging my batts for use with my BMPC-4K cam in my blog:
http://herefortheweather.wordpress.com/ ... -thinking/

-
Last edited by Peter J. DeCrescenzo on Thu May 16, 2013 4:46 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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William Carswell

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Re: Battery Solution Options for 4K Camera

PostWed May 15, 2013 11:44 pm

Thanks, Peter.
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Jason R. Johnston

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Re: Battery Solution Options for 4K Camera

PostThu May 16, 2013 5:47 am

I'll second the AB Dionic 90's. I recommend using them after a few goes with some Hytrons to feel the weight difference! Anyway, I hear nice things about the HC Dionics and I'm pretty much upgrading to those. A little more expensive, though, but worth the extra life.
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William Carswell

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Re: Battery Solution Options for 4K Camera

PostThu May 16, 2013 8:17 am

Dear Peter/Jason,

Any thoughts regarding the AB Dionic HC vs. the 9?

Weight is the same. HC is marginally higher in price.


Thanks.
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Chris Hocking

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Re: Battery Solution Options for 4K Camera

PostThu May 16, 2013 2:07 pm

We're using the ikan IB-L130S series batteries (14.8V 9.0Ah 130Wh).

One battery can basically run our BMD and an AC7 monitor all day.

Normally we'd just go with the tried and tested IDX - but the ikan range are cheap, and seem to work great.
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PaulDelVecchio

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Re: Battery Solution Options for 4K Camera

PostThu May 16, 2013 3:55 pm

Actually it seems the power requirements are the same as the BMCC. If you look at the tech specs under power, it's the same spec as the BMCC.
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Peter J. DeCrescenzo

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Re: Battery Solution Options for 4K Camera

PostThu May 16, 2013 4:30 pm

PaulDelVecchio wrote:Actually it seems the power requirements are the same as the BMCC. If you look at the tech specs under power, it's the same spec as the BMCC.


Same voltage range (12-30VDC), but no watts are specified. The "~90 minutes" battery life for the internal battery may or may not be an adequate clue about power consumption.

The new BMPC-4K cam will probably consume a different number of watts compared to the original BMCC: Because the sensors & circuit boards are very different, the power consumption will likely be different, too. Could be more, could be less; we don't know yet.

My guess is it'll be similar, maybe ~18 to ~25 watts (?), but that's just a guess.

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Peter J. DeCrescenzo

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Re: Battery Solution Options for 4K Camera

PostThu May 16, 2013 4:44 pm

LC  wrote:... Any thoughts regarding the AB Dionic HC vs. the 9? Weight is the same. HC is marginally higher in price. ...


Looking at the specs on AB's website, the "HC" version is designed for applications where relatively high current is required, such as powering relatively large monitors, lights, or a big (full-size shoulder mount) camera loaded with a ton of accessories.

Refer to the details on the product pages:
http://www.antonbauer.com/Products/DIONICHC
http://www.antonbauer.com/Products/DIONIC90

I should mention that one reason why I'm staying with AB batteries is because years ago I bought one of their chargers (a Titan 70, which I love), and because they are relatively expensive, I want to keep getting use out of it until it dies, or until it's no longer compatible with AB batteries, or until I die, whichever comes first (hopefully not the latter).

Point is there are many different reasons to use one brand of battery or another, and meanwhile times have changed: Years ago there weren't very many choices available for brands of "pro" camera batteries & chargers. Now there are dozens, many of which are very good, and some much less expensive than the original "industry standards".

If I were buying new from scratch, I'd seriously consider one of the less-expensive v-lock battery systems designed for use with more than one camera via different cables, rather than a camera-specific battery designed to mount on just one camera. But the latter type of battery can make a lot of sense, too. Depends on what features are important to you & your budget.
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simonkn

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Re: Battery Solution Options for 4K Camera

PostThu May 16, 2013 10:45 pm

I can vouch for Global Media Pro batteries. It's a bit of a hassle making a bank wire to NZ and then getting a shipment from China. But the batteries are first rate and at a really good price.

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William Carswell

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Re: Battery Solution Options for 4K Camera

PostSun May 19, 2013 3:55 pm

Thanks to everyone who responded to my post. The information is very helpful.

There are lots of options out there. Narrowing down to the best performer is difficult!
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Re: Battery Solution Options for 4K Camera

PostSun May 19, 2013 6:22 pm

I highly recommend the Switronix Jet Pack for the BMCC. I have been using their batteries for years and still have a couple of 90w that I bought in 2005 that are running full charge. In addition I have several 130's and a couple of 190's.

The Jet Pack allows me to power the BMCC, Nano Flash, two wireless Lectrosonics, and Alphatron viewfinder, and also works as a nice counter balance on the back end.
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Re: Battery Solution Options for 4K Camera

PostSun May 19, 2013 10:34 pm

Tvshooter wrote:I highly recommend the Switronix Jet Pack for the BMCC. I have been using their batteries for years and still have a couple of 90w that I bought in 2005 that are running full charge. In addition I have several 130's and a couple of 190's.

The Jet Pack allows me to power the BMCC, Nano Flash, two wireless Lectrosonics, and Alphatron viewfinder, and also works as a nice counter balance on the back end.


Does anyone know the current US TSA air travel limitations on the size of a lithium ion battery? I seem to recall the Switronix PB70 is fine but can't recall the maximum size permitted. Thanks.

Rick Lang
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Peter J. DeCrescenzo

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Re: Battery Solution Options for 4K Camera

PostMon May 20, 2013 2:04 am

rick.lang wrote:Does anyone know the current US TSA air travel limitations on the size of a lithium ion battery? I seem to recall the Switronix PB70 is fine but can't recall the maximum size permitted. Thanks. ...


The US airline battery restriction info on Anton-Bauer's website is probably up-to-date, but I haven't double-checked it:
http://www.antonbauer.com/Support/Trans ... nformation

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rick.lang

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Re: Battery Solution Options for 4K Camera

PostMon May 20, 2013 3:44 pm

Peter J. DeCrescenzo wrote:
rick.lang wrote:Does anyone know the current US TSA air travel limitations on the size of a lithium ion battery? I seem to recall the Switronix PB70 is fine but can't recall the maximum size permitted. Thanks. ...


The US airline battery restriction info on Anton-Bauer's website is probably up-to-date, but I haven't double-checked it:
http://www.antonbauer.com/Support/Trans ... nformation

-


Thanks for the link, Peter.

Rick Lang
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William Carswell

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Re: Battery Solution Options for 4K Camera

PostTue May 21, 2013 4:51 pm

Thinking out of the box for a handheld solution (weight, size, convenience—and no belt or satchel) , any thoughts on a unit like this:

http://ikancorp.com/productdetail.php?id=597

or

http://www.hawkwoods.com/products/detai ... si3=DV-MC2

It runs on SONY NP-F style batteries which come in 2200 mAh, 4400 mAh, and 6600 mAh. Price per watt put it at 50% of Switronix and an additional 20% below Anton Bauer. This also doesn't include the cost of battery and mounting plates as well as more expensive chargers.

One issue would be the lack of a battery meter.

A question would be how long would this set-up power the camera?
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simonkn

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Re: Battery Solution Options for 4K Camera

PostWed May 22, 2013 10:02 am

The Scarlet-X drinks 60W per hour recording 4K, so it sounds like the BMCC will be very thrifty in the power department!

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