Craig Johnston /
01.17.2012 01:00 PM
Powering Up With New Batteries, Portable Lighting

SEATTLE: When a news photographer shows up on the scene of a news story, he's got to have something to shoot it with, some media to shoot it on, and something to supply power. And if it's dark, or heavily shadowed, he's got to have something to light things up. Power and lighting equipment are critical parts of his gear on the go.

IDX E0HL 9 batteries in PowerLink "docking" mode
'LIGHT'–EN THE LOAD

Anton/Bauer's Dionic battery series utilize lightweight and powerful lithium ion cells. "Our latest Dionic batteries are our HCX 120 WH lithium ion batteries," said Anton/Bauer product specialist Kyle Dann. "The nice thing about using them out in the field is that you can generally run all day on one Dionic HCX, so it really helps cut down on the amount of gear you have to carry. The HCX is nice because it uses a high current cell inside, so the service life is nice… it's a more robust cell configuration."

The Ultralight 2 from Anton/Bauer has new LED capability, thanks to collaboration between Anton/Bauer and its sister company Litepanels. "Typically Ultralight 2 came with a tungsten head module on it, then we developed an HMI module," said Dann. "The benefit of the new LED head module is that you can now switch from completely different light sources, the tungsten, HMI and LED, all in a matter of seconds."

Frezzi's 100 Wh lithium ion battery is designed as the most powerful lithium available for legal transport without restrictions, as well as a 200 Wh lithium ion behemoth. "Everyone is moving forward with new portable equipment, which includes the new type of transmitters that operate on cell phone frequencies," said Jim Crawford, president of the Hawthorne, N.J.-based company. "Everything depends on reliable portable power."

Frezzi's new HyLight is an LED fixture that accepts a battery pack on the back, or can run off 110AC. "This kit comes with two lights, two 100 Wh batteries, and we've designed the chargers for the batteries also to be the AC power supplies for the lights," said Ed Kuhn, vice president of sales for Frezzi. "The charger attaches right to the back of the light. With a pair of light stands and filtering so we can correct for any condition, I can take this 25-pound kit and travel anywhere in the world."

CHARGE IT

A news shooter on a multi-day story can find himself having to recharge his battery packs while on the go. "We just came out with a new multiple channel charger that's highly mobile," said Vickii Chaffee, IDX general manager, sales and marketing. "It's really built for the news guys, where they need to be on the go. The full charger can just be stuffed into their equipment belt or in their small travel case… it's not a large, clunky charger that people are used to."

Frezzi's New Hylight
IDX provides a compact LED on-camera light for news photographers in the field. "The X5-Lite provides a very true color temperature, 5600 degrees K, and is very economical," said Chaffee. It's generally used as an onboard light for a camera, or standalone, with power connected by 2-pin D-Tap or an optional 4-pin XLR. Power consumption is a low 12 Watts, and it has a built-in dimmer to adjust from zero to 100 percent with no color shift.

Litepanels has a pair of on-camera lights that are creating a buzz with news shooters: one a Fresnel, the other, color temperature agile.

"Our Sola ENG is a 3-inch Fresnel fixture that focuses from 10 to 70 degrees and is color balanced for 5600 degrees K output, which for most ENG-type things is what they would use," said Chris Marchitelli, vice president of global marketing at Litepanels in Van Nuys, Calif. "The light dims from 100 percent to zero with no color shift, has about a 25 Watt power draw, and puts out about 250 Watt equivalent. It also comes with a 3-piece filter set for diffusion and to balance the light for more of an indoor setting."

Croma, the other new on-camera light for news from Litepanels, is a bi-color light that covers the whole range from 3200 degree K up to 5600 degree K color balance, and anywhere between those two. "It has two knobs on it, one for the overall dimming of the whole panel, and the other one is for changing the actual color temperature," Said Marchitelli.

PAG UK offers the PAGlink, which allows up to eight 92 Wh batteries to be stacked together. "If I've got all those accessories that they're powering now, the link allows me to draw up to 12 amps, which is more than any other system does currently," said PAG UK Publicity Manager Steve Emmett. And on a two-channel charger, up to 16 PAGlink batteries can be charged at once. "As one of our customers said, 'it's great, I don't have to get up in the middle of the night just to change the batteries on the charger,'" Emmett said.

For ENG lighting, the PAGlite was originally designed to have a halogen lamp holder that could easily plug into the back of the lamp head, according to Emmett. "It also allowed us to plug in an HMI arc unit into the lamp head, and a few years ago we introduced a plug-in LED module. So now you just buy the one lamp head, and if you want halogen, HMI arc, or LED, you can have whatever your preference is. You've got a lot of news shooters who prefer LED because it's got low power consumption."


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