Camera batteries are difficult to get excited about, but they are a critical part of any camera kit. Sure, they come in different shapes and sizes, but they’re basically all functionally identical. A new Kickstarter project hopes to change this by improving upon the conventional camera battery. The X-tra battery promises increased capacity, improved usability, and quite simply, a better user experience for photographers and videographers on the go.
For many photographers, particularly those using mirrorless cameras with smaller batteries and larger power consumption, it’s a foregone conclusion that you need to carry extra batteries. Keeping your charged and empty batteries organized and swapping out batteries is an inconvenience. The X-tra battery aims to reduce the hassle by delivering an increased capacity of 3,700 mAh, including a built-in charge level indicator, reducing the time it takes to swap out batteries and allowing for easy recharging, even while shooting. The 3,700 mAh capacity is about twice that of a Canon LP-E6 battery.
|X-tra battery diagram and physical features|
To use the X-tra battery, you must remove the battery slot door on your camera, as the X-tra battery is larger than standard batteries. The tradeoff here is that you get an extra area to grip your camera, plus you have access to the X-tra battery’s quick-release system. Of course, it’s possible that the overhanging portion of the battery will impact your ability to use existing tripod plates and other accessories. To remove the X-tra battery, you simply push in and it slides out. To install a new X-tra battery, just pop into place.
To check the capacity of the X-tra battery, you press and hold the button on the bottom of the battery. There are four illuminated indicators, signaling the level of charge remaining in the battery. This is great if you want to check an X-tra battery’s life without inserting it into your camera and check the remaining battery life. If you need to power your camera for an extended period, such as when shooting timelapse video, you can use the X-tra’s included USB-C port.
|The X-tra battery includes many features not found in traditional camera batteries.|
There is also an included X-tra Charging Case. This case allows you to quickly charge the X-tra battery via USB-C. Further, when you put an X-tra battery inside this case, you can use the battery as a power bank.
Given its design, the X-tra is not universally compatible with all cameras. You can view the full compatibility below. As you can see, the X-tra will work with numerous Sony, Canon and Nikon cameras, including both DSLR and mirrorless cameras. The team will update the final compatibility list before the campaign ends in a little under a month.
|Current X-tra compatibility chart. Click to enlarge.|
The X-tra has already eclipsed its Kickstarter campaign goals. The product is expected to begin shipping in March 2021. As of writing, you can pledge $99 USD to receive an X-tra and the charging case. $188 will net you an additional battery and case. Additional combos are also available to backers. The planned MSRP for the X-tra is $145 per battery/case combo. For more information and to make your own pledge, visit the X-tra Kickstarter campaign.
Disclaimer: Remember to do your research with any crowdfunding project. DPReview does its best to share only the projects that look legitimate and come from reliable creators, but as with any crowdfunded campaign, there’s always the risk of the product or service never coming to fruition.