Powering your Nikon DSLR with the sun


^ broke something
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I found an interesting DIY about powering your Nikon DSLR with a solar charger/battery or other 12v source. My first thought is that this would be great for someone looking to do time lapse or if you are in a remote area with your camera for a while and don't want to bring a bunch of batteries with you.

The original article is here, in German: Selbstbau Projekt: Externe 12V Stromversorgung für Nikon und Canon | gwegner.de

I translated it with the help of Google below...

Here is what you need:

  1. Start with the pre-assembled DC power cable so you can plug in your 12V power supply to the adapter
  2. Solder the other end of the cable to the voltage converter to the end where the "IN" is written. Pay attention to correct polarity ±

  3. Now connect to the 12V supply and turn it on.
  4. Measure now at the other side of the voltage transformer (OUT) of the voltage with the multimeter. At the beginning it is usually 12V.

  5. Turn the screw with a screwdriver while you measure (alligator clips help) the voltage on the converter until the desired target voltage is reached. The EN-EL15 is this about 7.3 volts, the EM-EL14 approximately 7.4 volts. You should pre-measure the voltage with your camera battery as a reference.


  6. Now cuts the cable of the EP-5B or EB-5A and strip the two inner strands.

  7. Solder the two red wires to the positive terminal on the OUT side of the voltage transformer and the two black wires to the negative terminal. If you want to play it safe, solder a small 2A Miniature fuse in series with the positive terminal.

  8. If you want to use the AC power connector later you can solder on the adapter. Otherwise you can also omit it and just solder on the battery adapter.
  9. Ready for a first test:

  10. Now even in the case INSTALLATION (VT with hot glue fix) and and go out, take time lapse!

For the battery you can use this :

I use it still, but since the solar disk anyway does not always work, I now also have the variant without solar with the same power in use.

Have fun reverse engineering!

Update: my esteemed readers and workshop participants Kadus John Kremer has taken the trouble, with his lab power supply by attach all times. Here is his result:

  • D800 is turned on and standby mode: 0.03 Amps
  • Shutter actuated pressure point: 0.23 Amps
  • Long time 30 seconds: 0.33 Amps
  • Continuous firing 6 frames per second: 1.45 amps (current peaks ~ 2.5 Ampere)
  • Live View on and standby modes: 0.59 Amps
  • Aperture in Live View adjusted: 0.9 Ampere
  • Pressed on Live View and Movie start: Maybe for the video interesting fraction 0.61 amps
By the way: Turning off power costs also. Shortly after the camera was turned off, flow 1.1 amps for a short time. If you have a schwächelden battery is to be so meaningful turned on the camera until the next shoot, instead of wasting the energy for switching off.
The above measurements were made with adjacent 7.3V and also with 10,4V. In this case, no significant current differences was found.


^ broke something
Staff member