We’re quite lucky in the photo and video industries that there aren’t many weird or non-standard batteries, for the most part. Sure, some companies do seem to update their battery design every time they release a new product – which gets very frustrating every time you upgrade and need to buy 3-4 more spares – but for mirrorless cameras, field monitors, LED lights, etc. there aren’t many different ones.
One of the most common types of batteries out there that many photographers and filmmakers will own are the Sony NP-F style batteries. As the name implies, these were developed by Sony, primarily for their own products but they’ve become a standard for many brands now. In this video, though, Caleb Pike shows us how we can adapt our regular camera batteries to work in NP-F slots.
The trick relies on your camera batteries having the same voltage as Sony NP-F batteries. They’re what’s called “2S”, which means two 3.7v cells connected in series. They provide a nominal 7.4 volts, as do most of our camera batteries. There are some exceptions, like those big honking Nikon batteries for their high-end DSLRs, which are 3S (11.1v), so you’ll want to check that before attempting something like this.
Making the adapter is very simple All you need is a charging plate for whatever battery your camera uses and something to interface with a Sony NP-F socket. Caleb uses old dead NP-F batteries in the video, but you could also get an NP-F dummy battery and dismantle it. Then you just need to solder the pins together and physically attach the two plates. Your regular camera battery slides into its slot and then the whole thing slides into the NP-F socket on your device.
I don’t know if I’d power devices like field monitors, recorders, LED lights, etc. from my camera batteries on the regular. NP-F batteries and camera batteries often have different current limitations that aren’t specified on the batteries themselves and you don’t want to have a device try to drain a camera battery faster than it can handle (especially if it contains all kinds of fancy battery protection electronics). But it can make for a handy emergency adapter when you need to power something up and your NP-F batteries are all dead!
Note: I would say don’t try this at home, but if you’re going to do this, then you’re going to do it. So, we’re not responsible for anything that happens as a result of you making this. If you fry your gear, you’re on your own. And if you’re going to start cutting open “dead” NP-F batteries to get that side of the connector, do it outdoors and take safety precautions. Even seemingly dead cells can potentially explode if you’re not careful when snipping wires!