One of the improvements that Fujifilm have made with the new X-T4 is the upgrading of the batteries used by the camera to the more powerful NP-W235 which increases the number of images per charge by 50% over the NP-W126S used in the previous generation cameras such as the X-T3, X-Pro3 and X-H1 cameras.
However, Fujifilm have decided not to include an external battery charger with the X-T4 because the batteries can be charged in the camera using a USB-C and power adapter included in the box.
Fujifilm do have a battery charger available, the BC-W235 which charges two batteries at a time, but you have to pay an extra £59.99 for this.
WHAT'S THE ISSUE?
Now I hear some photographers saying they don't need the external charger as the batteries will last them all day, and that is fine if you can manage like that. However, for many professional photographers, especially for those in my line of work of sports photography, this doesn't work. Let's take the 24 Hours of Le Mans as an example.
I will go out and shoot for a couple of hours and the return to the media centre to download the images and edit a few before heading back out. On average I will be in the media centre for no more than 30 minutes at a time.
Now if I need to charge any of the batteries, and I would expect at least two to be at 20% or lower, I take them out of the camera and put them on charge, replacing the batteries in the camera with fresh ones.
If I can only charge in camera, I would need to leave the camera standing for 3 hours to recharge and in my line of work that is impossible to do. I need to be able to have batteries on charge while I am out shooting. This is the way all motorsport photographers work.
So last week I invested in the new BC-W235 charger, and a very nice piece of kit it is. There is a small LCD panel giving the level of charge in each battery. It is powered by a USB-C lead, which comes with the camera, there isn't a separate lead or power socket in the battery charger box.
MORE FLEXIBILITY - POWER BANK CHARGING
There is one advantage that the BC-W235 has over the BC-W126 that came bundled with the previous generation Fujifilm cameras. The BC-W126 has to plugged into a mains power outlet but you don't need to necessarily do that with the BC-W235.
I have a Charmast PD 26800mAh Power Bank, which I original bought as a back up for my 2019 MacBook Pro should I get caught out while travelling. This power bank can also charge the X-T4 batteries via the USB-C port in the same time as a mains connection. It will also power the BC-W235, so I can also recharge the batteries externally should I not be near a mains outlet.
The only thing I don't know yet is how many batteries I can charge up before the power bank is exhausted but I can charge my iPhone11 at least 8 times off one charge, so I am hopeful it will do at least four NP-W235 batteries. But this is something I will need to test in the future.
A word of warning, if you want to use this method you will need to invest in a power bank that has a PD (Power Delivery) USB-C port otherwise it will take a lot longer to charge your batteries.
The BC-W235 is a very nice item and the ability to use it with a power bank makes it more flexible. I am loving the new X-T4 but I just wish Fujifilm had included an external charger with the camera instead of expecting customers to pay an extra £60 should they need one.
CLICK HERE for more information on the Fujifilm BC-W235 battery charger
CLICK HERE for the MacLean Photographic review of the X-T4
CLICK HERE for the Charmast PD 26800mAh Power Bank