Manfrotto Pro Cube Camera Battery Charger Test & Review

The Manfrotto Power Cube offers a few features that most camera battery chargers don’t have. Here’s my take after using it.

Manfotto Pro Cube Professional Twin Tube Charger
Last Updated:
Filed Under: Power
Topics: Manfrotto

I MAY get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

Once upon a time, batteries were only incidental to making a camera work (if they needed them at all!). On old-school manual SLRs, a battery dying might mean you’d lose the use of the camera’s light meter, but everything else would keep working just fine.

But that’s very much not true of digital cameras. So, as unglamorous as it is, battery charging and power management has become crucial. And that has never been more true than with the rise of mirrorless cameras, which often chew through batteries even more quickly than most DSLRs. 

Many cameras come with a dedicated battery charger. But they’re often rudimentary affairs, with much room for improvement. So third-party aftermarket manufacturers have sometimes stepped up with products to make camera battery charging faster, more efficient, and more flexible. 

And it’s one of those I’m focusing on here, the Manfrotto Pro CUBE. While the charger that’s included with the camera works just fine, chargers like this one offer several nice-to-have features. 

Manfotto Pro Cube Professional Twin Tube Charger

Manfrotto is an Italian company best known for decidedly analog accessories. Things like tripods and studio mounts and photography gear bags. But in recent years they’ve branched out beyond what they’re best known for, adding some digital products to their brand lineup. 1 I’ve used Manfrotto-branded SD cards and microSD cards before.

It’s a twin charger for camera batteries. It’s a rebranded version of what is sold in Europe as the Hähnel ProCube2. (Some of the parts even still have the Hähnel name printed on them.) It comes in various flavors for specific types of camera batteries. The one I’m using is for Nikon EN-EL14, EN-EL15, and EN-EL25 batteries.

There are, of course, plenty of other battery chargers on the market, and they’re usually pretty straightforward affairs. Maybe they can use USB power sources as well as AC, but they commonly have a basic red-green light as the charging indicator.

This charger takes things up a notch with these features with fast charging, interchangeable charging plates for different kinds of batteries, and a more detailed status display. It’s not the only charger on the market with some or all of these features, and I discuss some of the other alternatives further down this page. 

Fast Charging

It’s worth noting that while the Pro CUBE can charge two batteries simultaneously, it can’t fast charge both simultaneously. If you want to take advantage of the fast charging, it can only do that with one at a time. There’s no switch to enable fast charging; you just insert a compatible battery into one of the battery cradles. 

Interchangeable Charging Plates

Many of us use more than one camera. Maybe it’s a DSLR and a compact camera. Or a backup mirrorless camera.

The version I’m using is for Nikon EN-EL14, EN-EL15, and EN-EL25 batteries. But those batteries have different shapes, so they won’t all fit in the same cradle. So the ProCUBE, in this case, comes with two extra charging plates to accommodate the different profiles.

NB. I have run into a compatibility problem with some of the newer EN-EL15C batteries, which is used on some of the new mirrorless cameras like the Z8 I’m using. The first EN-EL15C batteries I used charge normally. But I have since bought some more spares, and those will not charge–they just make the screen flash. All are Nikon original batteries and all are model EN-EL15C. 

From what I have been able to glean since, it is a known compatibility problem with the Manfrotto/Hahnell charging base, and there doesn’t seem to be a solution short of upgrading the base charger, which doesn’t seem likely anytime soon. 

So, in short, I do not recommend this charger for EN-EL15C batteries. I have run into no such issues with earlier versions of EN-EL15 batteries. 

I have found the same problem with the Watson modular charger. 

Each plate comes as a pair, with two cradles for the same kind of battery. Which is a bit less convenient and flexible than other products that have separate, individual cradles, allowing for mix-and-match pairings. 

Manfotto Pro Cube Professional Twin Tube Charger

In addition to the camera battery plates, it also comes with an AA rechargeable battery charging plate, which is especially useful if you’re using AA batteries in speedlights, for example. Of course, this only works with rechargeble batteries, and trying to use it with regular single-use disposable AA batteries could be dangerous. 

Manfotto Pro Cube Professional Twin Tube Charger
The AA charger plate.
Manfotto Pro Cube Professional Twin Tube Charger
The AA charger plate attaches directly to the camera battery plate rather than switching out with it. There are small magnets on the corners of the bottom of it that hold it in place and serve as the contact points. I only realized when I was processing this photo that I’d put the plate on back to front—the arrow (triangle) should be pointing to the front of the charger. Which is why it wasn’t sitting completely flush.
Hahnel ProCube 2
This is the underside of one of the camera battery plates. You can see the Hahnel branding on it.

Digital Display

Where most camera battery chargers tend to have a single LED that switches between red and green to indicate charging status, this one has an LED digital display with significantly more information.

The most obvious is the percentage progress indicator. While not essential, I tend to prefer that more precise and granular indicator as a nice-to-have feature rather than the simpler red light/green light system of simpler chargers. 

Charging Sources

It comes with international AC plugs as well as a DC 12V car charger (i.e., a cigarette lighter adapter). So it has what you need to charge from a wall socket or from a car/RV. 

What it doesn’t have is the ability to charge from a USB power source. I wish it did, and this falls into the category of a missing feature for me. I prefer the simplicity of being able to charge all my devices from a single USB hub or power brick, which not only cuts down on the number of cables and chargers that I need to pack, but also reduces the risk of inadvertently leaving a plug or charger in the hotel room when rushing to get to an early morning flight. 

Manfotto Pro Cube Professional Twin Tube Charger
At left is the USB-A plug. It’s output only; you can’t use it as an input to power the charger from a USB power source (unfortunately). At the top, in the center, is a small hole that you can see here. Using a pen or paper clip, you can press that to release the battery plate from the top so that you can switch it out.

USB-A Plug

There’s a USB-A socket to provide USB power out that can be used to charge other devices. It’s a 2.4A output. 

Unfortunately, it doesn’t provide USB power in. So that means you can’t power this from a USB power source like a power brick or USB charging hub. So you’ll have to take the AC power adapter. That is one more strike against it being a good option for travel.

Pros & Cons of the Manfrotto Pro Cube Camera Battery Charger


  • fast charging (single battery at a time)
  • detailed charging indicator
  • includes AC battery charging plate
  • Dual charger means you can charge two batteries at once


  • quite large when considering it as a travel charger
  • doesn’t have capability to be charged by USB power source input
  • charging plates are locked in pairs of the same kind of battery, so inconvenient to mix-and-match different battery types

Other Alternatives

There are some other camera battery chargers on the market that make use of modular designs with camera plates that can switch out. 

Watson Duo Charger

The closest competitor to this that comes to mind is the Watson Duo Charger, a camera battery charger I’ve covered before. It also has interchangeable charging plates and a detailed digital display. It’s a different shape, but it takes up roughly the same volume of space.

There are a few key differences, with each having advantages over the other:

  • The ProCUBE offers fast charging; the Watson charger doesn’t.
  • The Watson charger gives more flexibility in charging plates, in that you change them individually rather than locked in pairs. So if you’re using different cameras, you can have two different types of charging plates mounted at the same time (one of each). With the Manfrotto charger, the plates are locked pairs.
  • The interchangeable plates on the Watson are smaller and more portable.

I’ve used the Watson Duo Charger for several years, and it has been reliable and useful. It doesn’t have fast charging, and it too doesn’t support USB power input. And it’s priced around the same. 


Another interesting charger that I’ve also used with a modular design is the XTAR SN4. It goes all in on modularity, and you can also extend it to be a four-battery charger.

It powers via USB power source (including fast charging when used with an appropriate PD source), it’s smaller and lighter than either the Manfrotto or Watson chargers, but it has a more simplified charging status display. 

Things Worth Knowing

  • When using the AA charging plate, you don’t get the percentage indicator. Instead, you get an indicator for AA and a more traditional (but less useful) animated battery-filling indicator. 

Wrap Up

I’ve been using this charger lately with the EN-EL15 plate for batteries for my Nikon Z8, Nikon D850, and Nikon D810. I’ve used a combination of Nikon-branded and aftermarket batteries in it, and it has been consistently reliable. 

The fast charging is quick, which is especially appreciated on a tight schedule. And I’ve not seen any issues with heating or overcharging. And I do like the more precise charging status indicator. 

In short, it’s been working well for me, and I have no complaints about it. 

That said, it’s not necessarily a slam dunk. For one thing, it comes with premium pricing. For another, it has two strikes against it earning a place in my travel kit: it’s larger than I’d like, and it doesn’t support input from a USB power source. 

Price & Availability of the Manfrotto Pro Cube Camera Battery Charger

The Manfrotto Pro Cube is priced as a premium charger, well above many of the camera manufacturer-branded chargers, and certainly well above many aftermarket chargers. 

When buying one, make sure it’s the version with the type of battery plate/s that you need. There are options for several types of Nikon, Canon, and Sony batteries (and some of those do double-duty as the battery types used in cameras by some other brands such as Olympus or Fujifilm). There are also some that come bundled with a Manfrotto-branded aftermarket camera battery, but I don’t see them as presenting particularly good value y(i.e., you’d be better off getting just the charger and an official battery instead or, even cheaper, buying the charger and an aftermarket battery separately). 

I bought mine at B&H Photo. You can also find them at Adorama.

  1. There are several well-known camera brands owned by the Videndum group (which is the new name of what was Vitec Imaging Distribution). They include Gitzo, Joby, Lowepro, and a number of other brands for gear aimed at capturing and sharing images and video.[]
David Coleman / Photographer

David Coleman

I'm a professional freelance travel photographer based in Washington DC. Seven continents, up mountains, underwater, and a bunch of places in between. My images have appeared in numerous publications, and you can check out some of my travel photography here. More »

Leave a Comment