Nifty aftermarket camera battery boasts its own built-in USB-C charger
Now that we know this exists, we can't believe it's not a feature on all camera batteries. Chinese company Nitecore is selling replacement batteries for late-model Sony Alpha cameras with USB-C charging built in, so no external charger is required.
The UFZ100 battery is a direct replacement for Sony's genuine NP-FZ100, which powers a range of high-end Sony cameras, including the a7 III series, the a9 series, and several others. It runs a near-identical specification, 7.2 V and 2,250 mAh, just a hair under the genuine battery's 2,280 mAh spec.
But where the Sony battery has a dinky little LCD screen to show charge levels, the Nitecore version uses simple colored lights, and where the Sony requires an external charger, the Nitecore battery plugs straight into a USB-C cable, meaning if you're carrying one of those around as a phone charger, you can also top up your camera battery. It's not a super quick charge – 0-100 percent will take around four hours, roughly twice as long as it'd take on a standalone charger – but it'll be super convenient for many shooters on the road.
Now look, anyone who's bought Chinese aftermarkets camera batteries will know these things can be a little hit or miss in terms of how long the batteries last compared to original ones, as well as how well they talk to the cameras. For what it's worth, Nitecore says "the remaining battery power can be displayed on the monitor" – so it seems it'll play well with at least some cameras.
Really, though, this is the sort of user-focused feature we'd like to start seeing from OEMs.
Pricing and availability for the Nitecore UFZ100 battery is not yet available.