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How USB-C Batteries Could Help the Earth

However, experts may still prefer a dedicated charger.

  • NiteCore’s new Sony camera batteries have an integrated charger and USB-C connection.
  • “Self-charging” batteries have many drawbacks, but they are certainly useful.
  • Professionals will prefer to use a dedicated charger for speed and reliability.

Vitalii Petrushenko/Getty Images

NiteCore’s new Sony camera batteries are self-charging. All you need is a USB-C cable and a USB-C charger.

One of USB-C’s greatest strengths is its ubiquity. As more and more devices are now migrating to standard connectors, you don’t have to think about how to charge them. Just grab the nearest cable and everything will be taken care of. NiteCore now adds a USB-C connector to the battery itself, allowing you to charge the battery from your smartphone, laptop or other power brick. You still need a charger, but you don’t need a dedicated charger. Probably all batteries should work that way.

“Proprietary chargers are a thing of the past. Having a unique individual charger for every device we own is impractical and harmful to the environment. Therefore, NiteCore welcomes this move. A larger rechargeable battery like this should actually come with a USB-C connector.” Milica Vojnic, marketing expert at Wisetek, a reuse and manufacturing expert, told Lifewire in an email. If you can use it, it doesn’t matter. It helps the environment by reducing the amount of e-waste generated.”

ups and downs

The advantages of batteries that do not require their own chargers are obvious. It can be charged with any charger, and if you want to charge multiple batteries at the same time, simply borrow two phone chargers or plug them into a free port on your laptop.

USB Rechargeable NiteCore Sony Battery Pack.

nightcore

However, there are many more disadvantages. What NiteCore avoids is capacity reduction. Using additional circuitry for the charger reduces the space for the battery and shortens the battery life. For the Sony battery in NiteCore, it offers almost the same 2250mAh capacity compared to the 2280mAh in the Sony NP-FZ100.

Another drawback is the loading time, which can be related to the third drawback, heat.

“NiteCore’s new USB-C camera battery is rated at a 7.2V, 2250mAh battery and appears to take 4 hours (240 minutes) to charge. The original battery I’m replacing is a 7.2V 2280mAh battery that appears to charge in 150 minutes (2.5 hours) with the original charger,” professional photographer Can Burak Bizer told Lifewire via email. “So you lose performance, but you lose load time. The integrated USB-C charger requires 60% more charging time. So if you keep changing and charging batteries throughout the shoot, you could end up buying twice as many batteries.”

The NiteCore likes to keep the battery cool to cool, while Sony’s external charger can dissipate the heat more easily.

Finally, there is the issue of reliability. More circuits means more room for problems, but it can be a wash in the end. You may need to replace a bad battery, but if Sony’s charger breaks, you’ll have to pay $99 for a new one. On the other hand, good third-party chargers are available for much cheaper. For example, I like the Patona brand of Fujifilm chargers.

A camera that charges with a USB auxiliary battery.

Rapeepong Puttakumwong/Getty Images

battery

Almost everything we use today has a battery, and it would be great if we could create a more consistent charging process. The environmental impact of adding more circuitry to the camera battery is small compared to the benefits of universal USB-C charging. We can keep and use the same charger for years, and gadget manufacturers don’t have to put duplicate chargers in every box.

However, there are other ways to charge the battery via USB-C. Some cameras, such as Fujifilm’s X-Pro3, have an in-camera charger that can charge the battery without removing it. Yes, the X-Pro3 does this via a USB-C cable.

So, for the avid amateur, USB-C can be a good thing. However, for professionals, the previous method works well and you can trust it to work.

“Batteries are expensive, and many professional camera models use backward-compatible batteries,” Burak said. “With a built-in USB-C charger, you have limited upgrade options. You can’t just buy a new quick charger and use it. When the technology is applied to a new battery, the entire battery pack will have to be upgraded instead of just replacing the charger, so there is no reason to throw away the old battery without the built-in charger.”


More information

How USB-C Batteries Could Help the Earth

But professionals may still prefer dedicated chargers

NiteCore’s new Sony camera battery has a built-in charger and USB-C port. 
There are plenty of downsides to “self-charging” batteries, but they sure are convenient. 
Pros will probably prefer to use dedicated chargers for speed and reliability.
Vitalii Petrushenko / Getty Images

NiteCore’s new Sony camera battery is self-charging—all you need is a USB-C cable and—yes—a USB-C charger.

One of USB-C’s greatest benefits is its ubiquity. As more and more gadgets switch to the now-standard connector, you never really have to think about how you charge them. You just grab the nearest cable, and it all sorts itself out. NiteCore has now added a USB-C port to the battery itself, so you can juice a battery from your smartphone, laptop, or other power brick. You still need a charger, but you don’t need a special, separate charger. Maybe all batteries should work like this.

“Proprietary chargers are a thing of the past, having unique, individual chargers for every device we own is simply impractical and terrible for the environment, so this move from NiteCore is a welcome one. Larger rechargeable batteries like this should indeed come with a USB-C port,” Milica Vojnic, a marketing specialist for reuse and manufacturing specialist Wisetek, told Lifewire via email. “Realistically speaking, adding the extra circuitry into the battery isn’t an issue if it means the battery itself can be used over a great period of time. By cutting out on the amount of e-waste created, we’ll be helping the environment.”

Ups and Downs

The upside of a rechargeable battery that doesn’t need its own charger is clear. You can charge it from any charger, and if you want to charge several batteries at a time, you just have to borrow a few phone chargers or plug them into spare ports on a laptop. 

NiteCore

But the downsides are more numerous. One, which NiteCore avoids, is reduced capacity. With extra circuitry for the charger, there’s less space for the battery, meaning shorter battery life. In the case of NiteCore’s Sony battery, it manages to pack in a capacity of 2250mAh, vs. 2280mAh from the Sony NP-FZ100, which is practically identical. 

Another downside is charging time, which may be related to a third downside—heat. 

“NiteCore’s new USB-C camera battery is specced as 7.2V 2250 mAh battery and seem to take 4 hours (240 mins) to charge. The original battery it replaces is a 7.2V 2280 mAh battery and seems to charge in 150 mins (2.5 hours) with the original charger,” professional photographer Can Burak Bizer told Lifewire via email. “So, you don’t lose power, but you lose charging time. Built-in USB-C charging takes 60% more to charge. So, if you are constantly swapping and charging batteries during your shoot, you may need to buy double the batteries.”

It could be that NiteCore likes to keep it slow to keep heat levels down inside the battery, whereas Sony’s external charger can dissipate heat more easily. 

And finally, there’s the question of reliability. More circuitry means more room for problems, although, in the end, it could be a wash. You might need to replace a malfunctioning battery, but if Sony’s charger goes wrong, you’ll have to pay $99 for a new one. On the other hand, good third-party chargers are available for much less. I like the Patona brand for my Fujifilm battery charger, for instance. 

Rapeepong Puttakumwong / Getty Images
Batteries

Pretty much everything we use these days has a battery, and if we can make charging them a more uniform procedure, that’s great. The environmental impact of adding more circuitry to a camera battery is probably small when compared to the advantages of universal USB-C charging. We can keep and use the same chargers for years, and gadget makers don’t need to put redundant chargers in every box. 

But there are other ways to USB-C charge a battery. Some cameras, like Fujifilm’s X-Pro3, have a charger built into the camera, which lets you charge the battery without removing it. And yes, the X-Pro3 does this via a USB-C cable. 

For enthusiastic amateurs, then, maybe USB-C is a boon. But for professionals, the old ways work just fine and can be relied upon to just work. 

“Batteries cost a substantial amount, and many pro camera models use backward compatible batteries,” says Burak. “With a built-in USB-C charger, upgrade options are limited. You simply can’t buy and use a new fast(er) charger. And, if such technology comes to new batteries, you’d have to upgrade your whole battery set instead of just changing your charger. So, I can’t see a solid reason to scrap my existing batteries without a built-in charger.”

#USBC #Batteries #Earth

How USB-C Batteries Could Help the Earth

But professionals may still prefer dedicated chargers

NiteCore’s new Sony camera battery has a built-in charger and USB-C port. 
There are plenty of downsides to “self-charging” batteries, but they sure are convenient. 
Pros will probably prefer to use dedicated chargers for speed and reliability.
Vitalii Petrushenko / Getty Images

NiteCore’s new Sony camera battery is self-charging—all you need is a USB-C cable and—yes—a USB-C charger.

One of USB-C’s greatest benefits is its ubiquity. As more and more gadgets switch to the now-standard connector, you never really have to think about how you charge them. You just grab the nearest cable, and it all sorts itself out. NiteCore has now added a USB-C port to the battery itself, so you can juice a battery from your smartphone, laptop, or other power brick. You still need a charger, but you don’t need a special, separate charger. Maybe all batteries should work like this.

“Proprietary chargers are a thing of the past, having unique, individual chargers for every device we own is simply impractical and terrible for the environment, so this move from NiteCore is a welcome one. Larger rechargeable batteries like this should indeed come with a USB-C port,” Milica Vojnic, a marketing specialist for reuse and manufacturing specialist Wisetek, told Lifewire via email. “Realistically speaking, adding the extra circuitry into the battery isn’t an issue if it means the battery itself can be used over a great period of time. By cutting out on the amount of e-waste created, we’ll be helping the environment.”

Ups and Downs

The upside of a rechargeable battery that doesn’t need its own charger is clear. You can charge it from any charger, and if you want to charge several batteries at a time, you just have to borrow a few phone chargers or plug them into spare ports on a laptop. 

NiteCore

But the downsides are more numerous. One, which NiteCore avoids, is reduced capacity. With extra circuitry for the charger, there’s less space for the battery, meaning shorter battery life. In the case of NiteCore’s Sony battery, it manages to pack in a capacity of 2250mAh, vs. 2280mAh from the Sony NP-FZ100, which is practically identical. 

Another downside is charging time, which may be related to a third downside—heat. 

“NiteCore’s new USB-C camera battery is specced as 7.2V 2250 mAh battery and seem to take 4 hours (240 mins) to charge. The original battery it replaces is a 7.2V 2280 mAh battery and seems to charge in 150 mins (2.5 hours) with the original charger,” professional photographer Can Burak Bizer told Lifewire via email. “So, you don’t lose power, but you lose charging time. Built-in USB-C charging takes 60% more to charge. So, if you are constantly swapping and charging batteries during your shoot, you may need to buy double the batteries.”

It could be that NiteCore likes to keep it slow to keep heat levels down inside the battery, whereas Sony’s external charger can dissipate heat more easily. 

And finally, there’s the question of reliability. More circuitry means more room for problems, although, in the end, it could be a wash. You might need to replace a malfunctioning battery, but if Sony’s charger goes wrong, you’ll have to pay $99 for a new one. On the other hand, good third-party chargers are available for much less. I like the Patona brand for my Fujifilm battery charger, for instance. 

Rapeepong Puttakumwong / Getty Images
Batteries

Pretty much everything we use these days has a battery, and if we can make charging them a more uniform procedure, that’s great. The environmental impact of adding more circuitry to a camera battery is probably small when compared to the advantages of universal USB-C charging. We can keep and use the same chargers for years, and gadget makers don’t need to put redundant chargers in every box. 

But there are other ways to USB-C charge a battery. Some cameras, like Fujifilm’s X-Pro3, have a charger built into the camera, which lets you charge the battery without removing it. And yes, the X-Pro3 does this via a USB-C cable. 

For enthusiastic amateurs, then, maybe USB-C is a boon. But for professionals, the old ways work just fine and can be relied upon to just work. 

“Batteries cost a substantial amount, and many pro camera models use backward compatible batteries,” says Burak. “With a built-in USB-C charger, upgrade options are limited. You simply can’t buy and use a new fast(er) charger. And, if such technology comes to new batteries, you’d have to upgrade your whole battery set instead of just changing your charger. So, I can’t see a solid reason to scrap my existing batteries without a built-in charger.”

#USBC #Batteries #Earth


Synthetic: Vik News

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