Swit recently launched the PB-C420S, which they say is the largest capacity V-Lock battery available today. The PB-C420S is a 420Wh, 14.4V, 29.1Ah battery that can deliver a constant power load of 250W/20A and a peak load of 305W. The battery consists of 24 individual Li-ion cells.
As more and more devices come onto the market that consume a lot of electricity, batteries with a higher capacity are required. Yes, there will be some cameras and devices that will use ARRI’s new open standard B-mount batteries, but there is still a need for 14.4 VV mount and AB Gold mount batteries with high capacity. This is where the PB-C420S comes into play.
The largest capacity 14.4VV mount batteries I know of have a peak power of around 300Wh, so 420Wh is a huge step up.
If you operate powerful LED lights or large cameras with high power consumption, batteries with such a large capacity make sense. With a peak load of 305W, a pair of Swit PC-C420S batteries can fully power a 600 watt light.
It was great to be able to remove the battery from my AMIRA and then not have to spend hours changing the battery. A battery like this is also great if you need to roll continuously for long periods of time.
250W constant high load
Switch indicates the PB-C420S outputs at least 250W/20A peak load even at 1% capacity (up to 305W peak load), enabling high-performance cine cameras and on-camera devices to operate together. The high load cells also provide better battery life compared to normal load batteries. The new battery has an overcurrent protection of 24A.
What you absolutely need to know about such high-performance batteries is that despite having a capacity of 420Wh, they cannot deliver 420W of power. People might just assume that with two 420Wh batteries you could power an 840W power harvesting device, but that’s not the case.
As for powerful lights, you still can’t use two SWIT PB-C420S batteries to run devices like Aputure LS 600d/600b/600c Pro or Nanlight Forza 720d/720b at full power. If you want to run the Aputure LS 600c Pro remotely at full power, you must use 26V 18A batteries. With 14.4V 15A or 26V 8.5A batteries, you can only run the light at 50% power, regardless of their capacity.
Even with a light like Prolycht’s Orion 300 FS, you can’t use a single SWIT PB-C420S battery to power the light, as this light needs 320W to run continuously. I had to put an extra battery on the power supply/controller before it would turn on.
High power lights are difficult to operate remotely and lighting manufacturers should, at least in my opinion, spend more time clearly explaining the limitations of running lights from batteries.
If you work in broadcasting, batteries like the SWIT PB-C420S make a lot of sense, especially if you need to power 1×1 or 2×1 panel lights that are commonly used by field news crews. When you do a lot of live crossings, having a high capacity battery that can power your lights for many hours is very appealing.
The battery weighs 2.07 kg / 4.56 lb and has physical dimensions of 155 x 101 x 80 mm. Make no mistake, this is a heavy battery.
For comparison, Swit’s PB-S220S 14.4V 220Wh battery weighs 1.4 kg / 3.09 lb.
The PB-C420S features two 150W/10AD tap outputs and a five-level power bar display. Having this type of output available via a D-tap is impressive and will allow you to power lights and other devices that may not have a battery plate as long as you have the right cable.
I would have liked to see SWIT have a USB-C power output on the battery as I personally think every battery should have one. It can be very useful to power a laptop from a camera battery for extended periods in the field.
The limitation of high capacity batteries
The biggest limitation with high capacity batteries is that you can’t travel with them on an airplane. Most airlines limit the maximum capacity to 160Wh, and even then you are only allowed to take two batteries between 100 and 160Wh.
Size and weight can also be another caveat, but that really depends on your usage scenario.
Will the PB-C420S also be available with other mounts?
The new PB-C420S is currently only available in V-Lock. It is still unclear whether Swit will also release the new battery in other mounts such as B and Gold Mount.
SWIT states that the PB-C420S supports 100W/6A fast charging on a compatible charger. They go on to say that you can charge the battery from 0-80% in just under 4 hours and fully charge in 5 hours and 20 minutes.
|power load||250W/20A constant, 305W peak|
|D tap||2× D-Tap 150W/10A total|
|Load||DC 16.8V, 6A max|
|height Weight||155×101×80mm, 2.07kg|
Prices & Availability
The SWIT PB-C420S is available for USD 629.10 for the next 15 days. Normal price is $699.
The SWIT PB-C420S is a niche product in some respects and will not be a product that will suit many people. It was really developed as a good alternative to running multiple smaller capacity batteries in high drain digital cinema cameras. Yes, it will power many lights on the market, but with high power lights there are always caveats that you absolutely need to be aware of. You need to do your research to see what the requirements are for powering high drain lighting fixtures from batteries and not just assume something will work.
I like that I can power my cameras for long periods of time without worrying about swapping batteries, and that I can also remotely power 1×1 and 2×1 panel devices for long periods of time can supply.
The battery is very inexpensive due to its high capacity.
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