How To Determine Which Battery To Use For Multiple Types Of Cameras - The Complete Guide

How To Determine Which Battery To Use For Multiple Types Of Cameras - The Complete Guide

Camera batteries are modernizing. You cannot casually pick up a battery at the store and assume it will work with your camera like before. Most cameras need to use special batteries that are not easy to locate in normal camera or computer stores. A battery pack is the lifeline for your digital camera, so it is very important you select the correct battery for your camera’s needs. Have in mind that without a quality battery for your camera, you will be unable to film with peace of mind.

Battery types will differ by both the battery model, and camera model. It is necessary to buy batteries produced for your digital camera model. Take for instance; Red Epic, BlackMagic, Canon, and Sony all have different batteries needs that cater to their many types of cameras. The good thing is that almost all film cameras can use either one or the other style of battery due to modification adapters. This makes it convenient when you try to upgrade your camera because in most cases, you can use the same set of batteries for your backup camera as you did in the former camera.

Rechargeable Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion) Batteries:

These refer to as the most generally used type of battery when talking about digital cameras. They are nimbler, more powerful and even more compact when compared to NiMH batteries, but they are more expensive.  These batteries are in brand-specific formats, though very few cameras accept disposable lithium batteries through the use of an adapter.

Brand Batteries:

Nowadays camera producers are in the battery industry. They manufacture their branded batteries under their name to make consumers get access to batteries they can positively trust. The likes of Canon Nikon produce batteries for the entire camera they sell and also some camera producers such as Olympus, Sony, Pentax, Leica do that as well. Though, these brand batteries are considered to be suitable and last long with their respective digital cameras, they are also extremely expensive.

Some generic batteries that exist in the digital camera market, such as D&O brand batteries, will give you the same brand battery quality for a much more reasonable price. These generic batteries are often the exact size and shape of the brand name batteries and will supply the same power output.

 

WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN CHOOSING BATTERY FOR YOUR CAMERA

Let’s take a look at the following terms;

  • Voltage (V)
  • Power (Watts)
  • Ampere draw (mAh) and
  • Power Consumption (Wh)

Power, voltage and current are working interrelated;

Power (W) = Voltage (V) x Current (A)

The energy a Li-Ion camera battery can supply is measured in;

Ampere draw (mAh) or Power consumption (Wh). The “h” stands for Hour. (i.e.) how many amperes or watts can a particular battery supply per hour? This is similar to comparing our home electricity meters, measured in Kilowatt per hour (kWh).

 

LOOK AT THIS CHART TO GIVE YOU AN IDEA OF WHAT THE POWER RATING (in watts) COMMON FILM CAMERAS IN THE INDUSTRY HAVE

 

To find how a particular battery will operate, we apply this formula;

Hours = Battery Capacity in Wh / Camera Power Rating in Watts (W)

Obviously, in the case of spares and a sound battery strategy, the differences are insignificant. To be on a safe side, let`s reduce 20% from further calculations;

Hours of operation = [Battery Capacity (Wh) / Camera Power Rating (W)] x 0.8

 

Furthermore, here is a chart that shows D&O battery ratios;

D&O Battery

Battery Volts

Capacity (mAh)

Capacity (Wh)

BP-95A/S

14.8

6600

95

BP-130A/S

14.8

8800

130

BP-160A/S

14.8

10800

160

BP-190A/S

14.8

12800

190

 

If we look at the average camera power rating among the most common cameras, BlackMagic, Red Epic/Scarlet, and Arri Alexa with the above chart, we can conclude that;

The 1st and 2nd batteries will supply your digital camera a 1-8 hours shooting day.

The 3rd battery will supply for 2-9 hours.

While the 4th battery will supply for 3-11 hours.

If your shooting require more than 12-16 hours, you can charge the 1st and 2nd batteries. But if you are unable to find a battery charger, then you will need 6 batteries. The 2 extra batteries will be of help to you if you are unable to charge for a whole day.

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