Ansmann Powerline 4 Pro at a glance:
- Price: £30
- Website: www.ansmann.de/en
If you use off-camera flashguns frequently, then chances are you’ve also got several sets of rechargeable batteries to power them. Ordinary chargers will do a perfectly reasonable job of keeping them topped up, but if you want to get the most from your batteries, this is where a more sophisticated device like the Ansmann Powerline 4 Pro comes in. It’s a well-made unit that takes four AA or AAA NiMH or NiCD cells, charging and monitoring each individually, which means you can safely put batteries of different types in each slot. There’s also a 1A USB output, which can be used for charging a smartphone, and the package comes with both UK and EU plugs for the adapter unit, plus an in-car plug for charging on the move.
In addition to standard battery charging, the Powerline 4 Pro can also be set to discharge before charging to combat the memory effect of NiCds, test a cell’s capacity, or run a refresh program, discharging and charging sequentially to bring batteries up to optimum condition. What’s more, each slot can be set up individually. It’s also possible to fast-charge a pair of AA batteries at up to 1,800mA compared to the standard 600mA.
I tested the charger with various sets of batteries and it did an impressive job, for example, refreshing a tired set of AA NiMHs from around 1,700mAh up to 2,300mAh, although this did take about a day. It was also able to resurrect some batteries that other chargers rejected.
The Powerline 4 Pro is relatively expensive as four-AA chargers go, but if you’re a heavy user of rechargeable batteries it could be an excellent investment.