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Generic third party battery quality

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by stevendotwang, Apr 6, 2011.

  1. stevendotwang

    stevendotwang Mu-43 Regular

    100
    Mar 13, 2011
    Seattle, WA
    Steven W
    Since the genuine Panasonic batteries cost 4-5 times as much as a third party battery on eBay, I'm sure a lot of you have taken the cheaper route.

    I'm planning on getting 2 off of eBay and I was wondering if anyone had thoughts to share before I purchase mine.
     
  2. Howi

    Howi Mu-43 Veteran

    208
    Feb 23, 2011
    Sheffield
    Howard
    go to 7dayshop.com you won't find a cheaper battery (look up G1 DMW-BLB13 and includes postage and works with latest camera software..... £8.69
     
  3. Spuff

    Spuff Mu-43 Top Veteran

    652
    Dec 5, 2010
    Berkshire, UK.
    I got one off Amazon for about £7. I've done about 12 swaps around with the original one when the present battery has run out, and no problems.
    I have a suspicion that the Amazon one is the same as the Olympus one except Olympus have put their logo on theirs, although having suspected that the Amazon one seems to last longer (the 'generic third party one' has therefore so far been, if any difference, better). The price of an official one is ridiculous.
     
  4. Tom Swaman

    Tom Swaman Mu-43 Veteran

    I just bought one new from B&H. Yes, I saved money, but I also trust B&H. If they know a battery is bad, they are not going to sell it. By the same token, suppose a new camera battery costs $50 US and a new camera costs $400 US to 1,000 US. I wonder how penny wise and pound foolish it is to buy an unknown new battery in an attempt to save say $30 or so? Even if the battery does not ruin the inside of the camera, suppose it only recharges 50% of what a new camera brand battery recharges. So, why did I break down and buy a new third party battery from B&H besides this being B&H.....because they are out-of-stock of Panasonic batteries.

    What a wonderful and beautiful world it would be if we all took as much care becoming educated and in taking good photographs as we do in saving money!

    Regards,
    Tom
     
  5. Howi

    Howi Mu-43 Veteran

    208
    Feb 23, 2011
    Sheffield
    Howard
    Li-on Battery technology is such that I would imagine they ALL come from the same factory, just rebadged.
    All the talk about batteries doing damage is so much piffle, The voltage is the same so will only draw the same current. There is also no reason to suspect that the capacity would be any different either. have used 3rd party batteries with all my cameras with no ill effects.
    Why do you think they chip the batteries? to try and stop you buying cheap ones, because you have to buy theirs - just screwing more money/profit from the customer.
    If you can buy a 3rd party battery for about £8.00 just think how much it actually cost to produce.... then go figure about one costing £50 or more. Under the plastic skin it is the same battery....
    If it worries you that much pay the exorbitant prices, what about cheap memory cards £6 or £60 .......etc etc
    we are being ripped off - time to make a stand folks
     
  6. Tom Swaman

    Tom Swaman Mu-43 Veteran

    Howi,

    I suppose you may be correct, but then why are the same voltage cell phone batteries available literally for the same retail price from 700 mAh to 3500 mAh? Also, I am not just worried about the camera frying with a bad battery, but how about the simple fact that the battery polarizes irreversibly, corrodes, or otherwise fails. There is, I believe, no one good answer to this question. People who have had good experiences with third party batteries probably support their use and people who have had bad experiences probably condemn their use.

    Regards,
    Tom
     
  7. greyelm

    greyelm Mu-43 Veteran

    363
    Aug 28, 2010
    London
    Malcolm
    Do 3rd part batteries void the manufacturer's warranty if the camera gets damaged?
     
  8. Spuff

    Spuff Mu-43 Top Veteran

    652
    Dec 5, 2010
    Berkshire, UK.
    Does anyone know of anyone who has had a camera in recent times damaged because of a battery?
     
  9. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Mine is a "Becam" and works at least as well as the official Panasonic battery
     
  10. Alanroseman

    Alanroseman Super Moderator Emeritus

    Dec 21, 2010
    New England
    I purchased two from eBay several weeks ago. I swap them between the GF1 / G1.

    So far I have noticed absolutely no difference at all in either camera.

    Alan
     
  11. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    Don
    I've had no problems with aftermarket ones for the GF1. But the aftermarket batts from B&H for the GH2 did not work consistently and caused the camera to error... of course, good old B&H, they took them back no problemo.
     
  12. Warren T.

    Warren T. Mu-43 Veteran

    338
    Mar 10, 2010
    San Francisco
    same here, i have been using a third party battery for my G1 and GF1, swapping between the two bodies for about a year now with no problems. The capacity of the third party battery is at least as good as the OEM ones.

    --Warren
     
  13. Wasabi Bob

    Wasabi Bob Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Consider this

    I know of at least three cases where the aftermarket (less expensive) batteries caused damage to the camera. In one case it leaked, causing damage to the internal PCB. In two another cases the battery swelled and could not be removed.

    I've taken some of the aftermarket batteries apart, to discover that many do not include the insulation between the cells and / or over charging circuitry. Obviously these safety enhancements do add cost. From a liability standpoint, I believe Panasonic needs to take these preventative measures to minimize liability issues. I do know that if a camera is damaged, and the damage is caused by a third party battery, it will void your warranty.

    If you are interested in seeing how much energy can be released when a LiOn battery shorts out, go up on YouTube and do a search on "LiOn batteries" or "Lithium Ion Batteries" I would not want that reaction when the camera was held by my face.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  14. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    Don
    Bob... excellent point on lithium ion rechargeables. I use them extensively in a number of high end flashlights and they are a special battery technology that should be understood well, at least to some degree, by users.

    Li-ions are extremely potent batteries offering great power and performance. But along with that, they are potentially explosive, fire causing batteries and it is critically important that the charger and/or batteries themselves (preferrably both) have overcharge protection and over-discharge protection. Generally speaking they perform their best when topped off before they no longer can power the camera. They have no memory effect and can be topped off anywhere in the discharge cycle to very good effect. Continual depletion to non-operational state is hard on them... they will last longer if they are recharged before they drain down to the point of not operating the camera. A single li-ion cell is 4.2v (8.4v for paired cells contained in a single battery) right off the charger, and by the time it is drained down to around 3.5v or so, it's approaching time to recharge.

    Hopefully, a good charger with overcharging protection and batteries with overcharging protection will be safe left on a charger after the ready light indicates it's done. But to be really safe, it is wise to remove the battery from the charger as soon as the charger indicates that charging is finished. Homes have been set on fire by li-ions that became over charged due to a faulty charger circuit or li-ions that did not have built in overcharge protection. This battery chemistry commands respect. For the most part, the consumer has been protected from thinking about such things with their cameras and laptops because top manufacturers adhere to producing well protected designs... but when you venture into low cost aftermarket li-ion cells and chargers... be very cautious.

    Li-ions are very reliable and tend to be well-behaved as long as they are not over charged nor over discharged. Very dangerous conditions can occur when the charger and/or battery are not properly used, protected, and cared for.

    I have no doubt that Panasonic ensures that their chargers and batteries are manufactured with the best designs and safeguards, but it would not surprise me if low cost, aftermarket products cut corners on this stuff.

    For those who don't know it, li-ion batteries are not like your grandpa's alkalines! :wink:
     
    • Like Like x 2
  15. Wasabi Bob

    Wasabi Bob Mu-43 Top Veteran

    I agree, and ...

    I agree 100% with all you've stated.

    Their composition makes them very similar to a nuclear reactor in that as long as the charge and discharge rate does not cause excessive heating, they are very stable.

    "If" they start heating up they can go into a thermal runaway state. LiOn batteries can go from warm to well over 1500 degrees in a matter of 20 seconds. Releasing that much energy in a confined space will do some real damage, and could cause personal injury.

    The warnings that manufacturers include about only charging the battery with the recommended charger are very valid. After I spend this much on a camera, to me, it's senseless to risk using a battery that may not include the safety technology. I know there are many who are reading this who disagree. Hopefully you'll never experience any problems that cause you any damage or injury.
     
  16. stevendotwang

    stevendotwang Mu-43 Regular

    100
    Mar 13, 2011
    Seattle, WA
    Steven W
    I just ordered one off of eBay, will share my experience when I get it.

    I personally have not had any problems with any sort of battery in my entire life, I was mainly worried about their capacity.
     
  17. Hikari

    Hikari Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 26, 2010
    Camera companies will not endorse third party batteries because they cannot test them.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  18. Tom Swaman

    Tom Swaman Mu-43 Veteran

    Better late than never..... Camera companies generally print a disclaimer in their instructions to the fact that all warranties are null and void if third party or incorrect batteries are used. Panasonic definitely does this.

    Not a camera, but a Nikon SB-800 strobe was recently ruined by batteries. Nikon wanted more money to fix this than I felt it was worth.

    Regards,
    Tom
     
  19. everythingsablur

    everythingsablur Mu-43 Veteran

    412
    Aug 4, 2010
    Toronto, ON
    I've got two 3rd party batteries I got off of eBay on the recommendation of some posters here. They work perfectly fine with the exception that they don't seem to hold a charge nearly as long when not in use compared to my real Panasonic battery. Take that with a grain of salt as i have done absolutely no scientific testing here, and it could very well just be my perception having not cycled through the batteries well enough (did I charge it enough? did I use it and put it in the wrong pocket?).
     
  20. Pan Korop

    Pan Korop Mu-43 Veteran

    479
    Mar 31, 2011
    Phare Ouest
    I'd worry not about aftermarket batteries as much as about beforemarket lenses--aka "legacy". If not from Olympus, or Panasonic, the unauthorized bayonet mount could poke through the cameras' guts. Some say of cases when lenses from unauthorized sources where so sharp they'd poke through your retina like shrapnel. Yeah, the Kim Il Sung + Samyang connection.
    I misdemeaned and purchased a fifth party Oly-like cable release for $15 made in China unlike Oly's own made in China for $65.
    Now I live in Angst, wondering when the camera will blow up in my pirate's face. Aaargh!