Their here and I've stole Dave thunder a little by talking about the batteries here.
In short - I'm pleased and impressed.
Just got back from Death Valley, Mono Lake, and Bodie. Just about a week of photographing landscapes using the new Li ion battery insert in the DF. Flawless performance. I didn't have to give any thought to power for the DF body a single bit---and that's the way it should be.
I remain convinced that any DF/Back lock-up issues are power-related, and firmware may address the issue. I experienced only three lock-ups during my entire trip (MUP with electromagnetic release cable) and all three of those times were when my IQ180 batteries were exhausted (noted on camera lcd and back lcd). I was aware that the back batteries were exhausted but simply chose to keep on shooting.
The EJJI 10K Rechargeable Li ion Battery insert simply removes one more item to think about---and better insures steady reliable power whereas more fluctuation may occur with normal AAs batteries in the insert. I wish the IQ MFDB batteries were as good!
I've had the same battery in my DF now since I left CI's office last month. I used it while coming west in Lake Martin LA and again in White Sands NM. No problems in any way.
Loose count here but I think I've changed my DF battery out at least 3x maybe 4.
I was luck enough to be visitng Dave when the batteries arrived. It's still my story that I was helping them open and unload the boxes. So what if I only took one box out and placed it near my camera bag....
Now available via our eStore:
AF/DF Body Accessories :: Capture Integration – Medium Format Digital Back Sales & Rental and Other Professional Photographic Equipment
Just be aware that the tolerances on these batteries are very tight, so the fit can be something to wrestle with (at least for a while until the alloy grip relaxes around the shape).
The kit (two batteries and charger) is $498. Basically you get a slight savings for the second battery. ($46 savings--woo-hoo, about a bag of groceries).
Not a big deal, as a single battery and charger is about $326. That Li ion battery seems to last forever, so not sure when you'd get to swap it out for the second one anyway. But I guess you need something to put in that empty charger cradle on your desk...
I don't care how EJJI calculates their savings and math over buying Energizer Lithium AAs, etc. It's still expensive (to me). But the kicker that seals the deal is that this battery means long-lasting stable power for the DF, and imho, removes low/inconsistent AA battery power as a possible source of lock-ups. This battery should (now) simply be standard equipment in the DF body, with the current AA insert offered only as an inexpensive, easily accessible, back-up power source.
Has anyone got a good idea on how many images one of these batteries is good for?
Ron, Apparently CI blew out a shutter on an old AFD trying to run down the battery. The problem is that the battery meter (if you want to even call it that) isn't very accurate imo. By the time the battery icon on the camera body signals low power (half battery icon), it's really too late. (That's usually exactly when you've triggered the release for a multiple long exposure session.... ) If you go back to the original AF and AFD models, a half battery icon meant you had enough juice to finish your roll of film. I have my doubts that the current body's battery meter is any more forgiving.
Probably a more accurate means would be to use the battery extensively and then measure with an actual battery meter outside of camera. (I've got one that probably pre-dates Radio Shack...looks cool though).
Energizer AA lithiums last a long time. This Li ion battery insert is better yet---and the point being for me is that it provides a stable, consistent power source that I don't have to worry about in studio or in the field. It's probably a good idea to swap out prior to a large assignment or that long landscape photography trip....
I have a lot of confidence in the Energizer Lithium AAs (they withstood power drain issues with older bodies). I have even more confidence in this new Li ion battery insert.
While you could go cheaper and buy just one battery and charger that would be like trying to run cross-country with one-shoe. I prefer backup batteries and never gave it a thought when I ordered the 2-battery set (I have several batteries for my P65).
Ken has addressed the power issues and I agree with him so won't add any more to that.
Ron asked how many images per battery. While I can't give an exact number (without actually counting each one) I will say the battery I'm using is the very same one I inserted in the camera shortly after it arrived and I opened the box. That was March 20th. I've used the same battery to run some tests in Atlanta then on the road as we headed back to Tucson. We visited Lake Martin LA stopping there for several hours of shooting and again along the road through Texas before stopping again in Alamogordo and visiting White Sands National Monument for 2-days of shooting. The shooting has slowed down since being home however I've continued using the same battery without any ill effects as I test my capabilities of macro/flash photography using the Mamiya 120 and Metz flash.
I've no doubt that the battery will continue for the foreseeable future. I'm currently finishing a project for delivery in Jackson Hole and will be there again next month shooing what I hope is early spring. I'll let you know if its the same battery.
I have no issues with the fit. Actually I like the tight fit which gives me confidence that it's actually seated correctly. Again, I have no issues with the cost as I'd pay much more in AA batteries. And, switching out the insert is just as easy as when switching out a back battery or a Canon battery - as it should be.
Take it from me - there's no buyer's remorse after paying the $498.
I am definitely getting one. I still shoot with an AFDII(haven't felt the need to upgrade since all my work is manual focus and the DF really doesn't look like it offers me any improvments in that respect). I am using NiMh batteries which are fine as long as I pull them out of the camera when not using it as it drains them fairly quickly even when off. I would much prefer having the new battery as carrying around a pile of NiMh's gets old and most of them are due for replacement at this point anyway.
When(if?) Phase ever comes out with a new body that looks like a justifiable upgrade, it will hopefully use this new battery! I already have box full of different chargers and really don't need to keep adding to the mess of cords under my desk!
Btw, the EJJI 10K Rechargeable Battery box claims 10,000 shots per charge---probably explaining the "10K" in the name.
Okay, so being a pessimist, cut that in half to 5K shots and you still have a pretty capable power source.
If it saves one morning out in the cold with half a dozen lock ups and the desire to throw the DF into a canyon then it seems a good investment to me, even if just for the one less hassle check off factor.
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