Steve's Digicams

Mizco DPS 4000

NiMH Rechargeable Battery Pack

DigiPower DPS 4000

See my DPS-8000 review as the DPS-4000 has been discontinued and is no longer available.

Mizco was kind enough to send me one of their new DPS 4000 battery packs so I could see how well it worked for myself (and for you guys too!) The first thing I'll say is that it is small and very lightweight, slip it on your belt and you won't know it's there. The picture below gives you an idea of just how small it really is. It's about the same size and weight of a large beeper!

DigiPower DPS 4000

I let it charge for 8 hours as recommended and then plugged it in to my trusty Nikon Coolpix 900 battery eater. Unfortunately the Nikon engineers decided that the front of the camera was the place to put the external DC power connector which is not at all handy. Besides having the little plastic door hanging open you now also have a dangling power cord that tends to get in the way of the lens.

I put a small piece of electrical tape over the cord to firmly attach it to the front of the camera, cord problem solved -- just remember that plastic door is sticking out. On other types of digicams where the power connector is on the side or back it will not be much of a problem.

DigiPower DPS 4000

One of the most common remarks I hear from people who have used the Nikon AC power supply is that the plug tends to fall out easily. The picture above shows the Mizco plug on the left and the Nikon AC adapter plug on the right. Mizco used a 90-degree plug that keeps the cable close to the camera and the weight and stress off-center. The yellow center pin connector gets a much better grip and keeps it firmly in the camera's power jack.

OK, enough techno-babble already, how does the thing work?

To begin with I just plugged it into the Nikon 900, turned it on the A-Rec position so that the LCD was on and the autofocus was buzzing back and forth and just let it sit until it died. It ran for an hour and thirty-five minutes. Charged it up again (8 hours) and then went outside and started shooting everything I saw. I put the camera in VGA (640x480) economy mode with a 45MB card and the counter said I could take 999 pictures. I got to 425 pictures before my shutter finger wore out and the battery pack was still going strong. (And my Nikon was quite warm to the touch.)

Later indoors using the flash I shot another 43 pictures before the camera finally died. If this was a real-life shooting situation all you need to do now is unplug the DPS 4000 and go on shooting with the regular batteries inside the camera.

The DPS 4000 is rated at 1200mAh and I asked the Mizco folks if they could make it a little heftier. Stefan Guelpen said that they were thinking about making a 2400mAh version using lithium ion cells which are smaller.

12/7/99 update:   Well, the Mizco folks have built a much heftier NiMH pack now, the DPS-8000 features 2700 mAH worth of 4.8v NiMH cells and it costs less than the original DPS-4000!

Steve's Conclusion

It would have been a 5 if it was a little larger capacity but all in all it is still a nice, small, external battery pack that doesn't cost an arm and a leg and gives you plenty of picture taking power.

See my new DPS-8000 user review, this pack is bigger and more powerful and gets a 5 digicam rating!

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