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Sony HVR-V1 / HDR-FX7
Pro and consumer versions of this Sony 3-CMOS HDV camcorder.


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Old August 16th, 2010, 01:22 PM   #1
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Sony vs. Off brand batteries?

I have a V1 and as of now only have the battery that came with the camera. I'm looking to get at least one more battery, possibly just one 970 or maybe two 770's. Will the 970 throw off the balance if I don't have any other accessories attached? Also, I've only ever used Sony batteries, but I know that there are many other brand batteries that fit the camera. Has anyone ever had bad experiences or good experiences with a particular brand? or just stick with the Sony ones?
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Old August 16th, 2010, 01:37 PM   #2
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Not sure what you mean by "throw off the balance." As long as the battery was made for the camera there should be no issue. If you go third party, you will want to check the voltage and NiMH rating (I think that's what it is). There has to be a thread on this already. As far as which brand to choose, your best bet is the manufacturer. Check out B&H Photo Video Digital Cameras, Photography, Camcorders they usually sell the more reputable 3rd party batteries.

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Old August 16th, 2010, 01:48 PM   #3
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By throw off balance, I mean that the 970 looks like a pretty beefy battery (18 hours of continuous recording). I don't want it to be too heavy in the back as I mainly use the camera handheld (wouldn't be an issue on a tripod). Third party or sony is still my question. I know it is the safest bet to go with the sony battery but it's somewhere around a $30 difference so if I'm trying to get 2, then it'd be $130ish vs. $190ish. Anyone out there use a particular brand and have a good experience?
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Old August 16th, 2010, 02:35 PM   #4
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All the Sonys are a little front-heavy in my experience, and the 970 batt actually helps with the balance of the cam, whether on a tripod or handheld.

I always buy only brand new official Sony batts from B&H -- it's too important to cheap out on. I buy two new 970s with each cam I buy. They're $95 each at B&H right now -- only a few dollars more than the knockoffs -- but inexplicably a two-pack costs $270.
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Old August 16th, 2010, 03:43 PM   #5
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I have the fx7 and i find the bigger battery feels like its balanced better especially when i have an extra lens attached. The v1 has a xlr mic attached right out of the box am i right, if so it would have to be feel better for you.
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Old August 17th, 2010, 03:42 PM   #6
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The biggest problem I've found with the off-brand batteries is routine inaccuracy in reported remaining battery life. The Sony-brand batteries are the only ones that actually tell you within some reasonable accuracy. The Impact and Power-2000 batteries can say they have "300 minutes" and then suddenly run out, drained.

This really isn't a problem for me. I've collected five of the things, those I bought used for my old PD150, plus those that came with my Z1U used. Sony or non-Sony, they still charge up and run the camera - I just keep mental plus written notes (tape label stuck on the side of each) on about how long they lasted after their last full charge.
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Old August 17th, 2010, 06:07 PM   #7
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The V1-U won't accept third-party batteries. The camera will display an error message telling you it's not a Sony battery, then promptly shut down.
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Old August 18th, 2010, 02:51 AM   #8
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Plus, when you have weird problems and bring in your camera for a warranty solution, the technician will ask you to also bring in the battery that you use on the camera. This is for a reason.

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Old August 19th, 2010, 07:13 AM   #9
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The 970 actually helps with balance - I find my FX7 is actually quite front heavy.

If the differnece between Sony and generic is only $30 then go for the Sony and avoid any potential hassles. Plus if you upgrade to another Sony, such as the NX5, all your batteries will still work. Each generation of camera has more 'anti-generic-battery' defenses than the previous ones so its getting harder and harder to use generic batteries. $30 is a very small difference - In Aus the 970 costs $300 but you can get generics for $70-$80.
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Old August 19th, 2010, 03:58 PM   #10
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Actually, the Sony HDR-AX2000, which came out this year, DOES accept a generic battery. Which is great since I have several generics that I use with my lights.
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Old August 19th, 2010, 06:33 PM   #11
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Thats because every time the companies bring out new generic battery lock-outs the battery manuafacturers get to work on breaking it again. So while your batteries may work, others (eg someone who is upgrading from a VX2100 and bought all their batteries 7 years ago) will have to buy newer ones.

It becomes more and more of a gamble to use generic batteries because you can never be garuanteed that you're getting something that will work.

When I bought my batteries for the FX7, there was alot of people saying they couldn't get generic batteries to work, but others said they could. So I tested out a brand/retailer with a smaller battery NP-F570 equivelant) for $20, and when that worked I bought a whole bunch of larger ones.
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Old September 20th, 2010, 03:23 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sherri Nestico View Post
The V1-U won't accept third-party batteries. The camera will display an error message telling you it's not a Sony battery, then promptly shut down.
I have had no problems using a generic "NP-F970" on my V1-E (the PAL version). The displayed battery life has also been as reliable as it is with original Sony batteries (i.e. not that accurate when below 25% of charge, in my experience). I would not have thought the US camera would behave differently? EDIT: THIS BATTERY WAS BOUGHT RECENTLY i.e. 2 MONTHS AGO - John makes an excellent point in the previous post!

I certainly appreciated the saving (I bought mine on eBay in the UK). I have also used generic batteries successfully with my Sony HDR-HC3 (solely used as an HDV "deck").
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Old September 20th, 2010, 10:07 PM   #13
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I mainly use generic batteries for my Z7U & haven't had a problem with them. I haven't noticed a substantial difference between the generic & authentic batteries.

But then again, they last so much longer than a NP-1 on a BetaCam, that when a battery last a few 1-hour tapes I just stop keeping track.

One of them doesn't charge at all, but at about 60-80% off I figure that I can blow through 3 of them for the price of one official one from Sony.

I have some generic batteries for my Canon HF100 & 7D. The batteries work, but the cameras have a little hissy fit every time I put on a generic. You just have to hit "OK" to get past their little warning menu. I think it is nice to have smarter batteries in general (nice to have some idea how much is left on the battery), but I find it annoying to put up with the software / hardware authentication that the cameras have.
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