Using a power bank to recharge your DSLR camera can be quite handy. This is especially true if you’re on the move, you have no spare batteries, and you’re nowhere near a wall socket to deliver power to the battery. However, not all cameras support USB charging and some will have to be powered up using an alternative method through a special adapter. Here, we will be covering how you can power up your DSLR camera with a power bank.
Depending on the DSLR/battery and charger type, you may be able to charge your DSLR camera using a power bank. In order to use this technique, the camera will need to have in-camera charging (via USB). From there, the camera can be connected to the power bank, which will charge the battery. If the input requirement of your camera is 5V/2A, you can plug it in with a standard USB cable. For a faster charge, you can use a USB 2.0 or above.
On average, a DSLR camera has a power rating of 7.4V/1.5-2A, but most of the smaller camera batteries are rated around 3.6-3.7V, nominal. You can also use the USB cable that came with the power bank to charge the DSLR. These generally have a Type-A USB plug on one end and a Micro-USB or a USB type C on the other. Type-A is plugged into the power bank and Micro-USB goes into the camera charging port.
Some cameras that can be replenished via USB include the Canon G9X, G7X Mark II, and GSX. All of these have 3.7V batteries and a micro-USB port. This makes it accessible for these to charge via USB. The Panasonic ZS-100 point and shoot camera, which needs 7.2V to charge, has a USB friendly charging port.
You might also need to purchase a special adapter that allows you to connect the DSLR camera battery to the USB. This will increase the output voltage and it’s convenient if your DSLR camera requires more than 5 volts. This can come in handy for DSLR cameras such as the Sony FS700 (7.2V), Canon 7D (7.2V), and Canon EOS 5D Mark III (7.2V). However, these cameras have USB 2.0 ports.
Using a special adapter gives you more control since it can easily boost the volt rating to what the battery needs. For example, if your DSLR camera battery has a rating of 6V or higher, the adapter will boost it up to 6V. You can also use a Step-Up Voltage Converter to do the job. It might be worth looking into the Qutaway 5V to DC 12V Step Up Voltage Converter to do this.
It’s important to note that the capacity of the power bank must be higher than the camera’s battery capacity. This is to make sure that there is enough storage to complete a full charge or two. It can be quite easy to figure out how many full charges it can perform. All you need to do is to take 2/3 from the power bank capacity and divide it by the DSLR camera’s battery capacity. This will tell you how many full charges it can complete. If you’re wondering why you should use 2/3 of the power bank capacity instead of its full size, read this article which fully explains the real battery capacity.
You can also charge the DSLR battery outside of the camera. However, it depends on how the charger that’s being used is connected to the mains. If the charger has a USB connection, then it can be plugged into a power bank. It won’t be possible to use a power bank if the charger connects with a mains cable.
Most DSLR battery chargers are required to deliver at least 8.4 volts into the battery. Due to those requirements, most DSLR battery chargers work on either 115V AC or 12V DC. A 12V DC power bank will be suitable enough to replenish the camera battery. One example of such a power bank capable of this is the MAXOAK 50000mAh. However, if you want to see more options check out our curated list of the best power banks with 12V output.
Additionally, it might be worth looking into camera charging power banks even though they’re 60% more expensive than traditional power banks. Using a power bank specifically designed to power-up your DSLR camera could be the way to go. This is because the energy delivered by a traditional power bank is low and camera batteries have a large capacity, so it would take a while to fully charge it.