Tether Tools Case Relay – Location Time-Lapse Tool Made Right!
At every photo trade show, I search for innovation and design improvement from all the manufacturers. And of course that is their goal as well.
Sometimes it’s inches, sometimes revolutionary.
One of my favorite new products comes from the folks at Tether Tools®.
They see a photographers needs, and rush in to solve the problem. I first found them while hunting down a great table system for shooting while tethered. They got that game DOWN!
To backtrack for a second, other than drone videos, one of the revitalized imaging trends is time-lapse video.
I’ve been looking at a lot of different units that plug into the camera for constant shooting, or use the internal built-in software.
Here’s the problem. Once you’ve committed to making a time-lapse video, set the image, secure your tripod or mount, ensure that you have the right amount of room on your media, there is one more critical part.
Yep, I don’t care what camera you use, mirrorless or DSLR. the batts usually can’t last the entire duration of a dramatic time-lapse.
Enter the Tether Tools Case Relay.This is the smartest solution I’ve ever seen to a widespread problem.
This is a system that allows you to not only add plug-in power to your camera via an external battery, like the ones you use to charge your phone, it also has a battery in the unit itself.
Why does this matter?
What does that mean? Basically, this is the set-up – camera attached to the system (Camera specific coupler, Case Relay, External battery), powering your camera. If your external battery empties out, the Case Relay built-in battery, still powers your camera, while you HOT SWAP out the external battery, for a fresh one.
NO SHOOTING STOPPAGE!
Critical on time-lapse.
AND because it’s an external battery, you now have the freedom to shoot your time-lapse anywhere!
First, the coupler itself is not a battery, only a conduit for power. So there is not worry of the worries of using an “after-market” battery.
Second, there is a built-in power protection in Case Relay that will prevent it from over powering or damaging your camera. The coupler itself provides the necessary power information to Relay to regulate the power requirements. Additionally Relay only provides up to 80% power to the cameras as an over charge protection. So once relay is fully charged it will only provide max 80% charge to camera. Relay will drain the camera to 60% and then fully charge back up to 80%. It will continue this cycle until the external power source can no longer provide enough power. This is an additional safety feature built in to the system.
Some questions answered here.
The main unit is about $100, and then you add on the proper coupler (dummy battery) for your camera.
It comes with a bunch of cables to make sure that each couple is covered.
My personal set-up ranged from a Nikon D810, a Fuji X-T2, BlackMagic Pocket Cinema, and yes, an older Nikon D700.
On the D700, it has a great DC plug, so no need for a coupler. Connect right in.
Until now, I didn’t know I missed that in the D810.
And some upcoming news: for the videographers in the group, there should be a D-Tap version coming by the end of the year, and available now is a Sony based coupler for those of us using the Atomos line of monitor./recorders. Yes, the Atomos allows you to hot swap batteries, but this system gets the batteries far enough away from the monitor so there is less risk of shaking the camera in a swap.
This unit has actually given new life to some of the cameras in my gear bag. Being able to dedicate a body to a timelapse, frees up the other bodies.
I know, getting excited about a battery solution is crazy, but when you find a great solution to constant problem, I gotta let you know.