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01-22-2015, 01:35 PM   #1
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USB Charging station? K-30

Maybe I'm a little crazy here... But I really wish (maybe it exists but I cannot find one...) there was a battery charger for my K-30 batteries that could connect through USB.


My sole desire would be for connecting to my solar charger while in the wilderness.
There are times when I will be in yellowstone for a solid week or two without anything but my solar charger. This mini solar panel only charges through a USB connection point.

And by the way I really was not trying to haul around a bag full of AA batteries, so the optional adapter is absolute last solution.

Anyone heard of a USB charging station for our DSLR Batteries?!

01-22-2015, 01:45 PM   #2
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I don't think the USB power output is sufficient to properly charge a DSLR battery. But I'm sure there's a solar/usb charger for AA's, so I'd say that's the way to go if you want the ability to recharge.

Then again, a set of lithium AA's literally quadruples your battery life compared to the standard battery, and 2 sets of those should be good for around 2.5k shots.

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01-22-2015, 01:46 PM   #3
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Use AA eneloops and a USB charger for AAs. I have not seen a USB charger for the camera batteries.
01-22-2015, 02:17 PM   #4
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It exists. There is a company selling these... Something like Pantone. Patona? Can't remember. I have one for my K-5 and it also takes 110V, 220V and a car cigarette lighter. Works great, I love it. The base part is always the same, and the top part is an adapter, so you could only bring 2 different adapters if you want to charge different batteries.

I use it together with my 10400 mAh Xiaomi power bank, which can charge my camera several times, and my phone, etc.

01-22-2015, 03:35 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by kadajawi Quote
It exists. There is a company selling these... Something like Pantone. Patona?
Yes, it's Patona from Germany.
Here you have the italian Amazon link, but you can search over the net in USA

Bundle - 4in1 Caricabatteria + 2x Batteria D-Li109 DLi109 per Pentax K-2 | K-30 | K-50 | K-500 | K-r e pi
01-22-2015, 03:41 PM   #6
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They also sell it from their own online store it seems? I could have saved quite some money that way. Bought it on Amazon at an airport as I realized that I forgot my original charger at the place that I visited.
01-22-2015, 03:51 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by kadajawi Quote
They also sell it from their own online store it seems? I could have saved quite some money that way. Bought it on Amazon at an airport as I realized that I forgot my original charger at the place that I visited.
Exactly, here:

PATONA 4in1 Ladeger
01-22-2015, 05:29 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
I don't think the USB power output is sufficient to properly charge a DSLR battery.
I think it depends on the battery. My Sony NEX-F3 batteries (Sony NP- FW50) charge fine in-camera simply by using a USB 2 cable plugged into the camera. These are the same batteries that power the Sony full-frame A7 series cameras (even the latest A7II), which also support in-camera USB charging. The new Samsung NX-1 also does USB charging. So USB charging can be done, even for FF DSLR's. It may be slower than a dedicated charger, but it works.

USB 2's 5V and 900mA/1.5A certainly seem to do the job of supplying enough power. USB 3.1 is even going to be support a continuous 3A, according to wiki.

01-23-2015, 06:31 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
I don't think the USB power output is sufficient to properly charge a DSLR battery.
It does work even with the 500 mAh output of a regular USB port, though it takes longer. I have a 1A and a 2A charger (actually it can charge 2 devices at 1A each or one at 2A), and at 2A it was too much for the Patona it seems. It stopped working for a while, but recovered itself. So I would be a bit careful not to push too much into it. But this way all I need on the go is a couple of micro USB cables and my USB charger, and I can keep my power bank, my phone and my camera charged. Very convenient.

Until Pentax includes in camera USB charging support. That would be perfect IMHO. You can transfer photos while charging the camera, you don't ever have to worry about forgetting the charger at home, can charge 2 batteries at the same time... And if the camera remains fully functional that would be even better. Tethered shooting without worrying about running out of battery for example, and without having to use an external brick you have to order first. Or being able to shoot time lapses and long exposures for very long times without access to a power socket.

There is also a tech called Quickcharge by Qualcomm, phones with their higher end CPUs support something like 9V and 2A or so... But only with a supported (expensive) charger.
01-23-2015, 08:21 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
But I'm sure there's a solar/usb charger for AA's, so I'd say that's the way to go if you want the ability to recharge.
And it can do double duty if you're using AA's in other devices ( handheld GPS, flashlight, etc. ). I got cheap AA clips for my K30 off ebay for next to nothing and I
use them with eneloops. They work. I can share the eneloops between different devices if I need to.

So if there's a solar powered charger for NiMH batteries, that might be a viable option. But the stock lithium battery is lighter than 4 AA's.
01-29-2015, 11:30 AM   #11
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Ok, so I tried charging my battery after 1095 photos and a minute or so of video. The camera was still showing a full battery, but I doubt it was. In any case, instead of using a 1A USB charger I used my laptop which supplies 500mA. The charger got a bit warm (not as warm as with the 1A charger), the next morning, some 6 hours later the battery was already full. So even a 5V/500mA power source is probably ok to fully charge the battery within one night.
09-04-2016, 01:00 PM   #12
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So... as I bought 2 more batteries (D-Li90) and a remote trigger, I thought I'd do a few tests. I completely drained all three batteries and fully charged my 16000 mAh power bank. Mi Power Bank 16000mAh - Mi Global Home Then I proceeded to charge all the batteries. Charging took roughly 6 hours each time, using the power bank. Around 4 hours into the 3rd battery the power bank stopped. So basically I get 2 1/2, maybe 2 2/3 charges out of the power bank before it is dead. If you're using a K-30, with its smaller batteries, you should get even further. Not bad, that's _a lot_ of photos.

Maybe the next thing I'll try is how fast the battery is charged using a power outlet... I don't expect much of a difference though. Seems like using a power outlet it consumes 4-5W, using my USB charger it is 5-6W.

Last edited by kadajawi; 09-04-2016 at 01:09 PM.
09-04-2016, 06:50 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by kadajawi Quote
So... as I bought 2 more batteries (D-Li90) and a remote trigger, I thought I'd do a few tests. I completely drained all three batteries and fully charged my 16000 mAh power bank. Mi Power Bank 16000mAh - Mi Global Home Then I proceeded to charge all the batteries. Charging took roughly 6 hours each time, using the power bank. Around 4 hours into the 3rd battery the power bank stopped. So basically I get 2 1/2, maybe 2 2/3 charges out of the power bank before it is dead. If you're using a K-30, with its smaller batteries, you should get even further. Not bad, that's _a lot_ of photos.

Maybe the next thing I'll try is how fast the battery is charged using a power outlet... I don't expect much of a difference though. Seems like using a power outlet it consumes 4-5W, using my USB charger it is 5-6W.
Get one of the AA battery holders and a couple sets of Lithium AA batteries...
09-04-2016, 07:34 PM   #14
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Once again the standard output of USB is 4.9-5.0V with 500mA for USB 1.0 and 2.0 and 900mA for USB 3.0. Dedicated charging ports and chargers can deliver up to 1500mA. My D-BC50 Pentax charger delivers 8.4V @ 700mA. So until Pentax cameras start using a 4.9-5.0V battery your not likely to see USB charging on Pentax bodies.

There are higher voltage specs for USB power delivery but then you would need a dedicated cable and charger so what would you gain?
09-05-2016, 09:01 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by CP140 Quote
Get one of the AA battery holders and a couple sets of Lithium AA batteries...
What is the point of that? I might as well get a couple of D-Li90, they cost a few dollars only, and don't waste any space inside the camera. Plus my K-5 doesn't fit those. Or do you mean battery grip? Yes, would work, but it's hardly ideal.

QuoteOriginally posted by Not a Number Quote
Once again the standard output of USB is 4.9-5.0V with 500mA for USB 1.0 and 2.0 and 900mA for USB 3.0. Dedicated charging ports and chargers can deliver up to 1500mA. My D-BC50 Pentax charger delivers 8.4V @ 700mA. So until Pentax cameras start using a 4.9-5.0V battery your not likely to see USB charging on Pentax bodies.

There are higher voltage specs for USB power delivery but then you would need a dedicated cable and charger so what would you gain?
Pretty much every charger supplies 5V with 1A or more... 2-2.4A is very common too. The power bank also can supply 2.4A. USB is ubiquitous, so that helps.

There is also a camera accessory for several DSLRs in the form of a battery with cable attached. That way you can plug in a USB charger/power bank to run the camera using USB... and it works. Costs $150 or so. But including the transformer into the camera won't cost as much.
https://www.tethertools.com/product-category/power-management/case-relay/

Yes, Pentax would have to change the camera (but after all they put in the electronics required to run the camera with a 12V DC adapter... do it the other way, from 5V to whatever the camera needs, and install some charging electronics).

Even if you run the camera from a 500mA USB port, most of the time the camera doesn't need that much power (like when not taking a photo and not running in live view), and when it does, there's a battery in the camera that can supply the rest. When it doesn't need as much power, the battery is charged. Most of the time, chargers will supply more than 500 mA though.

If this works, and I don't see why it shouldn't, the camera would gain much usefulness, especially with photographers Pentax already appeals to!

Last edited by kadajawi; 09-05-2016 at 09:08 AM.
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