In times when professional cameras are getting smaller and lighter, it may also be time for smaller and lighter batteries. Meet the Bebob Vmicro line of V-mount batteries as well as the mini V-Lok batteries by Hawk-Woods.
The new Bebob Vmicro battery line is available in the known capacities: 14,4V 43 Wh, 98Wh and 147Wh. Compared to their bigger brothers they are actually much smaller: 75 x 101mm. Each model has a twist-D-tap output that can be used on both sides and a 5V USB output.
For me this is a pretty straightforward development. I prefer standard V-mount batteries to proprietary solutions because they offer more flexibility. Today, modern V-mount batteries offer a variety of convenient D-tap sockets or even a 5V USB socket. Smaller cameras such as the Canon C200 or Sony FS7 have no power outlets (at least if you are not using the Sony XDCA-FS7 expansion unit that offers a 12V Hirose power outlet). Smaller cameras often require outboard monitoring, recording or an external power supply for cine zoom lenses. But I don’t want to attach a comparatively huge battery to a compact camera rig.
One disadvantage remains (for the time being): I couldn’t find similarly sized V-mount battery plates that offer the same functionality as full-sized plates. What I would like to see: A suitable battery plate with flexible mounting options such as support for 15mm lightweight rods, a 1/4″ 20″ cheese plate on the back and the possibility to adapt the plate to my needs. There should also be at least 2 D-Tap sockets. Including the one on the Bebob Vmicro battery, these sum up to three in total. This would enable me to operate my C300 mk.II, my Zacuto Gratical Eye VF and a Canon Cine Servo 17-120mm lens. That way, I wouldn’t need a bunch of different battery types (and charger, of course) for each device. Just two Bebob Vmicro V-mounts and I’m all set for the day.
All Bebob Vmicro batteries offer a built-in LED flashlight. That one probably won’t replace your dedicated high-lumen flashlight but it will come handy when searching your bag at night, at least. Very useful!
Hawk-Woods Mini V-Lok Batteries
There is another player in the downsizing battery game: British manufacturer Hawk-Woods also offers tiny V-mount batteries. These are even smaller than the Bebob mico V-Mounts: 70 x 100mm. Again, the thickness depends on the selected capacity, which ranges from 14.4V 50Wh to 100Wh to 150Wh. One thing worth mentioning: Only the 150Wh model offers a D-Tap outlet.
Hawk-Woods offers a clever adapter plate that holds two Mini-V’s on top of each other and serves as a hot-swap adapter. But again, they do not offer any battery plate which caters the small size of these tiny batteries.
Pricing and Availability
Both, the Bebob micro V-Mounts and the Hawk-Wood Minis are available now and pricing is as follows:
Bebob V45micro: €199 ($244)
Bebob V98micro: €255 ($313)
Bebob V150micro: €445 ($547)
What do think? Would a downsized V-mount battery be a nice addition to your camera rig? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!