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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 April 9th, 2011, 07:16 AM   #16
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Re: Running out of batteries on a boat...

"Can you just get a big extension cable and tether the camera to the power supply? How big is the boat?"

Anything laying on the deck can become a trip hazard, get caught in something, etc.
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Old April 9th, 2011, 09:13 AM   #17
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Re: Running out of batteries on a boat...

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Originally Posted by Dean Sensui View Post
"Can you just get a big extension cable and tether the camera to the power supply? How big is the boat?"

Anything laying on the deck can become a trip hazard, get caught in something, etc.
Not necessarily. Its just another tool in the kit to be used when needed. I have filmed on a small fishing boat using cables. Sailors tend to be fairly surefooted in my opinion. Fishermen are used to working around nets and ropes. You just have to remind them where it is (same as with light cables on a regular set).

It doesn't mean the cable has to be there all the time. But if you're shooting fairly static shots; say the captain at the wheel, or interviewing a crew member at dinner, then you can use your intuition and decide if you want to save the batteries or not.

If you're up on deck in a squall, the crew are bailing like mad and pirates are off the port side, then yeah probably best to pack the cable away...
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Old April 9th, 2011, 09:38 AM   #18
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Re: Running out of batteries on a boat...

You can run the camera from a 12v battery belt I expect. They are fairly cheap compared to camera specific batteries. Any decent film hire company will have loads of them. Or get a load of NP1s and a clip on adaptor.
You could even power from a 12v lead acid, but you might want to run through a regulator first.
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Old April 10th, 2011, 02:24 AM   #19
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Re: Running out of batteries on a boat...

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Sailors tend to be fairly surefooted in my opinion. Fishermen are used to working around nets and ropes...
No, not them. Me. I'd be tripping over it! :-)
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Old April 10th, 2011, 03:45 AM   #20
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Re: Running out of batteries on a boat...

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No, not them. Me. I'd be tripping over it! :-)
Aaah. Yes, I can relate. The first day I ever worked as a Runner on a big TV production I tripped over a light. I managed to catch it by gripping the burning hot barn doors. All this in front of a line of grips and sparks who were drinking tea. First day on set!
Still, I've been good with cables ever since....
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Old April 10th, 2011, 10:21 AM   #21
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Re: Running out of batteries on a boat...

When I started out kicking a lightstand meant buying the first round of drinks back at the hotel in the evening.
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Old April 18th, 2011, 06:49 PM   #22
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Re: Running out of batteries on a boat...

you have to have the right gear for any job. Buy more batteries. I have 4 and feel that is the minimum that should be in a kit like this. Absolutely stupid & unprofessional to be scrambling around trying to keep up with something as cheap as batteries.

If you haven't had an in depth conversation with the boat captain or one of his subordinates, you are not doing your job. You should have been talking all kinds of details about what he needs and what you need. It's called preproduction. It's part of the job. If people are getting in between you and the captain, go around them.

Likely the boat has a large battery bank that can supply an inverter for some, or all of your needs.
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Old April 19th, 2011, 01:39 PM   #23
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Re: Running out of batteries on a boat...

Since you have power during the day, why can't you backup your cards during the day as you shoot them? You don't have an ExpressCard slot, so get a USB card reader.
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Old April 22nd, 2011, 02:25 PM   #24
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Re: Running out of batteries on a boat...

Hi Tim - only sony's usb reader reads SxS pro cards, and its quite pricey for just a card reader. Running back to cabin to offload footage while Im trying to film would just be a nightmare anyway.

But, managed to resolve my issue - bit of discussion with the client and the captain of the boat, and they're going to run the genny through the night for me.

Flying out on monday, and it should be a great shoot. I've been spending all afternoon tweaking picture profile settings in my garden, and being fastidious with kit packing. I'm sure theres more fun things to do on a bank holiday!

Thanks for all your input everyone. Always good to have other ways of looking at a problem
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Old April 26th, 2011, 01:47 PM   #25
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Re: Running out of batteries on a boat...

Peter said:

....bit of discussion with the client and the captain of the boat, and they're going to run the genny through the night for me.


Well duh. And once again, the most simple solution proves to be the best. :)
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Old May 2nd, 2011, 03:22 AM   #26
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Re: Running out of batteries on a boat...

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Originally Posted by Peter Ford View Post
Any thoughts on this would be much appreciated!
There's two approaches I'm happy with, but your mileage may (will) vary:

i) I am a great proponent of having enough media for a shoot so that you NEVER (as in EVER) delete media on the shoot. SxS-1, SDHC, whatever. Rent it, buy it, invest in it, but don't erase onsite - and if possible, back it up on-site anyway.

ii) A colleague who does lots of adventurous stuff with his EX3, hanging off mountains or traipsing through jungles, swears by 'Expedition Batteries':

Welcome to Automated Media System

I, personally, due to being somewhat more genetically similar to a house cat, have not had such experiences as it might involve getting wet, or cold. Or too far from lunch. So I cannot speak of them personally, but his tales of derring do with an EX3 and NanoFlash to feed, where a suitable mains outlet is a plane-trip away, is enough to pass on his recommendation.
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