I’ve been shooting event video in and around the tri-state area (New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut) for the past 10 years using a Sony DVCAM ENG-style camera. After a couple of years in business, I moved to a complete Anton/Bauer battery system to power my camera packages, and I was extremely happy with the durability and reliability they gave me. The phone and field technical support Anton/Bauer gave my small independent company has always made me feel just like one of the big boys at the TV networks.
In the event video business, we pride ourselves on discreet, unobtrusive methods of shooting and acquiring our footage. That’s why, as technology in small camera development has evolved, I’ve wanted for some time to begin shooting with lighter, more inconspicuous camera gear. Finding a camera was never the problem with a market full of choices.
Yet when it came to a dependable way of powering a camera for a full day of shooting in the field, as well as finding a lighting system that could stand up to the demands of a live shoot, the choices were few and far between.
That is, until the release of Anton/Bauer’s ElipZ system, designed specifically for the smaller DV and HD camera user. It shows how Anton/Bauer’s research and development team was paying attention and listening to the videographer in the field and developing products specifically for us.
Working with today’s smaller cameras has created many obstacles for videographers to overcome. Due to the cameras’ smaller size, we are limited as to what we can put on them without making them heavier and more cumbersome, affecting the balance of the cameras while we run-and-gun with them.
One of the reasons why I hadn’t been shooting exclusively with a smaller camera was because I really hated being tethered to a battery belt. The ElipZ system changes all that. It allows me the freedom and mobility I’ve been looking for in a battery system while adding minimum weight to the camera. The placement of the ElipZ battery under the camera is genius. Having the ability to screw my camera plate directly into the battery housing is a really cool and economical way of saving time in the field, when I’m switching the camera from the tripod to the monopod or the steady-pod.
I was initially introduced to the ElipZ system when one of the Anton/Bauer associates in the field, Sol Comerchero, gave me a test drive on the show floor at WEVA Expo 2007. The buzz he created with the ElipZ system demo had the booth crowded all day long. He showed me how the ElipZ system could not only power the camera and ElightZ but how with the innovative EgripZ hand-held camera support, I could also shoot more unique and stable shots.
It was a no-brainer. I purchased the entire system plus an extra battery on the spot. I couldn’t wait to incorporate the ElipZ system into my workflow and get really cool high- and low-angle smooth and steady camera shots.
I’ve used the Anton/Bauer 20 W Ultra Light for the past 8 years and love it. I was a little worried about using the 10 W ElightZ, but I found that in a side-by-side comparison, this 10 W ElightZ is just as bright in low-light situations as my 20 W Ultra Light. I’m not sure why—maybe it’s the reflector inside the unit, but it really doesn’t matter. All I care about is that it works.
I’ve heard talk of a soon-to-be-released wide-angle adapter. This would be awesome for softening and spreading the light.
The ElipZ system runs the camera and light all day (6–8 hours). It’s really a joy to not worry about battery power all day. I don’t have to look for an outlet to plug my charger into while on location. In the run-and-gun world of event video, this allows me to stay with my client, never missing the special moments that come and go in the blink of an eye. Now, I can be focused on just getting the shot.
To review, not only does the ElipZ system give you the power you need to run your camera and light all day, it also enables you to get some steady, innovative shots and angles that are virtually impossible to get with a larger ENG-style camera without having a crane or dolly setup handy. For me it is the best camera-mounted system money can buy.
With the release of the ElipZ system, the revolutionary concept in small camera battery power and lighting is now complete. It is a great addition to my shooting arsenal, and I can’t praise it enough. I would recommend this ElipZ system to everyone in the event video business. If you’re uncertain of which new camera system to buy, one thing is certain: Anton/Bauer has a battery solution that can be used on whatever camera you use as you move into in the future.
The ElipZ system is a great investment. If you’re like me and don’t want the hassle of being tethered to a battery belt, freedom is just an ElipZ system away.
Tony Cucci (tonycucci at mac.com) runs Dream Maker Productions of Bronx, N.Y.