Many items from IKEA can be useful for photography. But what about their batteries? Martin Cheung has decided to perform a test and check which batteries recycle faster: Panasonic Eneloop Pro or two times cheaper Ikea LADDA. The result is a really pleasant surprise.
Charging batteries is a pain in the backside. I remember when I used to shoot events with four Nikon SB-900 speedlights with SD-9 packs attached to each of them. That was 96 AA batteries I had to charge up the night before every event. Boy am I glad that more and more lights are switching to Lithium Ion now. Fewer batteries, and more pops per charge.
But even today, I still have a lot of batteries and devices to charge. There’s a dozen Nikon EN-EL15, another dozen Nikon EN-EL14, three tablets, three phones, Godox PB960 packs, the Godox A1, several USB power banks, gimbal batteries, drone batteries and a bunch of other stuff I haven’t listed. The trick is to get organised, and in this video from the folks over at FStoppers, we see how they organise their charging.
It might’ve escaped your notice, but it’s Christmas. Yesterday was Christmas day, in fact, and lots of people received all kinds of shiny new photography and video related gifts powered by LiPo batteries. You might have even received one yourself, or already own one. Drones, portable strobes, speedlights and all kinds of creative gadgets are powered by LiPo batteries these days, even the phones in our pockets.
You might remember Samsung’s somewhat public battery failure with the Galaxy Note 7, leading to the invention of batteries with built-in fire extinguishers. But most people still aren’t aware of the kind of dangers LiPo batteries can pose. In the real world, exploding LiPo batteries are rare, but when they do, it’s in grand fashion. But there are ways to minimise the risks.
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.
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.
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.