Power Your Gadgets in the Field: the Bolt USB Device Charger


Many photographers depend heavily on smartphones, tablets, and other gadgetry to keep in touch with others, to keep track of their locations, and to share their portfolios on a moment’s notice. Photographers, like many other professionals, have found mobile gadgets to be indispensible tools for daily work and life. However, like a digital camera or a flash, these devices are only useful when they have power.

A unique new tool is now available that makes it possible to power and charge mobile gadgets with the same kind of external battery packs that are used to power on-camera flashes. If you own a Quantum Instruments Turbo Series battery pack, such as a Turbo SC Slim or a Turbo 3, or a Bolt Cyclone PP-310, the new Bolt USB Device Charger gives them all USB-charging capabilities.

The Bolt USB Device Charger is a short cable with a five-pin power connector on one end (which plugs into the power socket on a battery pack), and a female USB A receptacle on the other. Operation is simple. You plug the five-pin Bolt USB Device Charger into a battery pack, and you plug the syncing/charging cable of your device into its female USB receptacle. It’s an easy way to keep your gadgets running in the field when you’re away from power outlets. It’s also a handy system to have around during a power outage.

External battery packs for on-camera flashes are extremely beneficial accessories for photographers who need to fire off a large number of shots in rapid succession. Thanks to the Bolt USB Device Charger, the same battery packs that you use to rapidly recycle Canon, Nikon, Sony, Olympus, and Metz flashes can now be used to charge your smartphones, tablets, and other gadgets portably.

If you’re not familiar with the Bolt Cyclone PP-310, it’s a battery pack that features a built-in Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery. The PP-310 provides fast recycle times of one second with flash units like the Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT and 580 EX IINikon SB-910 AF Speedlight, and the Sony HVL-F60M. You can obtain up to 500 flashes per charge at full power, and thousands of flashes when in full-automatic mode. The PP-310 charges in two hours, and with the addition of the Bolt USB Device Charger, you can use it to keep your tablet and smartphone charged at all times.

On-camera flash battery packs are must-have items for wedding, sports, and event photographers, and these are three environments in which having an additional power backup for your portable devices can really save the day. It makes a lot of sense to have the Bolt USB Device Charger in your bag every time you are out on assignment.

If you have any questions about the Bolt USB Device Charger, we encourage you to submit a Comment, below. You can also speak to a B&H Sales Professional by visiting our SuperStore in New York City, giving us a call at 1-800-606-6969, or you can connect with us online for a Live Chat.

Power Connector 5-pin power connector
USB USB A receptacle 
Compatibility Bolt Cyclone PP-300
Quantum Turbo Series
Cord length 4.5" (11.43 cm)
Dimensions 2.5 x 0.75 x 6" (6.35 x 1.9 x 15.24 cm) 
Weight 1.1 oz (31 g) 



What if I need to power two different flash units. A Canon 580 EXII and a Metz CT5? I see no mention of the proper connection cables for the units.

Can the Bolt charge / power macbook air?