Red Scarlet power solutions: RedVolts or V-Mount?
Powering your RED Scarlet & RED Epic
And with no further adieu, here is our first geek out blog post. A lot of RED newcomers ask about the same things. One of these topics is power solutions. Here is my take!
One of the new selling points of the Scarlet is that RED has designed a new battery system using Redvolts, small batteries. These redvolts are small, lightweight, and cheap, so they are ideal for run and gun situations. They can be placed inside the DSLR style side handle or a battery module for the back of the camera. Redvolts make RED Scarlets and Epics into super light weight cinema cameras, and their size/form factor is really one of the Scarlet/Epic’s greatest strengths. Unfortunately, for studio productions, the redvolts only supply the camera with around 35 minutes of power on standby mode and less when rolling. Changing redvolts every 30 minutes on set sucks up a lot of precious time throughout a 10 or 12 hours day. Furthermore, in order to stay on top the charges, you will need about 4 of them and be constantly charging while you’re shooting. If you want to get through the whole day without charging, you’ll be looking to get a dozen or more.
Another option is to use REDVolt XL’s with the quad battery module, but I don’t see any reason for one to get a battery module. If you are looking to power a RED Epic or Scarlet, use the side handle with Redvolts or a V-mount/A-mount. I don’t see any benefit of making the camera larger, longer, and heavier with the battery modules. RED is creating more modules like the Meizler module that I would much rather have on the back of my camera.
Long Duration RED Scarlet Power Options
In order to get extended camera operating time, grab a Scarlet/Epic to V-Mount adapter. Though the V-mount batteries and chargers are much more expensive, you will get around two and a half hours of roll time out of your Scarlet using one RED V-mount Brick. With four batteries you will be all set to go all day. With these adaptors, you now have several different options. Most of these solutions call for two pieces that need to be assembled by YOU. This is because one plate must be screwed into the camera and then the battery plate attached to that plate. The two units must be securely held in place and have screws going in both directions. It takes about five minutes to do and is very simple. Customer service from these companies as well as online videos will walk you through it.
RED BACKPACK QUICKPLATE + DSMC BACKPACK: – $1,850 – The official RED solution is quite pricey, though very solid construction, and has some flexibility as far as how you mount it. Note that you need the Backpack in order to mount the Quickplate.
2B-TO-1B POWER ADAPTER CABLE – $190 – This allows you to power your new Epic or Scarlet with the old power plates for the Red One. This is definitely a more cost effective solution. If you get this cable and happen to have a Red One Battery Plate, you will end up with a pretty cheap power solution. I have used this power solution before and it works. Although, it is a bit gangly with cables.
Meizler Module – $13,000 – I can’t say much about this, as it isn’t available yet. Check it out though, way more than a battery plate. Super amazing stuff.
Off Brand RED Power Solutions:
Here is a quick list of some of the aftermarket Red to V-mount adapters
MG1 Concepts Scarlet V-Mount Pro Battery Plate – $499 – A very economical option, I know a lot of people have tried this out, check out the reduser forums. No quick release function but seems to go on quickly.
Wooden Camera Switronix V-mount + Quickback v2 – $548 – This is what we currently use, and i think was the best option at the time. I have never had any problems with it, but my only concern is that the lemo cable is a bit long and a little stiff. Note the Switchtronix plate also has two d-taps, which is great. Wooden Camera is now offering a Fixed Back ($99) as another option instead of the Quickback. The fixed back doesn’t have a quick release system and will be screwed onto the body of the camera. This seems like a pretty great low cost option as it would bring total V-mount solution to $398! I would also recommend this because even with the quick mounted solutions from Viewfactor and Wooden Camera, the mounting plate should be screwed into the body in addition to the quick mount. This insures the shuttle mount (a-lock) on the back of your camera won’t get torn off under stress. Also, as some people have noted, the Wooden Camera version 1 Quickback is a tad loose. This isn’t the case for myself, as it is a snug fit on the back of the camera, but I have heard multiple people say it isn’t a firm connection. I’ve heard the same about the VF v1 as well. – Worth looking in to!
Wooden Camera is also now offering a Jetpack solution which comes complete with a slew of power outputs which is great! Two power taps, one USB, one 5v lemo and two 12volts! Extremely cool product. Before this I think the only thing that came close was the super chic Action Products. If you need these power options for your monitors, wireless follow focuses, or to charge your cell phone, it seems like a great deal!
Some people on Reduser also reminded me about the WC cable. It is a bit long, which isn’t necessarily bad, but it does seem more brittle than the cables on other plates. I am definitely more delicate when I pack it, as I feel like if it gets bent too much, it will break. The VF short cable is much shorter and more pliable, and from what I hear Cinema Oxide’s is good as well.