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Let take a simple example of my colleague. My colleague have a camera - EX1 and a Portable Mobile Charger (3000mAh) that she use to charge her handphone.

So, is it recommended to charge her camera EX1 using the Portable Mobile Charger? Why and Why not? (Would it damage the camera and have enough power to charge the camera fully.)

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(http://www.lightinthebox.com/high-capacity-portable-digital-mobile-power-bank-mobile-charger-with-usb-output-3000mah_p308409.html)

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1 Answer 1

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Suitability varies with camera facilities and with quality of the charger, but in many cases you will have no problems doing this. Usually a special adaptor will be needed but, in this case, it is probably a matter of "plug in and go".

The EX-1 camera has an unusual feature - it will accept charging input from a 5 Volt "USB" power source and charge the battery while the battery is in the camera.

This site says:

  • Alongside the HDMI connection is a proprietary connector for Samsung's power and sync cable - the EX1 is recharged with the battery in-camera, either from an electrical socket or or alternatively straight from a USB port connected to your computer, rather than via an external recharger

So, for this camera, there should be a cable supplied that will allow the camera to plug into the USB power pack and recharge the battery while it is inside the camera. Most cameras that connect to a USB port use it only for data transfer and not for powering and charging.

For cameras that do not have this charge-in-camera capability you would need a "5V USB power supply" to battery charger. After market chargers that achieve this are available in various forms, but manufacturers so far do not tend to do this.
[For single cell LiIon batteries the minimum required circuitry is extremely simple and cheap. For batteries with 2 LiIon cells in series (typically DSLR's and larger cameras) a somewhat more complex power supply is needed.]

Power supply quality: Most "USB" chargers provide voltages within an acceptable range. However, I have seen a few "USB power supplies that do not limit the supplied voltage to the correct range, and I have seen some USB charging ICs that would be damaged by such supplies. If you wish to be 100% sure (or maybe 99.31412%) then have a competent person check the output voltage of the power supply in unloaded and loaded condition.

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Very interesting value - 99.31412%. How do you derive that value? –  Jack Nov 9 '12 at 2:19
1  
@Jack : Re " 99.31412%" = Engineer's joke. ie Engineer's version of the familiar "Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, ..." which is meant to lead the reader to focus on the point and not the actual text. ie you can never be CERTAIN about anything but if you do what I said you'll be able to have quite good confidence in the result. FWIW 99.31412% is ABOUT 1 chance in 150 of being wrong. A made up number to make a point. –  Russell McMahon Nov 9 '12 at 3:25
    
+1 to your comment. That's a nice value which I try it on my colleagues. –  Jack Nov 9 '12 at 6:54

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