Over at IBC 2023, we got a sneak preview of SmallRig’s new VB99 Pro mini V Mount battery, now the battery is released, and more details are available.
One thing I like about SmallRig is the fact that they are in close tandem with their users, so the new VB99 Pro mini has quite a bit of features that are a significant upgrade from the previous VB99 Pro mini battery. The best news? SmallRig confirmed to DIYP that the price will remain the same $279 price point as the current model.
SmallRig VB99 pro mini v-mount battery overview
The two biggest improvements are the faster charging capability and the addition of more output ports. As a video shooter, the ability to charge a battery at 100 Watts / one hour simply reduces the number of batteries I need to have on set. And the additional ports help maintain a cleaner rig with fewer cables and splitters.
Here is a complete rundown of the new features
- Compact and Portable: The VB99 pro mini is about 70% the size of standard V-mount batteries. This is good news for both your rig and your travel bag. I like the fact that the capacity is at 99WH, just one watt-hour below airline restrictions so that it can go on flights as well.
- Advanced Fast Charging: The new VB99 pro mini can charge at 100 Watts. (the VB99 only charges at 65 watts. This is a 50% improvement in charging times, and it means you can completely refuel a battery in one hour via a 100W USB-C PD port.
- Multiple Charging Interfaces: The VB99 pro mini Includes a wide array of ports, essentially removing the need for a V-mount plate. You Can still use a plate, if you wish, but if you want a minimized rig, the plate is one thing you can now remove. The interfaces include: D-tap, USB-C, USB-A, DC 8V, DC 12V, and BP electrode.
- Battery Monitoring: The VB99 pro mini features a 16-bit ADC/power meter algorithm, an MCU, and a TFT digital display for immediate battery status checks. The display shows the percentage of power left, along with a few other critical metrics.
- Intelligent Safety Measures: Customized BMS system provides protection against over-current, short-circuit, over-temperature, and over-voltage.
- High-Quality Construction: Uses a high-performance battery that meets international safety standards, housed in a drop-proof aluminum alloy shell with a scratch-resistant cover.
- Clear Display: Equipped with a TFT color screen that shows the battery status accurately, helping users manage their shooting sessions efficiently.
The case for v-mount batteries
If you’ve been running video for a while, you are probably familiar with V-Mount batteries, but if not, those are probably the most efficient, durable, and performance-oriented batteries in the market. The VB99, for example, can output 14Amp (at 14V) using its DTAP connection, which amounts to almost 200 watts of power. This is not something you can get from a power bank.
V mounts (and the VB99 pro included) are more rigi than your typical power bank or NPF battery. It’s true that they cost extra, but the added budget goes into reliability, performance and rigidity.
SmallRig VB99 pro mini at IBC 2023
Price and availability
As mentioned above, SmallRig will not increase the price for the new model and keep it @$279.00.