BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera 12V Battery Plate DIY

As amazing as this little camera is, it's annoying that the BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera requires extra juice just to make it run for more than 40 minutes. I tried the Switronix Pocketbase (seen here) which works, but I personally grew tired of the form factor, and how it blocks access to the SD Card (battery door) so I decided to DIY my own adapter.

The BMPC DC input uses a 12V power source, so i've decided to use a 12V battery plate that i've just added the proper 2.5mm OD x 0.7mm ID barrel adapter tip to. It's hardly DIY since all you have to do is cut off the tip and replace it with the proper sized DC Plug.

These battery plates will take a certain battery and step the voltage up to 12V. I've even tested the guts against a Sony 7.4V battery, and it works great, but decided to go back to the original battery plate because of it's slim profile. If you dig hard enough you can find many of these battery plates online dedicated for common Canon LP-E6, or Sony L Series / NP-F Type batteries.

You can see how handy it is to have a cage for mounting accessories on the BMPCC. I could either keep the battery off to the side, or relocate it to the rails with a clamp. There are many great cages on the market, but in the video i'm using the Shape Cage for the BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera.

Shape Cage BlackMagic Pocket Camera Shape Cage BMPC Shape Cage BlackMagic Pocket Camera Rig
find-price-button Shape Cage for BlackMagic Pocket Camera + Top Handle + 15mm Rail Base

If you stuck with the Canon BP battery plate + Canon BP battery + DC Plug, I would say this entire DIY project will run $50 dollars or less and take you less than 5 minutes (yes that total cost even includes the battery). It's much cheaper than other off the shelf products in retail stores right now to power the BMPCC, and I find it to be a clean and simple solution.

Here's the 12V step up Battery Plate i'm using which takes the Canon BP batteries typically used in the older GL2 camcorders. Eventually i'll track down a cheap Canon LP-E6 battery plate or Sony L Series plate and use these guts to step it up to 12V. Here's my current parts list below if you want to tackle this for yourself.

Canon Battery BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera
find-price-button 7V step up 12V Battery Plate for Canon BP Battery12V BP Plate

Canon GL2 BP battery for BMPC BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera
find-price-button Canon BP Series Batteries for GL2

If you're looking to DIY your own power cable for the Pocket Cinema Camera, the specs for the power plug from BlackMagic Design are 2.5mm OD x 0.7mm ID which you can find on eBay. To keep things small (unlike my current adapter), I suggest going for the right angle tips (found here).

DIY blackmagic 12V power battery 2.5mm 0.7mm right angle dc male plug cheesycam
find-price-button 2.5mm OD X 0.7mm ID Male DC Plug





36 thoughts on “BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera 12V Battery Plate DIY

  1. Mohammad Tavakoli

    I've been trying figure out an LP-E6 version since I already have a lot of the batteries. I found this one on ebay but it doesn't mention anything about bumping up the voltage to 12V. I'm assuming it does because it's intended for monitors that also require 12V input. Does anyone know if that is definitely the case?

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Universal-Canon-LP-E6-Battery-Buckle-Plate-Adapter-Replace-for-LILLIPUT-Monitor-/400553982215?pt=Camera_Cables_Cords&hash=item5d42e0b907

    It looks like a very small piece that would easily mount onto the cage.

  2. Emm

    Post author

    I have several several Tekkeon batteries and i'm still using them today with every accessory I have. I'm not sure what's going on with that guys battery, but he seems to be doing quite a bit of modifications, possibly damaged his battery in some way?

    In any case, here's a very simple solution that mounts to 15mm rails: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1025805-REG/indipro_tools_dual_lp6_battery_with.html

    or if you prefer bigger sony batteries: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1025808-REG/indipro_tools_dual_sony_7_2v_batt.html

    If you are considering adapting XLR microphones directly to your BMPCC, here's one with an adapter: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1035931-REG/indipro_tools_pasonybmp_power_grid_for_blackmagic.html

  3. Amy O

    I'm intrigued by this as a new BMPCC owner. I found this product while searching for plates to hack with a step-up converter. http://www.fvlighting.com/dv-battery-plate-sony-np-f.html
    Comes in Sony NP-F, Canon BP930, Canon LP-E6, and Panasonic D28S. It is about $35, but the cord isn't hardwired, so you can source the appropriate connecting cord and not have to splice (for those who are nervous about that.) Hope this is useful to someone.

    Thanks for all the great advice on this site!

  4. Emm

    Post author

    @CammonRandle - I've confirmed Positive is 'In' and Negative 'Out'. Exactly as the image I shared earlier.

  5. Emm

    Post author

    @CammonRandle - Ok, let me double check when i'm in the studio. I can't remember off the top of my head.

  6. Sorry I should have mentioned. I don't have the AC adapter. Mine is on it's way. So I have been trying to discover before rather than wait for my transormer to show up

  7. Emm

    Post author

    @CammonRandle - I will have to double check this, but one very simple way to find out is to look at the back of your AC wall adapter. You should see a polarity symbol icon. It should look something like the example below.

    Reading this image states that Positive is inside and Negative is on the outside [sleeve]. For any camera you want to create cables for, you can always reference the AC adapter, which almost always has the polarity symbol, along with other information such as DC Voltage Output.

  8. Hey always good to find new uses for older but still usable batteries that are about. But I have been trying to look this up, haven't been able to get to my meeter, but what polarity is the BMPCC DC input? Positive post or positive sleeve? I don't have access to my meeter. I don't want to wore this sucker up backwards and fry the camera,

  9. Emm

    Post author

    @Mark - Sorry, I haven't. I ordered a new right angle cable to redo my setup. I have to solder this new cable in.

  10. Emm

    Post author

    @Al Dolega - Someone mentioned the BMPCC may be able to run off the standard battery without stepping up the voltage. I haven't tried this, but that should essentially just require changing the tip.

  11. Emm

    Post author

    @Fabio - The Tekkeon batteries are excellent because you can change from 5V-19V, and they last a good while. You only get one DC output, they are about $140 bucks, and you still have to find a way to mount it with your rig. I use them for more than my camera rigs, so I love them, but they aren't perfect in every situation.

  12. Fabio

    I'd like to power a BM pocket camera and a lilliput 663. Both have 12v input. At the moment I don't have any external battery, so I'd like to invest in a power system to mount on my rig that will be compatible with different voltage, and more output. For example if I will buy in the future a BM 2,5k or a BM 4k I'd prefer to have compatible batteries
    A thing like this: Dynacore D-C V-Mount Power Adaptor with HDMI Distributor. But it has only one 12v output.
    Thank you
    Fabio

  13. John

    @Emm Oh for sure, I just had it around and I wanted to see if it would work. But I'm more concerned about the long term effects of running less than 12V through the camera. To be perfectly honest I'd be happy enough with an extra 30 - 40 min, as long as I can be sure that I won't fry my camera!

  14. Emm

    Post author

    @John - The size of the EN-EL20 is limited, so I doubt you'll ever get enough run time to justify the extra bulk. It's probably better to look for a larger battery type that can offer a couple of hours of extra run time.

  15. John

    You've inspired me to tinker a bit, and wiring the external power plug to a standard EN-EL20 battery plate and giving it a go, I can confirm that the camera WILL RUN with a 7.2v battery. It won't charge the internal battery, and with some quick tests I only seem to get an extra half hour of battery life (one EN-EL20 in the camera and one EN-EL20 plugged in externally). The only problem is, I'm not sure if I really want to do this long term. Just because it works doesn't mean it's good for it...

  16. Emm

    Post author

    @Geoff - The battery plate i'm using is compatible to any battery that would normally fit the Canon GL2 camcorder. These are still popular batteries as they were used on many camcorder models. Typically the number represents the size of the battery (smaller or larger capacity).

  17. Emm

    Post author

    @Pete - I have another set of battery plate + cable. I'll do another very straight forward step by step version.

  18. Pete

    thanks for this. I really want to set this up on my BMPC cage too. but when it comes to rewiring I'm a bit simple. how did you get it to mount and do i need to cut any cords with using the three items you suggest and have kindly linked.
    cheers.

  19. Emm

    Post author

    @Aron J Anderson - I haven't had a chance to get out and shoot much RAW footage yet, and it just started raining out here. Sucks. Mostly using Canon and GH3 for quick stuff.

  20. robert

    Thanks for clearing it up.

    Yeah I said before I think the camera should be slightly bigger to accommodate those sorts of batteries. It would only have to be slightly taller and a bit deeper, which would help as a hand grip and the extra space doesn't really matter because a lens has to take up space in the same direction. It's one of the few spaces that can afford to get bigger.

    I think the cameras should be as small as possible, while being able to hold decent battery life and I think the BMPCC is really close.

    Are you going to shoot any sit down type interviews with your new set up?

  21. Emm

    Post author

    @robert - Yes, it will work with those Sony batteries, just have to find the right plate that bumps it to 12V. Unless i'm doing something wrong, the BMPCC will not power up if the input is not 12V. Those plates are out there, just trying to find a good deal on one.

  22. robert

    Nice one Emm.

    I have about seven Sony NP-F770s lying around. You said you just need to find the 7V step up 12V Battery Plate for Sony NP - is that it?

    Thanks,

    Robert

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