October 10, 2016

Gripper Battery Mounts Directly to Your Camera Rods

Secure accessory attachment is always important with a camera rig, and Hawk-Woods gives us another, simpler option with the new Gripper battery design.

UK battery and power specialist Hawk-Woods has added the new Gripper line of batteries to its lineup. Instead of mounting using the traditional V-mount or Anton Bauer Gold mount, the innovative Gripper design mounts straight onto your accessory rods and uses a cable patched to one of its two D-tap power outlets to feed the camera. Currently, the Gripper is only available for the most common indie rod setup, 15mm LWS, making it a perfect fit for mirrorless, DSLR, and small camera rigs.

A perfect fit for mirrorless, DSLR, and small camera rigs.

One of the nice features of this design is how easy it is to adjust the battery forward or backward on the rods to help counterbalance for front-mounted weight on your rig. Balancing the camera evenly on your shoulder keeps the weight off your arms, thus mitigating fatigue. As you add more weight to the front (filters, larger lenses, larger matte box), you can easily pop the unit off and move it further down the rails; since the battery is one of the heaviest elements in your setup, it should provide ample leverage to counterbalance the front weight. Of course, this set-up could stick out behind you and potentially hit things during a handheld shot, so it's nice to be able to tweak the battery forward if you don't have a front-heavy load.

GripperCredit: Hawk-Woods

That flexibility, combined with the small weight of the unit—at 722 grams, it's around half of what a similar battery with a mounting system would weigh—are the real reasons to consider the Gripper. The unit also features rubber strips on the bottom to prevent sliding once it's mounted on the rails, which should keep your balance and prevent the unit from slipping off and getting damaged.

The power output from the Gripper isn't regulated, which means you'll need to buy an adapter cable for your camera that has regulation built in to ensure the device doesn't overpower your camera's electronics. Cables and adapters are often annoyingly expensive, and cutting corners here seems like a great way to save some money. But when working with external batteries, getting the name brand adapter that clearly states that it regulates the power output for your camera will be worth the extra expense.

The Gripper is distributed in North America by Rig and EVF maestro Zacuto, and the full line is available at BandH.


Gripper full DSLR Mount
Gripper in full DSLR mount. Note one D-tap feeding the camera, while the rear D-tap feeds the viewfinder.Credit: Hawk-Woods

Tech specs

  • 75wh or 100wh variants available
  • Dual d-tap power outlet
  • LED remaining power indicator
  • UN tested safe for airlines and as passenger carry-on
  • Lithium Ion Cells
  • ABS plastic shell
  • Fast charger for 75w completes charge in 3 hours.
  • 722grams
  • 10.5" x 8.2" x 8.1"

Your Comment

1 Comment

So....you buy 2 or 3 of them or just stop production for 3 hours to recharge? Just use V-mounts or A/B's. Many newer ones have p-taps built right in, so a battery plate may not even be necessary anymore. Just tape it on.

October 31, 2016 at 9:04PM

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Daniel Mimura
DP, cam op, steadicam op
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