Callum McInerney-Riley considers a reinvented universal charger for block-style batteries
- Universal charger for block-style batteries
- Can be powered by Micro USB
- On-screen display
- Automatic voltage detection
- Price: £19.99
- Website: www.solartechnology.co.uk
Solar Technology makes a variety of different battery-based products, one of which is the CamCaddy 2. This battery charger works with almost all block-style batteries, making it an ideal travel companion for photographers using multiple cameras.
The CamCaddy 2 was designed to work in conjunction with the company’s Freeloader iSIS solar-charging power bank (£64.99), which can be plugged into the Micro USB port to power the charger. With its Micro USB power input, the CamCaddy 2 is incredibly convenient. Using a USB cable, users can charge batteries from their laptop, USB plug, car charger or from Micro USB smartphone chargers. The CamCaddy 2 also boasts smart electronics that automatically adjust to the correct voltage to ensure speedy but safe charging of batteries.
Solar Technology CamCaddy 2 – key features
Includes info on how long it takes to charge a battery, plus the percentage charged.
No need to line up positive and negative pins, as the charger automatically sets the polarity.
To hold the batteries in place, the bottom of the CamCaddy 2 simply slides down and uses the tension of the springs to hold it in place.
Solar Technology CamCaddy 2 – verdict
Having used the first generation CamCaddy battery charger, I wasn’t expecting much from the CamCaddy 2, as previously build quality was horrible. However, it’s clear that the design has gone back to the drawing board. It holds batteries in place as well as any other universal charger and, most importantly, the pins line up with almost every type of battery.
I used the CamCaddy 2 during a European fishing trip, and found the ability to charge my Canon EOS 5D Mark II battery from a power bank incredibly useful. The advantage of the USB charging functionality, combined with a great battery charger, is huge. The CamCaddy 2 is well built, sturdy and is a worthy kit-bag companion for any travelling photographer.
SCORE: 5 out of 5
You may wish to consider:
Ansmann Powerline Vario
Capable of charging AA, AAA and Li-Ion batteries, as with the CamCaddy2 this unit uses a USB input. It comes with four plug adapters for different regions and a 12V car adapter.
Braun 1-For-All-Switch Universal Charger
This is a durable and well-made unit with a charge level indicator and USB output. The blue LCD can display charge level, charging status and battery type.
This stylish-looking device uses dials to set its contact prongs to match the battery. A small LCD display can be used to show the battery charge level.