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Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds
Sony PMW-300, PXW-X200, PXW-X180 (back to EX3 & EX1) recording to SxS flash memory.


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Old January 27th, 2009, 07:31 PM   #1
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SWIT Bat/Light - Camera w/light Test

My SWIT battery & light arrived today. What an awesome product.

S-2000+S-8U62 for Sony PMW-EX1

In a previous post, I mentioned my only reservation was with the light's performance. Does it really output 40W worth of light? I had my doubts. But for anyone else interested in going this route, from what I can tell from my own tests, it looks like 40W to my eyes. Side by side with my Bescor 35W light, the SWIT is noticeably brighter.

After a full charge I was able to run the camera & light at max, continuously for about 2.5 hrs. Here's the thing. It's obvious the touch indicator lights on the back of the battery are useless. No problem, I always relied on the LCD info anyway. However, with DC input, the camera only displays the current voltage level. I don't care whether I see battery time remaining in minutes or the voltage level - so long as I can accurately predict when I'm out of gas.

In my test, with camera on & light on, my camera shut off immediately after voltage dropped below 13.0 Volts. Has anyone else run a similar test? I mean, isn't this absolutely essential information? As a shooter, I've got to know how much gas is left in the tank so I don't ever accidentally run out.

Can anyone confirm my results?

I looked at specs for EX1, was looking for something like ...minimum operating voltage. Couldn't find anything. Called SWIT support and rep said my test would not damage the camera.
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Old January 27th, 2009, 08:29 PM   #2
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Craig,

What made you choose that combination instead of the one with the Sony bracket that takes an NP-F970 battery?

S-2010 On Camera LED Light with S-7200F Bracket for Sony

That would have run the light for a longer period of time and prevented the camera from suddenly shutting down because you would have been using a separate battery for each.

Just curious.

John
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Old January 27th, 2009, 09:30 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by John Peterson View Post
Craig,

What made you choose that combination instead of the one with the Sony bracket that takes an NP-F970 battery?

S-2010 On Camera LED Light with S-7200F Bracket for Sony

That would have run the light for a longer period of time and prevented the camera from suddenly shutting down because you would have been using a separate battery for each.

Just curious.
John
The Sony bracket didn't appeal to me because it's adding another bulky component and more weight with another battery. The huge leap forward with the D-Tap light is less components, less weight.

With 2-1/2 hrs continuous operation, in the type of event shooting I do, this translates to about 3-1/2 to 4 hrs of run & gun. I see this as a huge leap forward, considering I had to change my Bescor NiHydride batteries every 45 minutes.

As long as I can predict when I need to swap batteries there's no problem. Right now, it's like I have a new car, and the gas gauge has no markings on it to let me know where "E" is. I believe 13.0 volts is "E" but I was hoping someone else could confirm this. Else, I duplicate my test a couple times on 2 different cams to be sure.
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Old January 28th, 2009, 01:31 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig Terott View Post
My SWIT battery & light arrived today. What an awesome product.

S-2000+S-8U62 for Sony PMW-EX1
Looks interesting, and especially the massive Introductory price saving
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Old January 28th, 2009, 04:46 AM   #5
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Craig, i too have the swit light and battery on my EX1, and i'm also well happy with it.
I have the voltage indicators on my camera set at 13 and 13.5 volts, when i reach 13.5 volts the joystick control on the camera stops working same as when the sony battery gets low, i think this is to piss us off and make us change the battery, a safety measure.

When the swit has been charged a few times it'll get longer run times, also, when you charge the battery make sure the flylead on the battery is plugged into itself, apparently it makes a circuit and has something to do with charging.

I couldn't go with the other sony light because i don't have the battery and charger for that type of battery, also spending money on that set up won't give me more run time on the EX1 or add a d-tap to the EX1.

You can run stuff off the swit battery without having the battery on the camera, so i have made a bracket with a shoe which lets me run just the light, so i can have even longer run times, i then leave the sony battery powering the camera.

Paul.
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Old January 28th, 2009, 07:55 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig Terott View Post
My SWIT battery & light arrived today. What an awesome product.

S-2000+S-8U62 for Sony PMW-EX1

In a previous post, I mentioned my only reservation was with the light's performance. Does it really output 40W worth of light? I had my doubts. But for anyone else interested in going this route, from what I can tell from my own tests, it looks like 40W to my eyes. Side by side with my Bescor 35W light, the SWIT is noticeably brighter.

After a full charge I was able to run the camera & light at max, continuously for about 2.5 hrs. Here's the thing. It's obvious the touch indicator lights on the back of the battery are useless. No problem, I always relied on the LCD info anyway. However, with DC input, the camera only displays the current voltage level. I don't care whether I see battery time remaining in minutes or the voltage level - so long as I can accurately predict when I'm out of gas.

In my test, with camera on & light on, my camera shut off immediately after voltage dropped below 13.0 Volts. Has anyone else run a similar test? I mean, isn't this absolutely essential information? As a shooter, I've got to know how much gas is left in the tank so I don't ever accidentally run out.

Can anyone confirm my results?

I looked at specs for EX1, was looking for something like ...minimum operating voltage. Couldn't find anything. Called SWIT support and rep said my test would not damage the camera.
Craig, in another post a few days earlier I explained the technical reason for the LEDs on the battery not being as accurate, and how to work around that problem. BTW we have both S-2000 and S-8U62 in stock at a special price. Here below is the paste from that thread:
"I 'd like to clear the issue of the LEDs being not accurate. This has something to do with how the LEDs on this battery work. Basically, there are 2 ways to indicate state of charge. The first, and the most popular is to have a built in circuit measure the cell voltage, and turn the LEDs on according to the voltage measured. As the battery gets discharged, the voltage changes from about 16.8V down to about 12V. This is the same idea used in many other electronic devices like cell phones, etc. When designing the circuit, the design engineer is trying to characterize the discharge curve of the battery, and to set the trigger points he thinks are close to real life decrements in say 20% or 25% of the total battery capacity. The second, and this is more elaborate and accurate way of doing this is to use "Fuel gauge" technology, relying on actually metering the amount of charge going in while charging, and going out while powering the camera. This technology was originally developed by Anton Bauer, and then became popular with laptops, and a few other battery related products. The first, voltage based approach suffers from the fact that the battery voltage depends on both state of charge and load. This is why your cell phone can indicate all battery bars the moment you want to make a call, and then drops to one bar when you actually use it.
The reason I explain this is Sony BP-U30/60 battery uses the fuel gauge circuit; it digitally transmits information to the camera. It uses their proprietary communication protocol. Swit (or any other generic vendor) can not do the same, so they use voltage based indication, and instead of using the Sony link, just powers the camera via the 12V jack. So by the virtue of using this method, it can not be as accurate. I did some tests, and found out that while not powering the camera, the SWIT battery LEDs are closer to real state of charge than otherwise. They are still on the low, more conservative side from being exact. Try to use them when the camera is off, or while the battery is not on the camera.
Now, for the good news, I tested several SWIT battery samples, and they all deliver exactly the same charge as the Sony BP-U60, which agrees with the field reports here"
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