One of the immediate concerns about the Blackmagic Cinema Camera came from the internal, non-removable battery which lasts only 90 minutes. A good external power source is essential for any filmmaker and becomes absolutely mandatory when you cannot switch out batteries. I jumped at the opportunity to test my new BMCC and the Switronix PB70-BMCC PowerBase-70 battery pack because I, like many of you, have been searching for an easy to use, affordable and long-lasting product.
Enter the Switronix PB70-BMCC PowerBase-70.
Switronix PB70-BMCC PowerBase-70
Switronix claims to nearly quadruple the runtime over Blackmagic's internal battery. After two hours of recording, playback and being on standby, the battery pack was still at 75%! I received just under 6 hours of total runtime with this flexible, affordable pack. It was incredible! The PB70-BMCC takes a good 5 hours to fully recharge but contrast that to the 8-12 hours one would need to charge the internal Blackmagic battery to achieve similar performance. That's a huge time saver.
The PB70-BMCC is a 70wh 14.8v lithium-ion battery pack with a 12″ cable providing flexibility when mounting to a rig. You can mount the pack under the camera or attach it to a support system via its 1/4-20 release plate or V-mount. It's simple.
This battery pack is ready to use out-of-the-box. The instructions are a mere few paragraphs. Charge (mine was 75% in the box), mount, plug it in and film. I also like the LED lights on the side which gives you an immediate analog reading of your remaining battery life.
Head over to B&H for the Switronix PB70-BMCC PowerBase-70 Battery Pack. When you know you will have around 6 hours of recording time per pack, you can spend more time worrying about film-making instead of wondering if you'll have a dead camera on set (that's never good!)
Finally, check out a little comparison video between the BMCC and the Canon 5dmkII I made while waiting for the BMCC to drain the battery pack (I had plenty of time on my hands). Here I use my Canon 50mm 1.4 lens at f10, ISO 800, white balance of 6,500k and a shutter of almost 180. See what you think.
(cover photo credit: snap from the B&H page)