We take Bebob's small V Micro batteries for a ride to see how they fare in harsh conditions compared to larger, more robust power options.
German manufacturer Bebob has been pushing innovation in battery technology, recently pioneering the new B-mount 24v battery for ARRI LF cameras. Although their V Micro Batteries are not totally new (they became available last year), they are a relatively fresh approach to the standard form factor for camera batteries that we've all come to know. Most notably they are, obviously, much smaller than your traditional V-mount or Gold Mount camera batteries. This is a step forward.
After using these batteries for a couple of months and taking them through some harsh conditions, here are my impressions.
Bebob V Micro Batteries at a Glance
- 10A draw
- 5-step LED fuel gauge
- Withstands falls from up to 4.9'
- Modular design allows any mechanical component to be replaced
- Can be re-celled at a discount when capacity weakens after years of use (capacity status alarm LEDs built-in)
- Twist D-Tap (allows inserting cable from either side)
- USB port
- Compatible with Bebob, IDX, and Sony chargers
The Bebop V Micro batteries come in three flavors:
- Tiny form factor! It's hard to go back to big block batteries after using these.
- Convenient led light for attaching batteries in dark spaces
- Solid build and feel resistant to humidity and weather
- Status light goes on when re-cell is needed
- Twist d-tap input: plug in your d-tap cables any way you want
- A bit pricier than the larger counterparts
It's a battery, so nobody expects fancy bells and whistles; we just want the battery to do its primary job. The Bebob V Micro batteries do their job with the added bonus of a couple of handy features.
The D-twist plug allows your D-tap accessories to be plugged in an optimal orientation for your rig, the LED light makes batteries swaps in lowlight conditions a breeze, and the covered USB port is a nice addition. The cells are easily replaceable and there's even a built-in alarm system that will tell the owner when the cells should be replaced. Like I said: handy. I like the way these small batteries integrate into rigs—still weighing a nice amount while maintaining a smaller, more compact profile.
Build Quality: 5/5
Solid. I took these batteries to South America on a location scouting trip where they were tossed around, subjected to humidity and splashing, and they always held their charge and never malfunctioned. They also just feel more robust and compact and less likely to be damaged given their form factor.
The manufacturer says that they can withstand drops from 4.9' (though this was something I didn't thoroughly test), and even if they do crack, are apparently easily sorted out through Bebob support. Though I didn't drop these directly onto a hard surface like concrete, I did a fair amount of tossing them around from bags and especially in moving vehicles where they were jostling around through hours of mountain roads.
Battery Life: 5/5
For some reason, these batteries just seemed to run a little longer than I thought they would. I have consistently gotten 5 hours running time on an URSA Mini rig with the EVF on the 150wh. For this review, it's just really simple: it's very usable. It's a battery and it works. No noticeable drop of battery capacity within the first 2 months of use.
This review is pretty straight forward as there's really not much to talk about. These batteries work great and they make going back to larger V-mount batteries seem downright silly. Just look at the size difference compared to a Switronix Hypercore. Overall it's hard to complain about the functionality we're used to in a smaller form factor, and with the hell I put them through, these batteries have proved themselves reliable enough to be a solid option for any filmmaker.