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July 31, 2006 at 10:04 AM #39234
I have recently been hired to create a video for a band. The problem being that the footage is being filmed while camping for a week at the top of a mountain in Scotland!
I need to find a way to get at least 5(preferably 10 or more though) hours of battery power without buying several batteries for my camera. (unless there are some that last that long)
A while ago a friend did mention to me that there’s a way of using a car battery or similar to power a camcorder but i couldn’t find out anything else on the subject.
I am currently using a Sony DCRHC35E
July 31, 2006 at 11:06 AM #169962
[quote="compusolver"]Not sure about your model, but my Sony VX2100 uses NP-F970 batteries that claim to go eight or nine hours. I know they go more than five, even using the LCD. Check eBay for batteries (that’s where I get all mine).
Also, if you’ll have access to a car battery (or better yet, a car), WalMart and other places sell AC/DC converters for about forty dollars (USD) that plug into a cigarette lighter and let you plug your AC device (in this case, your battery charger) into the other end.
For ease of use on our sailboat, I bought an adapter that lets you plug four devices into a single cigar lighter – but then I cut off the male end and wired it directly to a marine battery then mounted the part with the female adapters into the dash.[/quote]
Problem is that those batterys are very expensive. The people hiring me won’t pay for that and chances are I’ll never use them again. They sell the ones you speak of where I work and even with my discount they are more than 50 (roughly $100 i think). That is really going to be my last resort.
I already have an adapter that came with the camcorder that means I can plug it directly in but we won’t be near the car after we leave it on the first day.
As for wiring things to batteries I would probably end up blowing myself up!
Thank you though. I guess I’m going to have to find an electrical expert or find some money somewhere heh.
July 31, 2006 at 12:05 PM #169963
I need the batteries with the infochip which are more expensive.
I think I have found a product though which will work.
July 31, 2006 at 12:12 PM #169964AnonymousInactive
Hi Dru 🙂
You do indeed have yourself in quite a quandry it would seem. Ultimately, if you want to do the job right, you’re going to have to spend money, in one place or another. I know very little about consumer grade cameras (especially models like yours, which is sold only in the UK), but the bottom line is that the power you’ll get and the ease of using that power will be directly proportional to the money you’re going to spend. I found a battery for your camera for US$50 that would probably get you 6-7 hours. That means for what you’re doing, you probably would need to spend what you said.
You can save money by buying a power inverter from most department stores and connecting that directly to a car battery (you’ll have to buy either clips or brackets to bolt the cables from the inverter onto the battery posts). You could pull the battery directly out of your car, so your only cost will be the inverter and clamps, maybe US$30, and because a car battery is enormous, you’d probably be able to run your camera for 24 hours or more without running the battery dry. Of course, then you have two problems: 1-You have to lug a 50 pound battery around everywhere you go, and 2-If you use up too much power, the battery won’t start your car and you’ll need to jump it or pop the clutch. But it’s cheaper, for sure. Plus, you’ll lose all your stereo presets and the clock will reset, and I hate resetting those 🙂
Ultimately, my opinion would be to weigh the cost, and pick a path to follow. You might just have to go to the band and tell them your old quote won’t work, and you need to give them a new quote. If your prices are the best, you’re a good and reputable videographer/person, and they really want this done, they’ll have to pay you. Otherwise, they’re the losers in the deal, not you. They have the chance to document this once-in-a-lifetime trip on video. If you lose their deal, so what? There will always be others.
True story: We had a couple who wanted us to film their September wedding. We gave them a price, which was actually lower than our current sale price. I knew the couple, so I made them a great offer. Anyway, they still thought our price was too high, and even though they said my demo was the best one so far, they wanted to pay less for the ceremony. Of course, I was already offering the package to them for less than $600, when the going rate in this are is between $750 and $1,000 for a basic package. Naturally, I told them that was the best price I could offer tham and have it still be worth my while, and they went to look at others. Not a week later, another couple booked that date, taking one of our $1600 packages.
What’s my point? If I had stooped down and taken the low offer the first couple gave me, I would have missed out on a much better deal later on. If this band doesn’t want to pay you what you need to make this project, or at least compensate you fairly (i.e. pay for part of the cost so you’re not footing the bill all on your own), then let them go. YOu might lose the offer altogether, but if you make a clean, frinedly break, they might even come back, willing to pay you what you’re worth.
It’s just a thought.
July 31, 2006 at 12:35 PM #169965
Thank you. You have been most helpful 🙂
The band are friends of mine and I want to do it because it’s a great oppotunity for me. They are already paying for me to get to where we are filming as well as paying me so I don’t want to ask for too much extra.
Now you have explained how the battery option works, I think I will probably go for that as I i now know it is possible when I didn’t even know that before.
I don’t actually own a car anymore as I had to sell it for food money (hence why I really can’t afford to buy new camcorder batteries) so I would be buying a battery, which I know I can get for cheap. Plus if I want to resell the inverter I found (see link in my above reply) someone is more likely to want to buy that used compared with an already used camcorder battery.
So I think I will buy the inverter and a battery and then either get the band to pay that much smaller expense fully or part of it and I will resell it afterwards.
Thank you again.
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