As part of the IDX Ambassador Program I received the brand new VL-2000S charger. It’s a travel-friendly, compact, 2-position V-mount battery charger with a very similar form factor as the VL-2S Plus – which I have been using for the last ten years straight. Next some grip hardware and Pelican cases, probably one of the items in my gear package that has seen the longest and most intense use all over the world.
So VL-2000S seems like an update but with some additional, significant benefits.
First, it has the same solid build quality that I appreciate in all IDX products. it seems a bit beefier than the VL-2S with a very slight weight and size increase, but it still fits in he same spot in my camera accessory space.
One of the biggest benefits of this new charger: It has a so-called “Life Plus” mode. It uses a special charging algorithm and charges batteries up to 95%. This seems silly at first glance, but it comes with huge benefits: It dramatically decreases charging times, which I really appreciate especially when traveling. It also extends the battery’s life cycle up to 20% according to IDX. In real world use I didn’t really notice the theoretical lesser run time of the batteries, but the quicker charging times are immediately noticeable.
I have some older batteries that I only use for low power devices that sometimes don’t charge correctly on older chargers. The VL-2000S seems to have no problem to charge these old batteries even when the voltage is very low (over-discharged) and gives me peace of mind because of the added safety of preventing overcharge.
Otherwise the charger can be used as power base (AC adapter) for 12V devices via XLR 4-pin. 100W output is enough for even most of the bigger cinema cameras plus accessories.
I didn’t discover any real downsides. Maybe two minor things: The cooling fan of the device isn’t really loud, but you should charge batteries a bit away from set if you need clean audio. The fan intake is at the bottom: Make sure you don’t put the charger onto a very dusty surface since dust/dirt will be sucked into the device.
In summary: This is going to be my main battery charger for delay use. Let’s see: Maybe I will also get 10 years (or more) out of it!