Just yesterday, I posted a cool story about how to use an external 9000 mAh battery to extend the battery life of your GoPro Hero camera for up to 12 hours. It’s a pretty clever hack that was discovered by Fotodiox Pro. But I went further and found that while you could power your Hero with a FotoDiox Turbopack 9000 for $150, you can also do it with a Jackery Giant, which has a similar technology for under $40. But now there’s more, because you can also extend the battery life of your DSLR using similar external battery options and a nifty little “dummy” battery pack that makes your camera think it has a battery in it, not connected to it.
The external battery pack has a huge amount of power in a small, well made package. I use the power bank to charge my Canon DSLR using a dummy (coupler) battery which works fantastically. – Chris Winter
The hack comes from photographer Chris Winter, who has been getting up to 9 hours of video time from his Canon T4i using a Lanparte LP-E8 Camera Power Coupler DC Dummy Battery Pack For the Canon 550D 600D 650D ($30) and an EZOPower 3 -Port Ultra High-capacity Portable External Rechargable Backup Battery Pack, which sports a 10000mAh battery ($43). Note, this is identical to the Anker battery he uses in the video below. The key is that the battery pack as a 12v and 9v DC output. This is key to power the DSLR. Anyway, the only other part you’d need is a cheese plate , which you can then affix to the external battery with a nice thick piece of velcro, and a cold shoe adapter.
Then it’s just a matter of connecting everything. Winter installs the external battery onto the top of his DSLR via the cold shoe adapter, but I’m not a fan of that because you can’t attach an external mic there if you do, or an external video light. So I’d recommend attaching the same cheese plate to the bottom of the dslr with a 1/4-20 adapter instead and then you have access to a tripod option as well, along with your peripherals if you’re running and gunning.
And I think this solution would work with the GoPro from yesterday as well. These external high capacity batteries are awesome when you’re out in the field because they can power not only your camera for up to 9 hours, but you can also connect them to multiple devices simultaneously (course, your battery life would drop as a result), and you could also connect a solar charger and trickle refresh your power reservoir as a result.
The result though, is a solid days worth of shooting out in the field without having to stop to swap out batteries! And that’s well worth the $75 price tag!