WHAT’S THE ONE ACCESSORY that you simply can’t function without on a location shoot, particularly one that might be miles away from civilisation? That’s right, it’s the humble battery, and if the ones you have with you happen to let you down then that’s the end of the session, period. It’s the unthinkable scenario for any professional, and your reputation could hang on whether or not you have the power you need to complete your job.
This is one area where you simply can’t afford to be cutting corners by buying cheap online inferior products. Not only could you be laying yourself open to being caught out with no power in the middle of nowhere but, in a worst-case scenario, a poorly made Lithium Ion cell could have a meltdown in your camera, totally writing if off, and that’s a scenario that’s apocalyptic enough to make any seasoned pro shudder!
And the fact is that highquality and reliable batteries from a trusted company such as Hähnel, that can boast years of experience in battery technology, are surprisingly affordable compared to own-brand equivalents – between 25-30% less expensive. And, despite costing less, they can actually also outperform them in many cases, with the company’s ethos being to produce alternative battery products that are at the very least as good, and often substantially better, than their big-name rivals.
Not only is the quality right up there but Hähnel batteries come with innovative extras and a guarantee of reliability that could make all the difference once you’re out in the field with other things on your mind rather than whether your camera is going to run out of power. It’s the perfect win/win scenario: the chance to back up your battery options at a keener price without the worry that you’re cutting corners.
Every professional knows that accidents can happen when you’re out on a shoot, which is why gear that’s designed for location work should always be built to last. Things get dropped, knocked about, temperatures can fall below freezing: all things that can knock the average battery for six and leave you high and dry with gear you’re not able to power up.
If you’ve ever worried about a scenario such as this happening on one of your own shoots then take a moment to check out the video linked to here. This is a demonstration of the punishment that the Hähnel range of Extreme batteries has been built to take. Virtually indestructible, they are shown being dropped from great heights, run over in a car, hit with a hammer and generally mistreated in a way that you would hope would never happen in real life.
Perhaps the most impressive moment comes when one of the Extreme batteries is wrapped in a plastic bag and then frozen inside a block of ice. Super cold weather is a real killer for the average battery and, at the very least, will severely impair its functionality. Here, however, we’re shown the ice being broken open with a hammer after 48 hours and the battery placed immediately inside a camera, which then powers up and fires. That’s impressive, and very much the kind of security you’re looking for if you’re away from the studio.
The formidable performance of the products in the Extreme range is down to their construction, and the fact that, during the manufacturing process, the cells are surrounded by a silicon solution that, when it hardens, provides an effective shield around these more delicate parts and acts as a cushion should any trauma take place. It also insulates them from the most extreme weather conditions, ensuring they can carry on working even when temperatures are plummeting.
In short, these are the kinds of batteries that will still perform long after inferior products have given up, and it’s good to know you’ve got that kind of reliability on your side.
No professional would ever venture out into the field without back up, and this naturally applies to battery power. Your camera might come supplied with a single battery from new but you’ll definitely need spares, and Hähnel supplies high quality products every bit as good as makers’ own, which will work with all of the models produced by the major brands.
You’ll also be looking for the optimum charging solution and, once again, Hähnel has the answer, with its acclaimed ProCube 2 line-up. These highly regarded award-winning products come with user-swappable plates to accommodate batteries from all of the major camera systems and feature spaces for two cells, so you can always have a back-up that’s charged up and ready to use. There’s also an AA battery charging option included
should you need it.
Usefully for the photographer on the go there’s a 12V car lead included in the box, so it’s possible to charge up your batteries while you’re on your way to a job, and charging times are fast as well, taking around two hours or so from empty to full.
There’s a front mounted LCD panel to show you the current charge status so that you always know what stage you’re at, and there’s a further key feature that could prove essential for pros who need to always know they have the power back up they need. If a battery is fully discharged it can be placed on the cube and it will tell you the condition of the cell. Given that you might be working with a selection of batteries that could be several years old, and the fact that, over time, the performance levels of these will inevitably drop, this is information you need to know. You could be heading out with a battery that claims a capacity of 2000mAh, whereas it can only actually hold 500mAh, and this will severely impact your shooting time.
One further benefit of the cube is that it comes with a USB port, which opens up all kinds of possibilities. It means that you could recharge your smartphone while on the move or, alternatively a whole host of other crucial accessories, and it’s hugely reassuring to have this kind of flexibility in your locker.
Opting for the best batteries you can find just makes total sense for the professional, and you can be sure that opting for Hähnel will not only save you money but ensure that you’re working with some of the best and most reliable products out there.
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