Digital Camera Battery 11.20.01 -- Moose Peterson

The Digital Camera Battery is not new to the market place, just new to me. With the performance I'm getting out of the Nikon EN-4 battery, their size and weight, I had felt that EN-4s were the best option for the money in powering the D1, D1X and D1H for my photography. After relying on this system for two years without any problems or loss of images due to power blackout, my first doubts about the EN-4 performance arose just prior to my trip into the Yukon Territory.

I was heading out to photograph Dall Sheep over 1000 feet up a steep hillside (that is, I climbed up 1000 feet to the sheep) with a possible low of -10 degrees. After climbing the hillside and being amongst the sheep, the last thing I wanted was to suddenly be out of power because of the cold nailing the EN-4 (which never did occur). So, I bought the 30W Digital Camera Battery ($240) as inexpensive power insurance. Wow..did it work out even better than I could have ever dreamt!

Digital Camera Battery
space-age casing
Photo by B. Moose Peterson

The Digital Camera Battery plugs into the DC socket on the front of the D1/X/H. When this is done, the camera is kept "active" and it never turns off. This meant for me that I always had the camera "on" and never had to deal with a lag time in the camera waking up. This made all the difference in the world in capturing two images including that of a Lynx that just appeared right in front of me! I would have been out in the cold in capturing the image if I hadn't had the DCB plugged in! This constantly having the camera on is a great feature of the Digital Camera Battery!

Hanging from Tripod
Photo by B. Moose Peterson
The Digital Camera Battery nuts and bolts are pretty simple. First, be sure to buy the case for the battery, that makes it really simple to hang the Digital Camera Battery from your tripod. Next, connect the cord to the battery and then to the camera (with the camera off), turn on the battery and confirm the green light is lit and then turn on the camera. Lastly, shoot and shoot and shoot. I've filled 2-512 and 2-320 cards and not had the status lights go from green to yellow, and that's at -9 degrees!


Do I recommend the DCB all the time? No. I recommend it and use it when I'm going to be "parked" somewhere for a time, waiting for the subject. The DCB is not light, weighing a couple of pounds. Being plugged into the front of the camera doesn't make it easy to use if you're handholding. I find myself using it just with my longer lenses, 300f2.8, 400f2.8 and 600f4 AFS on a tripod.

Controls on Digital Camera Battery
Photo by B. Moose Peterson

The Digital Camera Battery can do a lot more (like power the camera to clean the CCD using CS#8), and they have other larger sizes (though I think the 30W is plenty for just the body). Be sure to check them out at! --Moose Peterson

David adds:

Anyone who knows me knows I can't really stand Moose gloating about a piece of camera equipment that I don't have for very long before I do something about it. Moose was so excited by his Digital Camera Battery that I figured the Leonid meteor shower would be a perfect opportunity to give one a workout. I also bought the 30w model, with cords for the D1/X/H and for the SB-28DX. For the meteors I obviously only used the cord for powering the camera body.

The voltage control is in the cords, so you can plug up to two of any of the DCB accessory cords in and power up to two of your devices at the same time.

Meteor from Leonid shower 2001
Photo by David Cardinal. D1X, ISO400, 30s at f4

Like Moose, I was really impressed. My D1X shot 291 30 second exposures in Raw mode with the DCB attached while connected to my laptop via Firewire. That is nearly 3-hours of literally constant shooting--as I had the time lapse feature in Capture 2 set so it would start the next exposure as soon as the several seconds of downloading the previous image was complete.

Since my favorite shot of the evening occurred on frame 287, I'm pretty happy I had the DCB. Now I just wish I'd gotten the larger one so I could have had another 300 frames:-)--David Cardinal


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