The ZGCINE ZG-S95 V-Mount Battery is a 94.72Wh capacity battery with a D-tap and dual USB-C PD ports.
Batteries may not be the most exciting pieces of kit, but they are essential to just about everything we do. There are so many battery options available, and given the fact that there is actually only a handful of companies who actually make the cells that are inside Lithium-ion batteries, it can be a tough choice deciding what to buy.
Who is ZGCINE?
You may have never heard of ZGCINE. The brand Brand ZGCINE, is registered under Shenzhen Zhengguang Imaging Equipment Co., Ltd. ZGCINE makes a series of battery power solution products, that are aimed directly at content creators.
I have previously reviewed their ZG-R30 Fast Charging Case for RØDE Wireless GO/GO II on the site, so I am familiar with the company.
- Capacity: 6400mAh / 94.72Wh
- Maximum Charge Voltage: 14.8V
- Max output current: 13A
- 5-level LED charge readout
- 1x D-tap power interfaces
- 1x USB-C PD power out
- 1x USB-C PD power in/out
- Size: 11.1cm x 7.5cm x 5.6cm
- Weight: 533g / 18.8 oz
The build quality of the battery does feel a little bit on the cheap side, especially the outside casing. The outer casing feels like some type of hard plastic material.
The battery indicator button also feels pretty cheaply made and it didn’t inspire me with confidence.
I wouldn’t want to drop this battery on the ground. According to the instruction manual, the battery doesn’t feature any type of drop protection rating.
Speaking of the manual, ZGCINE does state that the designed service life of the battery is 2 years.
The battery doesn’t have any type of gripping material or rubber, etc. on the sides of it. This does make it a little tricky to hold and I found it very slippery in inclement weather conditions and when wearing gloves.
Now, if you are only using the battery indoors or you have no plans on using it in inclement weather conditions then the build quality and handling issues I raised may not matter to you. This is also a very affordably priced battery, so nobody should expect the same type of build quality you will find on more expensive offerings.
The battery has the following protection features:
- Over-current protection
- Over-voltage protection
- Short-circle protection
- Over-charge protection
- Over-load protection
- Temperature protection
- Reset protection
- Circle Protection
On the positive side, the battery attaches nicely to V-lock plates and there is no wobble or gaps between the plate and the battery.
The battery doesn’t have any covers for the D-tap or USB-C ports. If you were using this battery in inclement weather conditions this wouldn’t be ideal.
I haven’t used this battery for long enough to know how well it would stand up to continued use in the field. It also doesn’t appear as it comes with a warranty either.
Inputs & Outputs
The ZG-S95 has the following inputs and outputs:
- 1x USB-C1 PD Input & output: 5V/2A;9V/1.8A;12V/2A;15V/2.2A;20V/2.5A
- 1x USB-C2 PD Output:5V/2A;9V/1.8A;12V/2A;15V/2.2A;20V/2.5A
- 1x D-tap Input/Output：16.8V/3A Input, 14.8V/12A Output
What is great about having two USB-C PD ports is that you can not only charge your battery via a USB-C PD power source, but you can also use the battery to power other devices like a laptop.
I tested this out and it worked well. I could charge my MacBook Air via the battery without any issues. It is also nice that ZGCINE includes a USB-C to USB-C cable with the battery.
I don’t know of any other 95-98Wh batteries that are on the market that have two USB-C ports on them.
The battery can be fully charged in around 3.5 hours with a 45W PD USB-C charger. Being able to charge the battery without needing to carry around a large V-mount charger is a handy feature, however, a USB-C PD charger will take a lot longer to charge the battery than a conventional charger.
The D-tap port is located on the side of the battery.
The two USB-C ports are on the top of the battery.
I did find it easy to insert D-tap connectors into the battery which was nice to see. I have seen quite a lot of batteries where inserting a D-tap connector is quite difficult.
The battery is supposed to charge on most V-lock battery charger, however, I couldn’t get it to charge on an Anton Bauer LP4 charger. In fact, out of the four chargers I tried, only one would work. I contacted the company about this and I was told that it won’t charge on chargers made by Core SWX, Anton Bauer, and IDX.
ZGCINE should really list this clearly on their website. A lot of people won’t want to buy a battery that won’t charge on an existing charger they already own.
Size & Weight
The ZG-S95 is around the same size as most conventional mini V-lock 95Wh batteries (11.1cm x 7.5cm x 5.6cm), and it has a weight of 533g / 1.17 lb. The type of material that the outer casing of the battery is made out of almost certainly contributes to its relatively low weight.
So how does this size and weight compare to some other similar-capacity V-mount batteries? Well, below I will list up some of the competition.
|ZGCINE ZG-95S||533g / 1.17 lb||11.1 x 7.5 x 5.6cm|
|Core SWX Hypercore |
NEO 9 Mini 98Wh
|640g / 1.4 lb||8.99 x 11.81 x 4.83 cm|
|SWIT S-8082S 95Wh||760g / 1.68 lb||13.4 x 8.8 x 5.2 cm|
|Intellytech Mini 95Wh||680g / 1.5 lb||14 x 7.9 x 6.35 cm|
|Anton/Bauer Titon SL 90 95Wh||600g / 1.4 lb||9.9 x 14.2 x 3.3 cm|
|Hawk-Woods 14.4V V-Lok||554g/ 1.2 lb||15.4 x 8.4 x 3.5 cm|
|Fxlion Nano TWO||520g / 1.14 lb||10.1 x 7.2 x 5.4 cm|
|bebob V98MICRO||600g / 1.32 lb||10.1 x 7.5 x 4.8 cm|
|bebob V98||600g / 1.32 lb||9.4 x 14.4 x 3.9 cm|
|CAME-TV Mini 99||550g / 1.21 lb||10 x 7.2 x 4.8 cm|
|SmallRig VB99||550g / 1.21 lb||14.7 x 11.4 x 7.5 cm|
|SOONWELL B98-V||720g / 1.59 lb||13.8 x 9.1 x 5.4 cm|
|Juicebox 95Wh||570g / 1.25 lb||15.2 x 9.53 x 3.8 cm|
|Neewer BP-95W||698g/ 1.54 lb||15 x 9.5 x 3.78 cm|
|PAG 9310V Power Circle||800g / 1.6 lb||13 x 8.6 x 4.7 cm|
|PAG Mini PAGlink MPL99||595g / 1.31 lb||10.9 x 8.6 x 5.1 cm|
As you can see, most of the batteries have similar weights and physical dimensions. The ZGCINE ZG-95S was the second lightest battery of the batteries I compared it to,
Like all mini V-lock batteries, they are thick and short, which means that on certain cameras they won’t follow the contour and shape. However, on smaller-sized digital cinema cameras, they will fit nicely. This is a purely cosmetic thing, but I prefer batteries that are the same height as the camera I am using.
With so many mini V-lock batteries on the market that are around 98Wh capacity, the competition is tough. ZGCINE has tried to make the S95 stand out by adding two USB-C ports and a D-tap.
Is a Chinese battery going to be reliable?
There is no reason why it won’t be any more or any less reliable than any other lithium-ion battery. As I mentioned earlier, there are only a handful of companies that make Lithium-ion cells that are found inside batteries.
What cells are being used?
ZGCINE doesn’t list what cells are used in their batteries. A lot of the cells are manufactured by companies such as Sony, Samsung, and Sanyo. You also have manufacturers such as ANSMANN AG who make the cells for bebob. Regardless of who makes the cells, all cells are divided into three levels A, B, and C. The lower the rating, the cheaper the price and of course the worse the performance.
Very few companies selling batteries actually disclose what cells are being used in their batteries.
The ZGCINE ZG-S95 V-Mount Battery retails for $129 USD. This certainly does make it one of the most cost-effective 98Wh batteries on the market. In fact, there was only one other 95-98Wh V-lock battery on the market that was cheaper than $129 USD that I could find.
You can also buy it in Canada here.
There are a ton of 95-98Wh V-mount batteries on the market. All of the available options have different feature sets, so you need to look clearly at what battery works well for you.
Below you can see how they stack up when it comes to price:
|ZGCINE ZG-95S||$129 USD|
|Core SWX Hypercore |
NEO 9 Mini 98Wh
|SWIT S-8082S 95Wh||$240 USD|
|Intellytech Mini 95Wh||$199 USD|
|Anton/Bauer Titon SL 90 95Wh||$413.25 USD|
|Hawk-Woods 14.4V V-Lok||$278.34 USD|
|Fxlion Nano TWO||$324 USD|
|bebob V98MICRO||$325 USD|
|bebob V98||$325 USD|
|CAME-TV Mini 99||$160 USD|
|SmallRig VB99||$279 USD|
|SOONWELL B98-V||$188 USD|
|Juicebox 95Wh||$149 USD|
|Neewer BP-95W||$87.99 USD|
|PAG 9310V Power Circle||$279.99 USD|
|PAG Mini PAGlink MPL99||$530 USD|
As you can see, the price of 95-98Wh batteries varies dramatically. You can pay as little as $87.99 USD all the way up to well over $500 USD.
A lot of potential buyers of V-lock batteries are probably going to have a pre-conceived bias that will direct them toward a brand that they know. Buying a battery from a brand you have never heard of is certainly going to make it harder for ZGCINE to sell its batteries outside of China.
A battery is just a battery, right? If the same cells are being used in a more expensive battery, are you simply just paying for the name on the casing? Maybe, but there is usually a lot more to a battery than meets the eye.
The ZGCINE battery isn’t perfect, but it is certainly capable of getting the job done. The build quality is fairly ordinary, and the battery wouldn’t charge on some of the chargers I tried. On the positive side, it is affordable and I like that it has two USB-C ports as well as a D-tap. This is something I haven’t seen before on a battery at this price point and Wh rating.
The battery is certainly very versatile and that makes it an appealing option, however, I personally wouldn’t recommend it for use in run & gun environments or for people who are working in inclement weather conditions given some of the issues I mentioned in the review. In saying that, because it is so affordable and you can charge it through USB-C PD it could make for a decent option if you are traveling a lot on planes. You could grab four of these for a little over $500 USD and that would be fine for getting you through a day with a lot of the cameras that don’t have high power draws.
The ZGCINE is a decent offering if you are looking for an affordable V-mount battery, however, it faces very stiff competition and because you can’t charge it on a lot of popular V-lock chargers, potential buyers may look elsewhere. You also need to take into consideration that in this industry you often get what you pay for and I wouldn’t expect this battery to last as long or be as durable as more expensive offerings on the market from well-known brands.
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