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 using a power bank.
Depending on the DSLR/battery and charger type, you may be able to charge your DSLR camera using a portable charger. 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’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.
How many times can a power bank charge a DSLR camera?
With a 10000mAh power bank, you will be able to charge most DSLR cameras up to 1-5 times, depending on the capacity of the camera batteries. If you have an older DSLR camera, you know that the battery life on it is shorter than on newer devices, but they will also last less.
What To Look For When Choosing A Power Bank For Charging Your DSLR?
All you need to know about this is “The higher the mAh number, the more energy it can provide”. To help put things into perspective: the majority of today’s smartphones have a battery capacity of approximately 3000mAh and can be charged a single time with a power bank of around 5000mAh. If you’re curious about why a 3000mAh power bank is not enough for a single full charge, then please read this article.
Another important thing to take into consideration is that if you go with a very large capacity power bank, then you might run into issues in case you want to take it on a flight. This is why our advice is to get a power bank that has a maximum capacity of 26000mAh.
The power bank capacity is also determined by the type of activity you’re using the camera for. For example, if you’re doing wildlife photography and you’re out in nature for days at an end, then you should definitely go for a very large capacity. Similarly, if you’re into power-intensive activities such as streaming. However, if you’re just a casual user who takes the camera out on single-day nature walks, then a 1000mAh power ban should be enough.
Size and weight
Shape, size, and weight generally increase with mAh capacity. While a 20000mAh model may seem like a handy option, it may be too big for your pocket or bag.
Choosing a power bank with a capacity of at least 10000mAh will ensure that your camera remains fully charged overnight if you need to actively use it.
Other situations, such as multi-day trips that take you away from electricity, may necessitate the use of larger versions, which are typically too large to fit in most pockets.
Having said that, we are going to give you a few examples of what we are talking about.
For example, the INIU BI-B61 is one of the smallest 1000mAh power banks available on the market. While small in size, it is powerful enough to charge your DSLR several times before needing to be recharged. It’s perfect for use while camping, at the beach, or by the pool, among other things.
If you plan on using the power bank outside, you may want to consider how resistant to the elements it is. If you want to keep your device safe through rain, snow, or dust, the main two things you should be looking at are the waterproof rating, and how shock resistant it is.
For example, the Techsmarter 30000 mAh is IP66 waterproof rated and is also dustproof and shockproof. This means that a power bank like this is resistant to snow rain or direct contact with water.
However, you should keep in mind that, despite its name, this power bank is not waterproof. As a matter of fact, no consumer electronic device that says it is waterproof is actually waterproof. These devices are simply water-resistant. This means that your device will be safe from rain, or getting splashed by water. If you, however, accidentally(or not) submerge it in water, the power bank will suffer water damage.
What To Avoid
When buying power banks, it’s important not to get very cheap or knock-off brands. Although the prices can be appealing, these batteries are cheap for a reason. They’re usually made with corner-cutting techniques, which means that they might lack vital security features such as short-circuit protection.
Can You Use A Power Bank To Charge A Camera While Taking A Long Exposure Image?
If you want to take a beautiful long exposure photo of the night sky or even a time-lapse video, you may be wondering if it is possible to charge your device while this process is taking place.
Unfortunately, most DSLR-s do not work if they are plugged in. For this reason, we suggest that you make sure that all of your devices are topped off before attempting to make long exposure photos or time-lapse videos.