Power protection for your photography equipment


I was listening to the Typical Mac User Podcast, episode 212, by Victor Cajiao and his guest for the show, George Starcher.  They had a good discussion on the use of uninterpretable power supplies (UPS’s).  Victor explained how he lost a Mackie mixing board due to a power event and he was doing something about it so it wouldn’t happen again with the new one.  They mentioned use them with computer, networking and podcasting equipment but what I didn’t hear was too much about protecting other electronics beyond the home theater gear.  That got me thinking, I already protect a lot of my electronics, home theater stuff, computers, network gear, and my fish tanks with UPS’s and voltage regulators, and I use larger APC devices at work, but how many photographers think beyond the computer gear, external hard drives, and networking equipment and expand the protection to their photography equipment?

It doesn’t make to much sense to use a UPS for your AA battery charger, or your camera battery chargers, but it does make a sense to use a voltage regulator, such as the APC Line-R 1200VA or Line-R 600VA to power these devices.  Why?  Well, it probably isn’t critical to be able to charge your batteries during a power outage, but with the cost of some camera batteries alone, for example, the $70 for a Canon LP-E6, and the charger for it costing around $100, protecting them with one of those voltage regulators, priced at around $50 for the Line-R 1200VA or around $40 for the Line-R 600VA starts to make sense.  Or how about that fancy MAHA MH-C9000 Advanced Battery Charger for the AA’s?  That and a pack of the AA’s I use in my flashes is around $60.

Beyond your batteries and chargers, think about protecting your other photography equipment with these too.  Those monolights/blocks should be protected on something, at least a quality surge protection strip.

Also, don’t forget about power protection on the road.  Many people will readily take their laptop’s power brick and plug it in at the hotel.  I don’t recommend this.  You setup for protection at home, at a minimum, try something little portable protection too.

Yes, there are other manufacturers that make these devices, but I’ve had, knocking on a wood, nothing but good experiences with APC equipment.  I don’t work for them, but their products work for me.

Are there any other photography or other gadgets that require AC power, that you think need to be mentioned?  Please leave me a note in the comments.


After posting this, I thought of one more thing that is frequently plugged into the wall, and isn’t a cheap repair in most cases – your cell/mobile phone!  That nice new iPhone, some new Android based device – how much would it cost you to replace it?  Right, so add that charger to the list of things to protect!