Any luck with off brand batteries?

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by tpsfoto, Nov 6, 2015.

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  1. tpsfoto

    tpsfoto Mu-43 Rookie

    Jun 24, 2010
    Hi all,

    I just added to my 4/3rds gear an EM-5. Bought it on FM and it had 2300 shots on it with all of the boxed items in great condition.....1 OEM battery and 1 Wasabi battery that was dead and will not charge. So which of the Off brand batteries work well with this?

    I have
    14-42mm II
    17mm 2.8
  2. carlosfm

    carlosfm Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 3, 2015
    Lisbon, Portugal
    Beware, lithium batteries are delicate, they have electronics inside to regulate the voltage conveniently, the charging is very critical.
    Cheapo China made lithium batteries may result in a complete disaster.
    They may explode.
  3. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    I trust Promaster batteries I've purchased from, Midwest Photo Exchange. Seem to work just as good as the OEMs. Used them for both my Fuji and Olympus cameras.
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2015
  4. davidzvi

    davidzvi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 12, 2012
    Outside Boston MA
    Interesting, Wasabi / Wasabi Power / Wasabi Tech (I've seen all 3 names used on Amazon) are my first picks. But I've also used Waston and Progo.
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Like Like x 1
  5. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Oct 1, 2010
    They do not. Regulation is done in the charger.
    Factual citation, please.

    I have been buying batteries on eBay for years without regard to brand and have had no problems. I think I have seven batteries for my two GX7s.
  6. CWRailman

    CWRailman Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jun 2, 2015
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    I have been using Wasabi batteries, which I order from Blue Nook, in my Pentax cameras for around 8 years now and when I got into 4/3 that was the first thing I ordered for those cameras. Some folks talk about battery swelling but that is a possibility with just about any battery including OEM.
    • Agree Agree x 3
  7. eteless

    eteless Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 20, 2014
    While regulation is done in the charger it's very common to have a circuit which disconnects the battery if the voltage drops too low to prevent damage to the cells, almost all rechargeable lithium batteries also contain a circuit to prevent overcharging as it will cause them to heat up and potentially vent/explode.

    Olympus batteries have previously also had a failsafe built into them which kills the battery if they are discharged so low that they can't be safely recharged, once this happens the charger will give an error rather than charging (I've had it happen to two batteries for an E-5).
  8. Droogie

    Droogie Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 23, 2013
    Washington State
    I've been using the Watson brand from B&H and they seem to function just as well as the OEM versions in my Panasonic G3 and my wife's Powershot 110. Plus they charge nicely in the OEM chargers.
  9. Wisertime

    Wisertime Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2013
    I've been using Wasabi successfully for years, but don't mix up charges with OEM and visa versa as others said.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  10. manju69

    manju69 Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Jul 1, 2011
    Stroud, UK
    Hahnel branded batteries have worked well for me and actually all the ones I have ever bought have worked! I do ensure the specs are exactly the same though.
  11. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Oct 1, 2010
    Yes. When I first started using aftermarket batteries I would weigh them to see if they were the same as the OEMs. My theory was that the way to make a cheap battery was to use less electrolyte and a smaller electrode. Every one I weighed was the same as OEM, so I don't to that any more. Re capacity specs that is always somewhat of a game of liars' poker IMO, because for given chemistry (Li-ion) the capacity of a battery is pretty well determined by its physical size.

    I haven't noticed any capacity differences between OEM and aftermarket batteries, but I have not done any rigorous testing either. The aftermarket batteries are cheap enough that I just carry one or two charged batteries in my pocket and don't worry when the camera battery goes flat and I have to replace it.
  12. carlosfm

    carlosfm Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 3, 2015
    Lisbon, Portugal
    You already have my post as a citation.
    I don't understand your request.
    Any citation is a citation.
    You first must know what you are talking about, to be able to discuss something.
  13. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    I've had decent experience with both DSTE and Watson batteries. To an extent, I think you get what you pay for. There is certainly less real, usable charge in these batteries compared to the OEM Lumix batteries.

    However, those brands are not bottom-of-the-barrel, and provide a usable display of remaining charge as they are "coded" properly. Certainly, they are far better value-for-money, and I've had no ill consequences from my choice. I know I'd much rather have 2, 3 or even 4 off-brand batteries than 1 OEM battery for the same price, if only for the sake of redundancy.
  14. carlosfm

    carlosfm Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 3, 2015
    Lisbon, Portugal
    Just avoid brandless chinese batteries, that is what I meant to say.
  15. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Oct 1, 2010
    Looking for an actual report or study to support your assertion that there are examples of these camera batteries exploding or a statistically significant risk that they will do so.
    • Like Like x 1
  16. I have had bad experiences with Wasabi BLS-5 batteries. The OEM battery is rated at 1080 mAh minimum. I rebuilt a bad Brand X with the best Sanyo cells I could find and got 1200 mAh. No Wasabi I've ever tested (and I've done 4) measured over 760 mAh, while they claim upwards of 1600 mAh which anyone who knows the cell type used can tell you is an absolute joke. These would charge at over 0.5C charge rate which is the recommended maximum for lithium cells. My first one went bad with very light usage after 11 months.

    If you want documentation, I can try to find my DPReview thread where I went through testing many aftermarket batteries and posted the results. Most of them have less than 65% of the OEM battery capacity.
    • Informative Informative x 1
  17. carlosfm

    carlosfm Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 3, 2015
    Lisbon, Portugal
    @oldracer@oldracer: you mean that you can't search the internet? What "these batteries"? Lithium batteries are very sensitive and explode if defective or not correctly charged. Lithium battery packs DO have electronics inside and it's not just regulation. I'm sure you can find lots of info about this. Do your homework, don't ask others to do it.
  18. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Oct 1, 2010
    Interesting. Yes, I would be interested in more detail on your testing and your results. As I said, I have been very happy with aftermarket batteries but have never done any formal testing. Looking at their life in the cameras is not too helpful as the environment, particularly the time the LCD is illuminated, is highly variable.
  19. TNcasual

    TNcasual Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Dec 2, 2014
    Knoxville, TN
    Not to wade in... But you made the claim, it is up to you to provide the proof.
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2015
    • Agree Agree x 4
  20. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    Wouldn't the burden of proof be on the one claiming that the batteries will explode? You can't prove a negative...

    EDIT: Oops, you were indeed replying to carlosfm, I just saw oldracer in the body text. Carry on...
    • Agree Agree x 1
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