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External battery solutions for GH4
  • Anyone successfully using external batteries with the GH4? I am using the ones I had with the GH2 which was a 9V/12V Li-ion external battery which was purchased from eBay (basically one of these: http://www.ebay.com/itm/DC-12V-6500MA-9V-8500MA-5V-15000MA-Rechargeable-Li-ion-Battery-Pack-for-CCTV-Cam-/370960595674?pt=US_Rechargeable_Batteries&hash=item565ef97ada). What I am noticing is that when I turn on the GH4, I see the battery indicator on the GH4 show full battery status but flickering like mad. If the LCD is on, the display flickers too. The flickering battery indicator actually is an issue because the moment you try to access the menu system, you get kicked out immediately. Although it seems that I can still record despite the flicker.

    If you are using an external battery solution successfully, what do you have?

  • 42 Replies sorted by
  • I've recalibrated the voltage converter from the batteries I was using on my GH2 to 8.8v - GH4 working great

  • @mrbill. I will need to check what voltage my external batteries are outputting. What voltage converter are you using?

  • To be honest, I can't remember - it was a very cheap Chinese voltage regulator board. We just measured the output of the gh4 ac adapter and matched that - it was very close to the output I had for the GH2. I'm using the same 12v battery source as before.

  • Gotcha. I measured the output of the GH4 battery and it was something in the range of 7.8v. I measured the external battery which I used with the GH2 and it was around 9.0v I guess a bit too high for GH4 (but worked generally well for GH2). I'm going to pick up some voltage regulators off eBay as well to lower the voltage.

  • @dracore

    You got it wrong. Panasonic bodies measure voltage, if it is above certain level they assume that it is AC adapter connected and do not make any checks. If it is below this level they run special checks ensuring that proper (read - bought from Panasonic) battery is inserted. Usually third party batteries try to look at AC adapter also, at least cheap ones :-)

  • @Vitaliy_Kiselev Ah I see. I measured the DC off my GH3 coupler and I'm registering 9.3V. If that is the case, perhaps tapping off of the 9V output of my external batt is no longer enough power, and I would have to use the 12V output and step down to 9.3

  • So I got the voltage regulator in place and is now feeding enough power to my camera. So just wanted to post some photos of how it's currently rigged. Kind of ugly -- wish I had a case... right now it's just held together by electrical tape and velcro.

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  • image

    The PB70-GH4 PowerBase-70 Battery Pack is a 77Wh, 14.8V Lithium-ion battery designed to extend HD recording time for the Panasonic GH4. This battery pack comes with a base that accommodates the battery and a battery paddle to insert into the camera. It included GP-DV-GH4 Interchangeable Regulator Block and has a 12" cable. The PowerBase-70 delivers 6 times more power than the original battery supplied with the camera.

    It is also intended to streamline your recording: the PowerBase-70 mounts under the camera and doubles as a grip, or can be attached to a camera support via its 1/4"-20 release plate or V-mount. Wired as a 14.8V battery pack, it can provide extended power for up to two additional 12VDC devices such as lights, monitors or HD converters as well as other devices requiring lower voltage (an optional XP power regulation cable is needed). The pack is also furnished with 1/4"-20 threads on either side to mount accessories.

    http://www.switronix.com/products?page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage.tpl&product_id=237&category_id=56

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  • Hope this is in the right thread. Just ordered a GH4 and trying to get a AC power solution ordered as well. I have a GH2 Panasonic AC adaptor. Do I just need the GH4 Battery Dummy (DMW-DCC12) to plug into that? Or is it a different voltage etc? If I buy the Panasonic ac adaptor ( DMW-AC10 ) is there anywhere on cam to plug it in without the DMW-YAGH unit? Got some jobs booked for end of the month and need to get this sorted. Thanks for any input

  • @s_maurice - don't use any gh2 parts. The gh3/4 mains unit is the same as they share the same battery. You need to go from your battery source into a voltage regulator (I mounted mine in a small plastic box) then from the regulator into the battery adapter. I have mine set to 8.8v and it works great.

  • Thanks for info mrbill. Do you have a link to the gear you put together ?

  • I think it would - use the 9v output and you should be good

  • careful, the price on that ebay link is set to over $1000 even though the past items sold for ~$90. even though you see a lot of 'sold' items, be wary.

  • He did that because of me lol. It was $89 when I looked at it. I asked about the item and he realised he was out of stock. He said he would put the price up until more came in late next week to avoid orders....

    A friend told me this afternoon that he has tried these batteries and they dont perform well. The search continues.....

  • I use Naztech Power Bank batteries - they cost a bit more, but I get long life and reliability. They have a variable output - the 9v setting should work with your gh4

  • Which one do you use mrbill?

  • The 15000 model

  • Naztech look interesting. Ditto on the http://www.ebay.com/itm/External-Rechargeable-Battery-for-Panasonic-GH3-GH4-Video-8500mAh-DMW-DCC12-/181134841252 These don't work and the seller doesn't reply when contacted.

  • So Mrbill, Just to confirm, do you use one of the attachments that come with the Naztech PB15000 Universal Power Bank (see pic) to plug into the dummy battery like this one- http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/like/181469766404?limghlpsr=true&hlpv=2&ops=true&viphx=1&hlpht=true&lpid=107 And set the Naztech to 9v?

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  • I have my voltage selector set to 12v on my Naztechs. I come out of the Naztech into my voltage regulator, which steps the voltage down to 8.8v (I bought the cables to do this from an electrical store in the UK called Maplins). I come out of the voltage regulator and plug into the dummy battery of the ac unit (like the one you link to), and then into the GH4.

    I can't see why it shouldn't work bypassing the voltage regulator and just setting the Naztech to a 9v output, but please be aware you do this at your own risk. 8.8v I know is working..

  • Thanks mrbill.

  • @mickos those do work because I use them now and I have it going through a voltage regulator

  • Just some information. I actually use voltage regulator to drop 12V down to 10.5V. At this level, the GH4 thinks the AC adapter is connected. If I go to 9V or less, the battery indicator shows up and the camera will do checks to verify the battery (which then fails and then turns off the camera). Around 9.7-10V, the camera constantly switches between battery and no-battery mode - this shows up as a flickering battery indicator. When this happens, you will have issues accessing the menu system because it will keep closing on you, however, record does work.

    TL;DR make sure to feed enough voltage so the battery indicator disappears completely