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Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds
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Old December 19th, 2007, 03:38 AM   #1
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Alternate power options

Anyone running their EX1 off any power source other than what comes with the camera?
If so, is what you're doing officially sanctioned by Sony?

The manual specs the camera as needing 12V DC, power consumption 12W. There's no defined upper and lower voltage limits so I'm not going to connect a large Li-Ion battery to the 12V DC input in the hope that nothing goes badly wrong.
At the same time I certainly hope there's a simple way to power the camera off a large Li-Ion brick without needed a DC:DC converter.
Before anyone runs off to try running their camera off such a battery be aware, those batteries can be over 16V when they come off the charger.

The other alternative way to run the camera off an external battery would be via a dummy battery, that does have some advantages. The connection would be more robust than the DC input connector and possibly we'd be able to get battery data in the viewfinder. Maybe Sony have something like this planned, the new Sony battery used on the EX1 seems much smarter than their previous batteries.
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Old December 19th, 2007, 03:58 AM   #2
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Bob,

Along the EX1, I have the PAG light on order; it comes with the battery that can power camera as well (don't remember model no,. the one of 100 Wh capacity). My UK supplier has told me they "arranged" with PAG to provide a cable from the battery to - as they put it - the proprietary DC input of the EX1, which makes me assume PAG is supporting using their battery this way.

I'll let you know once I have the stuff.
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Old December 19th, 2007, 05:49 AM   #3
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Piotr,
that sounds encouraging but unless someone chimes in with some additional information I'd really suggest proceeding with some caution.

At NAB last one vendor told me a bit of a horror story about how they'd fried a prototype camera they'd been given to test their battery system with. They'd assumed the 12V input was a typical nominal 12V input whereas it wasn't.
Some batteries, Li-Ion in particular are way over 12V when fully charged. Some kit labelled "12V" is meant to be fed from well regulated 12V supplies and some isn't. The 12V DC 4 pin XLR power inputs to Sony cameras are generally OK, they are as far as I can tell the same as feeding the "12V" from a Sony Li-Ion battery so anything from 11V to 16V is cool, we regularly use 12V SLA batteries to run various Sony cameras via their XLR power inputs.

The EX1 might be just fine or not. If PAG are prepared to guarantee your camera running off their battery then you should be just fine even if something goes wrong. But until Sony specs a voltage range for the DC input they'd be well within their rights to declare your warranty void if something goes wrong using another parties battery supply that supplies anything other than 12V, exactly.

In case anyone is wondering why I'm asking about this, I'd like to run the camera from a largish Li-Ion battery from IDX or AB, I plan on using the Zylight on the camera and to power that from a D-Tap on the battery as well as power the camera from a battery plate that holds the big battery. All the parts to do this are off the shelf components but they're designed to feed power into the camera via the typical 4 pin XLR found on the bigger cameras.
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Old December 19th, 2007, 12:45 PM   #4
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Unless there is a mistake http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...n_Battery.html the new Sony battery is 14.4V nominal (16.4 fully charged)
You should be OK powering with AB or IDX as their bigger size mean more capacity but not higher voltage.
HTH
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Old December 19th, 2007, 01:44 PM   #5
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Hopefully AB or IDX comes out with a special snap on mount, such as they did with the JVC HD Line. They snap in like a battery would using the same mount, but it converts it to the pro batteries. I would assume that something like that is in the works, especially for a camera of this caliber and popularity.

Last edited by Kit Hannah; December 19th, 2007 at 08:40 PM.
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Old December 19th, 2007, 04:17 PM   #6
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At one of the demo shows today in Portland, the Sony battery supplied by the manufacturer was a 14.4 L-Ion battery. In theory, this puts it in line with the IDX bricks.

I was a bit surprised at how heavy the camera feels with just the basic Sony cube battery installed.
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Old December 19th, 2007, 08:39 PM   #7
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Sorry guys but I think we're missing the point here.
Yes the Sony EX1 battery is the same voltage as all the big brick batteries.
However that battery connects to the camera through a different connection to the supplied DC power supply. Connecting a battery that could be anything upto 16V (the 14.4V quoted for Li-Ion batteries is a nominal voltage, it is quite a bit higher than that immediately after charging) to an input (the yellow socket) rated at 12V could be fatal to the camera.
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Old December 19th, 2007, 09:37 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Grant View Post
Sorry guys but I think we're missing the point here.
Yes the Sony EX1 battery is the same voltage as all the big brick batteries.
However that battery connects to the camera through a different connection to the supplied DC power supply. Connecting a battery that could be anything upto 16V (the 14.4V quoted for Li-Ion batteries is a nominal voltage, it is quite a bit higher than that immediately after charging) to an input (the yellow socket) rated at 12V could be fatal to the camera.
Technically, you are right. Need to find out first if the input accepts more than 12V or not. Most likely it *will* accept the same range as the battery voltage. Hard to imagine that there is not a "Y" connection inside the camera between the battery input and the 12V jack.
Calling Sony support could result in the wrong answer if the customer service person just looks at the "12V" label and tells you that 12V only :-(
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Old December 20th, 2007, 12:41 AM   #9
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Alex,
How are you doing on a 4 unit fast charger for the EX batteries like the one I have for the Panasonic.

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Old December 20th, 2007, 06:30 AM   #10
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At this point just thinking about it :-)
All the web pictures of the new EX style battery show it looking down at it. Do you know if the contacts are similar to the NPF970 battery? Can it physically plug in into the NP plate?
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Old December 20th, 2007, 07:01 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Dolgin View Post
At this point just thinking about it :-)
All the web pictures of the new EX style battery show it looking down at it. Do you know if the contacts are similar to the NPF970 battery? Can it physically plug in into the NP plate?
No and no.

This battery has 5 contacts. In the camera's maintainance menu you can find out how many charge cycles the battery has done. Might be more info there but that one I remember.
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Old December 20th, 2007, 07:49 AM   #12
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Anyway you can take a picture of the battery bottom so the contacts are visible? I 'd like to show it to some people here...
TIA
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Old December 20th, 2007, 12:28 PM   #13
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Alex, Can't you get sony to send you a battery? I would think its in their interest.
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Old December 20th, 2007, 12:55 PM   #14
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Unauthorized Test

As a beta tester for the EX and other XD cameras, I'll pass on a story with caution. When I received the prototype in September, the battery that came with it would not take a charge. I had to shoot that day and there after. There was no extra batteries around. Only 4 Prototypes out. No extra batteries. I asked Sony NJ if I could adapt the AC power cable to an ANton B Plate using Dionics. They were not sure @ that point if the DC connector would fail using the above. We were in a pinch. They indicated I could go forward with the adapter, but NOT Support it. Their camera to loose.
I mounted the camera on a Steadicam flyer with the AB supply and all went well. Boarded the NYC subway and shot for three hours non stop popping up on various iconic locations in NY. The footage is great. An EX on a flyer is a blast. But still no word on external adapters approved by Sony. Stand by.
Spec notes
EX
Battery 10.5-17v
DC 12v note no range
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Old December 20th, 2007, 01:14 PM   #15
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The video at the Vortex Media site, where they are offering their new "Mastering EX1" DVD shows the camera attached to a shoulder mount with a battery at the end of the arm for balance and assumingly for a better, longer lasting power supply.

Anyone knows what is the shoulder mount and whether the battery is indeed powering the camera?

http://www.vortexmedia.com/EX1DVD/chapter9.html
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