Gold Mount vs. V-Mount: Which Is Your Best Choice?
We’ll look at the similarities and differences between the two battery mount options to help you decide which is best for you.
When it comes to high-capacity batteries for cinema applications, there are two primary battery mount choices you’ll find on the market: Gold Mount and V-Mount. Most batteries with enough capacity to power larger cinema cameras offer these two battery mounting choices.
However, when you’re looking to purchase your own batteries and, essentially, invest in one of these mounting platforms, it becomes confusing which mount option you should purchase. For the sake of simplicity, it’s typically best to invest all your battery purchases into just one of these formats.
Gold Mount, also known as AB (Anton Bauer) Mount, was created by Anton Bauer fifty years ago. This mount seems to be the battery mount of choice for cinema applications in the U.S. With a secure three gold-stud mounting solution, many regard the Gold Mount as the most secure way to keep your batteries in place while mounted to the camera. This is due, in part, by the fact that to dismount the battery, you have to slide it out from the battery plate sideways. In return, this makes an accidental dismount less likely to occur.
Gold Mount batteries also seem to be the most popular option at rental houses in the U.S.
Originally developed by Sony, the V-Mount battery option is also wildly popular, proven to be a successful battery mounting solution. Just as it sounds, the battery mounts to the battery plate via a v-shaped locking mechanism.
According to multiple online forums, many filmmakers express concerns on how secure these batteries are when mounting onto a camera system. This concern is due in part to the fact that these batteries dismount by sliding up. If you’re operating on your shoulder, it is fairly easy to bump the battery up while taking the camera off your shoulder.
Personally, I’ve had one instance of a V-Mount battery popping off a battery plate during the middle of a shot. As a result, I lost the shot when the camera immediately powered down. However, many other filmmakers have used V-Mount batteries for years and reported no issues.
What if You Can’t Decide?
Now, what if you’re in a situation where you have V-Mount batteries for your LED lights and Gold Mount batteries for your cameras?
For situations where you’re invested in both platforms, fortunately, there are battery adapter plates. With these adapter plates, you can easily attach your Gold Mount batteries to a Gold Mount-to-V-Mount adapter plate (or vice versa) and solve most battery mount issues. However, this method is less preferred, as it provides an additional fail point.
How to Choose
Ultimately, it comes down to your personal preference and which system works best for you and your workflow. Some filmmakers may like the security and availability of Gold Mounts in U.S. rental houses, while others may prefer the international versatility that comes with V-Mounts.
In the end, either battery system is a great choice and will fill the needs of your job. Most importantly, they’ll help you tell and create your projects and stories.
Cover image by Kryuchka Yaroslav.
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