Mirrorless cameras with all their incredible video skills still haven’t solved the issue of battery life for long shoots. Those tiny bodies and appropriately-sized battery packs just can’t cut it for a day of shooting, usually meaning you need to carry a ton of spares around with you and keep an eye out that you aren’t losing a shot because the one in your camera in running dry.
Many companies have realized this is an issue and stepped up with alternative power options that will keep your cameras running for a long while. If you want to find out which is the best for your Sony a7S III check out this video from filmmaker Keith Knittel.
Before you even get into figuring out how to power your a7S III, there are some options that can give your battery life a boost. Things like setting your camera to Airplane Mode and turning down the brightness on your LCD can help.
The stock NP-FZ100 battery pack will run for about an hour to 90 minutes of continuous recording, though if you aren’t constantly recording the 4K 24p might be able to get up to 120 minutes. Faster frame rates will lower the recording time.
The next step up option is to pick up a USB power bank. These are easy to find and portable. However, you want to make sure you are getting a 9V 3A pack with Power Delivery.
If you don’t meet that criterion, you can extend battery life for a time but it will eventually drain. Getting a nice battery pack with USB Power Delivery is a good idea anyway since it can charge more than just your camera.
Moving up would be getting a big V-mount battery. To effectively use it you will be looking at building a full rig. Getting some rails, a cage, and a battery plate is going to be helpful.
These offer more benefits than just powering your camera. There are usually a few outputs that will let you power up your accessories, like a monitor, as well. Then when you need to swap them out it is all your stuff at the same time. A much better workflow.
You can pick up whatever V-mount battery you are partial to. Keith uses some cheap PowerExtra batteries but also has the nicer Fxlion Nano II. The packs have their own outputs, though the battery plate options usually have a couple more.
The Fxlion is Keith’s favorite since you can make use of the 9V 3A USB output to power the camera instead so you don’t have to worry too much about accidentally knocking a cable.
Getting a big battery will maximize the benefit. The smaller 50Wh batteries will only get you a couple hours of recording. The 98Wh pack kept the camera going for 8 hours and still had a quarter of battery left. They are expensive though. Still, a couple official Sony packs will also cost you a fair bit.
Even larger battery packs are available if you just want to set up your camera and forget about it. They can also be used to power other devices like a light so you will probably want to have one or two on hand.
Which power option do you prefer for long shooting days with your Sony camera?
[source: Keith Knittel]
- Sony a7S III Mirrorless Camera (B&H, Amazon)
- Sony NP-FZ100 Battery Pack (B&H, Amazon)
- Anker PowerCore 10000 Portable USB Power Bank (Amazon)
- Baseus 65W 30000mAh USB-PD Power Bank (Amazon)
- Fxlion NANO ONE 50Wh V-Mount Battery (B&H, Amazon)
- Fxlion NANO TWO 98Wh V-Mount Battery (B&H, Amazon)
- Fxlion NANO THREE 150Wh V-Mount Battery (B&H, Amazon)
- Powerextra 190Wh V-Mount Battery (Amazon)
- Powerextra NP-F970 2-Pack with Charger Set (Amazon)
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