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Recharging your Canon camera battery when you’re traveling or on an outdoor shoot can be a problem. Using the battery charger that came with your Canon camera isn’t an option because there’s no wall power outlet nearby. So, what do you do?
The answer is USB charging. But there’s more than one way to charge your battery with a USB cable and one of them happens to be USB charging with a power bank.
Most camera batteries can be charged from a power bank in a couple of ways.
- Connect the camera to the power bank with a USB cable and charge the battery inside the camera.
- Use and external USB battery charger and connect it to power bank with a USB cable.
Not all cameras are capable of USB charging with the battery inside the camera. However, many popular DSLR and mirrorless cameras can charge their batteries within the camera’s battery compartment. Good examples being the Canon EOS R, R5, and R6.
In-camera USB battery charging may require the use of the camera manufacturer’s USB interface cable or one that is compatible. Ordinary USB cables may not be able to deliver the required power. A specific type of power bank may also be required. In the case of the three Canon cameras mentioned above, you will need a power bank that includes Power Delivery.
In the next section, I will specifically talk about charging these Canon cameras with a power bank. However, the same methods can be applied to many other cameras, including other brands.
How to charge a camera battery with a power bank?
Charging a camera battery with USB charger and power bank
There are several inexpensive USB battery chargers available online, with not much difference between them, in terms of what they do and how they do it. The main difference is often cosmetic, i.e., the way they look.
The one I will use, and the one I recommend, is the HOMESUIT USB camera battery charger. I bought this charger with my own money and found that it works well enough for the price. I would stress that I DO NOT have any connection with the makers or sellers. I have judged the charger purely on my independent experience of the device. You will find details of the HOMESUIT USB camera battery charger at the end of this article.
I will describe the charging process using the Canon LP-E6 version of the HOMESUIT USB battery charger, but it is basically the same for other camera batteries.
To charge your camera battery or batteries, you will need a USB camera battery charger, USB cable, and Power Bank. The type of Power Bank and cable is not as important as when charging the battery in the camera. Most power banks and micro-USB to Type-A cables will work.
1. Insert the battery into the charger so that the electrical contacts fit onto the metal terminals on the charger. Depending on the type of camera battery you are charging, the HOMESUIT charger can simultaneously charge two or three batteries.
2. Connect the micro-USB end of the cable to the top right corner of the charger. Take note that unlike a USB-C connector, you can only insert the USB cable connector when matches the orientation of the connector on the charger.
3. Connect the USB Type-A connector on the other end of the cable to a USB Type-A port on your power bank, making sure the plug has been fully inserted.
4. The power bank should automatically switch on and start charging the batteries. Check the CH1 and CH2 LEDs in the top left corner of the HOMESUIT charger. They will initially glow green for a second or two and then turn red to indicate the battery or batteries are charging. The LEDs will turn green when charging is complete or if a charging compartment does not contain a battery.
Charging a Camera Battery in the Camera With a Power Bank
I have already covered USB camera battery charging in full detail and with step-by-step images for the Canon EOS R and EOS R5/R6. So, here I will just give an overview, as it relates to using a power bank.
Check your camera user guide to confirm that your camera can charge the battery internally.
Depending on your model of camera, you may need a specific type of power bank. For instance, the Canon R, R5, and R6 all require the use of a power bank with Power Delivery. If you own a Canon camera, check my article Canon Camera USB Cables and the compatible cable you need. For other makes of camera, check the user guide for your specific model of camera. Also, only try in-camera USB battery charging if your camera is compatible.
- Switch off the camera. Leaving the camera switched “ON” may prevent battery charging from a USB power source, in this case, the power bank. The USB power source may or may not provide power to operate the camera.
- Make sure you are using the correct type of battery for your camera. Some cameras are compatible with batteries other than the one that they were supplied with when new. However, not all these batteries may be compatible with in-camera USB charging. For example, the Canon EOS R, R5, and R6 can be powered by LP-E6, LP-E6N, and LP-E6NH batteries, but they will not charge the LP-E6 battery internally.
- Close the battery compartment door, making sure it is securely locked in place. If the battery compartment door is not properly closed the camera may not recognize that there is a battery in the battery compartment.
- Connect the USB cable to the USB connector on your camera. Ensure you use the correct cable; this is usually the USB interface cable that came with your camera or recommended in the camera’s user guide or manufacturer’s website. If you are using a Canon camera you can find the interface cable for your camera and the compatible cable type in my article Canon Camera USB Cables: The compatible cable you need.
- Insert the other end of the USB cable into the power bank. The power bank may immediately turn on and supply power to charge the camera battery in the camera.
- If the power bank has not automatically switched on, press the “ON” button to start charging. The power bank’s LED indicator light should light up to indicate it is providing power.
Charging is usually confirmed in some way on the camera. For instance, on a Canon EOS R a battery charging icon appears in the top LCD window, whereas on the EOS R6 the access light blinks green. If it is not obvious what your model of camera does, check the camera’s user guide.
HOMESUIT USB Battery Charger
I’ll give details of the Canon LP-E6 version of the HOMESUIT charging kit and the results of my charging tests with the supplied batteries. I’ll then provide links to the HOMESUIT chargers for other camera batteries for canon, Fujifilm, Sony, Nikon, and GoPro cameras.
The HOMESUIT USB battery charger is bundled with a pair of LP-E6 compatible batteries. The Amazon advert said they were Artman LP-E6/LP-E6N batteries, however, the ones I received had the HOMESUIT logo and name printed on them.
The Amazon advert is also a little confusing since it indicates the battery capacity is both 2200mAh and 2600mAh. I think the mention of 2600mAh in the product description is inaccurate since the two batteries that were bundled with my charger show a capacity of 2200mAh printed on the rear.
At first glance, this seems better than the 2130mAh capacity of a genuine Canon LP-E6NH battery. But don’t get too excited just yet. In my tests, the battery life was not as good as with a genuine Canon LP-E6NH. Although I would mention that the seller recommends performing 5 discharge and charge cycles to let the batteries reach their full capacity.
Even so, I consider the batteries a bonus because I bought the bundle solely for the charger and USB cable. Which reminds me. A micro-USB to Type-A cable is also included in the kit.
To clarify, this is what you get, or at least what I got.
- 2 x Replacement Batteries
- 1 x Dual Charger with LED indicator lights
- 1 x Micro-USB to Type-A cable
The batteries are compatible with this list of cameras:
Canon EOS 5D Mark II, EOS 5D Mark III, EOS 5D Mark IV, EOS 5DS, EOS 5DS R, EOS 6D, EOS 6D Mark II, EOS 7D, EOS 7D Mark II, EOS 60D, EOS 60Da, EOS 70D, EOS 80D, EOS 90D, EOS R, EOS R5, EOS R6, EOS Ra, XC10, XC15, BG-E6, BG-E7, BG-E9, BG-E11, BG-E13, BG-E14, Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera 4K, and Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera 6K.
Yep, that’s a lot of cameras and some aren’t even Canon models!
So potentially the HOMESUIT USB camera battery charger might appeal to a lot of folks, both DSLR and Mirrorless camera owners.
By using USB charging for your Canon batteries, you’re opening more charging options. We’re obviously interested in using a power bank as the energy source, but you could also use the HOMESUIT USB charger with a modern USB wall outlet, motor car USB socket, and a wall power adapter.
So, whether you are at home or traveling this charger will allow you to keep shooting stills or video. Also, important if you are traveling is that the unit is compact and light since it is made of plastic.
I have read that some people do not like using aftermarket or compatible gear because of potential damage to their camera gear. I understand the concern, however, the HOMESUIT charger includes an intelligent chip for over-voltage protection, over-current protection, short circuit protection, high-temperature, and over-charge protection.
Even so, the seller does recommend using power sources that will provide a maximum input of 5V/2.1A.
HOMESUIT USB Camera Chargers
Last update on 2023-01-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Last update on 2023-01-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Testing the Homesuit USB Battery Charger
Testing the battery charger in this article is a little bit of a problem since there are too many possible equipment variables for a meaningful comparison. Not only can this device charge three types of Canon batteries it can also charge the various after-market LP-E6 series camera batteries. In addition, the power bank I am using may be completely different from the one you have.
Even so, I have performed a couple of tests where the only difference to your own situation is the power bank being used. I tested with the supplied USB camera battery charging kit to charge the included batteries with my Anker PowerCore PD2 power bank.
To make sure the two batteries started charging from the same level I used them in my EOS R6 recording video until the batteries were exhausted and the camera shut down. They were then recharged individually and then together.
Single battery charging time: 2hrs 47min
Dual battery charging time: 4hrs
I also tested the battery life of the two included batteries. With one battery I did as the seller suggested and gave the batter several recharge cycles before testing it. The other battery was charged once and then tested.
The test was a continuous video recording, with the camera restarted after reaching the 30min recording limit. The video quality was Full HD at 30fps.
Unless the performance of individual examples of the HOMESUIT LP-E6 battery is highly variable, there might be some truth to the seller’s claim that the batteries need a few recharge cycles before they reach their full power capacity.
The battery I recharged a few times powered my Canon EOS R continuously for 2hrs 38min, the one that was recharged just once lasted 2hrs 18min. That is a full 30-minute improvement by charging and exhausting the battery several times before really using it for a shoot.
The single battery charge time is good at 2h 47min, which is 12-minutes faster than charging the battery inside an EOS R6 from a power bank.
Dual battery charging takes longer than single battery charging, although only a little over an hour longer. Dual charging would save a significant amount of time than two consecutive single battery charges.
So in terms of performance, and price, I would recommend the HOMESUIT USB camera battery charger.
If we can assume that both HOMESUIT batteries will perform equality well after a few recharging cycles, then they are good, if you consider them to be a bonus that comes with the charger.
Compared to a genuine Canon LP-E6N battery the HOMESUIT power pack lasted an extra 28 minutes. That is a respectable result. However, I was not surprised to see the HOMESUIT battery last 10 minutes less than a genuine LP-E6NH. That is despite claiming to have a slightly higher capacity than the genuine LP-E6NH.
Tosh Lubek runs an audio and video production business in the UK and has been using the Canon EOS R since it was released in the Autumn of 2018 and the Canon EOS R6 in 2020. He has used both cameras to shoot TV commercials broadcast on Sky TV, promotional business videos, videos of events and functions, and YouTube creator content. He has also won several international awards for his advertising and promotional work. You can meet him by visiting his “video booth” at HashTag Business Events across the country.
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