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Catclaw: An Inexpensive Solution for Powering Your Blackmagic Cinema Camera or DSLR

06.13.12 @ 3:46PM Tags : , , , , , , ,

Catclaw Power Adapter for DSLR or Blackmagic Cinema CameraOne of the big questions with the forthcoming Blackmagic Cinema Camera is what people will use to power the camera after the internal battery is depleted. While the Cinema Camera has a fixed internal battery similar to the just-released Macbook Pro, it has a 12V-30V DC port which will allow you plug in any compatible power source to not only power the camera, but also charge the internal battery. If you’re looking for an inexpensive device to accomplish this, there is an interesting product called the Catclaw, which has a 15mm rod clamp, 5V, 7V, and 12V outputs, and takes Sony or V-Lock batteries.

Thanks to CheesyCam and Twitter user m0fe for finding this battery adapter. Here is a little bit from CheesyCam about the Catclaw:

The pack offers an output of 5V (for Zoom H4n), a 7V output (for powering Canon cameras), and a 12V output (for powering LCD monitors), and then clamps to a standard set of 15mm rails. The kit comes with all the necessary cables and even comes with a Canon LP-E6 dummy battery to start shooting. If you’re an event shooter that needs to be fed constant power, this is one of the most affordable off the shelf solutions to power up your rig.

There are many applications for the Catclaw, and powering the Blackmagic Cinema Camera is just one possible use. Not only can this power your DSLR using Sony NP-F970 or Sony NP-F550 batteries, but you can also power your monitor. The Catclaw is intriguing because there aren’t a lot of inexpensive ways to power that many different devices from one battery adapter. In some ways it reminds me of the Canoflex C300 rig – but it is certainly less versatile and slightly clunkier. There are a few different ways that this can be mounted, but I could see it working very well as the counterweight in a shoulder rig — resting against your back when the camera is on your shoulder, or hanging off the back if the camera is on a tripod.


If you don’t want to use those Sony batteries, there is also a version that uses V-Lock batteries — assuming you have some of those laying around. Unfortunately, it seems like the stock for these is very limited, but if you are looking for a great way to power a number of devices, this could be a relatively inexpensive option at $120 for the Sony version and $127 for the V-Lock version. My only issue is the placement of the power button. It feels like it needs one of those flip-open plastic coverings — almost like a self-destruct button. Regardless, both are currently available at the links below.

If you’ve got any other inexpensive battery adapters or power options, please share them in the comments.

Links:

[via CheesyCam]

Catclaw Power Adapter for DSLR or Blackmagic Cinema Camera

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  • It looks like it’s going to start a fire on my shoulder….

  • john jeffreys on 06.13.12 @ 4:05PM

    If any of you are rockin’ a Cavision shoulder mount (i am ;D), they have a cool thing that screws to the back of the shoulder pad and holds an anton bauer/etc battery, and you can run the cable into either a 12v for the black magic camera or plugs into the canon battery coupler that goes into the camera bottom. It also adds a nice counterweight at the same time.

  • Does look a little….hobbyist….to me. I totally dig the idea though and have been wondering for quite some time now why more of these don’t exist. I’m looking into this type of thing to use V-Locks to power my Nikon DSLR setup but I’m fighting a losing battle until someone makes a D-tap-to-Nikon pigtail, or barrel-to-Nikon pigtail. But I digress…. It’s actually quite economical to buy V-locks based on the juice you end up consuming on a day long shoot. I carry 4 $60 a piece Nikon batteries and 2 $60 chargers for my body, and 3 $40 generic Canon batteries with 2 $30 chargers to power my DP4. Not to mention a surge protector so I can be assured enough outlets to charge them all day as I cycle through them. It’s frankly a real pain in the ass and I’d get far better life and usability out of a single battery option. But I’m sure I’m preaching to the cinema choir, but it’s a realization I’ve only recently made. Anyhow, here’s some more stuff people might be interested in….

    - Anton Bauer is now making a “DSLR” plate with multiple taps for accessories: http://www.antonbauer.com/Products/QR-DSLR

    - Here’s a Lanparte brand eBay solution that’s actually pretty high on my list and even comes with an HDMI splitter built-in: http://goo.gl/HOkE4

  • I don’t like that power button…at all.

  • Chuffed 1 of my finds made it here and on cheesycam’s site. Gearing up for the arival of my Black magic camera’s I also found these high capacity 12v & 5v batteries with a small mod it can be camera mounted. I use some older lower capacity ones on set to power splitters, wireless HDMI, phones and on a few occasions small laptops never let me down so far.

    The catclaw unit is only the first, expect there to be loads of these (smaller and better made) to start popping up all over ebay

  • I have 2 Tekkeon MP34′s that I got for about $150 each from B&H and they’re incredible. I use them all the time with my GH2s; just did back to back 10hr weddings and never had to charge them. By Sunday night they were just below being half charged. They’re light enough to attach to my shoulder mounts and glide-cam with some heavy duty velcro and temperature has never been an issue.

  • Better yet, don’t give $3,000 to Blackmagic for a lens-less camera in which you cannot even swap out a battery. If you do this, you will save the expense of getting a Catclaw as well. Brilliant!

    • I would love for Blackmagic to give the option of a battery adapter, but it has an internal battery because of its design. You’ve got to buy batteries for any camera no matter what, and for the most part on narrative films you’ll be rigging up the camera anyway. Show me another camera that can shoot RAW, ProRes, and DNxHD in-camera to SSDs with 13 stops of dynamic range for $3,000 and I’ll buy it tomorrow.

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