There are too many reasons why a photographer would need to continually charge their camera. Perhaps the most obvious is when a shooting wedding, where taking the time to swap your battery can mean missing a once in a lifetime moment. Or if you’re shooting a lengthy time-lapse, and can’t risk shaking or shifting the frame. It seems like a simple—and well, essential—piece of technology, yet there has shockingly never been one affordable, universal solution. But Tether Tools just changed that with its Case Relay Camera Power System.

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Operating the system is simple, and it’s comprised of two main parts: the Camera Coupler, which fits into your battery port, replacing your proprietary camera battery, and the Case Relay, which connects to the Coupler and charges via USB. The Relay can function as a standalone battery, and is powered using any standard 5V external battery or an AC power source. Since the Relay doesn’t need to plugged in once it’s charged, this means you can effectively achieve infinite battery life by swapping out your battery or power source when needed.

Currently, the Coupler is available in 11 different options to fit Canon, Nikon, Sony, and Panasonic cameras, and it is said that there are more on the way. It also pairs excellently with Tether Tools’ Rock Solid External Battery Pack, equipped with a 5V, 2.1A port for Case Relay, alongside a 5V, 1A port for smartphones, tablets, and other portable devices.

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When I first powered up the system, I was drawn to its usability. It’s little more complicated than recharging a smartphone, and the wire channel on the coupler snugly tucks the cable beneath the camera’s battery door. And really, it’s just that easy. Not to mention that the Rock Solid battery provides three to 10 times more power than a traditional battery, while an internal processor controls the voltage according to the device being charged. Additionally, Tether Tools’ recommended Case Relay Power Bundle (pictured above) includes the Dual Rock Solid USB to AC adapter, as well as a protective silicone sleeve for the battery pack, styled in the company’s staple high visibility orange.

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My initial criticism of the Case Relay fell in line with what I’ve generally always thought of external batteries: they’re a bit uncomfortable to carry on your person. My first thought was to drop the battery in my back pocket, which left the Casey Relay loosely hanging by my side. However, Tether Tools offers a solution for this: the StrapMoore Extender, a universal case that fastens items to a camera strap or belt. 

What’s important here is not so much the tech itself, but the massive gap in the market it fills. It’s a simple solution for a simple problem has never been properly addressed, which is always a good thing. To create something we actually need should be the first rule of any new product these days, and the Casey Relay System does this incredibly well.

Watch this video below for more on the Case Relay power system.

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Visit Tether Tools’ site to pick up your Case Relay Camera Power System today!