USB Charging Your Camera Is Cool

USB Charging Your Camera Is Cool



NOTE: This feature only works if you turn your camera off before charging!

Some digital cameras, including my Olympus OM-D E-M1 X come with the ability to be charged via USB. Most digital cameras that allow USB charging have a USB-C port.

USB-C is a game changer because it can power devices to 100 watts or around 10 times more than USB-A.

There are other benefits.

USB-C is pretty universal now so if you have a Mac laptop for instance, it comes with a USB-C cable and charger. That same cable and charger can be used to refresh my Olympus batteries, while they are still in the camera.

I used to carry around two battery chargers. When traveling, I look at every inch of my bag as sacred and try not to put ANYTHING in there that I am not sure I will use. By relying on my USB-C cable, I eliminate the need for the second charger (which I primarily brought along as a backup, in case the first one failed.)


If you don’t already have a USB-C charger, or if you just want to be able to charge multiple devices, you can even get a “fast charger” that is powerful and affordable. I just started carrying the Anker 36W dual-port USB charger. It allows me to charge two devices at once and costs around $30.


Not all cameras that feature a USB-C data port will allow the camera battery to be charged via that port so check your camera manual to find out if that feature is supported. There is still an advantage to having the port on your camera even if you don’t use it for charging. USB-C is much faster at transferring data too.

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11 Responses

  1. Sorry, I didn’t notice that link had it with batteries. I only use the Olympus batteries. They do sell the Wasabi charger without batteries and it works just fine with the Olympus batteries. Unfortunately I can’t seem to find a link with only the charger.

    BTW, I’ll have a pair of them with me in Bosque del Apache if you want to check them out.

  2. One correction, there are USB 3.1 and 3.2 versions, most are 3.1 Gen 1 or Gen 2.

    Honestly USB has become the most confusing standard out there. USB 4 doesn’t look to make it any less confusing.

      1. Yeah, it is a bit confusing. But so is USB specs. USB 3.0 and 3.1 are 5 Gbps, 3.2 Gen 1 can do 10 Gbps, and 3.2 Gen 2 can do 20 Gbps.

        Basically, the short story isn’t that USB-C is faster than USB-A (a.k.a. the plugs we’ve been using) both are typically USB 3.1 Gen 1 or 2 if you look at the computer and device specs.

      2. I had originally just stated that it was USB 3, which isn’t completely accurate. There are a bunch more version of USB, and more coming.

  3. I’ve had good luck with Anker chargers. I carry a dual port charger and a 10,000 mAh battery when traveling. Amazon usually has good Black Friday pricing on them.

  4. I can’t seem to get my OM D 1 mii to charge using the cable. I have turned it off but it does not seem to charge. I’m using my apple laptop charger and cord for the time being, maybe that’s the problem?

    1. Hi Danny it may be that you don’t have enough power – I have used this method on two different OM-D E-M1 MKII’s with no problem. Make sure the camera is off. Plug in the power and it should work. If it doesn’t there are only three possible explanations. Bad cord/power brick, your power source (AC outlet) is bad. Or your camera needs repair. HIGHLY unlikely it’s your camera. Good luck.

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