Blind Spot Gear is a small UK-based company that became well-known for their lightweight and versatile Scorpion Light. They’ve since put on a few more Kickstarter campaigns, and now they’re working on their fifth, for the Power Junkie.
In a nutshell, the Power Junkie is a portable power solution that utilizes Sony NP-F batteries (aka Sony L-Series batteries). It can power any DSLR or mirrorless camera, or USB devices, and it itself acts as a charger for NP-F batteries.
You can read the rest of the article, but to save you time, we think everyone ought to get one of these. It’s only about $45.
Sony NP-F batteries are ubiquitous in the video production world. They’re the default battery mount for many LED lights, audio accessories, external monitors, you name it. They come in a variety of sizes, which makes them more handy than the other popular accessory battery, the Canon LP-E6, which only comes in one size.
We carry more than a dozen Sony NP-F batteries with us to every shoot, in different sizes. The fact that we can place two of them into a V-mount adapter (like this Fotodiox one) means we can also use these batteries to power larger LED lights if we run out of V-mounts or if we’re limited by air travel restrictions.
Now with the Blind Spot Gear Power Junkie, these batteries take on a whole new level of usefulness.
Powering a Camera with the Blind Spot Gear Power Junkie
Inside the Power Junkie there’s a DC barrel and two USB ports. The DC output can be used to plug in a dummy battery that goes into any number of cameras. Blind Spot Gear has a full list of supported cameras on their Kickstarter site, but from the looks of it, pretty much every Canon, Nikon, Panasonic, Sony, and Fujifilm camera is on the list, including the new Canon EOS R and Nikon Z7/Z6 cameras.
For anyone who is ordering the Power Junkie through the Kickstarter campaign, the option to choose your dummy battery will be available after the campaign ends. But Blind Spot Gear sells their products online and at large retailers, including at B&H Photo, so we can assume you’ll be able to buy additional dummy batteries in the future, after the Kickstarter campaign ends.
The Power Junkie unit is quite small and easy to mount to your camera in a variety of ways. It has a 1/4-inch thread, cable tie, and a cold shoe mount, so you’ll be able to adapt it to your rig of choice.
For many professional video shooters, one of the main downsides of using a small mirrorless or DSLR camera is the tiny batteries. You can certainly carry a large stock of them, but having to change batteries frequently during a shoot can be a frustrating hindrance. The forthcoming Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4k is a good example. It looks to be an amazing camera, but having to change batteries every 20-30 minutes could be a nightmare.
There are other dummy battery solutions out there of course, but the Power Junkie has some notable features that can be very useful in certain situations. For example, they have a video showing a GoPro Karma, which depends on a smartphone to monitor the GoPro. With the Power Junkie, you can power both the phone as well as the Karma with one hefty Sony NP-F battery.
Timelapse photography is another perfect use case for the Power Junkie. Whether you use a GoPro or a DSLR or mirrorless camera, you can extend the duration of a timelapse by using a large Sony NP-F battery.
Caleb Pike from DSLR Video Shooter shows a few other examples of using the Power Junkie to power multiple devices, in addition to the camera. For example, you can power a wireless receiver, a monitor, and even a camera top light. The two USB ports, in addition to the DC barrel, can power those accessories.
Of course, with so many devices drawing power from a single NP-F battery, the battery will only last so long. But one of the best features of the Power Junkie is it has a battery meter built-in. So you can actually keep track of how much battery life you have in your Sony battery that’s powering your camera and accessories.
That itself is worth its weight in gold. Currently when we’re traveling with over a dozen NP-F batteries, we quickly lose track of how much juice is left in each battery.
You can have a gaff tape system to tell yourself what’s been used, but most likely you’ll end up with several batteries that have partial power left, and you’re never really sure which one has the most.
So often what happens is in a hurry, you place fresh batteries on your light or audio gear, just to be safe. But throughout the day, you run out of fresh batteries, and so you go back to your stock of partially charged batteries, and hope for the best. And very quickly you start to find out what batteries are nearly dead, with your devices running out of power mid shoot.
Yes, it would be fantastic if Sony NP-F batteries all had power meters built into them. But in the meantime, the Power Junkie solves this issue, and we couldn’t be happier.
This little device can also be used to power your NP-F batteries, through either a USB-C or Micro-USB input. That’s another boost in our book. We carry at least one of these Watson duo chargers to every shoot, but when we arrive at a hotel room late at night, we can only charge two batteries at a time. You have to get up every couple hours to switch out the batteries.
With the Power Junkie, you not only have one more NP-F charger in your tool belt, but you can actually charge the battery while the DC barrel is in use. That’s huge. Imagine being able to use the Power Junkie to power a camera for a long timelapse, with a large Sony NP-F battery, but then also connect a large USB battery to extend the life of the Power Junkie even more.
And finally, with the USB output the Power Junkie can also charge your phone when you’re on the road, away from outlets, and can’t find a USB battery for the life of you.
The Blind Spot Gear Power Junkie has earned a place in our kit even before it’s available. For $45 on its own, or $65 with a dummy battery, it’s a no brainer.
Blind Spot Gear Power Junkie on Kickstarter