July 2020


NITECORE product review

Every now and then I get asked if I want to promote, review or test some products. Most of the time I say no, as I am not interested in promoting or testing crystal balls or hoodies. Recently NITECORE contacted me and they asked if I was interested to test some of their new products. I already have some of their products, which I quite like, and the products they were talking about sounded quite interesting to me. So this time I said yes.

What are these products they were talking about? The first product is the NFZ100 smart battery. The name sounds interesting, but what does smart mean? Well, keep reading and I will explain more about it. The second product is their USN4 PRO charger. The battery is suited for the Sony a7 III, the Sony a7r III, the Sony a7R IV, the Sony a6600, the Sony a9 and the Sony a9 II, according to NITECORE. The charger is suited for the Sony NP-FZ100 battery and of course the NITECORE NFZ100 battery.

NFZ100 smart camera battery for Sony

So what does smart mean in this case? Smart battery means that this battery can be read out by an app on your phone to see the real-time battery status and also you can put the battery in storage mode, which is nice if you don't use the battery for a long time. 

Why would one be interested to monitor the battery status real-time? I read that other people said that when they go shooting, they always charge their batteries overnight, such that this feature is not needed. Well I was interested in this feature, as I work in a different way. The way I deal with my batteries is that I charge them when they are empty. I don't charge them the night before I go shooting, but I charge them when I get home from shooting. In that way I always have my batteries charged when I go shooting.

Well... not exactly. Batteries drain slowly and I don't charge my spare batteries often, as most of the time when I go shooting I only need one or two batteries instead of all my batteries. For my Sony a6500 I have always 4 batteries with me, so two of them I hardly use. For my Sony a7 III, most of the time I only use one battery and I have one spare battery with me that I hardly use. The spare batteries drain slowly and every now and then I have to check the status by putting them in the camera. And exactly for this reason the smart battery function is great. I can keep the NITECORE NFZ100 in my camera bag as a spare battery and check the status every now and then on my phone, without the need to put it in the camera to check the status. And that feature I really like.

USN4 PRO dual slot USB charger for Sony NP-FZ100

This dual slot charger can charge two Sony NP-FZ100 batteries or compatible batteries. It has a small screen on which you can see the charging status. QC 2.0 is available for quick charging at 1200 mA for a single battery or 800 mA for 2 batteries. On the display you can also see the battery health (good, normal or poor). 

Being able to quick charge your battery is of course a nice feature, as that means you don't have to wait that long until the battery is fully charged. I also like that the battery health is visible as especially during low temperatures poor batteries will discharge very quickly. This means that during winter you might be surprised by a poor empty battery or battery that drains very fast. For this reason I really like that I can see the battery health, such I don't get these nasty surprises.

Combining the USN4 PRO charger with the NFZ100 smart battery brings you even more features: when charging the smart battery, you can see how long the remaining charging time is on your phone. Well, honestly that is a feature that I won't use much, but it can be handy in some cases. 

Conclusion

The NITECORE products that I received to test, are some products that I quite like. The smart battery features might not be useful for everyone, but for the way that I work and charge my batteries, the smart features are really welcome. Being able to see the battery status of my spare battery without removing it from my bag is something I really like.

The NITECORE dual slot charger can charge two batteries at the same time. This, in combination with the ability to quick charge and being able to see the battery health, makes it for a great charger that I will be using from now on.

More information

See the NITECORE website for more information about their products.

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