New & Noteworthy - High-Performance Video Batteries


The reality of batteries is that unless you have back-ups (or the option of plugging into AC), when they poop out, it's a wrap. Game over. And while it's a common practice (not to mention common sense) to have multiples of critical power supplies on hand when shooting on assignment, you never hear anybody complain about their batteries lasting too long. If anything you're more likely to hear praises to the Lord for sustaining the power supply through the last moments of the last scene. Fortunately, battery technologies continue to evolve rapidly and the benefits of these new technologies are evident in some of the newer batteries manufactured by Anton/Bauer and IDX.

Anton/Bauer's Dionic HC lithium-ion battery (91 Wh) draws on battery technologies developed originally for the military to deliver up to 10 amps of power for high-load video applications. When used with a 40W HD camcorder, 91 Watt-hour Dionic HC batteries can be expected to deliver up to 2-hours of recording time.

A handy feature found on the Dionic HC battery is its RealTime LCD, which estimates and displays the remaining runtime based on load and existing operating conditions. Unlike traditional 'gas gauge' icons, the LCD readout on Dionic HC batteries displays remaining battery time in hours and minutes, which can prove to be invaluable when you're getting down to the wire.

The Dionic HC battery is compatible with all current Anton/Bauer InterActive-series batteries, meets all regulatory requirements (including CE), and comes with a MAXX 1.5 warranty. The Anton/Bauer Dionic HC measures 4.06 x 5.46 x 2.34" (10.3 x 13.87 x 5.94cm) and weighs 1.8 lb (800 g).

Another battery designed for heavy lifters is the IDX E-HL9 (88Wh, 6.15Ah), which like the Anton/Bauer Dionic HC, delivers a continuous draw of up to 10 Amps. Able to maintain consistent power output at temperatures down to -4º F (-20º C), the IDX E-HL9's high-load capacity results in discharge rates about 50% higher than other batteries in its class, and about 10% longer life beyond the 500 cycle mark.

Five Power Status LEDs allow you to track power consumption in 20% increments, and the HL9's Digi-View feature allows camera operators to monitor power levels through the camera's viewfinder. And for extended shooting sessions an IDX PowerLink allows you to dock 2 batteries together to double the power supply (176Wh).

Included with each battery is BMS software, which tracks and monitors the history and overall condition of each battery, which can be stored in a PC database. For operators using multiple batteries and cameras, BMS software allows you to make best use of each battery by mapping and tracking each battery's individual power level. The IDX E-HL9 measures 3.35 x 5.51 x 2.28" (8.5 x 14 x 5.8cm) and weighs 1.63 lb (739g).

Slightly smaller (3.35 x 5.59 x 1.96"), lighter (1.59 lb), and less expensive is the IDX E-HL9S, which despite its size has similar specs and power output characteristics as the IDX E-HL9. What you sacrifice for the smaller size (and lower price) is the lack of the E-HL9's Digi-View feature, the inability to double-up on power using the PowerLink option, and a simpler 3-LED battery monitor.

Both the IDX E-HL9 & E-HL9S can be attached to cameras lacking a standard V-mount by using the (optional) IDX P-V2 and P-VS2 adapter plates.