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Justin Oakley

Sony batteries

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Hello again,

Im trying to figure out whats what in regards to Sony batteries...before I go spending (yet another) small fortune and realizing they dont work or I got the wrong ones.


First, Im looking into buying an Aputure Amaran light. It requires Sony F series batteries. And from what Ive seen, the 970 is typically used.


So can I use ANY battery, but 970 is better because it has a longer life? Another question I have is why are some of these batteries cheaper than others?


Were not talking 20 bucks here. I found a 2 pack of non-Sony batteries for something like $71 With a charger. But I found a 2 pack of actual Sony f970 batteries for like $200...no charger.


Onto chargers...Is this a one size fits all deal? Like any battery in the F series? Because that sure would be convenient. The small hd focus monitor I bought came with an f760 battery and a wall charger. Could I use that same charger to charge a 970?


From my not so experienced standpoint, one could use various batteries interchangeably with different accessories as long as they are in the same series, right? whether its f-720...770...970...980, etc


Sorry if this is a long post. Its just all very confusing to me. Or maybe its not all that confusing and I am just thick.

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If the battery fits the device or charger it should work.


Sad facts:


- Many chargers sold for F series batteries are fairly terrible. The ones Atomos shipped with their devices for some time were not very good and I don't know if the current one they use is any better. I use programmable hobby chargers for mine, which do a far better job at the cost of needing to know how to set them up for a particular type of battery. It's not very hard, though.


- Many F series batteries are also fairly terrible. They are such a commodity and so widely used that the huge global market has provoked counterfeit brands and products marked with capacity figures that are utter fantasy. Unbranded ones range from fine to downright fraudulent (packed with steel weights rather than cells, etc) and essentially every brand that has ever been worthwhile has been knocked off so much that it's hard to tell without access to an electronics lab. A large advantage of the hobby chargers is that they can perform a test discharge of the battery and characterise its real capacity, so at least you can complain convincingly if an online seller screws you over.


- Sony-branded batteries bought over the counter in a visibly well-run store are likely to be genuine (though even that isn't something I'd stake my life on) but they are, as you have noticed, horrifyingly expensive. And you'll need a bunch.


With all that said, and with all those caveats in place:


I have found Patona sell some reasonably decent product. They're not the absolute cheapest (the absolute cheapest is about as much use as a wad of pre-chewed gum) but they're significantly cheaper than Sony and decently made, from what I can tell. It's pretty obvious that they're just rebadging imported product, but it looks like they're taking at least some interest in quality control and that's essentially what you're paying them for. I would assume that they have also been knocked off.


Smug mode engage: I built out a little case with four chargers and latching plates, the 12V power supplies, and space for up to eight 970-sized batteries; it can also carry four more on the latch plates. The idea is that you can get to a location and dump it anywhere near a wall socket, open the top, plug in, and you're ready to go. It also works from 12V sources so you can charge in vehicles. I think it's quite tidy and packs a lot of batteries, and importantly a lot of charging capacity, into a small space.



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Thanks for the reply. That set up you e got looks pretty sweet. Way over my head though haha.


So the chargers, while pretty dicey, do ACTUALLY fit F series batteries...of different sizes? From 550-970...or whatever?


Im totally willing to invest in good batteries that are only slightly less expensive than actual Sony. I just got REALLY concerned when I saw some battery/charger sets for hundreds less than just one or two batteries. A price gap like that makes one scratch his head.

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You wouldnt be able to recommend a decent charger that could charge two or more F batteries would you?


Since the one that came with my monitor obviously wont be up to the task.

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I have a bunch of NP-F style batteries that I use to power my lights and monitor(s) and so far I've just bought the best deals and haven't had an issue yet. However I have not used them to power a camera. I've generally found it better to just buy a bunch of lower cost batteries and leave some charging while I'm shooting.


The best thing ever has been this dual charger with the options of a fast or slow charge.


Link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01N8Y0A7B/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1


Are you getting an Aputure Amaran 5xx or 672x model light? If so those come with 2x 970 batteries to get you started. I have a couple of those lights and have had 0 issues with the batteries they've shipped with.

Edited by JeremyA

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Thanks for the reply. That set up you e got looks pretty sweet. Way over my head though haha.


Wiring. I believe the appropriate Americanism is "I can't even."



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I have the "new" Atomos charger and F style batteries to power Small HD focus.. so far so good.. but the monitor is only pulling 5 watts .. the charger seems ok and is very fast.. not sure how it compares price wise to the Sony one.. In Japan Sony only make the F970 now.. no other sizes in F style..

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OK now I'm back at my desk...


There probably are chargers out there which will do a good job of charging NP-F batteries but there is also an an ocean of junk which will not charge large batteries quickly, and may damage batteries. It's about trust. Atomos are not actually making those chargers, they're just rebadging stuff. It depends how much work they've done on what they decided to supply.


I would trust Hawk-Woods to do a decent job, as with this charger. It isn't that expensive and charges four batteries.


If you want to spend less than that, there's the Sony product.


I have not used either of those.


You could also look around for the Sony AC-VQ800, which is a combination charger-power supply which was supplied with things like the GV-D900 miniDV walkman. It will only charge a single battery but they often come up used on eBay. I have a couple here. Don't pay over the odds for them, obviously.



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