My camera eats batteries. I’m not sure exactly why — maybe it’s because the NP-95 battery it uses is tiny; maybe it’s that its hybrid viewfinder is particularly power hungry; or perhaps it’s just that I refuse to engage any of the performance-slowing power-save modes — but my X100s is thirsty.
I get around this by carry a pocketful of those tiny batteries, but taking the giant Fujifilm charger on vacation is a pain. So I set out to find a USB charger that would do the job without frying the batteries.
Then I realized I was doing it wrong. Instead of a USB-powered battery charger, what I needed was a proper camera battery charger which had a USB port in the side. Thus I could charge everything from one wall socket, in one compact unit.
The device is the Digipower TC–55.
The unit is actually slightly bigger than the charger it replaces, but as it has a pair of flip-out power prongs instead of a long cable it works out smaller. There are other benefits too: the charger has an LCD progress meter telling you how far along you are, and it comes with a europlug adapter for use in Europe and much of the world. And then there’s the USB port, a 5V, 500mA output for iPhones and iPads mini.
To use the charger, you just slide the battery in and wait. It’s held firmly (and accurately) in place by a spring-loaded panel, and this panel also lets it work with various Fujifilm-compatible batteries. Not a Fujifilm user? Digipower also makes models to fit batteries from other manufacturers.
The TC–55F, pictured above, costs $50, although you can find them for a lot less on Amazon. I just unwrapped mine (for which I paid a lot more tun $50 thanks to the profiteering international import/export trade) so I’ll have a review up soon.
Now, if only I could stop losing those little batteries…