Solar Power! Charging your photo gear out in the wild

by planetmitch2 Comments

Solar Power! Charging all of your photo gear (not just photo gear actually – anything with a battery!) – Eric Dennis sent us this video on how he kept his Canon HDSLR batteries charged with solar power while in the wilds of Alaska for 2 weeks without any hope of finding an electrical outlet. Eric and his brother were filming a documentary of their trip (featured on planet5D a couple of weeks ago ““The Edge of the Earth” Incredible 2 week journey alone in the Alaskan wilderness“) and since they were completely isolated without hope of finding any electricity for 2 full weeks, they had to be able to power all of their gear – flashlights, cameras, laptops etc. Eric has graciously put together this demo of their solar power solution.

Redrock Micro

Solar Powered – Keep your camera charged from Eric Dennis on Vimeo.

*** IMPORTANT*** If you use a Brunton battery to charge an electronic device directly thru DC power from its output. You need to use a cord that you can control the voltage. Just Google : “Regulated Dc-Dc Universal Car Adaptor” and you should find what I'm talking about. An Example picture is below.

A lot of electronics will operate at voltages around 7V. The battery will only output 12V, which is TOO HIGH and may DESTROY your electronics.

Also, on any trip you should have a few extra fuses for the male cigarette lighter. The last thing you want is not to be able to charge anything because of a .50 cent fuse.

Shop around. Brunton isn't the only one making this stuff. Check out GoalZero and Powerenz!

Solar Gear:
Brunton Solaris 26 (1600mA) – will take 5-6hrs to charge battery in direct sun
Brunton Solaris 12 (800mA) – will take 12hrs to charge battery in direct sun
Brunton Solo 7.5 (5600mAh)

Filmed By:
Tosh Xiong

Static Camera:
Canon EOS 5D Mark II (reviews) w/Zeiss 28mm f2

Close-Up/Moving Camera:
GH2 w/Olympus Zuiko Digital 14-54mm f2.8 – 3.5

5D vs. GH2:
No color correction, both cameras were set to 6000K color temperature. I'm actually pretty surprised, I thought the 5D and GH2 wouldn't look anything alike but they seem to mesh just fine. My take so far: The 5D aliases more but the GH2 has more rolling shutter. Both give great results in the right hands.

RODE VideoMic plugged into the GH2

Konova Slider

(cover photo credit: snap from the video)

Zeiss Cinema Lenses


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