Photo of ProCube2 Camera Battery Charger
Gear Reviews

Hahnel ProCube2 Battery Charger

What’s the most boring piece of camera equipment that you own? 

For me, it battery chargers so why on earth did i go out and spend £70 on another? 

Battery chargers are dull bits of equipment. They’re so dull that Sony can’t even be bothered to supply them with a number of its cameras anymore. Straight up! Yep, you’ve gotta charge through USB or spend even more money on a charger. 

Well, if you need a charger, The Procube2 is something to consider. Whilst there’s loads of Chinese products out there available for just a few pounds, the ProCube2 comes in with a hefty price tag, so what makes it worth more than three times the cost of a low-cost unit? 

Well, for starters, it’s a lovely copper colour. I mean who could resist it? And you can get it in other lovely metallic colours too, though you might not want to just choose a colour as the hue denotes the camera system that it’s designed to work with. Copper for Olympus, Green for Fuji, Orange for Sony and if you’re shooting on nikon or canon you can get a fittingly colored shade of gray….. 

This is a very nice thing to look at and will grace any desk. it’s got this little lcd panel on the front to give you an indication of the battery status as well as how fast it’s charging and how nearly charged the battery is. If you like blinky lighty things, you’ll love this over and above its genuinely useful indicators. 

Killer Feature

The killer feature of this Procube 2 is that it’s a battery charger for life. Yes, you heard that right. It comes with additional plates that allows it to charge different types of batteries from different manufacturers. Mine is for olympus and it comes with three plates to charge three different types of batteries and very usefully i have two of those battery types so i can charge all of my camera batteries with one charger. And, immediately, I have saved buying two chargers. Of course, I can only charge one type of battery at a time but I can charge two of the same time and any serious digital camera user will have more than one battery, won’t they? 

Each battery is charged and monitored separately by the charger therefore you can put in a couple of batteries of different states of charge and it will bring them both up to a hundred percent. The packaging tells me that just 15 minutes of charge can produce anything between 150 and 300 photos and that’s quite impressive. It also says that a full charge on a single battery will take between an hour and a half with two batteries taking up to two and a half hours. However, in practice I found that my Olympus EM1 batteries would be done in just over an hour: that’s from six percent at which point the camera won’t work to fully charged. 

The Procube2 also charges aa batteries via a separate plate that mounts on the top. More about this is a while. 

The packaging houses a mains power adapter that has EU, UK and US plug adapters and a 12 volt adapter for the car. Note that this unit cannot be powered by USB. Though it does have a USB A socket on the back that can charge USB devices. 

Of course, no product is perfect and I have three main gripes. First up, changing the main battery plate changing is unnecessarily fiddly. You need a pokey thing to press through a hole to release a clip that retains the plate. Something like a paperclip works as does a sim-eject tool but if you’re taking this charger on location, you’ll need such a thing if you want to change battery types.

AA Batteries

The ability to charge AA a batteries as well as your lithium-ion camera batteries appears to be a real godsend but only until you come to use it when you realise it’s almost worthless. The plate is easier to mount as it fits over the existing battery plate,  however it will only charge four AA  batteries at a time. Inserting fewer simply will not work and that is a serious detraction not only have you got to find four flat batteries you really should find four flat batteries that are the same flatness and of the same capacity because if you start charging for mismatched batteries they are not going to charge properly. 

The final gripe is the USB output. This only works if there are no batteries being charged or if the batteries in the charger are fully charged. 

For me, this is a great charger. I use it almost every day to keep my camera batteries at 100% and find its 12v ability to be incredibly useful for travelling too whether in the motorhome, car or boat.

Photo of Sim Card extractor tool
Sim Card extractor

Should you buy the ProCube2?

The three niggles, for me, aren’t major as I didn’t buy the product for its ability to charge AA batteries or power USB things and I would strongly advise anyone looking at buying one to discount these “features” in their decision. The killer feature of the ProCube2 is it’s multi-battery compatibility via the plates and the fact that you can buy the plates separately ensuring that if you change camera system, you can still use the same charger with different plates. 

There can be no denying that this is an expensive option compared to third party units from Chinese makers but equally, its likely to be a LOT cheaper than an official camera company charger that will do the same job. If you have multiple battery types to charge, I think it’s a no-brainer but as pretty as this unit is, I still think it’s a lot of money unless you have or foresee a need for its flexibility with battery types in the future.

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