In November last year, we shared a Kickstarter campaign for a battery many of us would found useful. The X-Tra battery offered longer shooting time with a smaller, lighter battery, and the campaign was funded in no time. However, Canon Rumors recently came to the conclusion that the campaign might have been a scam.
If you’re a photographer or a filmmaker shooting in the field all day, you may need a solution to reduce the number of batteries and chargers you pack in your bag. X-tra battery offers a solution, and it seems like many creators are eager to get one. It has nearly twice more power capacity than most other batteries, it helps you get rid of additional accessories, and it spares you a few other headaches you may have when switching batteries. So let’s see what it has to offer.
Charging stations are nature’s way of telling us we have way too many different types of batteries for our gear. For some, our “charging station” is just a loose pile of chargers haphazardly arranged on our desks. For others, they’re an organised work of our that allows us to charge and store our batteries with expedience and simplicity.
In this video, filmmaker and YouTuber Duncan Dimanche shows us how he’s arranged his DIY charging station. He built it for only $35 (not including the cost of the chargers, obviously) and it’s all powered from a single USB charging station.
I was, as I’m sure a lot of you are, utterly sick of endless chargers and cables. A mess of wires that always seem to get tangled and it always ends up looking like Medusa on a bad hair day.
I’ve tried various things over the years, I’ve tried to hide them in drawers, Velcro ing them to the wall or under a desk, it has always ended up in the same mess. They also tend to take up a lot of room.
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.
You can always have some spare batteries to replace the dead ones, but Chris Winter shared a pretty cool external battery hack that uses a 10,000mAh which is roughly 9 times the capacity.
Now, I am not sure if you can actually call off the shelf products a hack, but between the fast that you get so much more usage time and the clever way Chris mounts the battery with Velcro, I thought it is worth sharing.
I use a lot of AA batteries. So many in fact that finding them all and getting them charged up for a gig has become a significant bottleneck in my workflow.
I have finally realized that it is time for a more sophisticated system to actually manage all of the batteries that I need – as opposed to the old system which mostly consisted of pulling batteries out of my kid’s toys, TV remotes (or wherever else my AA batteries had migrated to) and then shoving them into ten different chargers the day before a big shoot.
If you’re using strobes, pocket wizards, remotes, or RC cars, you are probably using AA batteries. Those are small little wonders of energy.
Here is the big question, how do you manage them on location? How do you keep the loaded batteries ready for grab?
How do you make sure the empty ones get enough charge?
How do you sleep at night knowing that a battery may stop working at any given time?