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View Full Version : INSANE battery costs!



arrestthisman
12-13-2008, 09:11 AM
Hey all, is it just me or is 200$ (170$ street is the lowest I've found), for the extended battery for the hmc150...

I'm spoiled with the HVX200 a great big batt goes for like 80$ at the most. I got a 40$ deal for 2 4000mah lithium ion batteries. That's 20$ a piece!

What is going on?

Is this just a "it's new and third parties will be out soon."

The reason I ask the question is because I'm getting the camera soon, but I'll be doing mostly studio work. I won't need extra batts until late Winter: Should I wait or will it be a while before the price comes down?

Thanks for any info, or even just speculation anyone can provide. I know this may sound like a stupid question, so that's one reason why I am especially appreciative.

David Saraceno
12-13-2008, 09:33 AM
http://www.dvxuser.com/V6/showthread.php?t=154337

And they are difficult to find as well

Thomas Lew
12-13-2008, 10:34 AM
It is kind of pricey. In time there will be cheaper ones available but in the meantime if you have to get it you have to get it.

manglerBMX
12-13-2008, 10:50 AM
a few companies have them for $140, but don't advertise. i think avsupply.com in san diego has them for that much.

for me, i'm going to hold out as long as i can for the generics. i have two big batteries and the little one. that should get me through a full days shoot no prob, but i usually like to have 4-6 batteries in my bag.

matt s.
12-13-2008, 11:17 AM
There may never be third party batteries due to the fact these are "smart" and Panasonic designed them to communicate with the camera to display actual time left etc.so it will be hard to say if other companies will have access to this technology?????

manglerBMX
12-13-2008, 11:59 AM
well sony has similar technology in their batteries and there are 3rd party manufacturers of the L-series batteries. it may just be a while before panasonic releases that technology to other companies.

PerroneFord
12-13-2008, 12:29 PM
well sony has similar technology in their batteries and there are 3rd party manufacturers of the L-series batteries.

Like who? I'd love to get a big battery for my EX1.

David Saraceno
12-13-2008, 01:25 PM
well sony has similar technology in their batteries and there are 3rd party manufacturers of the L-series batteries. it may just be a while before panasonic releases that technology to other companies.

We had one of those 3rd party "smart" batteries for our Z1U four years ago.

Problem was that it was "smart" and didn't work.

Justyn
12-13-2008, 02:51 PM
They are expensive.. BUT they last a hell of a long time and they won't crap out like some of DVX style batteries I've bought. I also prefer the battery time indicator over a cheap battery. Why do we get caught up on this when it's the life-blood of the camera. I think that 3 of these and you'd be good all day.. Would take a lot more generics to do that..

Evro
12-13-2008, 03:12 PM
It's a matter of time before the Asian companies find a way to reverse engineer the circuitry inside the VW-BGxxx Panasonic batteries. That's just how things are - I mean look at how long copy protection lasts on software & media before some kid geek has cracked it!

I decided to buy 3 high capacity batteries from B&H (they were about $174 each I needed to get them quickly) all up with shipping costs and currency conversion fees I paid about $960AUD and that's a LOT of money for 3 batteries (still cheaper than investing in a bunch of P2 cards). On a side note, I was surprised how large they were yet half the weight of the 5400mah DVX batteries.

My experience with cheap after market batteries from e-bay for all of my cameras have been excellent - my high capacity DVX & XL2 batteries are nearly 3 years yet can still power my LED lights for 2 hours. My XH-A1 will run all day on just one 7000mah battery!

colin rowe
12-14-2008, 03:46 PM
Like who? I'd love to get a big battery for my EX1.
Check this out, with D tap connector its a snip at about $165 + tax http://www.proav.co.uk/Batteries-Camcorder-Power/DV-Batteries/Sony-Camcorder-Batteries/p18569_sc856.aspx

adolgin
12-14-2008, 04:17 PM
Like who? I'd love to get a big battery for my EX1.

The only offering now is a Swit S-8U62 battery. The reason it works is Swit went around the smart communication Sony uses, by using the 12V DC camera jack.

Evro
12-14-2008, 05:18 PM
The reason it works is Swit went around the smart communication Sony uses, by using the 12V DC camera jack.

... and that's probably the reason why Panasonic decided not to put a DC input socket on the HMC. Actually, I can think of another reason: With this camera they had to really idiot proof the power options because they don't want some DIY power cable coming out of the camera while it's recording because that would damage the last clip forcing you to go through the lengthy clip repair process (as I found out.)

You can use the DC coupler that comes with the charger, however, Panasonic is certainly not making it easy for your average Joe to power the camera using readily available 3rd party solutions.

I'd say we should be given all options for 3'rd party accessories and be held responsible for our own outcomes. The problem is that the HMC seems to be more consumer targetted, hence the idiot proofing and consumer style inclusions like Fade In/Out & Spotlight instead of a sharpness control for the LCD to aid better focussing ;-)

As far as stopping us electronics/camera geeks... I say NEVAHHHH!!:-Laugh(DBG):

ESTEBEVERDE
12-14-2008, 10:13 PM
... and that's probably the reason why Panasonic decided not to put a DC input socket on the HMC. Actually, I can think of another reason: With this camera they had to really idiot proof the power options because they don't want some DIY power cable coming out of the camera while it's recording because that would damage the last clip forcing you to go through the lengthy clip repair process (as I found out.)

You can use the DC coupler that comes with the charger, however, Panasonic is certainly not making it easy for your average Joe to power the camera using readily available 3rd party solutions.

I'd say we should be given all options for 3'rd party accessories and be held responsible for our own outcomes. The problem is that the HMC seems to be more consumer targetted, hence the idiot proofing and consumer style inclusions like Fade In/Out & Spotlight instead of a sharpness control for the LCD to aid better focussing ;-)

As far as stopping us electronics/camera geeks... I say NEVAHHHH!!:-Laugh(DBG):

Can you please post a pic of the DC power coupler.

Also what is the voltage?

Evro
12-14-2008, 10:31 PM
Below is the Panasonic DC coupler that comes with the camera. You will notice that I have spliced a female Barrel/Pin socket to the cable so that I can connect my 8000mah external battery pack. Since buying three VW-BG6 longlife Panasonic batteries I no longer use this but still carry it around just in case ;-)

The HMC will run on a DC voltage range between 7.1v to 7.9v, anything below or above that range will cause your camera to display " THIS BATTERY CANNOT BE USED." Although it looks like a simple hack (and it is) I don't recommend you try this if you don't know what you are doing because you will damage the camera if you get the polarity wrong or pump too high a voltage into it and I doubt Panasonic will fix your camera under warranty.


http://www.dvxuser6.com/uploaded/14634/1227821076.jpg

ESTEBEVERDE
12-14-2008, 11:11 PM
I've actually built quite a few DC power supplies for computer systems.

I just didn't remember this particular harness.

It is actually a fairly easy thing to build a battery supply pack for it.

adolgin
12-15-2008, 05:19 AM
I've actually built quite a few DC power supplies for computer systems.

I just didn't remember this particular harness.

It is actually a fairly easy thing to build a battery supply pack for it.
The thing is if Evro observation is correct, just wiring another battery would not work; it looks like Panasonic designed in a voltage level interlock in addition to the communication one. Essentially, the AC Adapter puts out fixed voltage about 7.5V, if a 2 cell Li-Ion battery is connected, it's voltage is about 8.2V fully charged, causing the camera to shut off and display the message. Evro, did I interpret your test correctly? I do not have access to the 150, so can not verify this.

Evro
12-15-2008, 09:46 AM
Alex, you are absolutely correct, and that's why the $30 e-bay aftermarket VW-VBG260 batteries didn't work. I'm lucky enough to have a battery charger that displays the charging process in 5% increments ( it's a Spinet SKC-AC300) and in order to keep the battery voltage of my 8,000mah batteries within spec I can only charge them to 60% otherwise they supply over the 8.2v you mentioned. I'm also lucky that my 8,000mah batteries have a built in remaining charge LED indicator otherwise it would all be hit and miss ;-)

Being teathered to a battery belt pack was something I was not used to and found it tedious which is why I ended up paying just under $1000AUD for 3 x VW-VBG6 batteries.

I don't understand one thing though... considering the HPX170 is so similar in design, why couldn't Panasonic maintain the same power stage keeping compatability with the original DVX batteries?

adolgin
12-15-2008, 09:51 AM
I hate to say it, but wait until another shoe to drop - Rev XX of the HPX170 will smarten up :-(

Evro
12-15-2008, 10:53 AM
That's probably a good thing because it will increase the demand for these batteries, bringing 3rd party battery makers on-board and designing a battery that emulates the internals of the Panasonic VW-VBG series, especially in terms of being able to show remaining battery power in camera.

Kudos to the ingenious Sony users who always seem to find way of defeating Sony's proprietary systems from things like EX1 KxS & MxS media solutions right down to PS series game console mods. Pitty we don't have such a strong Panasonic modding community.

ESTEBEVERDE
12-15-2008, 11:07 AM
The thing is if Evro observation is correct, just wiring another battery would not work; it looks like Panasonic designed in a voltage level interlock in addition to the communication one. Essentially, the AC Adapter puts out fixed voltage about 7.5V, if a 2 cell Li-Ion battery is connected, it's voltage is about 8.2V fully charged, causing the camera to shut off and display the message. Evro, did I interpret your test correctly? I do not have access to the 150, so can not verify this.

Actually if you read one of my much earlier post on using a 12volt for this system I specified step down to the requisite voltage.

I think he said the range is somewhere in the 7.1 - 7.9 volt spread.

It is absolutely doable.

But, each person has to evaluate their needs to see if it is worth the effort.

adolgin
12-15-2008, 11:21 AM
Electrically, yes, doable. In fact we are making DC converters (http://dvxuser.com/articles/charger/) (scroll down) you are refering to for years. This solution is great for stationary use, but becomes less conveinent for the run and gun situations.

ESTEBEVERDE
12-15-2008, 11:54 AM
Electrically, yes, doable. In fact we are making DC converters (http://dvxuser.com/articles/charger/) (scroll down) you are refering to for years. This solution is great for stationary use, but becomes less conveinent for the run and gun situations.


Not AC to DC.

But DC to DC.

Nice stuff though!


Why aren't you making a DC to DC solution?

adolgin
12-15-2008, 11:56 AM
They are. Any voltage in 12-18V DC range.

Evro
12-15-2008, 12:24 PM
The whole problem other than being teathered to a battery belt is that there's no way of knowing how much charge you have left in your batteries, and of course accidentally pulling the plug out of the battery during a run-n-gun situation. That's why I decided to suck it up & buy the Panasonic batteries.

Panasonic 1 - Evro 0... for now ;-)

Panasonic's proprietary systems may well be less impenetrable than Sony's, which could explain why Sony has a seemingly bigger market share in consumer electronics.

Justyn
12-15-2008, 09:54 PM
I'll gladly shell out the money on the batteries instead of P2cards... I can find SD cards anywhere and they are super cheap... can't say that the local P2 availability is so great and certainly the price isn't.. When you run out of solid state media.. it's just a trip to walmart.

Evro
12-15-2008, 11:05 PM
When you run out of solid state media.. it's just a trip to walmart.

Ha ha!! Or leave your SDHC card wallet back at the studio, it's a trip to the local Westfields/Kmart/Target/BigW :D

Justyn
12-16-2008, 06:39 AM
evro.. EXACTLY. They sell those things anywhere.... I am so sold on this cam that HVX is gone in February. I would consider buying a 170 in the future... but the old HVX is history! It is a great cam for short form work but if you are shooting lots and lots of stuff then it's NOT. The 150 is a great cam for both types of application. The improvment in the noise and low-light over the HVX is simply remarkable...


How's Australia these days?

David Saraceno
12-16-2008, 09:09 AM
One other point -- the extended 7.2 V 5800 mA battery will power the AG-HMC150 AVCCAM cam about four hours.

That's not too shabby.

DaFireMedic
12-31-2008, 12:33 PM
I don't have the HMC-150 yet, but the connection looks similar to the one on my old PV-GS300, which I built a few 5000 mAH battery packs for a few years ago.

Because of the proprietary connection, the biggest problem was figuring out how to make the connection between the battery and the camera. I looked at the 3 piece cable that came with the camcorder to run it off A/C power, and figured I might be able to connect the battery to the other end of it (in place of the A/C adapter). I was able to find an in line power jack connection that fit onto the cable at a local electronics store, along with a 6 “C” size battery holder (to achieve 7.2 volts with 1.2 volt NIMH batteries). I had some 5000 mAH C cells that I had picked up from Battery Space for my bike lights. I even made a case for the battery pack to make it look presentable.

http://i117.photobucket.com/albums/o67/DaFireMedic/BatteryPack1.jpg

I think this could be done fairly easily and kept within the voltage range required by the HMC-150. But Its one thing to do this for my $400 (at the time) camcorder, its a whole other thing to do this on a $3500 camcorder. As has been mentioned, if you get the polarity wrong, you could screw up your camcorder and void your warranty.

Its probably wise just to pay for the bigger battery.

BrianMurphy
12-31-2008, 01:17 PM
I don't think running a DIY battery system is a good move. In Canada my camera came with a 3 year warranty. Why mess with a 4k investment (Can.$) for a few dollars? And as David points out the camera will run for 4 hours on one battery, that is a lot of shooting, so if you go for two 5800 batteries along with the stock battery that came with the camera you can shoot for quite a while or at least long enough to charge up the down one. I currently have 5 batteries for my DVX all big ones and have never used more than three in one day and that was during an election where the day was extrememly long. Why five? I was having a Betacam relapse when I bought them.

DaFireMedic
12-31-2008, 01:43 PM
Why mess with a 4k investment (Can.$) for a few dollars?

Exactly

Da3vid
01-03-2009, 07:57 PM
I should probably pick up another battery... who has the best price right now? And more importantly, who has that price actually in stock?