With the production technology industry rapidly changing, Core SWX is focused on staying at the forefront. We had the opportunity to talk with Core SWX CEO, Ross Kanarek, who dived into the topics of batteries, cameras and how Core SWX strives every day to provide and produce high-quality products with the consumer in mind.
PH: Battery Technologies have changed so quickly over the last couple of years, how much customer feedback goes into the design of your battery and chargers?
Ross Kanarek: Customer feedback is everything to us and we encourage it. When designing a new product, we take the “wish list” and build a hierarchy of features. From there, we see how many of the extra requests we can add, taking into account many different factors, ranging from feasibility to cost. When we are done, we have designed a product that not only fills a void in the industry but is welcomed with immediate demand.
PH: There has been a lot of push back in regards to the handling of camera batteries on commercial flights. Are you still getting a lot of customer questions about your product or has the industry sorted all of this out?
Ross Kanarek: We receive daily inquiries regarding safe travel and transport of Lithium Ion packs. Most questions are related to existing regulations, but the regulations tend to change annually, so then a new slew of questions arise. This is one of the reasons we recently released our NiMH Hydracore 100 pack, which is our first non-Lithium based brick style pack.
PH: Your customers have a lot of different needs, weight considerations, a good fit with existing units and function. Which one takes the lead?
Ross Kanarek: Unless it’s a special project for a very specific need, all needs are equally weighted. There is a correlation between weight and capacity, so the heavier the pack, the more capacity it has. On new products, we first determine the problem and objective, and then the rest falls into place.
PH: One of your features of some of your batteries is being able to power everything on the rig. Doesn't that put a lot of strain on just one battery?
Ross Kanarek: We design our products with these additional power consumptions in mind, so it is not a concern. Nowadays, it is safe to assume all cameras will be rigged with at least one or more accessories, so we adjusted our battery line to accommodate this several years ago to ensure that our products have the ability to deliver increased current/amperage when needed.
PH: What are we learning about powering VR cameras? What are the challenges there?
Ross Kanarek: VR can be challenging because in most cases you have to power multiple sensors. In the past year, we have found that VR camera makers are streamlining the powering solution needs, providing rigging, which better links the cameras together, and providing access to one power input. With a single power input we can focus on the power demands of the VR setup, and in most cases, provide an off-the-shelf solution.
PH: How important is it for the company to provide both 3 stud and V mounts? Is one becoming more prevalent than the other?
Ross Kanarek: 3-stud has traditionally been more prevalent in the USA and V-mount was more popular outside the USA. About 10 years ago, the market started to change. Camera makers, like RED, began using the V-mount standard, which increased their demand. Nowadays, it seems V-mount is more prevalent because it’s more accessible at lower price points, so there is a larger market for it. 3-Stud, while accessible, is offered by only a handful of companies and comes at a higher price point in a compatible form.
PH: How important is it for your customers to have camera-specific batteries vs a generic battery? Do they tell you cost is a factor?
Ross Kanarek: Cost is always a factor. The old saying “you get what you pay for” is very relevant. Some can go and buy generic battery packs on Ebay or Amazon, and if it works for them, that’s great. Those that need increased function and compatibility, after-sales support, data sheets for shipping, etc. tend to gravitate towards established brands. We have worked the past two years to get the cost of our products down so the price conscience end-user has a Core battery pack to choose in a similar price range to those found on online outlets. Nowadays, the difference between a generic and our pack may be as little as $20.
PH: Is there anything that our visitors should know about your products or charging stations that we haven't touched on?
Ross Kanarek: We are redefining the way people charge their battery packs. Our new Voltbridge FLEET wireless charger management, which was recently launched at NAB 2018, allows users to view all their packs on an iPad or Android Tablet. This allows users to monitor all their packs at once, determine those that need calibration and initiate from the tablet wirelessly. In addition to this feature, we have also incorporated RFID into our packs. As battery packs are a relatively costly commodity, you can now “tag” your packs with information should they get lost or stolen.
Watch CoreSWX demonstrate the new Voltbridge FLEET wireless charger management system at NAB Show 2018.