The new Atomos Power Station is designed to solve the problem of running out of power in the middle of a shoot and having to change batteries on cameras, lights and other equipment. It can also be used for anything that can be powered using a USB port (it has two), such as iPhones or even iPads.
It can deliver up to 48W of power, which limits the size of lights or complex camera rigs that it can be used with, but for 80-90% users this should be more than enough.
“We’ve been watching our customers with 5D Mark IIIs, etc., and they have so much to carry – always stopping and changing batteries. The more professional they become, the more devices they use, powering those devices become a big challenge, and this is the answer to that,” said Jeromy Young, CEO and founder of Atomos (pictured above).
The Power Station takes Atomos’ patented continuous power technology (as seen originally on its Ninja recorder) and puts it into “a light, portable and easy to mount unit for any camera, monitor, recorder, lighting or microphone.”
There are two DC outputs, one with a splitter cable, to power three devices. There is also a DC input, for a built-in “super-fast” charger, which can charge one of the two included 2600mAh NP-size batteries in one hour (or both in two hours), with LEDs viewable from two sides showing the power remaining in each.
“We have a lot of protection circuitry in here, so if people plug the output into the input, nothing happens,” he added.
There are two USB outputs, for charging some DSLRs, such as the Sony A7s, or personal devices, including an iPad (this needs 2 amps, which is available on one USB output – if both outputs are used, each outputs 1 amp). “You can get three or four iPhone charges out of two batteries,” said Young, who used it for powering his iPhone and iPad on the trip from Australia. “It’s very convenient.”
The batteries are hot swappable, and camera users can stick with their main batteries, as there are adaptor plates for Sony A7, Panasonic GH4, Canon 5DMkIII, Nikon D series and many others, so they can use and charge their own batteries on the Power Station. “People don’t want to have to manage several different types of battery,” he said.
It comes with the two batteries, plus DC adaptors for the most popular models of DSLR. There will be a range of cables available for different devices, including dummy batteries for smaller cameras that don’t have external power input, as well as D-Tap, Lemo, Hirose and other connectors.
It is ideal for the new Atomos Shogun 4K recorder/monitor (pictured above with Power Station), which only has a single battery (as there wasn’t enough room on the back, with the SDI I/O and SSD, to put a dual battery system). If it is fitted, it will be able to power the Shogun and a camera at the same time. The Power Station has mounts for fitting underneath the Shogun, or a camera or monitor.
“It means you will never run out of power. This lets you keep going. It solves a real problem,” said Young.
The Power Station was launched on Friday on the Atomos stand (9.D25) at IBC in Amsterdam (September 12-16). It will be available next month, costing €219/£179/$295, and will weigh about 210g including batteries.
By David Fox