03.23.2010 04:50 PM
IDX Powers Digital Cinema Cameras
The IDX EB-424L power base station

LOS ANGELES
Those of us who work in the hardened world of broadcast rentals seldom get excited about accessory gear. And when a real "utility player" piece of hardware comes along that makes the daily workload of digital cinema camera operators actually easier, it's truly worth noting. When we had the opportunity to evaluate the new EB-424L Power Base Station from IDX, we could see immediately its potential as a workhorse for remote production. Since our first exposure to it, this device has become an important tool in our rental arsenal, and is used on a regular basis with our higher-end camera systems.

The 424L is deceptively simple in appearance—a flat bracket plate roughly a square foot in size and with a V-Plate configuration to which as many as four ENG/EFP batteries can be attached. However, to cameramen shooting with production cameras—including the Sony F23/F35 or the RED ONE—the IDX EB-424L station delivers extended shooting time in a lightweight and versatile power management system. The heavy block batteries that come standard with those camera units can now be replaced by multiple and more flexible ENG batteries.

Prior to the development of the 424L, block batteries presented a problem, as you didn't know exactly how much power you had left while shooting. It also took from six to eight hours to charge a unit, and they're heavy. This has all changed with the introduction of the 424L.

ENSURES SMOOTH FLOW OF POWER

The new base station provides shooters with the ability to hot-swap batteries in the middle of a production, making possible virtually unlimited continuous shooting. Depending on the V-Mount batteries that are used, the EB-424L can provide anywhere from 550 to 750 Wh of power—giving operators plenty to work with and also a high reliability factor.

CONNECTOR AND VOLTAGE CHOICES

A real selling point for Sim Video involves the kind of high-end camera systems that we have in our rental inventory—the Sony F23 and F35 series. The IDX unit includes a Lemo connector with the 8-pin configuration that's compatible with these cameras. And not only can the unit provide direct 24 Volt power for the camera, there's also a 4-pin XLR connection for straight 12 Volt use too.

The 12 Volt output can be continuously available from both the Lemo and XLR connector, depending on how the cable and pins are configured. When a user wants 24 Volts, he or she simply turn a switch on—there's no chance for accidental voltage mix-ups. A maximum current of 20 A is available when using both outputs in 12 Volts, and there's a 5 A maximum for 24 Volt operation.

With both voltages simultaneously available, we can really maximize our client's power options for connecting a high-end camera and ancillary equipment such as recorders or audio gear at the same time. Packing and transport is also a plus for our rigs when we use the EB-424L, as it tips the scale at less than three pounds and has a correspondingly small footprint.

Cliff Hsui is the senior vice president of marketing and technologies for Sim Video Los Angeles. He's also a consultant, an ASC associate member, an ICG Local 600 instructor and is actively involved in production work. He may be contacted at chsui@simvideo.com.

For additional information, contact IDX at 310- 891-2800 or visit www.idxtek.com.



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