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by Raymond Burns
W hen on location whether in the
depths of a jungle with reduced
access to power or in a city centre
with limited charging opportunities then good
consideration to your kit bag is needed to
remove those power hungry devices that could leave you
running short for the final big shot of the day!
The benefits of field recorders are well known, often
doubling as viewfinder, playout monitor and of course
recording direct from the camera sensor onto commodity
storage. But when power is at a premium is it a luxury you
can do without?
With a background in programming for mobile applications,
where low power is an absolute must, joint Atomos CEO/
founder Ian Overliese has applied this knowledge to video
recording and converting devices, namely the Ninja and
Samurai both offering an extremely low power draw of 3 to
6 watts depending on operating mode.
Such low power consumption does of course give the
operator the ability to run on batteries for a much longer
period of time opening up many new possibilities such as
on-location usage, especially in difficult and remote terrains
where there is limited or no power.
Continuous Power (patent pending) takes battery operation
a stage further. Essentially it’s a continuous power loop
whereby when one battery depletes, it automatically
switches over to the other, fresh battery, ad infinitum if
you have the extra batteries. Atomos field recorders can
accommodate two batteries, both of which give you 3-4
hours operation. For the Connect converter there is an
in-built battery that lasts for up to an hour and an external
battery that will give you another 8-hours operation.
The Continuous Power system works with all forms of
power, in that power sources can be hot-swappable
batteries, DC (via D-Tap) or AC (via dummy battery, or in the
case of Ronin, dedicated mains input). This gives users a
huge amount of power options and continuous operation
in any conceivable environment. Furthermore, in the case
of the portable Connect converters the internal battery is
charged when external power, be it a battery, DC or AC
source, is connected. In the case of Ronin the AC mains
power will charge any connected batteries fitted to the
Ronin, providing truly redundant operation in facility and
location production or broadcast environments.
So next time you’re rigged up in the jungle to capture that
opportune moment when the lion walks by then concerns
about being eaten alive can take a greater priority than
battery power alarms!
48 | TV-BAY MAGAZINE: ISSUE 78 JUNE 2013