If you've used or own a Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera (or you're still waiting for yours to be delivered), you might have noticed that battery life isn't all that great. Not too dissimilar from the original Blackmagic Cinema Camera, the most compact way to use the Pocket camera won't allow you to use it for very long unless you've got a stack of charged Nikon EN-EL20. Stated battery life from Blackmagic is about an hour per battery, but if you'd like a simpler way to use the camera and still keep it compact, Switronix has introduced the PocketBase (not to be confused with the PowerBase for the BMCC), which allows two Canon LP-E6 batteries to power the camera for 5 hours at a time.
Here's a description of the PocketBase:
PocketBase allows you to power the camera up to 5hrs with two LP-E6 type batteries, while simultaneously charging the removable internal battery. By keeping the internal battery inside the Pocket Camera during operation, you can then hotswap the attached LP-E6 batteries within the PocketBase for continuous camera operation.
The Pocketbase mounts easily under the camera with an included 1/4-20 thumbscrew which allows a seamless integration. By attaching the included grips, it allows for comfortable hold without need of a rig.
The PocketBase is an all-metal enclosure designed to last through all facets of production. The camera power cable tucks in nicely for camera mounted application, but will also extend up to 24" for rail mounting. With the ability to hotswap batteries you can continue production without interruptions. Weighing in at less than 1 lb, the PocketBase is an integral accessory for all your Pocket Camera powering needs.
While you might not have any use for this for a while (since the volume of shipments for the Pocket Cinema Camera is still low), this will be a good solution for people who don't want to deal with charging and organizing close to a dozen batteries for a full shoot. It's also good for those who want to keep the camera relatively small and compact. Since the Pocket has an input for 12V DC on the side, there are plenty of power options, but most of them will probably need some sort of mounting support above and beyond simply attaching to the camera on the bottom.
It certainly adds a little weight to the camera with batteries, but everything is still light enough to handhold, especially since the Pocket is so light to begin with. With the ability to power the camera for around 10 hours with 4 Canon batteries, keeping track of and carrying power with you will be a bit simpler. The other good thing about a setup that uses the Canon batteries also used in cameras like the Mark II, III, and 7D is that you may already have a bunch of them sitting around, and they will still be useful for other items you may have, like external monitors.
The standard kit without batteries is going to run $105, and the battery kit PowerBase which includes two batteries and a charger is going for $155. Both are available to order right now. We're going to be testing it out at NFS, so a full review should be up soon. In the meantime, head on over to the Switronix website to read more about it.