April 20, 2013

ACK-E2 compatible AC to DC Coupler for Canon - Review

ACK-E2 compatible DC Coupler in Canon EOS 50D
If you are interested in time lapse photography, very long exposures of star trails or simply work in a studio shooting tethered to a computer then you have every reason not to want your camera to get into power saving mode, neither to get the battery exhausted.
A battery grip will double the battery capacity, but sometimes that won't be enough either.
In such a case an AC to DC coupler is the most efficient solution.

I had purchased the specific ACK-E2 compatible DC coupler described in this article quit a long time ago in order to perform some time laps sessions, capturing the activity in my aquariums during a day cycle. That helped a lot in the study of the behavior of the various species of creatures and plants, especially during my absence, as my presence caused quite a distraction.
However, the presentation of this specific DC coupler is meant for illustration only, in order to convey the idea and not to promote the item itself, as it is a generic after market product of which you may find numerous variations on line.

For those unfamiliar with the concept, the DC coupler replaces the camera battery and enables the camera to draw power directly from an AC power source via an AC adapter/power supply.

The ACK-E2 Coupler
The ACK-E2 DC coupler is compatible with Canon EOS D30, D60, 300D (Digital Rebel), 5D, 10D, 20D, 30D, 40D and 50D or simply with all EOS cameras utilizing a BP-511A battery pack.

ACK-E2 compatible DC Coupler + AC/DC Adapter + Power cable
The ACK-E2 compatible kit includes an AC adapter with connecting cable, the specific DC coupler which replaces the BP-511A battery pack and a power cord.
Usually the AC adapter operates with a variable input of 110-240V AC while the power cord is equipped with the appropriate plug for the country it is intended for. In any case, being detachable can be replaced with appropriate one at will.
The specific DC coupler is nothing more than an empty BP-511A battery-pack outer shell connecting with a cable to the AC adapter. It serves only as a medium for the battery contacts inside the camera.
The specific ACK-E2 DC coupler illustrated here is only compatible with the on camera battery socket and not with the BG-E2 or BG-E2N battery grips due to the fixed positioning of the connecting cable. More on this in the "conclusion" later.
As the DC coupler serves only as contacts to the battery socket of the camera, what really matters when selecting an after market / compatible product is the quality of the AC adapter / power supply. The AC adapter should bear CE / Rohs accreditation marks and deliver the specific voltage required by the camera.

Using with the camera

ACK-E2 compatible DC Coupler in Canon EOS 50D
Since the DC coupler replaces the camera battery pack, all it needs to be done is to remove the original battery pack - the BP-511A in this case - and insert the DC coupler in the battery slot of the camera as with the EOS 50D pictured above.
Canon EOS 50D Battery door cable rubber cover
There is a small rectangular opening on the camera body sealed with an elastic rubber flap. As we can see in the photo above the flap is attached only on one side permitting it to hing upwards. After inserting the DC coupler cable into the opening the battery compartment cover can be closed easily.
Connect the DC coupler cable to the AC adapter cable, then to your wall outlet and ready to shoot.

Very low price compared to original Canon product.
Decent quality.

Not compatible for operation with battery grips due to cable positioning.

Although there is a limitation of the presented DC coupler for use with a Battery Grip, I wouldn't mind too much about it since the use of a DC coupler voids the need of the extra capacity supplied by a battery grip. Further, in time laps or long exposures the use of a tripod and remote cable are imperative so I wouldn't miss the extra buttons of the battery grip either.
On the other hand if the use of the battery grip is desirable for continues shooting in portrait orientation, then you should seek for a DC coupler compatible with both.
I have used the ACK-E2 compatible DC coupler for long sessions and for a long time without any problems.
Considering also the fact that the original product is most probably discontinued being out of stock for quite some time now, for users of older EOS cameras that would like a continues power supply, the choice of a compatible solution seems logical.

I hope you found the reference useful, thank you for viewing.
All Photos & Photosynths: © 2012-2013 S.C.Vlachos

Price and Availability:
Prices for ACK-E2 compatible DC Couplers vary from as low as US $ 6.90 to as much as $ 19.90
However higher prices do not always guaranty better compatibility and/or quality as some of the items  may be old stock with lower demand nowadays.
My suggestion is to check well for AC adapter quality before committing to buy.
ACK-E2 compatible DC Coupler is available either from Amazon or from eBay worldwide.

Referenced Articles:

Canon EOS 50D Digital Camera Reference

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ACK-E6 compatible AC to DC Coupler for Canon - Reference

Aputure AP-TR3C (TC-80N3 compatible) Timer Remote Controller for Canon

1 comment :

  1. Thanks for the photos! It makes it a lot easier to follow what you're talking about for amateurs like myself. This is definitely helpful for what I'm trying to do.