charging camera batteries via USB
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Diane Pinkers
(dipink) - M

Locale: Western Washington
charging camera batteries via USB on 06/10/2013 15:05:41 MDT Print View

I have a Canon Powershot SX260 HS--really, really like it, seems to be a good compromise between weight and function. Please note I am not a true camera geek, just like to be able to take decent photos on the fly. The telephoto capability on this camera far outshines the previous point-and-shoot I had before.

My only gripe about it is that it takes rechargeable Li batteries, that require a specific charger. Every other piece of electronica I may take hiking or traveling I can recharge with my portable battery pack that recharges via USB connection. Is there a camera battery charger that will plug into USB or micro-USB, making this battery also chargeable that way? I haven't had the need yet, it's more the concept that I could if I needed to. Everything else charges via USB, why haven't the camera companies followed suit?

Tony Wong
(Valshar) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: charging camera batteries via USB on 06/10/2013 16:03:24 MDT Print View

Diane,

I just got the Sony RX100, which does not come with a battery charger and charges batteries via USB.

Sounds convient, but I think that the charging time would be slower vs. a plug in unit, which I bought for my batteries.

I might be wrong, maybe others can chime in.

The other down side of USB charging in camera is it is not possible to charge a battery while using a battery in the camera.

Anyway, my thoughts are it is nice if they build in the option for charging via USB, but I still would prefer a seperate charger.

-Tony

Diane Pinkers
(dipink) - M

Locale: Western Washington
separate charger, but USB capacity on 06/10/2013 16:19:07 MDT Print View

Hey, Tony, maybe I didn't describe clearly what I'm looking for. I get that I'm going to have to purchase a separate charger, outside the camera. What I really wanted was a charger that could charge the battery either by plugging into the wall, or via a separate battery pack via USB, mini USB, or micro USB. I can plug my cell phone, Kindle, iPod, or headlamp battery pack into this battery pack and charge them, but I can't charge my camera battery that way. I don't typically take really long trips, but I have been saved from my own forgetfulness by carrying a separate battery pack and charging devices on-route so to speak. It would be nice to have this same capacity with my camera as well.

Richard May
(richardmay)

Locale: Costa Rica
Re: separate charger, but USB capacity on 06/10/2013 16:36:40 MDT Print View

That's going to be tricky. USB power supplies output a max of 5.4v which I gather is pretty low, probably not appropriate for camera batteries.

I'm not an electricity guy so I'd be intrigued to know if I'm right about this.

Tony Wong
(Valshar) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: separate charger, but USB capacity on 06/10/2013 21:11:06 MDT Print View

Diane,

Okay, I get what you are talking about.

Would be intriguing, but in terms of having a separate battery pack to charge the battery....that might be the same size as carrying a 2nd battery.

I do think that the biggest issue with charging via USB is the power that can run through the USB is a lot less than the wall = slower.

Still, the convience of the OPTION to charge the way you want would be nice.

Tony

Michael Driscoll
(Hillhikerz) - M

Locale: Monterey Bay
charging camera batteries via USB on 06/11/2013 11:08:29 MDT Print View

Diane, a very good ? and one I have been grappling with as of late as I just picked up an LX7 and while I should have 330 shots depending on settings I am getting 200+ or so... So I am back to the old days with a 35mm and thinking just how many rolls of film I want to carry... my decision 3 batteries at least 600 shots and if really cold a bit to a lot less... Batteries are light & small compared to other solutions cost is OK with 3rd party... I am looking into recharging the batteries with a 12v solar panel that I have but it is to much stuff to hike with unless I am with others who are also in the same boat so I only use it while on a long term car camp... one other place to look is... Solar battery charging for long tours by
< http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/OffTheGrid > a very good discussion of this very thing...

I looked up your camera and it would be good to test it with GPS on and off to get an idea just how many shots you have...

From DPREVIEW "Canon uses the NB-6L lithium-ion battery for power. This battery, used on a number of other PowerShots, packs 3.5 Wh of energy, which is on the lower end of the spectrum. Here's how that translates into battery life:
Camera Battery life
(CIPA standard) Battery used
Canon PowerShot SX260 HS * 230 shots NB-6L
* Built-in GPS
Battery life numbers are provided by the manufacturer

The good news here is that the SX260's battery life is about 10% higher than its predecessor. The bad news is that it's still a bit below the group average. Picking up a spare battery is a good idea, especially if you're using the power hungry GPS (which is not part of the above battery life calculations)."

I love the zoom your camera has and would like to play with the GPS but found I needed the low light end more so made the choice I did, good luck in you search...

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: Melbourne
charging camera batteries via USB on 06/11/2013 16:14:54 MDT Print View

You can buy a USB charger for the NB 6L
http://www.ryda.com.au/Bower-Canon-NB-6L-USB-Car-Battery-Charger-p/xcc6l.htm

http://www.amazon.com/Lithium-Ion-Replacement-Universal-Protector-PowerShot/dp/B002AR92FA


HINT
google "NB 6L USB charger"

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: separate charger, but USB capacity on 06/11/2013 20:27:35 MDT Print View

> USB power supplies output a max of 5.4v

Doesn't matter. Small switch-mode convertor between the USB cable and the battery. Any output voltage you want.

However, the USB port can only supply 0.5 Amp at 5 V. It will be slower.

Cheers

Edited by rcaffin on 06/11/2013 20:27:49 MDT.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: charging camera batteries via USB on 06/11/2013 21:05:53 MDT Print View

My Canon SD1200is has a 3.7v LI battery. It CANNOT be recharged via the camera. It can be recharged via a separate USB charger. Of course a 110v charger works better.

My Sony RX100 has a 3.6v LI battery. It CAN be recharged via the camera. It can be recharged via a separate USB charger. Of course a 110v charger works better.

Hart -
(backpackerchick) - MLife

Locale: Planet Earth
Universal Charger -- 61g/2.15 oz on 06/11/2013 22:59:53 MDT Print View

http://www.amazon.com/PowerGen-Multi-Purpose-Universal-Battery-T-Mobile/dp/B004B8CAT6/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

Cheap and cheaply made. WORKS! USB input AND output. Pretty much does all my little gadgets and flat batteries from any power source.

Looks like Amazon is out of stock.

Check out the photos on Amazon...they are helpful.

-------

This may be the replacement:

http://www.amazon.com/EC-TECHNOLOGY®-Multi-Purpose-ThunderBolt-Blackberry/dp/B007WAU40M/ref=cm_cr_pr_sims_t

I can not figure out whether it does USB input! From the description, I think it must but it does not outright specify it!

$7.99

Edited by backpackerchick on 06/11/2013 23:42:03 MDT.

Paul Mountford
(Sparticus) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic Canada
Re: charging camera batteries via USB on 06/12/2013 01:55:58 MDT Print View

Has anyone tried this:

http://www.lenmar.com/web/ProductDetails.aspx?ProductID=PPUCLIP

I looked at it a little while back but I have not purchased it yet.

Graham Morfitt
(MoeIsMe) - F

Locale: Canada's west coast
Re: charging camera batteries via USB on 06/12/2013 07:55:17 MDT Print View

My work is providing solutions to issues like the one you are presenting, so thanks for posting it :-)
To confirm, your camera uses the NB-6L, 3.7V/1200mAHr battery.
Below are links to two products that will do what you are asking: Plug into a USB source and charge your camera battery.

Lithium batteries are all multiples of 3.6V or 3.7V depending on the lithium chemistry, so your particular camera battery is essentially similar to an iPod battery, and can be charged from USB. All you need is a charger unit that will connect the battery to a USB port (and also cut the 5V USB down a bit to what the 3.6/3.7V batteries like to charge from).

Universal USB charger for 3.6/3.7V lithium camera/phone/GPS batteries...
http://www.modernoutpost.com/shop/universal-chargers/1212-lenmar-universal-usb-clip.html

Universal USB/12V/AC charger for 3.6/3.7/7.2/7.4V lithium batteries...
http://www.modernoutpost.com/shop/battery-chargers/268-3-way-universal-charger.html

The universal clip charger is also available at places like Radio Shack (The Source in Canada).
Both of these work great, and are safe for your batteries. All the smarts for charge control are included inside the battery itself. All the charger base needs to do is provide a voltage in the acceptable range (4.2V for charging a 3.7V pack). I find it amazing that Canon is asking the prices they do for a simple voltage converter (that will only work at home).

Lastly, a note about the 7.2/7.4V charging from USB. The charger above is one of the only ones I've seen that can transform the USB 5V up to the 8V range for charging the larger dSLR-type batteries. It works, but it is slow in this situations. Nice back-up solution, but I would recommend a 12V system over USB if you are packing a dSLR.

Hope this helps!

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: charging camera batteries via USB on 06/13/2013 04:21:23 MDT Print View

Hi Graham

> My work is providing solutions to issues like the one you are presenting,
In that case, you have to earn your keep here. :-) :-)

Can you tell us what the terminals on the end of a Canon battery are? You need two for power of course, but they have way more than that.

A similar Q for mobile phone batteries: they usually have more than 2 terminals too.

Disclosure: I have a stack of batteries left over from a dead G11 camera (NB-7L I think) which could be used to recharge the battery for my G15 (NB-10L). No problems making up the SMPS to drive it, but what are all those connections???

Cheers

Diane Pinkers
(dipink) - M

Locale: Western Washington
Thanks for the solutions! on 06/13/2013 18:10:40 MDT Print View

Yay, I knew the answer had to be out there, but was getting all sorts of useless garbage in my searches. Several of those options look quite intriguing, as I already have a separate battery pack to charge with, I just needed some sort of adapter to connect the battery to the charger.

I have a birthday coming up, and a techie father, so if I put something on my wish-list, it'll probably appear!