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External Power with Solar Charger for Sigma DP Merrill

Get Sigma DP Merrill camera at B&H Photo.

The DP Merill cameras are discounted to $699 each. A classic offering supreme sharpness, now on sale and presumably soon to be discontinued. Highly recommended for the right user looking to make wall size prints from a tiny camera (BUT presumes full reading and knowledge of my review).

Eric M writes

With his solution for backpacking with a Sigma DP Merrill where recharging is needed:

The external battery setup I mentioned is:

Just hang the external batteries in a bag from the tripod. The cables are plenty long enough.

The most annoying part is how the SAC-5 works. It's not a simple weather-sealed DC port in the side, but a dummy battery, with a cable that interferes with any tripod plate worth having. Either one leaves the battery door open while shooting on the tripod, or files a big gash into the plate to let the adapter slide in and out. One stupid approach that messes up everything downstream.

DIGLLOYD: I’m clear on the solar charger bit, but not why external batteries, since I can carry 7 or 8 of them easily in a pocket (very small batteries)., Maybe a solar to AC to Sigma charger back to DC to the battery problem? Eric responds:

Partly because of ease and partly because of price. Ease because the Sigma/Ricoh battery polarity is opposite of what every USB charger but one uses. That charger (the Pixo C-USB) is a bit fiddly and not weather sealed at all, and so is vulnerable to all sorts of trail accidents. Price because for $300 I can get six 1250mAh BP-41s and two Pixo charger adapters (one day's shooting), or six 15600mAh rechargeables and the SAC-5 adapter for (twelve days' shooting). If every day is sunny, the internal battery option is actually nice. But the external battery is a much cheaper insurance policy for 2-3 day stretches of gloomy weather.

BTW, one nice thing about Leica is that they ship chargers with AC bypass, so a car outlet can direct charge the battery; no DC/AC/DC power waste. Most vendors are clueless on this car travel aspect and ship chargers that take only AC power.

Shown below with the Really Right Stuff grip and L bracket.

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