Electric Ray is a trusty USB power converter for busy professionals
Power makes the world go round. Everything we use nowadays requires power and we are lost when we don’t have it. In certain circumstances, loss of power can be detrimental to people’s livelihood. One of the most annoying aspects of video production is keeping batteries charged so you can keep production moving along. Fortunately, iFootage, a video production equipment design company, created a wonderful new product called the iFootage Electric Ray E1 that allows users to connect cameras – DSLRs specifically – to a standard USB power bank.
The Electric Ray E1 is a power converter that connects directly to your DSLR like a battery would. It gives you the freedom to have continuous power so that you can extend camera runtime. The Electric Ray allows you to power your camera via a USB battery. This is a godsend to those on production. The accessory supports the top three major DSLR brands — Sony, Nikon, and Canon — with a camera battery adapter. The devices itself is made from CNC machined and anodized aluminum components. These manufacturing techniques make the Electric Ray one of the lightest converter options on the market.
When we were preparing our camera gear for CES this year, we found that the Electric Ray was an invaluable piece to the puzzle. It gave us the option to run the camera much longer than the standard batteries did. Plus, it gave us the freedom to be battery-free in the sense that we didn’t have to lug around additional batteries to ensure the camera was powered the whole time. The Electric Ray’s package includes the Electric Ray, screw adapter, and an elastic strap to secure it to a tripod or other camera mount. In order for the Electric Ray to work, you also have to have the correct camera coupler which is purchased separately and you also have to supply your own power bank.
To use the Electric Ray, you follow these steps:
- Plug the Electric Ray into USB extension cable into a portable charger/power bank.
- Insert the rubber strap into the side of the Electric Ray and wrap it around the power bank so that the two pieces are secured together. The strap can also be used to wrap around a tripod.
- Mount the shoe mount (provided) on the 1/4 hole on the bottom of the Electric Ray. This is a little bit of a snug fit with the rubber strap in place, but it does work.
- Plug the power coupler into your camera in place of the standard battery pack and plug the power couple into the Electric Ray.
- Mount the Electric Ray/battery onto your camera using the hot shoe mount.
All in all, this takes about 2-3 minutes to set up and the most ‘difficult’ part is finding the best place to mount the power set.
Design Pros & Cons
Overall, I really like this device. I think it’s a great option for on-location video production. You can shoot 3-5 times longer than with standard battery packs, which is usually better for video production workflow. That said, there are few things I’d love to see improved on with the design and some things that are really stand out features. One of the things that is really pretty cool about this design is that with a 1/4″ screw mount in the bottom of the Electric Ray, you can actually attach it to anything that has that size mount. You can actually remove the 1/4″ mount and use the 3/8″ mount that is built into the shell of the unit. This provides a lot more versatility that some other powering options. I love that the USB cable is built-in. It’s short, but you don’t need much length unless you are using a very thick power bank. I have a super slim one that serves it’s purpose well. Something that I found a bit odd was that when you wrap the Electric Ray and the battery together, the LED indicator lights are blocked. This is a little odd since you want to be able to see what the status of the power unit is.
The Electric Ray served it’s purpose very well. I was able to run a camera with little interruption while shooting video. I would like to see the instructions be a little more detailed as far as troubleshooting goes. I had some issues and because it’s such a new product, I wasn’t able to find much help online. When I contacted iFootage directly, they helped immediately, but it would be nice to have some additional information included with the device. This is a great product for photographers and videographers that use DSLRs.
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