Name a major U.K. news event over the past three decades, and it’s a good bet that Steve Hubbard has covered it.
In his long and distinguished career, including more than 30 years as a cameraman for the BBC, Steve has been on hand to document many of the key moments in the life of Queen Elizabeth II and the royal family. He captured the outpouring of emotion following the death of Princess Diana, covering her memorial and funeral cortége. He spent two weeks covering the infamous and high-profile Soham murders that gripped a nation, and travelled to Bangkok for a hard-hitting series on drug trafficking. He’s done sit-downs with rock star Sting, an exclusive private party with former British prime minister John Major and former U.S. president George W. Bush, and interviews in Los Angeles with late actors Jimmy Stewart and Walter Matthau. To get the story, he’s traveled to the Arctic, Asia, and the Americas.
Over the years, Steve has also experienced a major technology evolution. “When I first started with the BBC, we were shooting film. I’m now on my 7th generation of cameras, but the one constant – the gear I know I can always count on – is my Anton/Bauer batteries,” he says.
Today, Steve is based at the BBC bureau in Cambridge, which affords him plenty of opportunities to cover stories about the rich cultural history of the city and the university. His Anton/Bauer V-Mount Titon batteries are a mainstay of his rig, powering his Sony PMW-500 together with accessories such as a Dedo top light or DigiLink wireless transmitter.
“The Titons are a tremendous asset to my kit – they take away the worry that I’ll have enough power to get me through my day. I can put a Titon on my camera and my mind is set at ease,” Steve says. “I’ve used other batteries in the past with similar performance, but they’ve been larger and much heavier.”
He adds, “Live news shoots can be particularly stressful, since there’s no chance to go back and do it again if you have an equipment failure. On one recent story, which was – ironically – about a power failure we had in London, we had a network reporter on location to do a hit into the main 6 p.m. news. In addition to the camera, were using a DigiLink to send pictures and sound to the sat truck. The DigiLink puts a large load on the battery, but even so, we were able to broadcast for over an hour with no worries at all.”
Steve loves the digital LCD readout on the Titon that gives an instant view of available power down to the minute, including how the power budget is affected when different pieces of gear are plugged in or removed. He also appreciates the ability to charge additional accessories using the battery’s Smart USB port. “With the LCD readout, I can play around with different configurations of camera and gear to see what’s the best use of the power. And the USB is so useful for powering things like my kit of four GoPro cameras, or topping off my smartphone.”
On another challenging shoot, Steve was assigned to a story about the re-introduction of beavers in Essex County. “I was in the middle of nowhere in three feet of mud. We were shooting new beaver dams that are helping to alleviate flood risk in the area. The terrain was very difficult, which meant I couldn’t carry too much heavy equipment,” he recounts. “That’s one time I really appreciated the Titons, not only for their outstanding performance, but their extremely light weight. I only had to carry one battery because I knew it would last.”
“In situations where I’ve had to use another battery brand, I’ve always had to take along extras, because I haven’t felt confident that a single battery could get me through a shoot. That’s never the case with Titon,” Steve says. “Titon exceeds my requirements on all levels. It’s lightweight, durable, and long-lasting, which makes it absolutely brilliant for live shoots and breaking news. I have no qualms about recommending Titon to anyone in the industry.”