Sony FS5 Tip: Keep your internal battery in when rocking an external battery

Sony FS5 with Vmount battery and most importantly, its internal battery on deck

Sony FS5 with Vmount battery and most importantly, an internal battery on deck

I got all fancy and started using a v-mount battery with my Sony FS5 recently. I had to jump through some hoops to get it working, but with the help of a Wooden Camera V-Mount Battery Plate for Sony FS5, everything worked as if it were designed by Jesus.  I didn’t even need to put in the camera’s internal battery, and it saved weight to skip it. But this morning, I was shooting this timelapse…

It was a long timelapse, and the v-mount battery died during the shoot. No biggie, right? We know from experience that when an FS5’s internal batteries dies, it saves the clip before it shuts down. But when I opened the SD card on my laptop, woe and behold, I see the clip size is zero KB. Oh Shit.

File sizes of zero bytes are big trouble

Yep, it turns out that Sony FS5 likes having its external power cut when rolling about as much as a DJ likes it when a raver trips over the cord to his mixer.  It’s a train wreck, full stop.

So I thought, hmmm. Wouldn’t it be cool if you could insert the camera’s internal battery, and just have it automatically know, when you plug in that external power, that it should defer to that, while providing instant backup if the power is cut?

So I said like, a little prayer (to Sony engineering), rolled the camera with both batteries in place, put my finger on the vmount eject button, and pressed it. Off came the battery with a clunk, and… the LCD screen dimmed slightly, and… the camera kept right on rolling!

Bless you Sony engineering

In hindsight, it makes perfect sense. So maybe I was the last camera person in the world ignorant enough to make this mistake.  I’m just grateful I was able to learn this lesson on my own dime, rather than at the end of a long client interview.

It’s good to know that, with the camera’s internal battery in place, I can hot swap in and out as many vmount batteries as I like, and all my files will be recorded safely to the SD card.

Did you know to keep your internal battery loaded when powering your FS5 externally? Have you ever experienced a power-related data loss?





5 thoughts on “Sony FS5 Tip: Keep your internal battery in when rocking an external battery

  1. David Patterson

    Hi Dan. Good info about using V-mount batts with the FS5. The camera runs a long time with the inexpensive Sony BP batteries, but I need a way to power my battery hungry Shogun Inferno. I have a cheap V-mount clip for V-mount batts, and can power the Inferno for 3+ hours.

    Did you get a new Vinten video head?

    1. Dan McComb Post author

      Yeah the Inferno definitely is power hungry, and I a v-mount of one kind or another is a good idea for longer shoots.

      Re: Vinten head, I still have my AS5 Vinten head that I use regularly, and a Vinten Vision Blue head that I use less often.

      The head I’m using most of all, though, is the Sachtler FSB8. The reason I prefer it for the work I”m currently doing is because it has the touch-n-go plate, which allows me to take the camera on and off the tripod in exactly the same balance point. I don’t like that Sachtler is impossible to balance as perfectly as Vinten, but my Vinten AS5 has a side mount tripod plate which doesn’t have a mechanism for coming on and off the head in the exact same balance point. The Vision Blue is a forward slide-in plate, same problem. So different heads for different applications I guess.

  2. Thomas Naugle

    Anyone every heard of the DC power input stop working? Worked for a couple of years and stopped yesterday after my shoot. I’ve been using D-TAP to DC cables and working fine then stopped. Here are the things I’ve tried:
    • Tried my DC/AC Charger as a power source
    • Yes its Sony Brand
    • Yes I switched it from Battery Charge to DC Mode
    • Tested the cord – no breaks
    • Tested the AC/DC it also comes in around 14volts.

    Any other ways I can test if the board is fried?


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