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Based in Reggio Emilia, in northern Italy, BLUESHAPE launched as a battery-manufacturer, in 2004. Since then, BLUESHAPE has expanded its lineup to include chargers and accessories, as well as mounting plates and diagnostic software systems. Today, BLUESHAPE creates some of the finest lithium-ion V-mount batteries on the market, built to meet the demands of cameramen and video professionals across the globe. For BLUESHAPE, providing end users with the highest quality products isn’t just a goal—it’s an obsession.
BLUESHAPE’s current crop of batteries is designed around the V-mount system and utilizes the latest lithium-ion cell technology. Dubbed the “GRANITE” series, the batteries are further broken down into three sub-series: High Capacity, High Rate Discharge, and SPLASH. All of the batteries feature a robust, thick-walled housing made of a specially designed plastic resin to make them impervious to most drops and impacts that inevitably happen in production environments. Testing has shown that they can withstand repeated drops from heights of 6.5' without cracking the resin shell or suffering internal damage.
The High Capacity GRANITE series batteries are suitable for a wide range of applications, including powering your HD cameras, and are distinguished by their blue gasket and sticker. The batteries provide 10.8 to 16.8V DC power and are available in 65Wh, 90Wh, 150Wh, 180Wh, and 225Wh capacities. The 65Wh and 90Wh options have a compact, streamlined housing and provide up to 7A of continuous discharge, while the three larger-capacity batteries provide up to 9A. The batteries are IP54 rated, which means that they are resistant to splashes and dust for exposure times up to 10 minutes.
A useful feature of the batteries, which is shared by the other GRANITE series as well, is a built-in five-LED gauge that shows you the remaining charge in 20% increments, with the press of a button. When the charge falls below 10%, the final LED begins to blink, alerting you that it is about time for a battery change. The batteries also feature balancing and monitoring technology and provide digital communication with compatible devices. Another key feature found in all GRANITE-series batteries comprises two D-Tap (also known as P-Tap) power ports located on the sides of the batteries that operate at 14.8V nominal. The ports provide up to 5A of power and are electronically and independently protected against shorts and overload. For powering USB devices and chargers, a D-Tap to USB adapter cable is available.
In contrast to the blue gasket and sticker of the High Capacity GRANITE batteries, the High Rate Discharge versions are distinguished by their red gasket and sticker. These batteries, available in 94Wh, 190Wh, and 266Wh capacities, are capable of a 12A continuous discharge, making them suitable for cinema cameras and other equipment with high current demands, such as the ARRI ALEXA. This series features the same IP54-rated water- and dust-resistant exterior as the High Capacity GRANITE batteries. When more serious environmental protection is required, then you’ll need the GRANITE SPLASH series.
Marked by their green gasket and sticker, the GRANITE SPLASH models have an IP65 rating, which means that they are completely sealed against any dust ingress and can be used outdoors under continuous rainfall. Aside from this boost in weather resistance, the SPLASH batteries incorporate all of the features of the High Rate Discharge GRANITE batteries, including their 12A maximum continuous discharge, making them a perfect choice for outdoor use to power cinema cameras and light panels. They are also available in 94Wh, 190Wh, 266Wh capacities.
When you need a portable power solution with high output watts and voltage, you can combine the power of multiple V-mount batteries using BLUESHAPE’s Power Stations. The 4 V-Mount Power Station features two regulated 28V 3-pin XLR power outputs and two regulated 14V 4-pin XLR outputs, while the 2 V-Mount Power Station has only one of each output. All of the outputs operate in parallel and share the available power from the attached batteries. Batteries are hot-swappable and even when one becomes empty, power isn’t interrupted—so long as the remaining batteries can collectively compensate and deliver the required current to the device your powering. With four High Rate Discharge batteries attached, the Power Station can supply up to 280W on the 14V output and up to 560W on the 28V output. Four standard batteries will still provide up to 280W on the 14V output, but only up to 480W on the 28V. You can expect half of the possible output wattage for the 2 V-Mount Power Station.
In addition to the V-mount battery options, BLUESHAPE also offers the Bubblepack, a universal lithium-ion battery system for medium- to small-sized cameras. It has a 65Wh capacity and mounts underneath your camera using an included sliding camera plate-and-rail system for quick attachment and detachment. The entire rig can be mounted on a tripod using the standard ¼"-20 threaded hole at the base of the Bubblepack. For additional mounting options, an optional V-Bracket Adapter is available that allows the battery to be mounted on a standard V-mount, as well as a Belt Mount Adapter to hook the battery to your belt.
The Bubblepack provides four simultaneous power outputs for powering your camera and additional accessories, such as onboard LED lights, monitors, and recorders. There are two nominal 14.8V outputs that feature standard D-Tap connectors and two regulated 8.4V/11.1V switchable outputs that use BLUESHAPE’s proprietary Blue-Tap (BTAP) connectors. The BTAP connectors are easily distinguished from the D-Tap by color: BTAPs are blue, D-Taps are black. In order to power your camera, a slew of P-Tap and BTAP adapter cables are available for most popular camcorders, DSLRs, and mirrorless cameras. A compact wall charger is available separately, or bundled with the Bubblepack, providing a full charge in approximately two hours. A built-in four-LED gauge on the battery displays the remaining power.
As much as we wish it weren’t the case, batteries eventually have to be recharged. BLUESHAPE chargers are designed exclusively for lithium-ion V-mount batteries and provide fast, efficient charging. For studio and production trucks, an 8-channel charger is available that is designed to be wall-mounted using a special metal bracket. It charges up to eight batteries simultaneously and offers two four-pin XLR outputs for powering devices. A USB port allows it to interface with a computer using the included BSCVMon Monitoring and Maintenance Utility software, letting you track a host of parameters for your BLUESHAPE batteries, including state of charge, remaining charge, battery state, cycle life, and cell temperature. Up to four chargers can be monitored on a single PC using the software.
To charge up to eight batteries in the field, BLUESHAPE makes an 8-channel portable charger. Four V-mount batteries can be mounted on the charger itself and an additional four can be connected to LEMO-type ports on the front of the unit via optional CV-BA adapters. The batteries mounted on the unit charge simultaneously while the ones connected using CV-BA adapters charge sequentially. A 4-channel portable charger is also available, which is similar in size to the eight-channel option, but lacks the four LEMO-type expansion ports and an LCD screen. It charges two batteries simultaneously and two in sequence. Additionally, there is a 2-channel sequential charger when you need something more portable, or simply don’t need to charge more than two batteries. All of the chargers feature a 4-pin XLR auxiliary output and can be used with the BSCVMon software (included with the 8-channel and 4-channel chargers). For basic charging, a travel-friendly 1-channel charger is available, housed in a zippered Cordura pouch. It will charge a 90Wh GRANITE battery in about 2.5 hours.
When swapping out batteries for charging, it usually means having to first power down your camera and wait for the new battery to be attached. To circumvent this downtime, BLUESHAPE offers their MVQUICK V-Mount Hot Swap Adapters, which stay attached to your camera and sit sandwiched between its V-mount battery plate and your V-mount battery. When it’s time to swap batteries, the MVQUICK uses its own 21Wh battery to keep the camera charged for 10 to 15 minutes, thus preventing any power interruption. Once a new battery is attached, the adapter begins recharging itself. Additionally, the adapter features a D-Tap accessory port and supports data communication between attached batteries and your camera. Choose from the standard/universal adapter, an Anton Bauer Gold Mount to V-mount adapter, and adapters designed specifically for the RED ONE and the ARRI ALEXA. In addition to hot-swap adapters, BLUESHAPE also offers a range of more traditional battery plates, including universal and camera-specific options for powering a variety of cameras and devices with V-mount batteries.
Whether you’re looking for a rugged, water-resistant battery to power your cinema camera, a universal battery system to power your camcorder or DSLR, or a V-mount adapter that will let you hot-swap batteries without power interruption, BLUESHAPE has you covered. Add fast multi-channel chargers, convenient portable power stations, and a wide-range of supporting accessories to that list, and you have a comprehensive product line that may be able to solve all of your battery-power needs.