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Sony TRV950 / PDX10 Companion
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Old June 19th, 2005, 07:18 AM   #1
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Power2000 vs. Sony Batteries?

I'm picking up some extra batteries for my PDX10, and I was wondering if there's any reason to buy Sony batteries rather than Power2000. The Power2000 battery is $70, while Sony's is $110.

One other question--will a Sony charger charge Power2000 batteries?

Any reason to pay extra for the Sony? Thanks in advance!
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Old June 19th, 2005, 08:44 AM   #2
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Wow, the prices of those QM91 batteries are out of line compared to the larger ones! The QM91 is rated at 4140mAh and the NPF970 is 6600mAh but costs $5 less! That's always been a beef of mine with the PDX-10... why did they switch to the smaller batteries when the PD-100 could use the big one?

Anyway, back to your question... I have read generally good things here about Power 2000. When I was at B&H picking up my Z1 I wanted to get a Sony NPF-970 because the price difference is not so great there ($80 vs $105) but they were out of stock on the Sony's so I got the Power 2000. I have only used it for about an hour, but it works fine so far. The camera identifies it as an Infolithium when it boots also, so they've got that part right (I gather some of the cheapo batteries can be rejected by the Sony cameras and give you an error saying to use Infolithium).

As a bonus, the Power 2000 batteries are rated for more amp hours too. In the case of the NP-QM91 it's significant - 5400 vs 4140. I don't have enough experience yet with mine to say anything definitive, but so far I'm pleased...
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Old June 19th, 2005, 09:24 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boyd Ostroff
Wow, the prices of those QM91 batteries are out of line compared to the larger ones! The QM91 is rated at 4140mAh and the NPF970 is 6600mAh but costs $5 less! That's always been a beef of mine with the PDX-10... why did they switch to the smaller batteries when the PD-100 could use the big one?

Anyway, back to your question... I have read generally good things here about Power 2000. When I was at B&H picking up my Z1 I wanted to get a Sony NPF-970 because the price difference is not so great there ($80 vs $105) but they were out of stock on the Sony's so I got the Power 2000. I have only used it for about an hour, but it works fine so far. The camera identifies it as an Infolithium when it boots also, so they've got that part right (I gather some of the cheapo batteries can be rejected by the Sony cameras and give you an error saying to use Infolithium).

As a bonus, the Power 2000 batteries are rated for more amp hours too. In the case of the NP-QM91 it's significant - 5400 vs 4140. I don't have enough experience yet with mine to say anything definitive, but so far I'm pleased...
So, I take it you're saying Power2000 is the way to go?
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Old June 19th, 2005, 10:13 AM   #4
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Actually I said: "I don't have enough experience yet with mine to say anything definitive, but so far I'm pleased...". The rest was just my random thoughts. You'll have to draw your own conclusions. Maybe someone else can provide a longer term perspective?
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Old June 19th, 2005, 11:40 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boyd Ostroff
Actually I said: "I don't have enough experience yet with mine to say anything definitive, but so far I'm pleased...". The rest was just my random thoughts. You'll have to draw your own conclusions. Maybe someone else can provide a longer term perspective?
I caught that, but reading the "so far I'm pleased" sounded like a good review :). Anyway, if anyone can say anything definitive, I'd appreciate it!

In the mean time--thanks for the help, Boyd!
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Old June 23rd, 2005, 07:40 AM   #6
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When I bought my Sony PDX10 some months ago, B&H did have stock of Sony's batteries. But I deliberately bought two Power2000 large types.

They are great, recognized as they should by camera and might help make Sony reconsider a bit of their price policy. Though I seriously doubt that.

Do get an external charger for the cameras.

Yesterday I ordered a Nebtek adaptor, that boosts 7.2v batteries onto 12v, so I can use my batteries with my TVone LCD monitor. The Nebtek takes both L and M batteries, which is a shame Sony cameras don't allow us to.


Carlos
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Old June 23rd, 2005, 11:32 AM   #7
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My experience mirror that of Carlos; B&H had the Sony batteries in stock but I choose to buy the Power2000 (and the big external Sony charger, too). The Power2000 batteries work great; both the PDX10 and the charger act no differently with them than the stock Sony battery.

I've been using them for a couple of months now, and I have no problems to report whatsoever. I'm very pleased with the Power2000 batteries.
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Old June 23rd, 2005, 03:05 PM   #8
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ok - this is purely subjective but it seemed to me that my power2000 didn't hold a charge as long as the sonys' did. I didn't do any real testing so shoot me in the foot Power2000 if I'm wrong. Sometimes my cameras sit for a spell and it seemed ( to me) that the sonys' held a charge longer in nonduty periods. Anyway that's why I bought the sonys' for the z. It's a real pain when you run to shoot something and think you've got power only to discover the opposite. On the other side, I own a box of alternate batteries and use them all the time with no problems with powering my pd100a. Kurth
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Old June 24th, 2005, 02:03 PM   #9
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If you break open an infolithium battery you'll find it consists of many Li-ion cells all soldered together (to form a battery of cells, in fact). The more expensive batteries use graded cells, so that the runt in the litter can't bring the whole lot to its knees.

Cheaper batteries use any cell that comes down the production line, whether they be A class or C class. They all work within tolerance, sure, but 3 years down the line (when you're filming an important event and you have the el-cheapo powering your 20 + 20w light), you'll be nervous.

Reduce the variables, I say. You use Sony tape and not Saisho tape for good reason: quality control. Buy the Sony battery if you want less excitement in your life.

tom.
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Old June 24th, 2005, 05:40 PM   #10
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I have always agreed with this rationale Tom, and only bought the Power 2000 because B&H was out of the Sony NPF-970. The other day I picked up a Sony NPF-970 locally, so we'll see how they hold up. I also am using an NPF-960 with the Z1 which is left over from my VX-2000.

However... I bought a pair of Sony NPF-9000's in 2001. A year ago one of them failed completely - wouldn't charge or operate the camera at all. Such was my personal experience "3 years down the line".... ;-)
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Old June 30th, 2005, 08:18 AM   #11
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I'll still stand by my 9 hour Bescor battery pack. So far it's been great. Typical lead acid cell in a pouch with shoulder strap. Comes standard with a fused 12vdc cigarette type car adapter plug. I also bought the Sony car adapter which drops the voltage to what the camera needs. (remember kids, running 12vdc directly into your camera lets the smoke out).

Having the 12v cable also allows me to charge the standard and longer life Sony batteries on the way to a location should I forget to put them on charge the night before. We've all done that.

The 9 hour battery doubles as a tripod weight. I strap it to the Bogen and let it hang there. When I go off-tripod, the camera runs on the Sony batteries.

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Old June 30th, 2005, 07:45 PM   #12
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Power 2000 vs. Sony Batteries

When I purchased my TRV950 I ordered the QM91 Battery. B&H sent me the large Power 2000. I sent it back because when the view finder indicated the battery was depleted, I still had plenty of power, so I let the camera record. It took almost another hour before the battery power was depleted. The reason I didn't keep it, I didn't want to get caught in the middle of recording a project and not knowing how much time I had left. I felt The camcorder wasn't able to read the battery info accurately. B&H placed a credit to my account, I then reordered the Sony Battery.

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Old July 2nd, 2005, 07:50 AM   #13
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Sorry for the slight thread hi-jack. Sean - you mention a Sony in car adaptor - which unit is that ?

I'm hoping to run my new DCR-HC42 from a car cigar lighter power socket alone (or from a battery pack which can be charged from car power while also powering the camera). It'll be mounted in my race car, basically as a VCR - using the AV in from numerous bullet cams, but I'm having trouble finding anything that will power the cam without frying it if the power spikes (startup etc). The bullet cams are wired into the cars power directly but I'd like a more plug and play approach with the Sony so that it's easy to upgrade when I need to.

<EDIT>
Sorry - a concerted websearch has pointed me to the DCCL50B in-car charger. Unfortunately Sony info is slightly contradictory on the compatibility between the charger and my cam but a little more chasing should do the trick.

thanks
Andy

Last edited by Andy Richardson; July 2nd, 2005 at 08:24 AM.
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Old July 10th, 2005, 01:07 AM   #14
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Call Bescor. Ask them which one is right for your camera. They have quite a few. The one I have has a circuit in it that drops the 12vdc power to something like 8.4 vdc which is what the camera sees on a fully charged battery or when running on AC.

I can't warn people about this strongly enough - few cameras (other than pro gear) actually uses 12vdc directlly. Most pro-sumer and handy cam type cameras use less than 12vdc. If you rig some adapter yourself and don't drop the voltage, it will likely fry the camera.

Having said that, the one I bought was a 12v cigar adapter on one end and a flat connector that is the same as the AC adapters. I also have that big 9 hour battery pack. I can charge the battery pack with the adapter that came with it and, as a bonus, I can use the car adapter to charge the cameras normal batteries on the way to and from events.

Sean
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Old July 10th, 2005, 08:45 AM   #15
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Electronics matters

This may seem like a boring approach to videomakers, but I think a minimum knowledge of electronics might help a lot to overcome or prevent power problems.

First of all, if any one of you don't have it by now, buy a digital multi-meter (DMM). This is an essential tool to check voltages, polarities, continuity, etc.

This tool might save your camera from a voltage that might fry it. So if you have a voltage adapter, check what you get on the other side. You should probably get about 8.4v or less, except if it's a plain car-lighter adapter that will feed the car's 12v.

In my experience, and contrary to what many will say, DV cameras will work if you feed them with 8.4v to 6v. This is something I learnt with my old Hi-8 Sony camera and I haven't yet tried it on my PDX10 because my old gel battery is not getting any more charges. But I told this to a friend of mine who owns a Panasonic DVC60 and it's his main battery now, because the one he got (6 amp or so) was large enough to feed him for a whole day.

IMHO this is because I think the input voltage has to be close to 5v, which is then DC-DC boosted internally to the voltages the camera needs.

In my case I am adopting a different approach now: NiMH batteries are a cheap and better way to go now. Ready-made packages are available now from several sources, with voltages from 7.2v to 8.4v, used in race cars and airplanes. They are also easy to charge, sometimes from ni-cad chargers. Pick the capacity you want and make an adaptor from your camera.

Here comes the second advice: get yourself an electronics pen solder and learn to make/repair your connectors. This is essential when you are not close to someone who will solve your connections problems.

Using an external battery, like the ones I am proposing here, demands another thing: how to input them into your camera. What I did was simply cut the AC supply to camera cable and put XLR connectors in between. You can do thkis yourself or ask any TV repair man to do it for you.

In my case I prefer using 4-pin XLR connectors, so no one can plug a mic on the battery my mistake, as professional mics use XLR 3-pin connectors.

After you have your XLR-4 connector on the cable that goes into your camera, you can simply feed it with external batteries... AS LONG AS THE VOLTAGES ARE ON THE CORRECT PINS!!!

Use your DMM meter to check that the correct voltage goes to each pin. Remember you will have male and female pin numbers, if you know what I mean, and if you make your cables yourself.

Precautions are necessary but you will have a lot to win from this. An 8.4v Bescor gel battery I had from Hi-8 camera saved a location shooting where the camera battery was not charged and died on me.

So I think it's essential to know your way around on how your camera works on power questions.

Another step, for the more adventurous, is to make voltage adapters to feed your cameras (or any electronic gear) from other supply voltages, like going from 12v to 8.4v or 7.2v. But this is not something I will go into yet.


Carlos
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