SmallRig x Caleb Pike VB212 Mini V-Mount Battery – First Look

SmallRig is famous for their collaborations with active filmmakers and YouTubers (we already reported about their tripod created with Gene Nagata a.k.a. Potato Jet earlier this week). This time around, the company teamed up with Caleb Pike, the runner of the “DSLR Video Shooter” YouTube channel, to create a new V-Mount battery. In particular, they wanted something lightweight and portable, but also with a larger capacity than usual for cells of this kind. Nino Leitner met with Caleb at the NAB 2024 floor and took a first look at the SmallRig VB212 Mini V-Mount and its key features.

Despite being called “Mini”, VB212 is not the smallest V-Mount battery in the world. However, as Caleb Pike explains, it sits between the traditional ones that filmmakers deal with a lot and the new crop of tiny 99Wh, which have become quite popular over the last years. At the same time, the new, portable product offers a good price/quality value with its high output, fast-charging capabilities, and multiple interfaces that can be used simultaneously.

SmallRig VB212 Mini Battery: the central idea

First of all, why 212Wh? Not a conventional number for a battery, as manufacturers usually try to come up with something round. “Why not?” – responds Caleb Pike. – “These are 12 more watts, after all.”

When SmallRig approached him, they had an idea for a V-Mount battery with a larger capacity, but which would also stay lightweight and versatile. Together, they worked on the fit and finish, defined the central features that the new product should have, and also negotiated the price. (For Caleb it was important to stay in the affordable category).

SmallRig VB212 Mini V-Mount Battery - product pics
Image source: SmallRig

The result of this collaboration is SmallRig’s most powerful V-Mount battery with 212Wh capacity, which can support up to a 10A draw with a nominal 14.76V output. You can use it for powering handheld cameras, drones, gimbals, lights, your MacBook, and much more.

SmallRig VB212 Mini V-Mount Battery - how long can it charge your devices
Image source: SmallRig

Ports and connections used simultaneously

SmallRig VB212 Mini has a variety of different ports. Besides the traditional V-Mount BP connection, it features a D-TAP interface on either side. On top, behind the battery door, you will also find two USB-C connections with up to 140W per jack that can be used simultaneously. (Caleb Pike describes this capacity with an example of plugging in two MacBook Pros, each running Final Cut Pro or DaVinci Resolve). Additionally, the battery has one USB Type A and two barrel connections with 8 and 12 volts respectively. According to Caleb, all of the outputs can be used simultaneously. He tried hanging different devices on one battery and even had some watts to spare. Sounds impressive.

SmallRig VB212 Mini V-Mount Battery - ports
Image credit: CineD

Accurate battery status indication and BMS

Another feature of SmallRig VB212 Mini is a display that you can activate by pressing a button that shows the remaining runtime given the current draw. It is claimed to give out a very accurate readout.

SmallRig VB212 Mini
Image credit: CineD

Safety precautions are also in place. The new V-Mount has a customized intelligent BMS (Battery Management System) that will kick in whenever something goes wrong. Meaning: If your battery gets too hot or too cold, or any other issue occurs, BMS will instantly cut the power, ensuring faster and safer charging.

Key features of SmallRig VB212 Mini

Here are all the key features of the new V-Mount battery at one glance:

  • 212Wh Lithium-Ion V-Mount battery – 12 built-in LG 21700 batteries with 5000 mAh per density cell;
  • Supports up to 10A Draw draw with a nominal 14.76V output;
  • Two-way PD fast charging and discharging 140W (Max): fully charged from 0 to 100% in 2 hours;
  • Compact and travel-friendly (but always check with your airline, as battery regulations may change);
  • Multiple connections: V-Mount; two USB-C ports, two D-Tap ports, one USB-A port, two barrel connections (8 VDC and 12 VDC);
  • Charging multiple devices at the same time;
  • Aluminum, silicone, TPU, and PC V0 materials; four layers of aluminum frames on the inside with silicone coating on the outside make the battery robust, drop proof, heat resistant, and flame retardant;
  • Durable build, featuring a scratch-resistant PC and acrylic front cover;
  • TFT display, that shows battery status given the current draw.
  • Fast charging protocol chips, MCU, voltage control, and BMS chips.

To read more detailed specifications, please head over to the official SmallRig product page.

What’s in the box?

  • SmallRig VB212 Mini V-Mount Battery
  • USB-C Charging Cable (240W)
SmallRig VB212 Mini V-Mount Battery - what comes in the box
Image source: SmallRig

Please note the chargers are not included.

Pricing & availability

The SmallRig X Caleb Pike VB212 Mini V Mount Battery comes at the price of $439. (Which is almost $100 cheaper than buying two VB99 SmallRig models, but getting more juice with a bigger cell, explains Caleb). The new product is already available to order.  

What do you think about the SmallRig collaboration with Caleb Pike and the resulting VB212 Mini V-Mount battery? How would you estimate the price/quality value of this product? Would you like to have it in your gear kit? Looking forward to your comments below!

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