It probably hasn’t escaped your attention, but a few days ago a new “gadget” called tetherboost was introduced. The claims are that this device will provide power to your connected camera when tethering, thus reducing the power requirements for your computer and your camera. The result should be longer battery life when tethered, and a more stable and presumably faster connection. So what is this thing then?
Well, it is nothing more than a powered usb 3.0 hub with a power bank attached to it (or AC if you work in a studio). Instead of paying well over $100 for an entire thetherbooster set, you can make your own. I have been using a similar setup for years now, and if anything, it reduces the power requirements on both the laptop and the camera. You are therefore not eating through batteries as quickly, especially when you are shooting on location. My setup has a few advantages:
You can substitute with whatever else you feel is working for you, however, the items I list below are those that work for me with both usb 3.0 and usb 2.0 tethered connections:
As of this writing, you will spend less than $40 on all of these. All you really have to do is to connect the USB hub to your computer (with the cable that comes with the hub), connect your camera via USB to the hub, and make sure that you either power the hub with the AC adapter, or your power bank. Use the 1A connector on the power bank and leave the 2.1A output for your tablet or other devices (in case you need a charge on location). That’s it. You just made yourself a tether booster for less than half the cost of the other solution, while also getting a better power bank (with built-in flashlight and 10,000 mAh rated capacity).