Beyond any doubt, one of the most common and extremely annoying problems with the Pocket 4K and 6K cameras refers to power consumption. The choice of mounting LP-E6 batteries seems to be a good one, but at the same time, it’s far from perfect. An easy and readily available standard is always welcome, yet the runtime we get out of these small batteries can be pretty unsatisfying, to say the least.
To avoid sudden drops in voltage or swapping batteries all the time, there are many alternative solutions, some in the DIY realm, others coming from all kinds of third-party manufacturers. To put things into perspective, filmmaker Arber Baqaj gives a rundown of the best battery solutions to keep up the juice in the BMPCC 4K and 6K, so let’s check them out right away.
SOONWELL PH70-B (Amazon)
It’s all about thinking out of the box with this solution. The idea of using a functional or design element to hide another item is not new, but with the SOONWELL PH70-B, it’s executed almost to perfection. What seems to be an oversize top handle is a camouflaged battery. Inside the handle, there’s the actual power unit, but when combined with the smart design, it doubles as a handle for the camera.
Additionally, the handle has two D-tap outs on the left side, followed by a couple of DC outs in different voltages along with a USB-A. On the opposite side, there’s a status LED indicator alongside a few mounting screws across the board to attach different accessories, like monitors and mics.
There are two sizes of batteries available, a 70Wh that you can see here in the video, and a smaller 50Wh. The idea is really clever and well-executed. In fact, the SOONWELL PH70-B is a pretty neat option if you are in the market for a battery.
The name is very familiar to almost any filmmaker, as it should be to those that already own either of the two Pocket cameras since TILTA is one of the best cage makers on the market, and their dedicated set for the Pocket 4K has been out for a while now.
The Focus side handle is pretty nice: the concept is basically the same we’ve just seen for the top handle, meaning we are hiding the juice inside the handle thus getting two birds with one stone. Plus, the build quality is exceptional and has the added value of being part of a system made of so many parts, including the Nucleus follow focus that you can use in conjunction with this add-on.
NP-F980D Battery (B&H)
Sony is the maker behind what is actually… just a battery. But it’s not a power unit like most of those you’ve seen on the market. The special detail is the DC output located on top of the battery, and that can be used to power the camera. This solution is perfect if you have an additional powered accessory like a monitor or something similar.
You click in the battery, turn on the monitor, and use the DC out to route energy to the camera. If that’s not enough, on the lower side of the battery there is a USB port that you could use to power a secondary piece of gear, something like the Nucleus Nano.
Here we have TILTA again as you can see all the quality of the brand and the thought that goes behind these solutions. This plate has two connections for NPF Sony batteries and routes the power out through two DC outs of different voltages, 12 and 7V respectively.
The fifth and final suggestion may seem a little obvious to all of those that have been out in the field for a while. But if you peek under the hood, you’ll see why these batteries are sticking out from the pack. They come in a huge variety of sizes, but that’s not new, right? These are indeed quite small batteries and are made to go with TILTA’s plate that mounts under the camera.
Furthermore, you can still use them as a normal V-Lock solution regardless of your camera rig or setup. FXLion batteries also have a small screen on-board, together with three outs on the side – USB-A, USB-C, and micro USB. Since the Wh on these things is quite high, by using a USB-C cable, you should be able to even charge your MacBook on the go. How cool is that?
Surely, many more solutions will remain unused, but there are some really clever ideas covered in the video above. We’re sure, of course, that there will be many more alternatives rolled out down the road. Nevertheless, the ones suggested by Arber are excellent solutions providing some extra juice for your Pocket camera regardless of the situation and shooting conditions.
[source: Arber Baqaj]
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