Battery Life And Battery Options

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    Part 2 on Gear and Gripes

    Battery life with the BMPCC4K has been wailed about since the camera was first released to early reviewers and to this day (saw a video a few days ago) is still bemoaned by all and sundry as being ‘horrendous, woeful, awful etc’. I honestly don’t understand what the moaning is about. The battery for the BMPCC4K (and 6K) is only a 14Wh battery, if you use a genuine Canon LP-E6N like I do, but even with such a low capacity I can get 52 min of 4KDCI recording time with the LCD at 30% or less and using an external monitor. That’s pretty good in my view.

    Now when comparing battery life with other cameras, I’ve come across some interesting examples which demonstrate that the BMPCC4K battery life is anything but horrendous. The first example is from the Wolfcrow site (https://wolfcrow.com/important-quirks-and-features-of-the-panasonic-s1-for-cinematography/) where they tested the Panasonic S1. In their test, shooting 1080p, the camera managed about 75 min of recording and they stated that shooting 4K would mean less recording time. This is with a battery that is about 60% greater capacity than the LP-E6N.

    Today I came across an article from Cinema 5D (https://www.cinema5d.com/z-cam-e2-f6-review-lab-test-and-sample-footage-a-visit-to-the-zoo-schoenbrunn/) where they tested the Z-Cam E2-F6 using a Sony NP-F970 battery and reported the following: ‘Battery life was really impressive – a Sony NPF 970 got me through the whole afternoon (5 hrs on and off) shooting 45mins of footage. I left the camera “on” 70% of the time, as I found the bootup time of 11 seconds too long to quickly grab a shot.’ By comparison, I can get 3 hours of continuous 4KDCI recording using my NP-F970, not just 45 min with the camera on standby for 3.5 hours (70% of 5 hours). And with the Canon battery inside the camera, I get 4 hours of continuous recording time. Bootup time is also only about 2 sec.

    These are just two examples of battery life with other cameras and I have anecdotal evidence that others like the Sony A7 doesn’t do all that well either. Many examples of battery life are with combined stills/video shooting (mostly stills) and few provide proper examples of hybrid cameras and cine cameras when used fully for video.

    Now when it comes to battery options, most will be aware of the many variations available from V-lock to power banks and dummy batteries. My preferred are V-lock (which I use on my larger rig) and NP-F (which I use on my smaller rig). Now one of my gripes about the NP-F solution is that I have repeatedly seen in some forums people bagging this option declaring that it won’t work, is inefficient, will damage the camera etc. I’ve been using this solution since the beginning of this year and it’s worked perfectly. Along with the view that this won’t work, the same people say that you can’t have the internal battery installed while using external power. I’ve been doing this since 2018 (with my first BMPCC4K) and with the second one since the beginning of this year and not had one issue. The internal battery acts as an UPS if you need to change batteries.

    BMPCC4K Rig

    BMPCC4K Rig

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