Unity Digital introduces the new $99.95 ProPower rechargeable NiMH battery pack for digital still cameras. This is the second external battery pack we have reviewed, the first was Mizco's DPS-4000 which is a 1350mAh pack. The Unity Digital ProPower pack's capacity is a whopping 2700mAh using the latest in Nickle Metal Hydride battery technology. That's double the capacity of the Mizco and it's virtually the same size and weight!
The ProPower NiMH battery pack is roughly the size of a pack of cigarettes and comes in a classy leather case with a belt clip that looks like a beeper. There's a short lead-in cord with a connector that hooks up to the camera cable or the AC adapter/charger unit. To fully charge the pack takes about 10-12 hours. Inside the box are two camera cables, cable #1 is for Olympus, Nikon & Vivitar cameras, cable #2 is for Ricoh, Leica, Fuji, Casio, JVC and Minolta cameras.
Kodak, Epson and Fuji cameras require slightly different voltage levels so Unity Digital has three different battery packs available. Be sure to order and use the right one according to the info you'll find on Unity's site.
The lightweight ProPower battery pack weighs about 8 ounces and provides at least four times more battery power than ordinary AA-size NiMH cells. The NiMH design eliminates the annoying "memory" problems, typical of other types of rechargeable power cells. It also means that you can charge the pack whenever you want, even if it isn't fully discharged.
I let it charge initially for 24 hours as recommended and then plugged it in to an Olympus C-2000Z battery eater. The ProPower pack uses a 90-degree plug that keeps the cable close to the camera and the weight and stress off-center. It also helps keep it from coming loose from the camera.
Just so happens that today (June 26) was Amateur Radio Field Day so it was a great opportunity to put the Propower pack to the test with an all-day event. I shot about 70 HQ pics without flash, another 55 or 60 using the flash and did a whole lot of playbacks on the LCD for the interested on-lookers. What was really nice was that I didn't have any batteries in the Olympus C-2000Z so it was super-light and a pure joy to carry around.
I got home and did a lot more in-camera playbacks and then did a TV slide show for a good fifteen minutes. The ProPower pack was still going strong and the battery meter on the C-2000Z still showed full power left. So to be honest with you I don't know how long it will go but to do what I had mentioned above would have required 2 or 3 sets of AA-cell NiMH batteries to do the same job.
The Mizco DPS-4000 was only like having a second set of AA-cell NiMH
batteries ... the Unity Digital ProPower Pack is like having the
runtime of 3 or 4 sets of NiMH batteries !
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