While shooters are clamoring for more battery life for their camera batteries, the manufacturers are taking a different approach … just making it easier to charge them. This is the case with NiteCore’s new Sony-style UFZ100 battery, which has a built-in USB-C port for charging.
By building a USB-C port directly in the battery, it eliminates the need for a dedicated battery charger, so all the creator needs are the cable and power source to charge it (although if you’re charging from an AC plug, you’ll need a, AC power cube).
While a traditional battery charger can be used, the benefit here is that a battery can be powered up from just about any source, from a power bank to a laptop, using just a USB-C cable.
Moreover, the battery uses power balance circuitry to apply the load across all cells to maximize the life of the battery. Kind of like wear-leveling on an SSD drive. There is also the expected safety circuitry to prevent overcharging, over-discharging, and short-circuiting.
The battery takes about four hours to recharge, which seems rather slow for a basic Sony design. Battery life is rated for 500 images per cycle.
The downside though is that to make room for the charging circuitry, the 2250 mAh UFZ100 battery has about 30mAh less power than Sony’s own NP-FZ100 battery pack. About a 12% loss. However, the ability to charge from just about any power source is worth the sacrifice.
The battery also has a multi-color LED light, which can tell the users how much battery is left when not in the camera. The indicator will glow when pressed, and light up green for >50%, blue for <50%, and red for under 10%. A much better way to see what batteries need to be charged than a piece of gaffer tape.
The health of the battery can also be checked by an Android app called NNergy. Because, of course, it can. There’s an app for everything. The app keeps track of battery life, age of the battery, and charging cycles. It can even put the battery in deep storage mode for an extended period of time, so it doesn’t die when not in active use.
- Type: Rechargeable Li-ion Battery
- Model: UFZ100
- Voltage: 7.2V
- Capacity: 2250mAh
- Energy: 16.2Wh
- Operation Temperature:
- Charge: 0℃~45℃ (32℉~113℉)
- Discharge: -20℃~60℃ (-4℉~140℉)
- Dimensions: 52mm x 38.7mm x 22.5mm (2.05″ x 1.52″ x 0.89″)
The battery should work with any Sony cameras like the α7 III, α7R III, α7R Ⅳ, α7S III, α9 (ILCE-9), α9 II, α6600, α7C, α1, FX3, and α7 Ⅳ. NiteCore has also made its firmware upgradeable with over-the-air updates, so as more products use the FZ100 design, the battery can grow incompatibility. That means it could have some sort of wifi or Bluetooth connection for the app to pair with.
No word on pricing and availability, or if it supports other devices such as video lights, but it’s a battery. So perhaps that’s just a given.
For more information, visit NiteCore.com.
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