Aftermarket batteries (G5)

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by kungfujoe, Jul 14, 2013.

  1. kungfujoe

    kungfujoe New to Mu-43

    Jul 13, 2013
    Fairfax Station, VA
    Erik Harris
    I just bought a Panasonic DMC-G5 and my first impression is that I love it. I see a lot of people recommending a spare battery, but I'm surprised to see no discussion on specific spare batteries. The Panasonic spare is, as always, pretty overpriced, but I bought a third-party spare for my previous camera (DMC-FZ50) that didn't last nearly as long as the OEM battery.

    Is there any consensus out there on what batteries are the best deals? Is there any specific advantage, besides longevity, to one battery over the other? I noticed a few people claiming in Amazon reviews that a given battery doesn't work with the camera's battery indicator (a problem I've never seen in any device before when using a different brand of battery). I also see that quite a few of the third-party batteries are rated at 7.2V 1500mAh instead of the OEM battery's 7.2V 1200mAh - which of them live up to that claim and actually allow for longer shooting sessions than the Panasonic battery?

    If the $10-20 third-party batteries work as well, almost as well, or even better than the $60 Panasonic battery, I'd obviously rather buy them as spares.
  2. elavon

    elavon Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 1, 2012
    Tel Aviv Israel
  3. Dan Ka

    Dan Ka Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 11, 2011
    Northeastern Ohio
    I bought my G5 from Cameta Camera (link at end of thread) w/ a package of 14 low cost extras which included a 3rd party battery shown here. It costs less than $15. While it is rated at 1500mAh, I haven't noticed any drop off in time of use. I usually don't pay attention to those types of things. Always carry an extra battery, charger, and in-car voltage inverter.
    Power2000 ACD-336 Rechargeable Battery for Panasonic DMW-BLC12

    Attached Files:

  4. madogvelkor

    madogvelkor Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 22, 2013
  5. kungfujoe

    kungfujoe New to Mu-43

    Jul 13, 2013
    Fairfax Station, VA
    Erik Harris
    In my experience, most battery indicators are unreliable, even with OEM batteries. That's because most of the preferred battery technologies put out full power until they're nearly dead. Without a smooth rolloff in power output, it's very hard to an indicator bar to know how much "juice" the battery has left.

    So it sounds like it's pretty typical for third-party batteries to overstate their capacity, but that other than that, they work fine. Even at 200 shots per battery, if I can buy three (or even four) of them for the price of a Panasonic battery, it's worth it, as long as their already-decreased performance doesn't fall off too quickly over time.
  6. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 5, 2013
    San Diego
    Doug Green
    I've experienced EXCELLENT life with the Power2000 battery pictured in an earlier post. Incidentally, it wasn't what I bought. I had ordered a different clone battery from a seller on Amazon, and he shipped me the Power2000 rather than the battery he claimed to be selling. Since I already had good results from a Power2000 BLS-1 clone, I did not complain, and I tried using it, and am very happy with it.
  7. spatulaboy

    spatulaboy I'm not really here Subscribing Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    North Carolina
    I use Wasabi Power. They display the power indicator. However they will give you a shorter warning time than the OEM battery before they cut out.
  8. garfield_cz

    garfield_cz Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 9, 2011
    Czech Republic
    I was always curious why people need heavy count of spare batteries as there are definitively better option than m4/3 for long trips with no access to charger. Simply one battery in camera and one spare is all I ever needed even for few days trips. In my country I can buy three quality OEM batteries or one original for same price, but I prefer to have proper discharge indication and original battery is way to go for me.
  9. Wasabi Bob

    Wasabi Bob Mu-43 All-Pro

    Some considerations

    Much of which was already stated, and debated, has been posted in earlier discussions. Still, I think it’s worth repeating. There are two things that can be said about aftermarket batteries. First they are less expensive, secondly, their only consistency is inconsistency. In just about every review I’ve read, the end result is that they don’t last as long as the OEM batteries.

    More important, LiOn batteries store significantly more energy than their NiCad predecessors. That energy, if dissipated abruptly, can result in a lot of heat, fire or even a small explosion. Probably, in consideration of the legal consequences that could result, Panasonic’s batteries utilize several safety features that guard against over charging, and excessive current in case of a short circuit. The individual cells are matched to provide longer operating time, and each cell is separated from adjacent cells to guard against cell damage if the battery is dropped. Such damage can result in an internal short that can lead to a battery melt down. Against my better judgment, I’ve opened some aftermarket batteries and found nothing but battery cells!

    Several years ago I had an aftermarket battery swell up inside the camera. Since it could not be removed through normal means, the repair turned out to be rather expensive. The repair center refused to surgically cut it out, comparing the process to defusing a bomb. Yes, such occurrences are rare but I personally would not want me or my camera to be involved. Battery life on the Lumix cameras, in general, is very good. If you turn the camera off when not in use 400-600 images, and more is, very easily achieved. While I have a spare, I rarely use it. Lastly, using a third party battery would immediately void the warranty if battery related damage occurred. After paying the cost of the camera, the cost of the genuine battery seems insignificant.
  10. madogvelkor

    madogvelkor Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 22, 2013
    True, and if I had an expensive camera I would definitely get OEM batteries. But for cheap bodies bought at a discount or second hand, it often doesn't make sense to pay $40 for a battery for a camera that cost you under $200.
  11. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 5, 2013
    San Diego
    Doug Green
    The problem is, I think the OEM manufacturers treat batteries the way Printer makers treat ink refills - they are the main source of profit, so they gouge. I bought a discounted printer recently for $40 (which came with a full set of new ink cartridges, BTW) and when I priced a refill set of the OEM ink cartridges, they cost, ta da.. $40.

    It is offensive to me when a manufacturer is selling spare batteries for $60 for a camera that they are selling for $200 brand new. And when the known decent clone batteries cost $10-12.
  12. snegron

    snegron Mu-43 Regular

    May 9, 2013
    SW Florida
    When I purchased my G5 I also purchased a spare OEM battery at the same time. I have had mixed experiences in the past with aftermarket batteries on other cameras, so I didn't want to take the risk this time. Yes, I paid $40.00 for it, but imo it was worth it just for peace of mind.

    BAXTING Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 5, 2012
    Los Angeles SFV, CA
    Ive always had bad experiences with aftermarket chargers and batteries. They dont last as long and they dont always work. The OEM batteries work so well the extra $20 I have to spend is well worth it.

  14. svtquattro

    svtquattro Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 24, 2012
    Vancouver, Canada
    I got the Wasabi 2 battery + charger kit for $30 on ebay. For essentially $10/pc I can't complain, but I'd say they last 50-60% as long as the LUMIX branded ones. Not bad, but I never shoot important video with the cheap batteries, as the camera will die without proper warning, helping you lose all of your video taken since the last "stop".
  15. gochugogi

    gochugogi Mu-43 Veteran

    I just had a similar experience 2 weeks ago. A brand new Sterlingtrek BLS-1 clone overheated and got stuck in my E-P3. I was shooting when it happened and the grip was getting strangely warm. When I opened the battery hatch the cell was really hot and wouldn't come out. Luckily it cooled down and was able to shake and pry it out. I'm lucky I caught it early as it could have been much worse. Sheesh, all that risk just to save $20. So I bought an OEM battery and all is well.
  16. Petrochemist

    Petrochemist Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 21, 2013
    N Essex, UK
    I don't shoot video (my G1 can't and my DSLR has only done so twice) so I don't have the same extended high drain. I've never had any issues with the clone batteries I've used - but:
    Years ago I did get some CR5 Li ion rechargables that were supposed to fit in my camera (designed for 4xAAs or 2xCR5). Before they arrived I saw a section in the manual specifically listing rechargable CR5s as unsutitable, only non rechargable ones were apparently OK.
    Investigating on the net suggested that the rechargables were slightly longer and could effect the battery meter so that once used the camera might not work with other battery types. In the end I avoided using them and purchased Enyloop AA clones instead.

    Hopefully I'll find one of the kids radio control toys will take them - the extra capacity will be usefull there.
  17. Wasabi Bob

    Wasabi Bob Mu-43 All-Pro

    In extreme situations, where you develop a real "short circuit", extreme current draw will cause the energy to be rapidly converted to heat. In such a confined area as your camera's battery compartment, the end result can be a small explosion. Now imagine if that occurred while the camera was up near your face!

    Here's an example of what a LiOn battery is capable of:

    The event takes place at ~ 2:00 into the clip
  18. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 5, 2013
    San Diego
    Doug Green
    The problem is, I've had one battery swell up on me and it was an OEM battery from Nikon. They are not immune to the issue either just because they are sold for 4-5 times the price.
  19. sam_nl

    sam_nl Mu-43 Rookie

    Jun 19, 2013
    I bought a set of 2 on eBay for like 17euros. They perform quite well, 50-75 shots less thans the original I would say.
    Given the price that's fine for me.
  20. Wasabi Bob

    Wasabi Bob Mu-43 All-Pro

    I agree

    Definitely not, but when the individual cells are wrapped with a protective covering you stand less of a chance of a malfunction. Such safety enhancements translate into a higher cost. Another issue of concern is if the battery was accidentally dropped in water. A poorly constructed case could allow water to infiltrate to the individual cells. Do a search and see what happens when lithium and water are combined!

    No battery is bullet proof, but given the investment you have in the camera the OEM batteries minimize possible problems. I look at it this way ... you can buy some rather inexpensive Chinese made tires. Paying less, and knowing that they did not go through the same testing that name brand tires went through would not give me the confidence to do 75 mph on the interstate.