The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera has been around for some years now. It’s still a great camera that every owner has a love–hate relationship with. It’s well-known for it’s small size, the great image quality (it also shoots RAW!) and it’s low price. On the other hand, it has a huge cropfactor, it’s very hard to shoot handheld shots with and the worst part is probably the battery life.
Tons of batteries
The original battery gives you between 15 and 45 minutes to shoot. It’s crazy. The first time I had to shoot an event with this camera I thought I came prepared by taking 5 batteries and some Power Banks. I was wrong. Something cool started to happen, I hit the Rec. button and rapidly I saw the battery dropping from 80% to 20%. Of course I could quickly change the battery, but I’d end up having a gap between 2 clips. This was not the best way to go out in the field so I started looking for a (cheap) battery solution.
Even though the camera itself is quite cheap, I just spent tons of money on the 5 batteries, a camera rig, pistol grip, some MFT lenses and a Zoom H5N (the audio quality of the BMPCC is very bad) so I wasn’t planning on spending another €250,- on a proper battery solution.
After doing some research I finally found all the items I needed for the perfect setup, which cost me around €50 euro. This is what you will need:
- A powerbank with DC Output. – €17,00 euro on eBay
- Adapter (DC Power 2.5×0.7mm Plug Male to 5.5 x 2.1mm Female). – €1,00 euro on eBay
- 4x 18650 battery. – Anywhere between €15,00 and €30,00 euro
This simple power solution makes filming with the BMPCC much more fun and reliable. It will give me at least 5 hours to shoot and it will charge the battery inside of the camera as well, so once the Powerbank is out of juice, you can still use the battery. I love the fact that the Powerbank has a display, telling you how much battery life there is left, a lot of these Powerbanks don’t have this.
I put all of this information in the YouTube video below, but ever since I posted it online, I’ve had many questions on the particular Powerbank as it doesn’t seem to be available anymore. There seems to be a newer version called the “QIDIAN QD-185-SX“, but I would like to point out that I haven’t tested that actual model. Then again, it doesn’t really matter what kind of Powerbank you will be using. As long as it has a DC output and is capable of giving you 12V (very important, because it simply won’t work with the BMPCC if it’s just 5V or so).
So again, if you’re a Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera (BMPCC) owner/ user, you probably already know the battery life is bad. With these three cheap items (a Powerbank with DC Output, 4x 18650 batteries and an adapter), you will have a great solution for this problem for less than €50,00 euros.
If you still have any questions about this solution, please leave a comment on the YouTube video above.