WTB - Olympus AC-3 Power Adapter

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
Michael Meissner
Michael Meissner Forum Pro • Posts: 26,911
Re: WTB - Olympus AC-3 Power Adapter


Hi, found your posting regarding the AC-3 and decided to try your suggestion. I have a couple of EM-1s (mk1) and a couple of EM1Xs, and one of the MOST desirable features I find about the Xs is I can plug them into a USB charge port and the batteries (both) will slow charge up to full. I have not removed the batteries from my Xs since I first charged them for their initial installation, all subsequent charges have been via USB port.

I hate having to remove the batteries from the EM1s and the HLD-7s when they need a charge. Being an owner of a E-1, E-3, and a E-5, somewhere along the line I picked up a AC-1. After removing the batteries from one of my EM-1/HLD-7 units, I plugged in the AC-1 to the EM-1/HLD-7 units. I turned on the camera and it powered up just fine, it also performed auto focus well and seemed to operate just as though a pair of well charged BLN-1 batteries were installed.

I have NOT tried powering the EM-1/HLD-7 with the AC-1 with the BLN-1 batteries still in the camera and power grip. I will try it next...HOWEVER, what I am REALLY interested in determining is, will the AC-1 when powering the EM-1/HLD-7 with batteries inside, provide some CHARGING activity to the BLN-1 batteries in the camera & grip.

As far as I know it does not do charging. Until the E-m1x, Olympus did no charging in their DSLR or mirrorless bodies. And the E-m1 mark III can charge batteries in the body, but it can't charge batteries in the HLD-9 battery grip which was designed for the E-m1 mark II (before Olympus started doing charging). The grip just wasn't designed that way.

I suspect what happens is if you provide power in the power port, it just uses that power, and not the batteries. It may be the camera uses that power, because the voltage is higher than the batteries (the AC-1/AC-3 delivers roughly 9v, while that batteries deliver a little less than that).

On my E-m1 mark I and E-m5 mark I, I have used the power port with both batteries in the grip. You could of course just take out the battery from the grip and charge it up separately. But the battery in the camera, you have to disassemble the grip, etc.

I really liked the old HLD-4 grip, that you could take out one or both batteries, while the camera was still mounted on a tripod (or in my case, an elaborate steampunk camera box).

However, the HLD-4 did have one flaw that people talked about.  Rather than the camera choosing one battery to use or the other (like the current micro-4/3rds cameras do), it tried to use the power from both batteries at the same time.  The issue was if both batteries weren't at the same charge level, it could mess up figuring when a battery was depleted.  I recall some E-3 users going to the extent of only using 2 batteries from the same order (on the assumption  they were made in the same factory on the same run), and they always used/charged the batteries in parallel.  When I was using the HLD-4, I tended to use just one battery.

When I've shot renaissance faires, I would use the grips on the E-m5 mark I, E-m1 mark I, and G85, specifying to use the battery in the grip first. When I noticed the power had switched to the camera body battery, I would change the grip battery. While it probably is not recommended, I have actually changed the grip battery while the camera was actively shooting video on the camera battery.  As soon as I closed the door, the camera switched back to the grip battery.

While I've played with external power, I've only used it a few times. I need to build a base so I don't have to worry about the battery to dummy battery connection with wires coming out that can come apart during use.

If the AC-1 does provide some charging power, I can now just plug in the AC-1, and not have to remove the batteries...

If anyone is looking for the AC-1, KEH camera has them at a very reasonable price...you will find it under CAMERA/ACCESSORIES (OLYMPUS).

Those prices are pretty low.

According to the specs, the AC-1 delivers a little less amps than the AC-3.  So it is possible some mode might use more power than the AC-1 can deliver.  On the E-m1 mark I at least, I tried testing all of the options, including using the flash and having it recharge, and I generally could not get it above one amp (at 9v), and the AC-1 is rated at 9v and 2.5 amps.  I would imagine the E-m1 mark III writing a 4K video file to a UHS-2 card and using the 12-100mm f/4 lens, might draw the most power.

 Michael Meissner's gear list:Michael Meissner's gear list
Olympus Stylus 1 Olympus E-5 Olympus OM-D E-M5 Olympus Zuiko Digital 14-54mm 1:2.8-3.5 Olympus 14-150 F4-5.6 II +22 more
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