Are you trying to run your DSLR camera as a cinema camera? It’s a great way to get amazing image quality without breaking your budget. One of the common problems with DLSR cameras is the mediocre battery life. Luckily, there are some great battery solutions on the market today.
DSLRs and mirrorless cameras are small enough to fit almost anywhere. And they have their place on film sets. But the battery life of these cameras is usually not meant to run continuously like actual cinema cameras.
The Sony A7R II battery was just garbage. It wasn’t even worth the time it took to put the battery in the camera it was that bad. The new battery for the A7R III was much better. It gave us a lot more time on camera, but it still wasn’t where it needed to be.
If you’re just doing stills, these batteries will probably do about everything you need it to. Grabbing a few extra doesn’t hurt, but you’ll be fine in most situations.
To medicate this problem and so you never have to worry about battery power again, I turn to V-Mount and Gold Mount batteries. I like the 98-watt ones because they can still be put on a carryon when I travel. They also give me enough energy to run my camera all day.
There are several different ways to attach the 98-watt battery to your camera and we’re going to go over those mounting solutions now!
#1: AC Power to Dummy Battery
This solution is great for when you’re in a studio setting or if you’re conducting an interview indoors where you’ll be close to an outlet. Because you’ll be stationary for your shoot, you won’t have to worry about your battery running out because it’s plugged into the wall!
If I put a camera overhead, this is also a great solution because now I don’t have to worry about my camera running out of power.
However, I do like putting a 98-watt battery up there on my overhead camera just so I can move it around the studio as I please.
There are super cheap versions of this solution online that you can find. Just be aware that they won’t last you very long, and they might be faulty.
#2: D-Tap to Camera Dummy Battery
If you aren’t next to power, you have to get your 98-watt battery close to your camera. This is when a D-tap to dummy battery solution might be for you.
They make dummy camera batteries for a lot of different models so you’ll be able to power your camera. The nice thing about this you can have your power bank separate from your camera.
#3: Duo Battery Power Solution
If you already own a bunch of your camera batteries, you can buy a plate that will allow you to hot-swap two batteries for your device. You can attach this to your double rail system. It also comes with a dummy battery. The great thing about this is that since your battery isn’t actually in the camera, your camera won’t turn off from overheating, which was the main cause for why the cameras wouldn’t allow you to record for extended periods of time.
#4: Plate to Rod System
If you already own a bunch of V-Mount or Gold-Mount batteries, you can buy a plate that has an attached rod system mounting point. This will allow you to attach your external battery to your cinema rig. Most people also use this as a counterbalance for their shoulder rigs.
The only bad thing about these external battery solutions is that they take forever and a day to recharge. Like literally over seven hours sometimes. I’m really excited about Indi Pro’s battery solution to your battery solution with their supercharger! With the supercharger, you’ll be able to charge your external battery in an hour, or two depending on the size. So for my 98-watt battery, it will charge in an hour and a half. Pretty incredible.
The other great thing about the supercharger is that it has built-in functions to be able to stop charging if the battery overheats or is done charging.
#6: On-the-Go D-Tap Charger
Sometimes you’re going on location and you already charged your batteries. But you just want to bring a charger for them just in case. You don’t want to have to lug around a giant supercharger or anything else. That’s why I love this little 1-volt charger from Indi Pro that I can take with me wherever I go. It’s small enough that I can put it in my pocket, bag, or anywhere else I want.
#7: D-Tap to USB Charger
Not all external batteries are the same. Some D-tap batteries only have D-Taps. The ones from Indi Pro have a built-in USB on the side of their batteries. But if you don’t have that feature, this little dongle will connect to your battery and get you a D-tap and a USB port on your battery. That way you can charge a monitor, your phone, or any other device that runs USB.
Making Your Own Plate Mount
I’m going to get a plate and stick a female quarter-twenty on the back of it. Then I’ll superglue it and put a stand mount on it so I can put my clamp on it.
Buying a Plate
If you don’t want to make your own plate, you can also buy a plate that has a clamp attached to it. You can also get ones that have quarter-twenty’s attached to it.
Cinema Style Solutions
So there you go. Some cinema style solutions for your cameras that will help you not have to worry about batteries or charging them on set! It’s a great thing to not have to worry about. Thanks to Indi Pro for sponsoring this lesson and providing the equipment shown in this lesson.
If you’d like to learn more about Indi Pro, check them out on their website: https://www.indiproco.com/