Reviews |Berenstargh V Mount Batteries

Berenstargh V Mount Batteries Review

Berenstargh V Mount review
Review

Price when reviewed

£259

$299

Our Verdict

New to the UK camera market, battery manufacturer Berenstarg has landed, and their stock of power solutions for popular cameras and accessories is instantly making its mark. Overall the quality is excellent, from the casing through to the capacity and robustness of charge. I used the mid-range 12.8Ah 95V with the Rotolight AEOS, not only was I impressed by the life, but, also the small additional features that pushed this battery well beyond my stock Rotolight power.

For

  • Holds power well
  • High-quality build
  • USB power for accessories

Against

  • At present only available through website

What is the Berenstarg V Mount Battery

V Mount batteries are big, heavy and pack the power required for energy-hungry broadcast cameras and lighting.

Due to their intended use, V Mount is expensive, often eye-watering so. A standard Rotolight 95Wh can set you back a cool £300, so any savings, however, small are always welcome.

Berenstargh V Mount review

However, as I have found to my cost in the past, cheap batteries are not always what they’re cracked up to. Stated capacities are often well below advertised, and as a general rule of thumb, if the deal seems too good to be true, then it usually is.

What’s more, if you think about it why would you risk sticking a cheap battery on to your kit, if anything is going to destroy your camera it’s an unrated, unreliable source of power.

Berenstargh is a German company that has just started distribution in the UK. While the price of their V Mount batteries is still high, you are saving a little when compared to the likes of Rotolight.

When the Berenstargh units arrived, I gave them a full charge, and on the first run, the charge and power compared like-for-like with my usual V Mounts powering the Rotolight AEOS.

But would the power be consistent? I tested the V Mount batteries over a couple of months and in that time discovered a few interesting additional features that helped save the day more than once.

Features

In this test, I looked at three of the four available capacities of the Berenstargh V mount batteries. The different models are the V50, V95, V145 and V190.

For the majority of the test, I’ll refer to the mid-range the V95.

Berenstargh V Mount review

Berenstargh makes several claims about there batteries, and as part of this test, I was interested to see if these ring true.

The first is that the batteries are 30% smaller than the competitor equivalents. To put this claim to the test, I weighed and measured up the V95 against the Rotolight RL-Batt-95. Each with a similar spec.

First, the weight, the V95 comes in at 530g while the RL-Batt-95 tipped the scales at 720g, almost a 200g weight saving.

Size-wise as well the V95 measured in at 75mm x 102mm x 49mm compared to 85mm x 125mm x 50mm, again quite a difference.

On the weight then there is almost a 30% difference, and again the volume is close to that 30% difference as well.

When it comes to connection, there’s the usual P-Tap / D-Tap for external devices which you would expect.

Then there are two additional features that you don’t usually find on this type of battery. The first is a USB port; this can be used to charge your mobile phone or any other USB device you have. The second is a small LED lamp on the underside.

Hold down the battery light indicator on the side for a couple of seconds, and the small light illuminates for around a minute.

Build and Handling

In this test, I’ve taken to comparing the V95 against the RL-Batt-95, they’re direct competitors even if the price is quite different.

While the power they exert is almost identical, the build of the two batteries is quite different, and this is why the price elevates for the Rotolight.

Berenstargh V Mount review

The slightly rubberised outer of the Rotolight just gives it that extra level of protection if the battery was top be dropped, or more usually thrown into a kit bag after a long days shoot.

The Berenstargh is still well made, and the hard exterior shell will stand up to a good level of abuse, but it is just a standard battery outer, unlike the RL-Batt-95.

While the aesthetics and materials might not match those of the Rotolighht, the V95 still has the feeling of a premium product. The moulding is all good and fitting to the AEOS; it slotted and clicked into place with reassuring accuracy.

Overall the design while simple is good, there’s some slight indents in the casing design that make getting a good purchase on the battery easy.

The addition of the USB port is also a nice addition and the port is protected by a small sliding door to enable access and keep it protected when not in use.

Performance

Through this test, I used the Berenstargh alongside the Rotolight, and the performance from both was roughly the same when it came to the power supplied by the batteries.

On average, from the V95, I was getting around an hour and a half of use with the majority of that being at full power. On a shoot with the AEOS set to around 50% power, and being dimmed or switched off between shots, the battery happily powered the AEOS for the full half-day shoot as the main light.

Berenstargh V Mount review

Through the test, I had no issues at all with the battery, and its performance was as good as my other V Mount batteries.

But, two features made a difference. The first is the USB port on the side of the battery. This essentially enables you to charge accessories such as smartphones and tablets.

This has obvious benefits but especially when your stuck out in a shoot in a field, and everyone’s batteries are going dead. Alongside the V95 I also had the larger V190, this was used to charge, phones, cameras and the autocue that had been left on when checking the night before.

Just for that one feature, this line of batteries is well worth it.

The other feature is the small LED on the back, it’s not hugely powerful, but it does emit enough light to throw soft illumination inside your kit bag a tad brighter would have been good.

Verdict

Let’s look at the basics; the Berenstargh V Mount Batteries are quality power options. They supply the power BEremstargh state and compete with the likes of Rotolight when it comes to longevity.

Unlike the Rotolight batteries, the Berenstargh V Mount casing is a hard plastic rather than rubberised, so you do need to be a little more careful when handling, but that outer case is still strong.

Berenstargh V Mount review

The added features such as the USB and LED light are useful additions; the USB more so than the LED which emits more of a faint glow than a beam of light.

Overall I’ve been incredibly impressed with the quality and durability of the Berenstargh V Mount Batteries and would highly recommend them as a reliable option for any equipment that relies on them for power.

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