XTAR VN2 USB camera battery charger
XTAR VN2 charger
Smart charger shows amount of charge
...Get our Newsletter for new articles/reviews and why not subscribe to Keith's YouTube Channel
...Keith's book about how to use tilt/shift lenses is now available.
Our site contains affiliate links - these help support the site. See our Advertising policies for more
The XTAR VN2 is a new battery charger that is powered via a USB C socket, allowing you to charge 1 or 2 batteries from a computer, or even an external 5V USB power bank.
Keith has had a look at this new product that makes it easy to charge batteries on the go.
Note: The VN2 is a new product. See more details on the XTAR web site.
Xtar have been known for their battery chargers for a while, and recently asked if I’d like to have a look at a new smart charger for different camera battery types. I’ve just recently had a look at the Canon EOS R5 [R5 overview] and have an EOS RP here [EOS RP review], both of which use up batteries at a faster rate than I’m used to with my 5Ds and 1Ds models before that.
Those cameras can be charged from a USB Power Bank if it has higher voltage PD charge capabilities [see my look at RP USB charging]. That’s great whilst the camera is in my bag, but what about if I’m using it? I also can’t use my largest capacity power bank, since it’s 5 Volt only.
The VN2 is a smart charger ‘header’ with a USB C socket which fits to a range of different battery holders for charging. Currently this is Canon LP-E6N, LP-E17, LP-E8 and Sony NP-FW50
The USB lead for power plugs into the top of the charger (5V 2.1A max)
The bottom of the charger has some locking pins and six power connecting pins.
The pins match up with the battery holder unit – three per battery.
The Version shown here is the LP-E8 battery.
The holder takes two batteries.
The charge current is 1A for a single battery, or 0.5A per battery if two are present.
Depending on the battery, temperature information may be available.
The LP-E6/E6N holder at the left supports this.
For smaller batteries, the two batteries are mounted side by side.
This is the LP-E17 battery used in my RP,
Not just Canon
Although I only tested bases for batteries for cameras I use, other bases are available
As a new product I don’t currently have a full list, but here’s a NP-FW50 XTAR battery and its dual holder.
Using the charger
The charger has a USB lead which should work from any modern USB port capable of supplying the maximum 2.1A at 5V.
Here it is, with a longer charging lead. I’ve just put an LP-E17 into it, and it’s showing that the battery is about half full, with an output voltage of 7.6V and it’s charging at 985mA
A short while later, the charge indicator has moved up and we can see the amount of charge (in mAH) has risen to 17mAH
The amount of charge is an indicator of the battery’s capacity.
A battery with reduced capacity will show full (based on the output voltage) sooner, and with a reduced charge put into it.
If you find your camera indicating a battery is flat and it charges quite quickly, then this is often a sign that all may not be well.
The battery has short circuit and reverse polarity protection (it will indicate ‘Err’)
Here’s the LP-E6 base loaded with two batteries for my EOS 5Ds. Note the release clip on the side of the top charging unit.
The display alternates between the two batteries (it dims after a minute or so).
Using the VN2 – conclusions
It’s a new unit, not even being advertised when I started testing it, but it’s instantly made its way into my kit bag when on jobs.
Here it is on my Peli 1535 Air Case charging a battery for my 5Ds from a USB power bank, whilst I’m photographing specialist brick cutting machinery in a factory (it’s what we do).
The light weight helps, but what’s most useful is that I can easily top up batteries, whilst I’m working, whether in my car (from a 12V-USB cigarette lighter adapter) a 5V USB Power Bank, or even my old Macbook Pro.
I note that none of these would support USB charging of the EOS R5/RP, which needs a higher voltage USB Power source – the 5 Volt requirement for the VN2 makes it a lot easier to use.
The charger should be adaptable to take mounts/sockets for a whole host of other battery types, but I’m just checking the initial version.
See more details on the XTAR web site.
All the latest articles/reviews and photo news items appear on Keith's Photo blog
Keith explains tilt and shift lenses
Keith has written a book that looks at the many ways that tilt/shift lenses can benefit your photography from a technical and creative point of view.
There is also a specific index page on the site with links to all Keith's articles, reviews and videos about using tilt and shift.
We've a whole section of the site devoted to Digital Black and White photography and printing. It covers all of Keith's specialist articles and reviews. Other sections include Colour management and Keith's camera hacks - there are over 1200 articles/reviews here...
Articles below by Keith (Google's picks for matching this page)
We're an Amazon.com affiliate, so receive payment if you buy via Amazon US