I was going to post a comparison between the TechArt and Steelsring EF to GF autofocus adapters but the latest firmware for the Steelsring has some serious bugs that need to be addressed before I can begin. I will post specifically about the Steelsring adapter soon.
Meanwhile, I wanted to provide a solution for GFX shooters… specifically, powering your camera via AC or DC power. As you may know, Fujifilm offers an AC adapter for the GFX series and it’s priced at a whopping $97.
However, there’s another option for AC wall charging. Any 14-16V, 3A power supply (45W) with a 5.5mm barrel jack and 2.5mm center pin will work just fine. These can be found all over Amazon for under $20 and will power your GFX while simultaneously charging the battery. The actual power input is specified at 15V.
This will solve your problems if you’re a studio photographer but people out in the field wanting to shoot really long exposures, time lapses or video deserve a solution besides the battery grip. Not only is it expensive, it’s bulky and heavy, taking up space and weighing you down in the field. If only you could use a portable battery pack, aka a power bank.
The key is to find one that offers DC power through a barrel jack and has selectable voltage. Some laptops still feature proprietary or standard DC barrel jacks, despite a world that’s quickly moving to USB-C, and there are power banks still designed for powering these laptops. Be careful: do not be fooled by USB-C. The standard requires the receiving end have a certification chip to identify the device and set the voltage. Without this communication, power will default to 5V, which isn’t enough to power the GFX 50S or 50R. Life would be easier had the GFX 50S and 50R been supplied with USB-C charging.
To begin, you will need 3 things:
- A Power Bank, aka External Battery Pack with DC output via 5.5mm barrel jack and selectable voltage whose range includes 14, 15 or 16 volts
- Power cable with positive (+) center post and 5.5mm male barrel jacks at both ends
- Barrel jack adapter to convert the cable’s 5.5mm jack with 2.1mm positive (+) center pin to 5.5mm jack and 2.5mm pin positive (+) center pin
The GFX 50S and 50R use a 5.5mm female barrel jack with 2.5mm positive (+) center pin for DC power input. Operating power is 14.7V at 3A(mps) for a total of 44.1W(atts). A minimum of 12.6V at 3A is required to charge the internal battery while the camera is powered off. 14.7V to 16V at 3A will safely power the camera and charge the battery simultaneously.
The power bank I’ve settled on is the Omnicharge Omni Mobile 25600. It has selectable voltage from 12-20V and outputs via a 5.5*2.1mm DC barrel jack. There’s also a pair of USB-A ports, a USB-C input/output port for charging the power bank itself and a built-in Qi wireless charging pad. While a bit large, it’s still similar to other power banks of its capacity but offers a lot more connectivity. Plus, it’s right at the TSA limit for air travel. You can take this anywhere and charge anything… including your GFX.
All you’ll need now is a standard 5.5*2.1mm DC cable of any length that suits your needs and an adapter to fit the 5.5*2.5mm DC port on the GFX. Both of these can be found for under $10 each.
Just follow the instructions included with your power bank to select the proper voltage, connect the power cable and watch the green led in the thumb grip light up to show that it’s charging. Powering up the camera will display either a yellow (charging) or green (charged) battery icon as it draws power from the power bank. The thumb grip LED will turn off once the battery is full.
If your voltage is incorrect, neither the LED or charging/charged icon will be displayed on the back. The GFX has a “smart” charging program and will not attempt to charge if the battery is full or if DC input is over/under voltage.
Another benefit of the Omni Mobile, and most other high quality power banks, is pass through charging. You can connect the power bank to AC power and continuously power the camera in a studio or home setting without depleting the power bank itself. By functioning as an AC wall adapter you won’t need to buy a wall adapter specifically for the GFX.
Price? The Omni Mobile 25600 costs $120-160, cable and adapter for $10. A 45W minimum USB-C charging brick, for charging the power bank, will cost you $20-30 if you don’t have one already. Before you balk at the price, I use mine for backpacking to charge my phone, tablet, smart watch, Fujifilm GFX 50S and X-T3 batteries AND power either camera for astrophotography time lapses and daytime filming. It’s replaced my 2 Mophie Powerstations, a total of $280, as the only power bank I need. In comparison, a genuine Fujifilm NP-T125 battery is $100 and the battery grip for GFX 50S is $499 while the GFX 50R has no provisions for a second battery.
Again, the necessary specs on the GFX 50S and 50R for those who don’t want to scroll back up for them: 14-16V 3A DC output and 5.5*2.5mm barrel jack. It’s not compatible with USB-C charging in any form; the power bank must use a barrel jack DC output.
Wondering where I got this info? I read the specs off the labels for the Fujifilm OEM AC adapter for GFX and the NP-T125 battery. Just a bit of math gets you the amperage when you know the voltage and total wattage.