Battery SWIT S-8U93 review
Being the happy owner of a FS7M2; the question of choosing the right battery will come very quickly.
You may also need to power accessories as a real EVF. Of course, one simple way will be to use the large V-lock battery and a rig to mount all at the rear of the camera.
This is one of my setup with the Sony FS7 mark I using Smallrig accessories.
The power out of the V-mount battery is sent to a distribution board in order to split it to the camera body and to the EVF.
All this was quite working but added a lot of weight on your shoulder. It’s still a great setup when you need to get also a Atomos for recording. (Thanks Smallrig again for helping me setting this one!)
This large battery will let you almost shoot one day without swaping battery, but with some annoying flaws if you add: the extra weight, the need for a cage, the size of the battery,…
And don’t forget the fact that if you are using the external power plug for the camera, it only gave you a voltage as reference for the remaining time on screen. I still don’t understand why Sony did not release a firmware to convert this voltage to a nice and simple logo. Again, as you have almost a full day with a 160Wh battery, this was acceptable.
In the quest of making all working together with a minimal setup I found this item from SWIT. There is a lot of offers in the battery department, but not all of these are reliable. I bought few years back a SWIT LED light and a battery was included in the package. After 10 years of use, this battery finally gave up, but that was expected. I bought cheaper Chinese alternative during the same period which lasted just about a year. At the end of the day, you pay more but get way better investing on such brand.
One of the great advantages of the SWIT battery is the fact that it’s fully compatible with Sony FS7; meaning you have a reading on the exact remaining time on your camera screen. It plugs directly on the back of the camera without a need for extra cable and plug.
The not so great thing was to get the D-Tap connector working as it on the top of the battery and impossible to access or to plug anything.
I first designed a smaller connector to solve this issue as I was a bit in a rush to order the real thing.
It tooks 3 hours to complete this DIY project and work just fine.
With a blade to reduce the overall size, and a lot of glue gun to get all stick together.
There is really not a lot of space there!
Of course, You may be afraid of breaking it or losing it, so a more reliable way exist as many people complained about this, so SWIT just have the right product: the S7105!
I ordered 4 pieces from Nanjing where the factory is located, and this package arrived the next day.
It plugs directly on the top of the battery. It’s a bit tricky to put all in place (I guess not wearing gloves), but as you will change battery only every 4 hours, it’s also acceptable.
This way, you do not need a power hub anymore: one side of the battery power the camera, and the D-Tap power the Zaccuto EVF. This is a drastic improvement on the overall size campare to a V-lock setup!
The battery can be charged either with the BPU Sony charger or with the D-Tap Connector.
Second use of this battery pack was to power a Sound Devices SD302 mixer as it only can stay awake for 2 hours when using AA battery with the phantom power enable.
You can easly buy a D-tap to Sound Devices Lemo plug and all works amazingly well this way, you will have more than 6 hours of working time.
Unfortunately, the USB plug is not very powerful and trying to power a Zoom H6 recorder did not work so well.
It seems to work for 10mn but the Zoom H6 keeps shutting down asking for more power, the USB output may not be powerful enough.
The answer came with another gadget: a Rolux D-Tap to USB hub.
With this setup, all seems in order and the Zoom H6 is working just fine, you can also charge your tablet this way, a seconf D-Tap plug let you using both output at the same time.
Be aware that there is no indication on battery level on the Zoom H6 when you do this way as it assumes that you are plugged to the wall. A good idea is to still have AA batteries on the Zoom as it will switch to internal power if the USB 5V is failing. So, if you see the battery bars on screen, it means that you have no more battery by the USB plug.
Overall, you will be judging a battery over the time, but my past experience with SWIT let me think it will go well for many others years. The fact that you can have a D-Tap and USB is also a great way to see the future!
UPDATES, Oct 2017
After receiving few questions, here are some extra details about these.
-> The maximum power these are able to deliver is 50 Watts. So it’s not recommended to use them to power LED panel for example. Even if it may work; too much drain will quickly damage the battery and it may swell a bit. After this, it may be impossible to slide it into your FS7 body as the space is very limited.
-> Using the curved connector S7105 is mandatory for a FS7. It make the D-Tap connector getting out on the back of the battery and may cause trouble when you have your camera hand-held. It may touch your shoulder time to time and slowly got disconnected. I have designed a simple square of foam that I put on top of the connector to avoid this.
I do have not have any commercial link with SWIT, I did pay it all by myself and I did not contact them about writing this review..