MORE POWER!!! Calumet’s Power Block 900 review…


Photographers need Power. Without batteries photography doesn’t happen. Photo flashes, cameras, laptops, they all need power. It’s out Holy Grail on location. (As well as a good latte…)

Probably the biggest need is to power our speedlights on location. The 4 poxy AAs that they have internally just don’t cut the mustard. They don’t last long enough… and they don’t recycle fast enough.

To the end of having more power we have had Metz, Quatums, crappy Chinese stuff, big lead acid jobs on our Bowens and multi AA packs from Canon and Nikon.

Our experience with external battery packs has been poor. High cost, Unreliable, poor build, heavy, memory problems…. and did I mention the high cost??

Until two weeks ago…..

Our friends at Calumet have come out with a new external battery pack designed to work with our Canon 580’s… (and Nikons etc…) it’s called the Power Block 900, and we got our hands on one to give it a spin.

Calumet Power Block 900
Calumet’s new Power Block Flash battery.

(That’s it above…. pictured (from Calumet’s website…) with the Nikon Speedlight (Booo!)….)

Anyways… I was suitably impressed. We took it out on some portrait jobs for the Indy and e.on; We took it off to Crufts in Paparazi Doggy Mode… and we thought it was great!

First off… the price. Not Expensive. In fact, dare I say…. cheap. ( Certainly… inexpensive.) £140 without the camera specific cable.

Secondly… the build. Impressive. Nice solid build… not built down to a price.

Thirdly…. Does it work? Yes. We had no issues at all…we charged it up and went off for a week without even shifting the power indicator down a notch.

In reality this is a pretty simple piece of kit, and it’s good to see that Calumet have produced a well built, simple and inexpensive bit of kit that does exactly what we need.

It’s light, so you don’t really notice it on your belt, it has a LiOn battery so no memory issues, it comes with an in car charger, and it works.

It does what it says on the tin. No fuss.

Why can’t more gear be like this? So much stuff coming out now is either stupidly expensive, (Ala all the new Canon lenses…) or rubbish quality. We need more equipment that is reasonably priced and of good quality. There is a lot of downward pressure on the industry, and it’s good to see Calumet responding to this and sourcing gear that is actually affordable.

A great bit of kit.

You can get it from Calumet here;