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The best universal camera battery charger in 2021

Included in this guide:

best universal camera battery charger
(Image credit: Digital Camera World)

This universal camera battery charger guide contains a range of chargers that will ensure you're never caught without power again. 

If you like to travel, and you've had enough of carrying loads of different charges and cables to recharge your camera, smartphone, tablet and other portable devices, then it's probably time to invest in a universal battery charger.

Also note that some cameras can be charged using portable power banks – and that it always makes sense to travel with at least one spare camera battery.

The all-in-one charging solutions in this list are suitable to use with virtually any make and model of camera battery – some include USB ports and others are have been designed to be ultra-compact – but all are efficient, and offer value for money...

Best universal chargers for digital camera batteries

01. Hähnel UniPal Extra

Our favorite on-the-go charger – at a great price

Weight: 159g
Reasons to buy
+Adjustable contacts for Li-ion batteries+Slots for two rechargeable AA batteries

The Hahnel Unipal Extra Universal Charger is an all-in-one battery charger that packs a 5200mAh power bank for on-the-go charging. 

It is designed to charge an array of rechargeable batteries, including AA, AAA, digital camera battery, camcorder battery and much more. 

The UniPal Extra can charge your battery(s) in one of three ways; through a USB port, from car cigarette lighter socket (12V) or 100-240 Volt mains (he voltage variation allows for worldwide charging.) The Hähnel UniPal Extra charged all our camera batteries without issue.

02. Ansmann Powerline Vario

Fast and lightweight charger that's great for travelers

Weight: 240g
Reasons to buy
+Trickle charge function for NiMH batteries+Automatic battery full detection
Reasons to avoid
-Took a while to recharge our Canon LP-E6N and Sony NP-FM500H cells

The Powerline Vario is a fast charger for most Li-Ion and Li-Po batteries: You simply have to move and align the pins to meet the terminals on your battery. At the end of charging for the NiMH batteries, the charge is switched to the momentum charge, so the batteries are kept fresh and ready for use at any time

Almost as compact as the CamCaddy2, the USB-powered Powerline, with its handy LCD, charged all our batteries, albeit reluctantly for the Canon LP-E6N and Sony NP-FM500H cells.

03. Inov8 Universal Li‑ion Charger

A clever, simple-to-use, basic charger

Weight: 190g
Reasons to buy
+Movable pins+Good LCD display

The Inov8 Universal battery charger is ideal as a replacement, additional or single charger solution for all your camera, camcorder and mobile batteries. 

It’ll charge AA batteries, and its movable pins were able to successfully contact all our test camera batteries. The LCD display is basic, but useful.

The charger will automatically detect the battery voltage and polarity and display the information on the stylish blue LCD screen including indication of charge level. The charger is multi-voltage so can be used anywhere in the world and can also charge on the go with the in car 12V output cable.

04. Solar Technology CamCaddy 2

Super compact design and fast charging

Weight: 174g
Reasons to buy
+Can charge in just 1.5 hours+Clear digital display
Reasons to avoid
-Battery charger connects to solar charger (not supplied) or USB

Compact and lightweight, the CamCaddy 2 provides universal charging for a full range of block style digital SLR, video and compact camera batteries, thanks to its unique contact sliders and its smart electronics that auto set the correct voltage to ensure safe and fast charging.

USB charging makes this the smallest option here. Our Canon, Nikon and Fujifilm batteries all charged, but not the Sony A99’s unusual power pack.

05. Ansmann Digipower Universal Smart Battery Charger TC-U600

Lightweight, versatile charger

Weight: 0.23kg
Reasons to buy
+Charges Li-Ion and Li-Polymer batteries via fully adjustable contacts+Swappable mounting plates

Ansmann's Digipower Universal Smart Battery Charger TC-U600's design is slightly different from the other battery chargers on this list: rather than sliding movable contact pins back and forth, this charger favors swappable mounting plates for Canon, Nikon and Sony batteries. It works well; just don’t lose the plates!

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Ben Andrews

Ben is the Imaging Labs manager, responsible for all the testing on Digital Camera World and across the entire photography portfolio at Future. Whether he's in the lab testing the sharpness of new lenses, the resolution of the latest image sensors, the zoom range of monster bridge cameras or even the latest camera phones, Ben is our go-to guy for technical insight. He's also the team's man-at-arms when it comes to camera bags, filters, memory cards, and all manner of camera accessories – his lab is a bit like the Batcave of photography! With years of experience trialling and testing kit, he's a human encyclopedia of benchmarks when it comes to recommending the best buys.