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    Brick batteries - Anton Bauer and the like
    #1
    Senior Member James0b57's Avatar
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    For a while there, batteries seemed like a fairy stable product. many of us would buy a battery and get it recelled.

    Now, feels like Vitec and the amount of new Chinese based companies are releasing batteries every few years.

    It is a good time for batteries, but also, I am beginning to lose track.


    WHAT IS THE FUTURE OF BATTERIES FOR YOU?

    Cameras are getting smaller and less power hungry, and other gear is getting more mobile and power hungry. LED hmi replacements need two brick batteries! Amazing output for a battery setup, but still, another tool needing batteries.

    Evenwith cameras being small and conservative in power use, it can still be nice to have a big battery for the camera and its aks that will go the whole work day. it is nice not having to think about batteries and if you don't mind the weight, or use the weight as a shoulder mount counter balance, you are not in a bad spot.

    So, for the next few years, it would seem big brick batteries will remain extremely useful in the field.


    WHICH BATTERIES DO YOU LIKE MOST?

    Anton Cine 90wh is a nice looking battery. one of the best looking to date. It has a p-tap built in. It has proven to be reliable so far. However, every other battery maker seems to be including ptap and usb! One battery maker includes a normal wall plug for AC power! What!?!

    Hawkwoods is making mini 90wh batteries that are half the size of conventional 90wh batteries. They also make powerful batteries that are connected to a setup via Velcro rather than v-mount or gold-mount! that can be great for unconventional or modern setups!

    So, while I am lost in time, and have built a system around gold mount vitec batteries, WHAT BATTERIES ARE YOU USING?


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    The little Hawk Woods M50 mini I could see as a benefit, but once you get up to 70wh the full size are just as convenient unless you want that hot swap feature with the dual battery plate. We use IDX brand here, been working well for us for around two decades.


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    #3
    Senior Member James0b57's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg_E View Post
    The little Hawk Woods M50 mini I could see as a benefit, but once you get up to 70wh the full size are just as convenient unless you want that hot swap feature with the dual battery plate. We use IDX brand here, been working well for us for around two decades.
    The little Hawkwoods are ideal for those Alexa setups. Or even an Amira. Where changing batteries as an solo op is a bit annoying, whether a small crew on a tight schedule, or a verite documentary that doesnít want to miss a moment. I can see stacking 2-4 hawkwood miniís being very valuable.


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    One advantage of ENGs over DSLRs is how everything runs off of one battery: camera, viewfinder, lens motor, light, phantom-powered microphones, even the wireless microphone receiver in the slot. And the battery often has its own D-Taps, to plug in a couple more things. In contrast, a DSLR rig might have a battery for every one of those parts.

    One thing I will always push for, in ergonomics, is consideration of the cognitive load on the camera operator. I can keep track of one battery, that's it! And only if you remind me, by putting its charge level in the corner of my viewfinder. (Okay, I guess I have to keep track of the batteries in the wireless transmitters too.)


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    Senior Member robmneilson's Avatar
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    I've been a fan of the Core SWX batteries. I have some of the tiny 90wh micro gold mount ones, and then some bigger 150wh and they have all performed well. The little batteries are nice and lightweight if you're trying to keep weight on your rig down.
    "That's what happened to this friend of mine. So he had a lobotomy. Now he's well again."
    http://www.robmneilson.com


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    Senior Member Run&Gun's Avatar
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    I was strictly Anton Bauer Gold Mounts from day one until just a few years ago. I started switching over to CoreSWX(then Switronix) in the very beginning of 2016 with their HyperCore Prime 190's. I think I have three A/B's left in service and 12 Core's(6x 190's, 2x 230's, 2x HC 98's, 2x Slim 8's).

    Yeah, as far as ergonomics and convenience, nothing beats our ENG cameras. My P2 Vari's are still my favorite. ENG lens ranges(ONE LENS to cover almost everything) that aren't available in large sensor cams, Color VF with flip-away diopter, built-in ND, 5 card slots, slot-in wireless, 4-chs of audio dedicated on-board nat mic, dedicated audio and TC controls and display, 3 SDI outs, TC IN & OUT, etc. AND... ONE battery to power it all. No janky-ass rigging and 27 cables strung all over the camera or multiple batteries to worry about(like with my C300) or wasting the lone SDI out for the third party VF, because there isn't a native one(C300)... I could go one, but you know...


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    #7
    Senior Member robmneilson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Run&Gun View Post
    I was strictly Anton Bauer Gold Mounts from day one until just a few years ago. I started switching over to CoreSWX(then Switronix) in the very beginning of 2016 with their HyperCore Prime 190's. I think I have three A/B's left in service and 12 Core's(6x 190's, 2x 230's, 2x HC 98's, 2x Slim 8's).

    Yeah, as far as ergonomics and convenience, nothing beats our ENG cameras. My P2 Vari's are still my favorite. ENG lens ranges(ONE LENS to cover almost everything) that aren't available in large sensor cams, Color VF with flip-away diopter, built-in ND, 5 card slots, slot-in wireless, 4-chs of audio dedicated on-board nat mic, dedicated audio and TC controls and display, 3 SDI outs, TC IN & OUT, etc. AND... ONE battery to power it all. No janky-ass rigging and 27 cables strung all over the camera or multiple batteries to worry about(like with my C300) or wasting the lone SDI out for the third party VF, because there isn't a native one(C300)... I could go one, but you know...
    Not to mention that one battery powers the camera for what feels like forever compared to the Arri and Red's ive been using!
    "That's what happened to this friend of mine. So he had a lobotomy. Now he's well again."
    http://www.robmneilson.com


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    Senior Member Run&Gun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robmneilson View Post
    Not to mention that one battery powers the camera for what feels like forever compared to the Arri and Red's ive been using!
    I have a client with a few Amira’s and they are definitely battery hogs. The 230’s and 190’s will power my Vari for a while, for sure. And I don’t even bother putting an AC adapter on my F55 even with an on-board monitor during sit-downs, most of the time. I used to always carry a spare brick on my person when I shot with Hytron’s, no matter what. Now, it’s pretty rare that I carry a spare on me while shooting.


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    Disclaimer: I don't have any gear that takes V-mount or gold mount. That is to some extent by design. Battery cost and the need to have so many systems is a real red ass topic for me. Let me explain.

    Presently, I have three proprietary battery systems which I must keep running. In addition to that, I have a small fleet of lead-acid Bescor Bricks. My current list includes:

    Panny AG-BVR series for my PannyHandy and external monitor
    Sony L-Series for audio gear and some smaller led lights
    Canon LP-E6 for my DSLRs
    Numerous Bescor Bricks which can be adapted to any of the above except for the LP-E6
    And battery combiners for each system which can output to 4 pin XLR

    What I don't want is another battery system to purchase and maintain as I have thousands invested in batteries and have to purchase more than a few replacements each year just to remain in business. Seems like the major manufacturers play battery pricing like the printer ink industry. I get it, it is a cost of doing business, but the pricing of many of these seems simply astronomical and considering that I have 25-30 Li-Ions at any one time plus the Bescors, it just gets stupid maintaining that many batteries. So unless I really wanted to use a cam that required 12v, I'll just stick to one level down at 7.2v gear, which works for me at my level of business. I have had pretty good luck with non-factory batteries purchased from the major distributors like Watson from BH or Ikans for the Panny Bats.

    Having said that, I have always lusted for a full sized shoulder mount cam.....ah gear lust. Then I consider investing a couple grand just to power one up.

    Grant


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    #10
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    Back in the wild and wooly early DSLR era I started building my setups into long and low masses to duplicate the ergonomics of the larger cameras I was used to. What was a no-brainer for me was using a single battery to power everything, rather than have to manage and monitor multiple batteries. Due to the variety of components this require a number of step-down p-tap cables and assemblies, few of which were commercially available at the time. But I was no stranger to custom rigs and cables from my Steadicam days, so I built or had built everything I needed. I ended up with rigs that looked like the one below (from 2011), where I count no less than 7 items powered off the brick on the back.

    1d2.jpg

    I was frankly a little baffled that so many continued to use separate batteries for the camera, the onboard monitor and whatever else they were using. Just seemed like a lot more work on shoot days and more complicated ergonomics to manage (as many onboard batteries stick out of the unit they are powering, making them harder to tuck in on a camera build). I do understand that the brick type batteries cost a lot more up front, but given that they will last so much longer than a smaller battery, you need very few of them for that type of application.
    Charles Papert
    charlespapert.com


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