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Using Rebel XSi with empty battery, powered from USB?



I can get a Rebel XSi, but it may be broken, and/or with an empty battery. No charger, no lens. I wonder how to test it.

As I understand, Rebel XSi
- (and most such cameras) can't charge the battery (put inside the camera) when connected to USB (as the battery could overheat). But
- it should be capable of being powered from USB (if the battery is present). However, does it still need to have the battery non-empty?

I've connected it to USB power bank (about 1 Amper - can this not be enough?). The powerbank light went on (so the camera was sucking the energy), but only for a moment. I've switched the ON/OFF and rotated the dial - but nothing showing on the screen, and no indicator lighted up anywhere on the camera (from what I've seen).

Could it be because it had no lens (just the cover)? Could that camera be still alive, and what are the ways to find out, please?

- beginner & learner


The USB port on the Rebel is a data transfer port. It is not a charging port. I don’t know if there is a protection if power is applied to the port. 

John Hoffman
Conway, NH

1D X Mark III, Many lenses, Pixma PRO-100, Pixma TR8620a, LR Classic


@peter-kehl wrote:


I can get a Rebel XSi, but it may be broken, and/or with an empty battery. No charger, no lens. I wonder how to test it.



I would strongly recommend against this endeavor.  For all the reasons John mentions, and because there are so many better (modern) options at or below the price point to fund getting what sounds to be a mostly broken down 15 yr old body.

At minimum, the camera is going to need a lens, battery, charger and memory card.  To run without a battery, you will need a dummy battery and AC coupler.  What happen if it doesn't work?  

Instead, lets talk about your budget and the type of photography you want to do.  I think we can help and make recommendations that will get you shooting and result in a positive experience.  

Bay Area - CA

~R5 C ( ~RF Trinity, ~RF 100 Macro, ~RF 100~400, ~RF 100~500, +RF 1.4x TC, +Canon Control Ring, BG-R10, 430EX III-RT ~DxO PhotoLab Elite ~DaVinci Resolve ~Windows11 Pro ~ImageClass MF644Cdw/MF656Cdw ~Pixel 8
~CarePaks Are Worth It


A Rebel XSi isn't worth very much. Perhaps not even the cost of a new battery, a new charger and SD card plus a lens. Especially when a good used working one will include all those items most likely.

As the others have said using the USB to try and power the XSi is not only a bad idea it is a very bad idea.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and less lenses then before!