March 28, 2017

Watch: A Filmmaker's Guide to Sony NP-F Batteries

Here's what you need to know about one of the most popular batteries on the market.

There are many ways to power your gear, but if you're going with rechargeable batteries, one of the most popular and most versatile ones out there is the Sony NP-F. These things can work with your camera, lights, monitors, and pretty much anything else you've got. However, they've got many different styles and options available for a wide variety of needs, and here to explain a little bit more about them is Caleb Pike of DSLR Video Shooter.

Pike does a great job thoroughly explaining what to look out for when shopping around for NP-F batteries, but here are a few basic things that are especially important to understand.

The great thing about Sony NP-F batteries is their versatility. As I said before, they're compatible with many different types of gear, including cameras, lights, and monitors from all different types of brands. 

The main thing you'll want to look out for, though, when choosing which kind to purchase is the size and capacity, represented in the number at the end. NP-F batteries come in everything from F330 to F990, but Pike explains that the most popular sizes are the low-profile, lightweight NP-F550, the NP-F770, which is a great all-ground battery, and the high-capacity NP-F970.

If you've got the money, I would suggest buying a couple of each one so you can be prepared for all types of different shooting situations. For example, if you're shooting out in the middle of nowhere without electricity, you'll want to be carrying batteries with the highest capacity possible so you don't run out of juice before you run out of shots. However, if you want to keep your setup as lightweight as possible, batteries with less capacity will have a lower profile and allow you to travel light.

Before you buy, think first about what you or your project needs in a battery solution, and make sure to consider weight, size, battery life, and compatibility.     

Your Comment

4 Comments

I work in a rental house and you also need to check the physical width as some offbrand batts don't fit in the housing of some gear e.g. some offbrand npfs don't fit in an alphatron viewfinder.

March 28, 2017 at 11:05PM

21
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Matt OBrien
Rental House
83

Good information. Especially about the adapters.
Thanks.

March 29, 2017 at 4:04AM

5
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Sameir Ali
Director of Photography
688

I know he recommends the WATSON brand, but I wouldn't use em. I purchased 4 of the 750's from BH and after a couple of weeks the plastics on the battery casing started to crack and shatter near the pins. The metal contacts ended up falling right out! rendering them useless. Customer support for WATSON was not helpful and I use them as a paper weight now. I was using them with the PIXE recorders which have a solid pin as the connector which was putting pressure on the battery contacts. I went with Anton Bauer NP-F and they are rock solid, and have been using them for a year now with no problems. You get what you pay for.

March 29, 2017 at 2:40PM

16
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Sam Bryce
Cinematographer/Editor at Cassiar
124

How are milliamp hours rated? Is there a standard way batteries are tested?

March 31, 2017 at 12:36PM, Edited March 31, 12:36PM

2
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David Patterson
videographer/editor
314