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Wednesday, 15 July 2020

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As much as I love my Fuji cameras, the batteries are the weakest link, especially after using Nikon DSLRs.

I might be too compulsive, but I labeled my 8 batteries with an alpha character (A through H) and use them sequentially. If I take out a spent battery marked D, Battery E goes in.

I feel like every battery will be used and charged fairly equally this way, which should make them the same in actual use.

Of course, I could be overthinking this.

I ordered the Fuji / Panasonic model from B&H a couple of months ago - for my Lumix Collection. The B&H product description lists the DMW-BLC12 (for the GX8) and the DMW-BLG10 (for the GX7, GX85, GX9, etc). The ProCube2 unit arrived but did not include the all-important BLG10 plate for my beloved GX9. I contacted both B&H and Hahnel through their respective website support links. B&H suggested I return the entire unit since it did not meet my need. HOWEVER, Hahnel interacted with me through several email messages and sent me the BLG10 plate at no charge. It took a couple of weeks but I'm impressed and a happy user of the unit.

How many contacts per battery? If it's only two, and it's not connecting to the battery's T (thermal or temperature) contact, which would report the battery's temperature as it charges, then it had sure better have a built-in temperature sensor. If not, it could easily overheat a battery during charging, which can definitely shorten its lifespan, or worse, start a fire. Those fires can be quite substantial - jets of flame several feet high.

It's a handsome device, but of my 4 Lumix and one Nikon battery types there is only one (for the G9) it will charge. So I bought a dedicated G9 twin charger for about 1/3 the price.

The purpose of the message for the warning about not using an "S" battery in your X-H1 is not about it "draining too fast", its about the risk of a non-S battery...catching fire.

So, please, use the battery that Fujifilm specified for your X-H1, the NP-W126S. Do NOT use non-S batteries or 3rd party batteries. I know this was a controversial topic when the X-H1 came out, but for folks that may think they know more about this risk than Fujifilm engineers...take it from someone who has led teams in a bunch of engineering FMEAs in his time...you don't.

Some years ago I bought a Watson Duo Charger [insert B&H link here] for my Fuji batteries, based on a Thom recommendation. Did you consider this option?

A bit like the Hahnel, you can replace the top plates for alternative types of batteries, but from your description of the Hahnel it appears that unlike it can can replace the two plates on the Watson separately, so that you can mix and match, charging say one Fuji and one Nikon, even with different voltages. I don't think you can do AA, but it does have a USB 2.0 charging port and can take 12V power input.

I do travel with the Watson, but it's not small. Two Fuji chargers would be smaller and lighter, but slower and without the LCD screen.

I used the Panasonic GF1 long enough and hard enough that I wore out four batteries. Maybe five. I always carried a set of three batteries because I could run down that many in a heavy day of shooting (birding, usually), since I liked to leave the camera on all the time.

If you travel or just want to use it at home, you might want to investigate the Nitecore FX1. Nitecore makes flashlights. They also make a series of battery chargers.

It charges two batteries, one on the front and one on the back. It displays temps, capacities, and progress. It is the same size as a credit card and about an inch thick.

It only has a USB connection. It consists of an attached USB plug on a short thick wire that stores in one side of the unit. Buy the USB extension at the same time so you can be further from the USB port. I plug it into the extension and the extension plugs into a USB charger that can provide 2.4 amps into both ports simultaneously.

It's not a speed demon but it charges the Fuji "S" batteries at a reasonable rate.

On Amazon, I can only buy batteries for my Lumix G85 with an included dual charging system. The fun, for me, comes from doing two things at once. I'm charging two batteries and I can not only see how they're going independently but can also see how low their charge really was when I put them in.

#I hope you don't get burned for mentioning national leadership - my aged mother is immersed in right wing political news media, and now all she speaks of is fearful things. I miss her positivity. Sigh.

I’m happy you’re pleased with this product. But my own experiences with Hähnel’s products has not endeared their brand to me. I’ve owned three of their chargers, each as part of a Phase One kit. Aside from being ridiculously oversized and clunky each has failed to some degree. My current charger, a 2-battery unit, has lovely displays but only charges one battery. Two previous model units have both failed entirely. Frankly, I don’t know why Phase One includes this garbage in their 5-figure kits.

"I've never traveled with it"

Travel has been, until this year, my primary use of chargers. For me, this one is oversize, overweight and over priced.

I've been using an OAproada twin charger for Panny batteries for GX7, GX9, GX85, ZS200 and ZS80.

Travel tested in 90 nights of recharging multiple batteries on the road, it's smaller, much lighter and charges much faster than the Panny chargers. Cheaper, too. I haven't timed it, but it seems like it can charge four batteries in little more time than one in a Panny charger.

It looks from the pix/specs on Amazon as though the same basic thing is available for most contemporary batteries, under various brand names.

(Note how Panny uses the same battery for many models. They even designed the smaller battery for the GM models to fit the same charger as the larger ones!)

I think the reason you like it is because it's just good design. I like well designed products too.

Back around 2008/9 when I had a Canon 40D I bought a Hahnel dual charger of an earlier design which also used different plates for different batteries. I think I had a Nikon too, at the time, and got a plate for that. The charger also ran off the car's battery, an idea I liked although I never needed it.

When my order arrived, it looked as if someone had used it as a hammer to drive nails. There were several prominent dents in the metal casing. It worked, but I didn't like it.

I emailed Hahnel in Ireland with a picture and got a very prompt reply asking me to wait for a fix. A few days later I got a package from Hong Kong with a brand new replacement. I emailed back to thank them and ask what they wanted me to do with the original. Just keep it, they said, so I've still got both, but no Canon or Nikon batteries needing a charge I'm afraid.

This impressed me and I've been a Hahnel fan of their good design ever since.

A while back, I went down the NiteCore path for batteries from Panasonic and Leica cameras. Simiar technology, with a voltage output and graphics. These come in one-battery and two battery models. While the information was useful, since many newer cameras only give you a four-bar charge indicator, it became clear that the charging algorithm in the NiteCores was very simple -- rush to get the job done, stop at a safe point, but not fully charged. And if you left the battery in the charger (e.g. overnight) it would discharge once the cycle had completed. So these were cheap, light, and did not do the greatest job. Sic semper...

PS: the charger I use now for my Panasonic, Olympus, Sony and Pentax batteries is the Hahnel UniPal Plus https://www.hahnel.ie/irish-shop/unipal_plus/ It has two small steel prongs which are adjustable to fit the spacing of any battery. It doesn't care about polarity so you can insert any camera battery. It can be a bit fiddly but it works well.

It also charges two AAs and AAAs and has a USB output socket too. I use it when travelling as it doesn't matter what camera I'm using or what device. I sound like a Hahnel salesman but it's another good design, IMHO.

Interesting. I've never found a charger that was fast enough to count on in the middle of sessions; hence I've always owned enough batteries to get through without charging any during the shoot. Then I can charge them overnight, which means the speed of charging isn't too important. I do often end up with multiple chargers; when I buy third-party batteries they often come with a charger, and that's useful.

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