If you are shooting with a Sony camera, you know that they eat and spit batteries faster than I eat M&Ms. One trivial options is carry another set of batteries (though originals are about $45 each). What I am doing is using off the shelf power banks to run the Sony for much longer than its original battery.
Now this is an idea I think we can all get behind. Anything that keeps us charged faster and for longer while out shooting can’t be bad. So, imagine being able to go out and shoot as much as you want for as long as you want without having to worry about your battery life at all. And if it does run out, you can recharge it in just a few seconds.
Such batteries are the vision of scientists at the Univercity of Central Florida, using supercapacitors. Supercapacitors store more energy and can be recharged more than 30,000 times without degrading. Using phones a a comparison, most phone batteries tend to last only around 1,500 charges before severe degradation kicks in. This is why your 3 year old iPhone barely lasts til lunch despite charging overnight.
One thing that really irritates me is the price that camera makers put on their batteries. I mean an original battery for a sony A7II costs about $53, the same battery from a third party costs about $13, that’s quite a difference isn’t it? For the price of one original battery, you can get four after market ones.
And it’s not just Sony, Canon’s popular LP-E6N are $62 vs $15 and the same goes for Nikon. It gets worse as the batteries get bigger. Sony’s original NPF970 is $128 vs, a $16 off brand. And the list goes on….
Now, why is getting a good battery crucial? Because batteries explode if they are bad.
If you are shooting on location (and even if not) you must have a ton of batteries to power your production war-horse. The camera takes batteries, the lights take batteries, remotes, phones, monitors. Actually, most devices take more than one battery. And every battery set want their own charger. And every charger want it’s out power outlet. It’s a nightmare. If you wanted to take it all on location you’d end up with a messy table full of cable spaghetti. There has to be a better way!
There is! Videographer Yair Shiloach came up with this charging station, which both keeps everything in order and makes setting up and tearing down a breeze.
I’ve shot many football games in my life. At times, my camera’s batteries have lost charge more quickly than usual, but never before have my batteries actually frozen to the point where they won’t even turn on.
9 Volt batteries are good for a lot of things, but they are also somewhat dangerous as both terminals are on the same side and if they are not stored right can create a spark or heat up to the point where they could start a fire. Actually we share a tutorial on how to use a 9 volt battery to start a fire when shooting steel wool sparkles.
The folks at hdslrnow sent us this quick tip about using a pill case to store a 9V battery so the terminals are protected.
One of the most annoying tasks when dealing with production is taking care of power. At the end of each production day, you do the charging ritual every night to have a full bank of power for the next day. If you did not charge enough batteries, you’re basically screwed.
Drones need many batteries as each battery can only go for about 23 minutes on a 1:45 hours charge. This means that you need 5 batteries to keep a drone up in the air at all times. This is similar for cameras and heavier rigs. A lot of the weight goes toward big batteries that can last a long time. You need a big battery to power a camera, a monitor and some peripherals for a while, and you need a second (and third and fourth) batteries that can run for as long as it takes the first one to charge so you can cycle them.
Now Israeli startup StoreDot wants to change all that. The startup has a cell/charger technology that can charge a battery at 1400mAH / minute, and they aim to go to 1800mAh / minute by the productization of the battery next year.
Over the years, I accumulated a bit of an assortment of batteries. It feels like far-far away from the times where a case of AA’s would do the trick for everything and anything.
I am now a proud owner of several chargers, battery types and lots and lots of cables. Until lately they were occupying my desk and taking away both space and mental powers (oh! you know what I mean). It has come to the point where something had to be done. And I don’t even have that many batteries…. I wanted a solution that does not clutter my desk, be easy to manage, I wanted to tell full batteries from empty ones, and I wanted the option to take chargers away if I need them out of the office. I Ended up with the Wall Of Power. This is how I did it.
According to the owner, his camera is running firmware version 1.3.3, which does not appear on Canon’s website and is not supported by Magic Lantern. It is also worth mentioning that the user states he was unable to downgrade the firmware to an earlier version that is supported by the third-party software.
Assuming this is true, is it simply an updated firmware version that hasn’t made its way to Canon’s support website and the Magic Lantern team, or is Canon aiming to cripple your camera?