Many Nikon Z series mirrorless cameras offer the capability to charge the camera’s battery in-camera via USB.
While all Nikon Rechargeable Lithium-ion batteries can be charged using a dedicated battery charger or charging adapter, not all cameras these days come with a charger because there are other more convenient options available.
Charging via USB
USB Charging is convenient, as it uses a USB cable to connect the camera with the power source. Some utilize a USB-A to USB-C (UC-E24 USB Cable supplied with most Nikon cameras) or USB-C to USB-C cable (UC-E25 USB Cable sold separately).
But the confusing question may be: What device(s) can I use to charge my camera’s battery while it’s in-camera?
According to Nikon camera user’s manuals, you can charge a camera’s battery by plugging in the USB cable into a computer’s (Mac or PC) port. You don’t want to plug the USB cable into a USB hub or keyboard though. Not enough (voltage) power will be delivered to the camera battery.
One thing to keep in mind is that when you connect your camera to your computer’s USB port via the USB cable, and the computer goes to sleep, that will cut off the power transfer to the camera’s battery. So, to continue charging the battery, you’ll have to wake the computer up or just set it to not go to sleep.
It’s important to understand why you should only use the devices that Nikon recommends for charging a camera battery. Just because a cable may fit into a power brick from a phone, tablet, computer or other device doesn’t mean you should use it. If it’s not listed as compatible in the manual, Nikon can’t guarantee that it would provide enough power to charge the battery correctly (not able to supply enough voltage to the battery) or that it wouldn't cause damage to either the battery or camera.
Charging via a household outlet
Nikon makes a few different Charging Adapters that allow you to power certain cameras directly from a wall AC power outlet. Some of them can even be used when you need to keep the camera powered for long periods of time, such as when streaming or shooting photos or videos in a studio. Check your camera's user's manual to see which accessories will work with your specific model.
When charging from a household outlet, most Nikon mirrorless cameras can utilize either the Nikon EH-7P AC Charging Adapter or the EH-8P Charging Adapter. Both are sold separately. Again, you'll want to check your camera’s user’s manual for full compatibility.
Z 50 owners, note that your camera uses the EH-73P AC Charging Adapter which connects to the camera using the UC-E21 USB cable.
Charging camera batteries using a power bank
Certain newer Nikon Rechargeable Li-ion batteries can also be charged in-camera while connected to a power bank. They are the EN-EL25, EN-EL15c and EN-EL15b batteries.
The EN-EL25 Li-ion battery that’s used for the Z 30 is compatible with the Anker PowerCore III Elite 25600 87 power bank using a USB Type C to USB Type C cable.
The EN-EL15c and EN-EL15b Li-ion batteries that are used in the Z 5, Z 6/Z 6II, Z f, Z 7/Z 7II and Z 8 can be charged using the Anker PowerCore+ 26800 PD 45W power bank.
Only the EN-EL15c and EN-EL15b batteries can be charged via USB. It is important to note that older EN-EL15a and original EN-EL15 batteries cannot be charged via USB/power bank!
Rated Capacity of Nikon Rechargeable Lithium-ion batteries:
Z 30, Z 50 and Z fc cameras are powered by the EN-EL25 battery which is rated at a capacity of 7.6 V.
Z 5, Z 6/Z 6II, Z f, Z 7/Z 7II, Z 8 cameras are powered by the EN-EL15 series batteries which are rated at a capacity of 7.0 V.
Only the EN-EL15c and EN-EL15b batteries can be charged via USB. The older EN-EL15a and original EN-EL15 batteries cannot be charged via USB.
The Z 9 camera is powered by the EN-EL18 series batteries which are rated at a capacity of 10.8 V.
The EH-7P charging AC adapter and EH-8P charging adapter can be used to charge EN-EL18d, EN-EL18c, and EN EL18b batteries only. They cannot be used to charge the EN-EL18a or original EN-EL18 batteries.
Important Note for Z 30 Owners
The Z 30 is supplied with a UC-E24 USB cable. This cable features a USB-A connection on one end and USB-C connection on the other.
The UC-E24 will allow you to charge the battery in the camera while the camera is off. You will see a small red charge light turn on above the USB port on the camera body while charging. The light will turn off once the battery has been fully charged.
If you want to use USB Power Delivery (USB-PD), you'll need to use the optional UC-E25 USB cable which features a USB-C connection on both ends. This type of cable is necessary to provide the amount of power needed for USB-PD for the camera. (more on USB-PD below).
Using an optional Nikon charging adapter
When charging from a household outlet, for most Z series mirrorless cameras, you can also use the optional EH-7P AC Charging Adapter (comes with the USB cable that's used to connect to the camera) or EH-8P Charging Adapter (which needs the UC-E25 cable, sold separately). Both are sold separately and both will charge the camera’s battery much faster than the USB cable drawing power from a computer alone.
With a battery inserted in the camera, the EH-7P or EH-8P can be used to charge the battery while the camera is switched OFF or to power the camera while it is switched ON. These accessories are compatible with all Z series cameras except for the Z 50 which uses the EH-73P.
What is USB Power Delivery
USB Power Delivery (USB-PD) is a similar concept and feature of some Z series camera bodies including, but not limited to the Z 5, Z 6II, Z f, Z 7II, Z 8 and Z 9 cameras.
You can find the USB Power Delivery settings in the camera's setup menu. A USB power delivery icon appears in the shooting display and the control panel when the camera is powered by an external source.
With USB Power Delivery enabled, the camera will draw power from the connected device while turned on. However, if USB Power Delivery is disabled, the camera the camera will only draw power from the battery inserted into the camera.
The camera charge lamp (w) lights amber while charging is in progress. The lamp turns off when charging is complete.
USB Power Delivery is a USB charging specification that maximizes the available power delivered to a device. When people talk about “fast charging” technology, that’s USB-PD.
For more information on your specific Z series camera, check the respective user’s manual:
Z 30 camera user's manual