SmallRig X Caleb Pike VB212 mini V Mount Battery Review

SmallRig VB212 6748

Back in April at NAB, SmallRig announced a new collaboration product, the SmallRig X Caleb Pike VB212 mini V Mount Battery.

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The SmallRig X Caleb Pike VB212 Mini V Mount Battery is as its name suggests, is a mini V mount battery that features fast charging capabilities and multiple interfaces.

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 make the cells that are inside lithium-ion batteries, it can be a tough choice deciding what to buy, especially when it comes to budget-priced options.

Key features

  • Intelligent BMS chip supports 140W (Max.) fast charging, fully charged in 2.5 hours;
  • Imported top-class large-capacity LG battery cell endures repeated charging and discharging, safe and stable;
  • Highly integrated design, ultracompact and travel-friendly;
  • Multiple interfaces: two USB-C ports, two D-Tap ports, one USB-A port, DC 8V-OUT, DC12V-OUT. Each interface adopts a parallel circuit to allow simultaneous
  • USB-C and USB-A fast charging;
  • Aluminum alloy frame, silicone coating, TPU, and PC V0 make it sturdy, drop-proof, heat-resistant and flame-retardant;
  • Durable, scratch-resistant PC and acrylic front cover;
  • TFT display shows battery status clearly and accurately;
  • The accurately designed silicone covers protect the interfaces from dust.


SmallRig VB212 6805

The capacity of 212Wh is a little unusual, especially for batteries. Arguably a capacity that was under 160Wh would make the battery more versatile because at 212Wh it isn’t flight-safe. Given the target market for a lot of SmallRig products, maybe people would have preferred a battery that was under 160Wh.

Size & Weight

The SmallRig X Caleb Pike VB212 Mini V Mount Battery weighs 2.89 lb / 1.31 kg and it has physical dimensions of 5.1 x 3.3 x 3.1″ / 130 x 83 x 80mm.

This weight and size does make the battery quite heavy and large, and it arguably isn’t going to be suitable for use with mirrorless hybrids and small-sized digital cinema cameras, especially those that don’t feature a native V-mount. Above you can see the battery on a Z CAM E2-F6 Pro and it is almost as large as the camera.

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I know SmallRig is pushing this battery as a good option for cameras like the Sony FX6, BMPCC 6K Pro, Canon R5C, etc. as it allows for very long run times, but realistically by the time you add a V-mount plate, rear rails and the VB212 battery, you are going to end up with a bit of a Frankenrig. There’s a reason why the small-sized 50Wh and 99Wh mini V-lock batteries are much better suited for use with smaller cameras.

I would say that battery is actually better suited for use with larger digital cinema cameras.

So how does the size and weight of the VB212 compare to some other similar-capacity V-mount batteries? Well, below I will list up some of the competition. 

SmallRig X Caleb Pike VB212 1.31 kg / 2.89 lb130 x 83 x 80mm
bebob V200 Micro0.95 kg / 2.09 lb 101 x 81 x 75mm
ZGCINE ZG-S2001.1 kg / 2.42 lb130 x 90 x 80mm
Fxlion Square 198Wh1 kg / 2.20 lb117 x 91.8 x 79mm
Core SWX HyperCore
Prime 190Wh
1.2 kg / 2.6 lb97 x 168 x 61mm
SWIT PB-S220S 14.4V 220Wh1.4 kg / 3.09 lb 95 x 121 x 96mm
Intellytech 190Wh Rugged Series1.3 kg / 2.9 lb 159 x 79 x 63mm
Anton/Bauer Titon 240 238Wh1.34 kg / 2.95 lb 99 x 132 x 81mm
Hawk-Woods V-Lok 14.4V 190Wh1.19 kg / 2.62 lb154 x 84 x 60mm

As you can see, most of the batteries have similar weights and physical dimensions. 

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Unlike a lot of mini V-lock batteries, the SmallRig X Caleb Pike VB212 is not only thick but also tall, which means that on certain cameras it won’t follow the contour and shape. This is a purely cosmetic thing, but I prefer batteries that are the same height as the camera I am using.

Build Quality

The build quality of the battery is very good. The aluminum alloy body with a silicone coating makes it drop-proof. TPU and PC V0 materials make the battery heat-resistant and fire-retardant. Scratch-resistant PC and acrylic cover add durability and protect the TFT display that shows battery status clearly and accurately.

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The design complies with internationally recognized standards such as MSDS / UN38.3 / IEC62133 / UL2054 / UL62368, making it safer to use. 

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The battery doesn’t have huge logos all over it and the design is very understated, which I personally like.

I don’t like the signature and other non-necessary writings on the side of the battery, but at least they are small.

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The battery display button is nice and tactile and easy to use. It is located on the side of the battery.

The VB212 has a large sized gripping area on both sides of the battery. This makes gripping and holding onto it in inclement weather conditions and when wearing gloves easy.

The battery does have covers over all the input and output ports which is nice to see, especially if you are using it in inclement weather conditions. Unlike some batteries, the covers are reasonably easy to open and close.

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The battery attaches nicely to V-lock plates and there is no wobble or gaps between the plate and the battery.

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I haven’t used the battery for long enough to know how well it would stand up to continued use in the field, but it certainly feels and looks like it would be ok, and it does come with a 2-year warranty.


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The battery has a small display on the front of it that shows you the remaining capacity as a percentage, charging status, and power draw on any of the outputs.

The display is clear and concise, however, it could be a little larger as it’s hard to see unless you are close to it.

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When you are charging the battery through USB-C you can see the current capacity as a percentage, as well as time remaining. You can also see the voltage input coming through the USB-C.

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When the battery is charging on a V-mount charger you can only see the progress as a percentage.


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The battery combines fast-charging protocol chips, MCU, voltage control, and BMS chips. It supports a wide range of fast charging protocols (PD 3.1 / QC 3.0 / AFC, etc.), Two-way PD fast charging and discharging 140W (Max), and adaptive voltage / current regulation, etc. 

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You could use an Apple 140W USB Type-C Power Adapter if you have one to charge the battery, or any other USB Type-C Power Adapter that can output up to 140W. You could use lower output USB-C power adapters, but that will just mean that the battery will take longer to charge.

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You can also charge the battery through one of the D-taps (8A). This is a nice feature and I am surprised that SmallRig only mentions this in the user manual. They also don’t specify what D-tap chargers you should use with the battery, although most of them should work.

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Even though the D-tap supports up to 8A, most D-tap travel chargers are usually no more than around 1.5-2.5A.

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You can charge the battery in around 2 hours if you are utilizing a 140W USB-C power adapter. Not having to carry around a large V-mount charger certainly adds to the appeal of the battery.

Inputs & Outputs

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The battery body is equipped with D-Tap / USB-C / USB-A / DC 8V-OUT / DC 12V-OUT / BP interfaces, which can charge or power camera / video camera / monitor / wireless image transmitter / LED video light / mobile phone / laptop etc., without using any V-mount plates. 

Accessory I/O

  • 2x USB-C Input/Output 140W Regulated
  • 1x USB-A Input/Output 5V / 3A, 9V / 3A, 12V / 3A, 15V / 3A, 20V / 5A, 28V / 5A Regulated
  • 2x D-Tap / P-Tap Output 14.76V, 6A Regulated
  • 1x Barrel 2.1 mm Output 8V, 3A Regulated
  • 1x Barrel 2.5 mm Output 12V, 3A Regulated

USB Output

  • 5V, 3A
  • 9V, 3A
  • 12V, 3A
  • 15V, 3A
  • 20V, 5A
  • 28V, 5A

The battery certainly offers a good array of outputs for powering accessories, however, it probably would have been nice to have seen a LEMO instead of one of the DC barrel outputs. There are quite a few products, including wireless video systems and monitors that utilize LEMO.

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What is nice is that you can utilize the battery as a de-facto power bank to charge multiple devices simultaneously.

I loaded the battery up by running an ARRI AMIRA, SmallHD Cine 7, and an Accsoon SeeMo, as well as charging two lights at the same time using the USB-C outputs, and it handled it with ease.

It was also a good option for powering lights. What you need to remember when powering a lot of lights on the market is that they require more than one battery to run at 100%, regardless of the capacity.

Batteries with USB-C outputs are also great for charging and running laptops and smartphones in the field.


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The battery is claimed to feature the usual array of safety systems such as short circuit and over-voltage protection. It is also nice that it has a fireproof PC VO shell.

In addition, its customized intelligent BMS system ensures faster and safer charging by providing overcurrent / short circuit / overtemperature / overvoltage protection, etc. 

Built-in premium battery cells (no inflated capacity) can be charged and discharged cyclically, which is claimed to ensure excellent performance and stability. 

What cells are being used?

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SmallRig states that the VB212 utilizes imported top-class large-capacity LG 21700 5000 mAh battery cells. 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.

What do you get?

Content SmallRig X Caleb Pike VB212 Mini V Mount Battery

In the box, you get the battery, a manual, and a reasonably long 140W USB-C PD cable.


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Pricing & Availability

The SmallRig X Caleb Pike VB212 mini V Mount Battery retails for $439 USD. From what I understand, currently the battery is only available to purchase in the US. 


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There actually aren’t a lot of 200-220Wh 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. 

The closest competition to the SmallRig X Caleb Pike VB212 is arguably the bebob V200 Micro and the Anton/Bauer Titon 240 238Wh, but given neither one of these batteries offers anywhere near the same sort of inputs and outputs as the VB212.

Below you can see how they stack up when it comes to price:

SmallRig X Caleb Pike VB212 $439 USD
bebob V200 Micro$529 USD
ZGCINE ZG-S200$239.99 USD
Fxlion Square 198Wh$425 USD
Core SWX HyperCore
Prime 190Wh
$727 USD
SWIT PB-S220S 14.4V 220Wh$465 USD
Intellytech 190Wh Rugged Series$299 USD
Anton/Bauer Titon 240 238Wh$774 USD
Hawk-Woods V-Lok 14.4V 190Wh$601.40 USD

As you can see, the price of 200-240Wh batteries varies dramatically. You can pay as little as $240 USD all the way up to well over $700 USD. 

The price of the SmallRig X Caleb Pike VB212 is very reasonable given its capacity and feature set.


SmallRig VB212 6801

As I have previously said in a lot of battery reviews, 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. However, a lot of the cells being used in these batteries all come from the same select group of lithium-ion battery manufacturers.

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 SmallRig X Caleb Pike VB212 is a solid offering and it features a vast array of inputs and outputs. I like how you can charge the battery either via USB-C PD, D-tap, or on a traditional V-mount charger. The battery is well made and there is a lot of attention to detail which is nice to see.

At 212Wh it is certainly not going to be suitable for anyone who travels a lot on aircraft and I personally feel like the battery is too big to use with a lot of smaller-sized cameras for a lot of applications.

I like the SmallRig X Caleb Pike VB212 because it’s a little different from other options on the market and its ability to charge and run so many different devices is what sets it apart from its competition.

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