Two New Options for Wall Powering Digital Backs
Many photographers have complained about the way that digital backs will chew through batteries on photoshoots. Swapping out batteries has long been a staple of long shoots with any digital back; one of the most highly received features from the new Phase One XF camera system has indeed been the PowerShare feature, which allows a user to share power between the digital back and camera, letting you swap out batteries without the back powering off entirely.
However, Phase One unveiled two new methods that allow for wall powering your digital back, removing the need to swap out batteries entirely. This will greatly benefit still life photographers, as well as any copy stand shooters. The first method is a new FireWire 800 DC plug, whereas the the second option is a Phase One approved USB hub for IQ3 shooters.
FireWire 800 DC plug
The Firewire 800 DC plug allows for photographers using Leaf Credo or Phase One IQ1, IQ2, or IQ3 backs to shoot tethered via USB3, or to CF card, and use the FireWire 800 port to power the camera. This is done by plugging the Phase One FireWire 800 DC plug into the port, then connecting the plug to a DC transformer connected to the wall. If you’re using the XF Camera with an IQ3 back, you’ll be able to charge the camera body as well, due to the power sharing ability.
Phase One has tested the Firewire 800 DC Plug with the Phase One Power Adapter ( 70530 ) used with the twin battery charger. While we are actively testing other options, no other options have been given the Phase One or the Capture Integration seal of approval, and may damage your digital back.
NOTE: Very importantly, do not lose sight of the fact you are plugging your expensive digital back directly into an AC current provider. Capture Integration highly recommends plugging into a Pure Sine Wave capable UPS unit (such as a CyberPower PFC device).
The Firewire 800 DC Plug Kit (including charger) will cost $74 and is available from digitalback.com.
Usage: In the digital back’s menu, “Charging from PC” has to be set to “Fast.” You will also want to ensure that “Charge from USB” is is turned off if you’re using a IQ3 back.
The IQ3 backs will indeed charge through the USB3 port, allowing users to tether and shoot from the same cord. IQ3 digital backs can now be charged with 1500 mA on USB – this means that the battery will be charged and maintained with power if the IQ back is connected via the above USB Hub. Charging will require that WIFI is turned off for less power consumption. If WIFI is turned on, the battery lifetime will be prolonged with USB charging at 1500 mA Connected directly to a Macbook Pro, USB charging is limited to 900 mA.
Usage: When charging over USB you need to ensure that “Charging from PC” is set to “Slow” under your digital back’s Power Management menu.
Currently, Phase One recommends the above illustrated Anker AH240 hub, although we are looking to test others as more hubs that meet the USB3 power standards of carrying 1500 mA are released.