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BlackMagic Production Camera Battery Removal/Replacement

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  • BlackMagic Production Camera Battery Removal/Replacement

    I replaced the battery in my 4K EF a while ago and wanted to post the information somewhere else online in the event it helps others too (sorry, I didn't take photos).

    I did this on a 4K EF Version, but it should be the same on the PL & 2.5K versions.

    By using this info in working on your unit, you take all responsibility for any damage or injuries incurred, I am not liable for anything. The following is my experience for informational purposes only.

    Tools: small Phillips PH1 & Torx T10 with minimum 50mm blade (interchangeable tip screwdriver may not fit)
    • Note: all the T10 screws have a lock washer on them, then a regular washer.
    • Remove all accessories from the camera (SSD can remain in).
    • Remove the 4x Phillips PH1 screws holding the cooling fan in, remove the fan, disconnect and sit aside.
    • Put small strips of painters or gaffers tape between the top and back of the camera and from the bottom to the back of the camera (to keep back attached to camera for now, since it will fall off and damage ribbon cables when lifting camera after screws are removed).
    • Lay the camera, screen down / lens mount up, on the work surface and peal off the front rubber (fingernails from the corner or phone opening tool on sides works, the adhesive will split in two, this is fine).
    • Remove the 4x T10 screws that were under the front rubber (kinda tight).
    • Note: Take a mental note/photo of the way the ribbon cables are folded when moving the back away from the camera body.
    • Warning: there are 3x ribbon cables plus the battery connector inside between the main camera body and the back screen assembly, keep tension off the cables, don't allow the rear screen to accidentally separate from the body.
    • Sit the camera upright / base down, then lean it forwards so it rests on the lens mount.
    • Hold the screen assembly on the camera and peal the back/bottom tape off, starting from the back, down, then the back/top tape starting from the back, up.
    • Pull gently on the top of the rear rubber to lean the screen assembly towards you, do not allow it to fall.
    • The following ribbon cables will need to be disconnected from the main board on the main board side of the cable:
      • The wide/left ribbon cable (display): on it's main board connector, tilt the top of brown "lever" holding it in towards you (will only move 45 deg), the cable should pop out with hardly any effort.
      • The thin/right ribbon cable (touchscreen): use a small flat screwdriver, to gently lift both sides of it's main board connector's brown lock, it will move 1mm to the rear, cable will come out with hardly any effort.
      • Warning: button ribbon cable is threaded though the EF lens mount contacts ribbon cable, the cooling fan must have been removed from the camera to access this connector. If you did not previously remove the fan, lay the screen back on the camera body, lay the camera lens mount down, and remove the fan.
      • The bottom thin ribbon cable (buttons): use a small flat screwdriver, to gently lift both sides of it's main board connector's brown lock, it will move 1mm to the rear, cable will come out with hardly any effort.
      • The battery cable can also be gently pried from it's connector on the mainboard (don't pull it by the cables, it could potentially come out of the connector or pull the main board connector from the main board).
      • The screen assembly should now be separate from the main camera body.
    • Warning: don't remove the Kapton tape on the mainboard, it's there to prevent shorting out the board on the battery bracket
    • Remove the strip of Kapton tape holding the screen ribbon cable to the battery/bracket, be careful to pull it with the grain of the ribbon cable as to not tear/damage the ribbon.
    • Remove the 2x (tight) silver T10 screws holding the battery bracket to the screen assembly and remove the bracket.
    • Note/Warning: there are 2x adhesive foam strips holding the battery down, the bottom (far from you) strip should be on metal so no issue, however the top (near you) strip has the ribbon under it, use caution separating it as follows...
    • Hold the right of the top foam strip (near you) and (gently!) tilt the battery to the left to peal it from the strips (as to not tear the ribbon), you might need to change to holding the middle of the strip once the battery is a bit up.
    • The battery should now be out of the camera.
    • Warning: If you choose to cut the battery wire off the battery, cut one wire at a time to prevent potentially shorting the LiPo batteries.

    Reassembly is reverse of install; hold ribbons in connectors while engaging locks and make sure ribbon cables fold in the correct directions when putting the screen assembly back on the main body so they don't get sandwiched in the case.
    Tip/Warning: Also look in the case screw holes with a light before installing the screws to make sure the ribbon cables aren't in the way (attempting to screw through one will damage it)

    Info about the original battery pack:
    • The battery pack is made of 2x flat lithium polymer packs with a cell balancer on the bottom, they are custom built/assembled, it's doubtful you'll be able to find a replacement (I searched for the pack and the cells back when I did this, couldn't find anywhere to buy them).
    • The battery back (with balancer) measures: 90mm high, 40mm wide and 20mm deep (in relation to viewing it as if installed and looking at the back of the camera)
    • The internal tolerances of the battery bracket are nearly exact and not much larger than the dimensions of the battery pack, available space: 91.0mm high, 40.8mm wide and 20.9mm deep (without foam)
    • Just for completeness, the battery pack is made by MinMax, Part: 01.52.520, LP904086, 7.4v 3800mAh 28.12Wh (if unwrapped/untaped, each cell is actually only 80mm high with foam on each end and reads: MinMax LP904086 3800mAh 3.7v)

    As for replacement batteries, I have had success with installing a pair of 21700 cylindrical Li-Ion cells (5000 mAh for the LG cells I used) with a 2S battery protection board taped to one end. I additionally put two larger strips of Kapton tape on the main board due to the extra 2mm causing the battery bracket to come dangerously close to the main board, 20700 Cells (available to 4100 mAh max) can also be used and will fit better (doesn't need the extra 2mm). The 2S battery protection board needs to handle 3A; 3800mAh = 3.8Ah x 1.5 Hour (Maximum) Runtime New = 2.53A round up to 3A for safety overhead (although more is better).

    Note/Important: If you choose to replace the batteries, make sure to search for how to solder to a Li-Ion cell, as heat can damage them.

    My runtime measurement showed extended battery life over what the stock camera battery could provide when new. (5000mAh vs 3800mAh).

    I hope others find this information helpful.

  • #2
    Very interesting. Any additional thoughts a couple months out? Thanks for sharing this!


    • #3
      Originally posted by Bryce View Post
      Very interesting. Any additional thoughts a couple months out? Thanks for sharing this!
      I haven't used the camera too much lately, but the replacement battery is still working great. If I ever buy another body in the future, I wouldn't hesitate replacing the battery if needed.