One of the things I didn’t like when I got my Olympus E-M1 was the battery charger that comes with it. The charger is really quite large and comes with a long and thick electrical cord. In fact, the Olympus charger is larger than my Nikon D-700’s charger even though the Nikon battery is at least twice the size of the Olympus one. This is simply too big for a small camera bag and not very convenient for traveling either. Definitely not in keeping with my philosophy of having a small photography kit.
So I set out to find a smaller third-party solution and I found the BLN-1 Charger by OAproda. This charger occupies about one-half the surface area of the Olympus charger and about one-half the thickness too, so overall it occupies about one-quarter of the space of the Olympus charger. On top of that it comes with a tiny USB cord instead of a bulky 120v cord.
Yes, this charger actually operates off of a USB port, so you have a lot of possibilities for charging: from your notebook computer, from a an electrical outlet/USB connector, from a 12V car outlet or from a portable battery pack. At first I thought that as a USB charger it would be slower, but it seems to charge at more or less the same speed as the Olympus charger maybe even faster. This is a much better solution when you are out in the field or travelling. In fact, it is so small and lightweight that I keep it along with a spare battery in my notebook bag. It can easily ad discreetly fit into any camera bag.
Best of all is the fact that it costs only $9 on Amazon! I’m really happy with my find and I can highly recommend it. If you want one you can find it here: BLN-1 Charger OAproda® New Generation High Efficiency Micro USB Battery Charger for Olympus BLN1 , BCN1 Batteries [ More Slim – Less Weight – Fast Charge ]