I’m always looking for more efficiency and effectiveness from my gear, so I’m always on the look out for gadgets or hacks that I can use to make my photographic life a bit easier or more effective. One challenge I’ve had since acquiring the Fujifilm GFX Medium Format camera system, is what to do about charging the batteries.
For my X-T3 and X-T2, I have a quiver of batteries, a mix of OEM and aftermarket. Relatively cheap and light, I don’t mind carrying extra batteries to guaranty that I don’t run out of power. For my GFX, it uses different batteries than my other Fuji cameras, which means I need to manage camera power separate from the others. I do have 2 Fuji OEM batteries. However, as you may know, mirrorless cameras eat batteries like nobody business. For single day outings that is not too intensive of shooting, this has been fine for me so far. However, for more intense days I have found that I need more power for a longer period of time. I do not like to not run out of battery power. The simple solution is to buy more batteries yes? Well, unlike the other Fuji cameras, there really isn’t a good aftermarket battery solution and each Fujifilm OEM battery costs $118. Plus, they are heavy! I’ve been feeling a bit stuck lately on what to do about more power when I’m out and about.
I’ve been reading about how with the X-T3 (and other models) it’s safe to hook up a battery pack to the camera itself and charge the battery while it’s installed. With the GFX, this really isn’t a recommended option, but it did lead me down the thought path of remote charging for GFX batteries (instead of plugging in to 120v outlets). Because the GFX is not a mass produced camera, the market for accessories is fairly limited. I did find a promising solution that I purchased and just received today.
What I found is the Nitecore FX2 Pro USB Travel Charger for the Fujifilm NP-T125 batteries. It is a dual slot charger with a USB connection. It is approved to be powered by power banks, computers, solar panels, or wall outlets (with extra accessory). It is only $39.95 at Amazon. I’ve bought a lot of aftermarket photo accessories, typically made in China, and am used to marginal quality. After all, you get what you pay for. When I first unboxed the FX2, I was impressed with the build quality.
It comes with the charger, a USB cord and a cool little squeeze light (just a bonus I guess). The charger has two slots for the GFX batteries and a nice LCD screen to display the charging status. The cord plugs in on the underside of the charger.
I connected it to my Anker Powercore power bank and the LCD screen came to life. So far so good.
Inserting a Fuji NP-T125 battery, the charger did a quick check on the battery to get status and then started charging.
With one battery inserted, I inserted the second battery. The charger again did a quick check of the new battery and displayed it’s status.
I’ll let you read the specs on their site to hear about the milliamps and volts when charging through the various methods. Of importance for you to know, is that even though it’s a two slot charger, when charging via USB, it will only charge one battery at a time. When one battery is full, the charger will begin charging the second battery. If you are plugged into AC, then the charger will simultaneously charge both batteries.
Charging times depend on the power source you’re using, but on average, if you’re plugged in to AC, it will charge both batteries fully in under 3 hours. If using USB and a decent power bank, it will fully charge one battery in about the same time.
Overall I’m very pleased with this portable battery charger. I’m excited to bring it on my next major photo trip and test out my rationale. My thinking is that if I had bought one extra battery, I’m limited to just 3 batteries and when I’m out of power, I’m done. With this charger, I can be shooting with one battery and charging the other and with a good power bank, my batteries will last all day no matter how much I shoot. I won’t be limited by running out of juice. Yes, it’s a bit more to carry the power bank and charger, however, I am thinking the benefits will outweigh the hassles.
Have you found any other good portable chargers? If so, let me know in the comments.
About me: I am a full time photo workshop leader based in the Pacific Northwest. If you’d like more information about my workshops, prints, podcast or YouTube channel, please visit my website at www.johnpedersenphoto.com