Get genuine spare batteries now!

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
Michael Meissner
Michael Meissner Forum Pro • Posts: 26,843
Re: New kit for powering Olympus cameras externally

OutsideTheMatrix wrote:

Would you say Bescor products are around the same quality as Tether Tools?

Bear in mind the tripod pan/tilt head is a completely different product that the power adapters. For what it is, it seems well made. It is the only motorized pan/tilt heat that can hold mirrorless cameras at a price I wanted to pay.

I only shoot video a couple times a year and I'm paid a nominal amount. I didn't want to pay for the higher end pan/tilt heads because this a record friends shows and not add an additional income stream.

The MP-101 (at $100 or so) was just at the margin of what I wanted to pay for a hobby project. There are cheaper heads that do have wireless support (and I eventually bought one), but they have a weight limit of 500g. I used the LX-10 (ughh) on the other pan/tilt head for two shows. The first show, I ran out of battery (after an hour), and by the second show, I had found the appropriate dummy battery for it.

In particular, what I hoped for is to be able to put the pan/tilt head at a distance away from where I was to allow a b-camera to record from a different angle (using the the phone app to control the camera), but when I got to the venue, it was clear that a cable on the floor just wasn't going to work.

I have used it once or twice when I'm sitting recording renaissance faires and the camera is mounted higher on a tripod. Over the years, I find I cannot stand for hours at an end, and I need to sit while recording video.  Sometimes I can have the tripod directly in front of me, sometimes I need to raise the tripod higher to shoot over the heads of the crowd.  For that it works well.

In terms of Tether Tools vs. what Bescor is currently offering, Tether Tools offers a whole solution to the problem, and they have good documentation on how to use it. But they currently do not offer the BLS-50. I have used one of my adapters with the Case Relay from Tether Tools. But then when I saw the cable for the BLN-1 dummy battery starting to fray after some light usage, I kind of soured on their adapters.

My sense is the Bescor is a stab at extended their products in the video world. It may not be everything, but at least it is a start. Whether they will flesh out the line, I don't know.

To explain, the Case Relay is a 2 cell lithium battery that has a 5v/2a input and straight power output from the battery. You can hook up an external power source (wall A/C, USB battery), and it will charge the battery while powering the camera. You can change power sources, and the Case Relay will continue powering the camera. Now, the battery in the Case Relay is not that great (1.2Ah at 7.4v), but it can act as a UPS to allow you to switch power sources.

Also, upon further reflection of what you said about Olympus cameras like the EM10Mk2 and EPL6 and their drawbacks with using dummy battery adapters, what would be the best way to go about using this kit with those cameras...... should I remove the battery door completely, or just let it hang loose with the adapter? There may be a third option. There is an optional grip for the EM10Mk2 that I can use if I remove the battery door. The Oly version isn't threaded for dummy battery adapters, but I found a third party grip that is being sold on B&H that seems to be threaded for the adapter. I cant remember the name of the manufacturer right now but perhaps you could find it? Anyway, would using such a grip be a better idea than simply removing the battery door or letting it hang open? The reason I ask this is I'm not sure that leaving the battery compartment open without having something underneath it is a good idea.....wouldn't there be a risk of a short if moisture got inside the compartment? Trying to figure out the best way to do this.

At my heart I am a tinkerer. I got into looking at the external power setups for two reasons (recording video without having the video run out of power while shooting -- BTDT, and using my steampunk camera setup all day). Generally, I don't use the external power setup that much and instead use battery grips, but I tinker with it off and on.

I did use the external power setup for 1-2 renaissance fairs (where I shoot more or less continuously for 6 hours on a single day), and it was problematical with all of the wires hanging out (I have to move from stage to stage, and seating is kind of hit or miss).  As I recall one issue I had was it was a rather hot day, and the USB batteries did not like the heat, but that is nothing about the adapter.

And as I said, I used a similar LX10 external power setup for doing a show that normally runs for 1.5 hours. I don't recall if I was able to mount the LX-10 with the door hanging down on the pan/tilt head. More likely, I used a tripod extender to raise the LX-10 a few inches. But note, Panasonic designs their battery doors so the cable from the 4.0mm x 1.7mm power cable can snake through the battery door. Olympus does not.

You will need to figure what works for you. At one point, I was thinking of making a wooden box that the camera mounts on, and there would be a hole where the battery holder is to feed the wire down to the voltage converter and external battery (with a plastic bag to protect the voltage converter/battery from the rain).
When I've tested it, I tend to let the battery door flop open, but I suspect if I used it on a real shoot, I would take off the door, and carefully keep the door and screw in a safe location.

I've seen some people suggest getting a spare battery cover for your camera, and then use a drill or saw to open a small hole for the wire to fit through.  Particularly with the sale to JIP, it may be worth it to get it now while they are available.

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