Answered Can I charge my camcorder with a USB and PC?

Discussion in 'Camcorders, Action Cams & Video Making Forum' started by JulianFR, Jul 2, 2015.

  1. JulianFR

    JulianFR
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    Help! I've come on holiday and realised I haven't packed the DC cable/AC adapter for my new Panasonic HC-V550. Instead I picked up the supplied USB cable (I'm used to everything charging via USB these days!).
    So my urgent question is can I charge it using the USB? My daughter has bought her PC on holiday (!) so I tried to charge the HC-V550 using that, connected via USB... but it didn't work; no charge at all. Now the camcorder is out of power and I'm really worried I'll have no recorded memories at all of this family holiday.
    Could the problem be that my daughter's PC doesn't have Panasonic software loaded, and so it doesn't recognise the camcorder to charge it? If so, could she download the appropriate software (we have wireless here) from Panasonic?
    Hoping for good news as I'm fairly desperate!
    Many thanks in advance, Julian
     
  2. Best Answer:
    Post #9 by MarkE19, Jul 3, 2015 (1 points)
  3. rogs

    rogs
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    If I've read page 177 of the owners manual correctly, you should be OK. You can download a copy HERE to check for yourself
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2015
  4. JulianFR

    JulianFR
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    Thanks... I did look at the online manual and it suggested I could charge via PC/USB but when I tried earlier the PC did not recognise my V550 as a device and did not charge it. I'm wondering if my daughter's PC requires Panasonic software to work.
    The trouble now is the camcorder has run out of charge and it seems one can't recharge it if the delay ice is not switched on!!
     
  5. JulianFR

    JulianFR
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    I meant to write 'if the device is not switched on' ... spell check; sorry.
     
  6. Terfyn

    Terfyn
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    First the USB cable will not charge the camera unless there is (a) adequate power available and (b) the camera is off. If you are using a lap top I doubt that the camera will charge.

    The charging function has nothing to do with the Panasonic software. But if you want a copy try Panasonic Support > Downloads. You require HDWriter 2.1 for this camera. (IMO it is a pretty useless piece of software and I do not use it for my V750)

    You will not have lost any recorded items as they will be on the SD card.

    Download using HDWriter or see p184 of the User Manual. (This is the easier way) Insert the SD card into your PC, Open the card and then click on PRIVATE (for video recorded in AVCHD) > AVCHD > BDMV > STREAM You should see all the .MTS video files there. Select All and copy to a folder on your PC. For MP4 format go the DCIM route and select the correct MP4 folder.

    Options for recharging. Buy a suitable mains/12v charger for the battery. A charger for the 190 battery will cost between £8-£12. Get extra DC cables from Panasonic Accessories, they cost around £3.50 each. (I got three!!) Any quality USB charger will charge the camera as will those battery power packs supplied for mobile phones etc. I use a car charger but you still need the DC cable. (See Amazon for charger and battery packs.)

    If you need any more help please ask.
     
  7. JulianFR

    JulianFR
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    Thanks Terfyn! I don't think I'll be able to pick up the cables etc in the week I have l have left in rural France. My stupid fault for having to rush for the plane and not checking my wires!
    I will check the USB/PC link again but I fear there will be no more videos for me this holiday :-(
     
  8. Terfyn

    Terfyn
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    Did you manage to save your files?

    The Panasonic Accessories are under Where to Buy in the Panasonic UK site. Go to visit-a-shop and put HC-V550 into the Search, click again on the camera ID and a list of spares will show.

    For the future, a spare battery (190 is OK), a battery charger and spare DC cable plus various USB chargers to suit could be included in your kit. Also a spare SDHC card 32Gb Class10.

    It is worth making a habit of downloading from the SD card into your PC. (backup on DVD or another SD card) and then re-formatting the camera card in the camera.
     
  9. JulianFR

    JulianFR
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    Luckily there's nothing on it yet as I hadn't used it before... I was looking forward to shooting some short videos today and for the rest of the holiday.
    Thanks for the advice!
     
  10. MarkE19

    MarkE19
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    Best Answer
    You may find that not all USB ports on the PC offer a current for charging devices. Try connecting to the ports on the motherboards rear sockets (if a desktop PC) or just try them all to see if anything kicks the camcorder into life.
    If a laptop you may need to keep it booted into Windows with power save settings disabled for it to charge the cam. I would also make sure it is plugged in rather than running off the battery.

    Mark.
     
  11. JulianFR

    JulianFR
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    Thanks Mark...I'll try using the other USB ports and see if that works (I have used the same one with no joy so far).
    Assuming the problem was insurmountable, I did though yesterday buy a little Lumix DMC SZ8 camera at an Auchan hypermarket near here... it's a basic point-and-shoot starter camera but I have to have something to record the holiday photos with, and it will take short, simple video clips as well of course.
     
  12. 12harry

    12harry
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    As suggest, not all USB ports will charge ( although this probably depends more on the demands of the device being charged. You may be able to buy a Stand-alone USB "hub" - some have fancy flashing light ( Why I don't know!)..these can power several USB devices, so I'm guessing the PSU is somewhat capable of delivering a reasonable current. Watch that the mains unit has the necessary adaptors, so you can continue to use it back in the UK.
    The other advantage is that you don't need to leave the Laptop "ON" - which will drain those batteries, as MarkE19 suggests make sure the Laptop is being mains-powered. Of course, with Pans being a popular Brand, you may be lucky and find a friendly Holidaymaker who will charge yr battery on their charger.

    My own Sony CX410 has to be charged via a dedicated PSU, even though the batteries can be changed... to buy the stand-alone charger isn't cheap, so I still charge the Batteries "in-camera"...
    Previously both my Pana and Sony stills cameras had separate Mains chargers . . . .but I guess Mfrs are always trying to sell us Accessories.

    BTW you could try Ordering from Amazon - if you have a UK A/C you may be able to have a charger delivered to a Hotel -or- bribe the Hotel Manager to buy the thing for you...
    Let us know how you do manage to overcome this oversight...
     
  13. Terfyn

    Terfyn
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    Hey Harry £8-£12 not cheap?:facepalm: I can charge both my batteries at the same time AND in my car as well.

    Julian does not have the DC cable required to charge the battery in camera!! He is trying to charge through the USB link which, as Panasonic point out in the user manual, is a bit of a waste of time.
    I bought three extra DC cables from Panasonic at £3.73 each and keep them as spares in my camera case. Panasonic seem to have set their camera charging at 5V and both my 700 and 750 can be charged from a USB charging source.
     
  14. 12harry

    12harry
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    Terfyn, please don't quote out of context otherwise it makes no sense...I was referring to the Sony mains charger for my camcorder batteries - and that charger is expensive.

    Previously, there have been Threads about using cheap chargers - it seems* they don't have the same connections to monitor the Charge process - that's fine for emergency use, but I think I prefer to use the approved charger if it's available.... the Stills camera NEX5 did come with a stand-alone charger, but the CX410 insists on charging in-camera which is a nuisance if you don't have the 4-hr battery.

    IMHO, USB(dot)org has very confusing info on power levels - seems the Standard now allows up to 100W - I just cannot believe the lightweight connectors/ cables we use could ever by capable - but then...

    * certainly the one I bought to charge NEX5 batteries from the car lacked these additional connections.
     
  15. Terfyn

    Terfyn
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    Harry you need to talk from experience. I have used a number of EXpro chargers and they all monitor the battery charge level. The Panasonic batteries are well supported by these chargers.

    Were you referring to a particular Sony charger? (Why am I not surprised it is expensive) There are a number of good third party chargers on the market.

    Maybe additional research would have secured the right charger for you. I have always ensured that the chargers, I have bought, have a 12V input for car use.
     
  16. jwramsay

    jwramsay
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    I use an Anker battery pack and the cable that came with my Pioneer W850 and can charge it to full no problem when in standby, and when tripod mounted and in use, it uses the Anker rather than its battery when they are connected.
     
  17. grahamlthompson

    grahamlthompson
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    As the above poster says.

    My Panasonic camcorder will charge from a portable mobile phone re-chargeable battery bank with a usb output. (one of these as it happens - Veho Pebble XT 5000mAh Portable Battery Charger for iPod, iPhone, Mobile Phones and PSP (VCC-A008-XT) Electronics | Zavvi.com However it wouldn't help the OP unless he could locate a USB to a standard 3.5mm power plug as it requires the usb charging cable with a usb plug on the other end that connects to the standard charging input. For extended filming,
    I use the supplied accessory shoe with a standard mobile phone portable storage re-chargeable battery (using a strong rubber band), designed to re-charge a mobile phone. This has already been discussed in an earlier thread relating to the very expensive larger capacity Panasonic batteries and a cheap way to extend recording times. Charging times are of course longer than attaching the supplied mains charger to the provided cable.

    Afiak the particular camera I have does not have the capability to charge from a usb to usb connection. It will of course charge from a usb port on say a laptop, provided you use the provided power charging cable.

    Charging times are of course longer than using the provided mains charger that has a standard USB output socket.

    The fancy chargers that Harry refers to need a non standard connector, USB does not provide the connections for this, all that is required is a regulated 5V source. You can't charge a Sony camcorder with a standard cable, which is why they are expensive (rather like Apple Kit).

    The Sony camcorders use a propriety charging socket with extra connections, unlike the Pannies that only have two connections, so aren't relevant here.

    Car chargers are a different situation as unlike a main charger the input voltages can vary widely when the engine is running. Provided the adaptor provides regulated 5V DC (as all mobile phone chargers do), you can charge a Panny by the provided cable. Something I did regulary during a recent holiday in Cyprus.

    The charging control circuitry is built into the camcorder, and requires no control of the attached 5V stabilised source (same as a mobile phone).

    Any maker providing a standard two connection cable that can be connected to camcorder at one end and a myriad of standard usb chargers at the other end would have to plain stupid if it could damage the camcorder.

    Of course you get the usual warnings, that's simply to protect the makers from connection to a faulty regulated source (which would apply to their own kit). In any case the failure would have to be dire as the charging inputs are current regulated.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2015

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