Regardless of whether you’re new to taking photos or you’ve been doing it for years, you’ve no doubt had the experience of having your camera run out of battery power just when you need it.
Maybe you forgot your charger at home or your battery died out unexpectedly. Whatever the case, it’s always a pain having to stop taking photos because your camera is out of juice.
And if this has ever happened to you, then maybe you’ve been interested in finding a way how to charge the camera battery without the use of a charger.
How To Charge My Camera Battery Without A Charger?
Things you need:
- A USB cable. Make sure that you have the right type.
- A power source – a computer, laptop, a power bank, or a wall socket (if you have a plug charger).
Here are 5 simple steps to charge your camera without an external charger:
- Make sure your camera allows USB charging. You can read the user’s manual or search the internet if you have to. If not, you can try it anyway.
- Make sure your camera battery is inside your camera.
- Connect the camera to your computer, power bank, or any power source using the USB cable. The computer will act as the power source for your camera.
- Your camera should start charging automatically. Leave it connected until it is fully charged.
- Once the battery has been charged, disconnect your camera from the computer.
There are a lot of cameras out there, that’s why you need to figure out if your camera allows USB charging. Many newer model cameras do, but some don’t so it’s important that you check before trying to charge your camera this way. If you have a Canon camera, you may read our guide here.
Also, don’t forget to fully charge your camera battery at home. It is also important to bring your external charger when you’re going on a road trip or a vacation. If you can, try to have extra batteries or an external USB charger as backups. They are lifesavers. This will make sure that you won’t miss out on capturing precious moments while traveling.
Additionally, if you’re charger is lost or broken, find a replacement right away.
Can I Charge My Camera Battery Without A Charger?
Yes, you can, but it depends on which camera do you have. If you have a modern mirrorless camera like Fujifilm XT-2, Panasonic Lumix GX85, Canon EOS R series, Sony A6000, and Nikon Z Series, chances are you can charge your battery without an external charger by using connecting a USB cable to your camera then connect it to a power source like a laptop, desktop, and a power bank. If you have a Nikon camera, read our guide here.
Most older DSLRs don’t have a USB charging option because in order to charge your DSLR battery you may need a USB cable with a higher voltage. With lower voltage USB cables, your battery may take up to 8 hours of charging and use more energy to have it fully charged.
That would be helpful if you charge overnight, but what if you need your camera in 1 or 2 hours? That’s why manufacturers excluded the USB charging option on DSLRs.
How Long Does It Take To Charge A Camera Battery?
The time it takes for your camera to charge depends on a number of factors, but the most important factors are the battery capacity and the power source. When plugged into a computer or wall socket, you can expect that a fully drained battery will take about 2-3 hours to recharge.
This will depend on the type of battery your camera has and the power source you’re using. A laptop’s USB port can provide enough power to charge some smaller cameras in two to four hours.
Larger DSLRs with bigger batteries could take up to eight hours or longer when connected directly to a computer’s USB port. That’s the biggest reason why older DSLRs don’t have a USB charging option.
Benefits of USB Charging
If your camera allows this option, you’re in luck, because there are a few benefits to using USB charging.
The first benefit is that it’s very convenient. You can charge your camera from anywhere that has a USB port, including computers, laptops, and power banks.
Plus, since most people have multiple devices that use USB charging, you probably already have the necessary cables on hand. This can be a big money saver compared to buying proprietary chargers for your camera.
Second, with today’s technology USB charging is usually faster than ever. And if you’re using a high-powered source like a power bank or computer port you can expect much shorter charging times.
Emma Lucy is the Founder & CEO of Emma Lucy Photography. She has over a decade of experience shooting weddings and other intimate events. She also tests the latest digital camera bodies, lenses, analog cameras and other gear from Canon, Nikon, Sony and other camera brands. She currently lives in London where she spends most of her time being a self-employed professional photographer and writer.