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constructed as a thin sandwich and then rolled to create a cylindrical canister, about the size of an AA battery. Before a cell can be released to the market, it is rigorously tested both physically and electrically and will only be sold if these tests are passed successfully. A single cell is very safe, however the configuration used to provide the voltage and power needed for media applications combines between 12 and 24 of these individual cells in a pack, so a second level of safety design is required to make sure the cells do not interact with each other. 4. How have the needs of battery users – in terms of performance, quality and safety – changed over the last few years? One of the major shifts in the industry, driven specifically by the latest camera technology, is the reduction in the size of equipment. This has had a huge impact on the needs of battery users - kits are becoming smaller, yet still incorporate the same high performance. In particular, the proliferation of smaller digital video cameras has affected battery size and voltage requirements, which have reduced by almost half. In the current market, battery manufacturers are focusing on several key differentiators – safety, reliability, performance and cost effectiveness. Performance and reliability may be crucial elements for camera operators. However, these are the most straightforward areas for manufacturers, critical issues such as safety and cost can be more complex and challenging. The needs of battery users also differ according to specific applications. For example, with cine style, cameras operators tend to look for batteries with a form factor that fit on to the back of a camera without impeding on the other attachments, such as view finders and focus pullers. The battery needs to blend into the camera body while providing the higher amperage and higher voltage required for cine applications. On the other hand, when it comes ASK OUR EXPERTS to body worn camera mounts such as an Artemis or other stabilising systems – weight is the crucial factor, and with ENG applications the highest priorities for batteries from users is the ability to power a camera for a long time, be reliable and charge up quickly. Regardless of the specific applications, camera technology will never stand still. Batteries, are clearly vital to the power and performance of every new camera and key manufacturers will have to ensure their technology evolves alongside the cameras and is compatible with any new releases. 5. What can be done by users to ensure the performance of batteries? Before choosing a power source for a production, it is important that the operator understands the battery’s design and its safety features. Users need to take the time to ensure that the batteries running their equipment are from a reputable vendor that puts their safety and that of their production first. Cost is often an issue when operators are shooting on tight budgets, and lifecycle costs should certainly be considered rather than just the initial product price. The less expensive batteries may initially be more attractive due to cost, but over time their performance and run-time cannot match competitors which have been manufactured and designed using better processes and technology. As mentioned earlier, the lifecycles vary greatly, cheaper batteries need to be replaced after just six months, as opposed to two to five years for the better manufactured versions. The performance of a battery is inextricably linked to factors such as cost effectiveness, reliability and safety, and every operator should consider all of these elements together rather than focusing on one area. Purchasing batteries that have been better designed will provide the required levels of safety, value for money and performance that the industry demands. POST YOUR QUESTION ONLINE: Search ‘tvbay’ Tel. +44 (0)1635 237 237 Email. questions@tv-bay.com KITPLUS - TV-BAY MAGAZINE: ISSUE 98 FEBRUARY 2015 | 53