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GX1 Third Party Battery Question.

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by retroglide, Apr 30, 2012.

  1. retroglide

    retroglide Mu-43 Regular

    83
    Apr 8, 2012
    Ok, I have come to realise that the GX1 battery is a bit lacking in the power department, especially with a IOS lens and EVF fitted. Have looked at buying more batteries but I'm finding £55-£65 a bit steep for an official Panasonic DMW-BLD10E battery.

    I have seen a number of third party batteries listed on ebay and other online sellers websites and was wandering if these kind of batteries are reliable and/or safe to buy?

    Has anyone had any experiences with other make batteries?
     
  2. Arvin

    Arvin Mu-43 Regular

    129
    Jan 18, 2012
    I got the wasabi power ones. I was afraid that the lack of accurate power meter would bother me but it didn't. The lumix batteries seem to have inaccurate readings, too. They also last longer because they hold 50% more charge.

    Got 2 batteries + the charger (which i prefer to the OEM charger) for $28 on amazon,
     
  3. retroglide

    retroglide Mu-43 Regular

    83
    Apr 8, 2012
  4. CARHOUND

    CARHOUND Mu-43 Rookie

    18
    Apr 26, 2012
    I think the biggest question you need to ask yourself before you buy and use a non-OEM battery is if it has a protection circuit.

    I don't know the exact details of the cell chemistry of these batteries, but I've seen the results of an unprotected lithium ion battery going nuclear inside other devices. It's not a pretty sight, and you can pretty much guarantee your camera body goodbye if it does.

    From the little I know about battery manufacture is that one method of upping the mAH of a fixed form factor Li-ion battery is to ditch the circuit board, with contains the over/under charge protection circuit. None of the non-OEM batteries I've found mention if they are protected or not. I'm going to make the assumption that the OEM batteries are protected from a consumer safety standpoint.

    Here's a link that talks about the use of protection circuits a little more in depth. The subject matter is flashlight battery related, but if the chemistry used in these batteries are typical then it also applies to any other battery with the same chemistry.linky
     
  5. AnttiV

    AnttiV Mu-43 Regular

    91
    Apr 19, 2012
    Finland
    CARHOUND rises a very good point. Protection circuits in rechargeable (especially in Li-Ion) batteries are a number one thing, mAh comes next. However, I'm aware of multiple devices (at least few flashlights, couple of portable cd-players, a walkie-talkie, etc.) that have the protection circuit built-in. So effectively ALL batteries benefit from the protection. I'm not sure how effective the built-in circuit is vs the battery-provided circuit, but I'm not risking my devices on that. I always buy ONLY protected-mode batteries, regardless of the device they are used in.
     
  6. Sawfish

    Sawfish Mu-43 Regular

    70
    Nov 11, 2011
    Denmark
    The most dangerous situation for lithium batteries is during charging. The batteries for the GX1 is charged outside the camera, so any accident will not affect the camera. That said – even batteries the size used in the GX1 can cause a fire if the batteries “runs away” during charging. This can also happens whit the OEM battery, e.g. if it have been dropped and thereby damaged. Many people doesn’t realize this, but fortunately accidents is very rare.

    BTW – lithium batteries overheat when they “run away”. This may happen rather violently accompanied by flames and hot gases, but they doesn’t actually explode.
    Batteries can also be damaged if they are discharged to much, if the battery management circuitry doesn’t protect against that. The damage to the battery will only result in reduced capacity and it may even be unable to receive charge.

    I am not aware if the statistics are in favour of the OEM battery´s, but I would doubt it. The non OEM battery may be cheaper because it lacks the circuitry for the battery level, , but most likely it is cheaper because it is made with lower quality lithium cells, that does not provide as many charge/discharge cycles before it loses most of its capacity.

    I use a Panasonic battery as the main battery and have a cheap Chinese battery as a backup. The main disadvantage whit the latter is that camera cannot display the remaining capacity. I am very interested to hear if someone has got hold of a non OEM battery, which does not have this flaw.

    Sf
     
  7. ptamike

    ptamike New to Mu-43

    2
    Apr 15, 2012
    I bought a couple eCell 1500mAh batteries from Amazon at £12.45 each and they seem to be fine. Life is much the same as the Panasonic originals and the battery indicator works as well. At £12.45 with free post they're a pretty good buy - no regrets here.

    BTW I've had my GX-1 since the Focus exhibition and it is an incredible camera and a must have upgrade from my previous GF-1. When combined with Lightroom's excellent noise reduction, 3200 ISO works extremely well and available light photography with my 20mm f1.7 is great fun.

    Mike
     
    • Like Like x 2
  8. slith

    slith Mu-43 Regular

    142
    Apr 4, 2012
    Dublin, Ireland
    Alfonso
    I got a third party GX1 battery that seems to display battery charge, unfortunately it might be a case of always showing full charge, I haven't used it long enough to drain it yet.

    The other issue with batteries not communicating to the camera how much charge is left is that you might end up taking a photo without enough energy to actually power the camera through the write-to-card step, leaving you with a corrupted card, more likely just a corrupted photo.
     
  9. Iconindustries

    Iconindustries Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I've seen this happen when an aftermarket battery was fitted into a macbook (old white one) and it overheated and thermal runaway took over. The macbook caught on fire and melted to the bench. Not very pretty.
     
  10. Sawfish

    Sawfish Mu-43 Regular

    70
    Nov 11, 2011
    Denmark
    You are quite right, it is not pretty and can in fact be dangerous, because it can start a fire. Charged lithium batteries have been known to run away with no apparent reason, but the possibility of this is very remote.
    But if a charged battery is short cut because of a defect in the camera or the laptop, then the run away can happen too.
    Lithium batteries is used to a large extend in model airplanes and model cars. They have much larger capacity and thereby store much more energy, which is a part of the run away. These batteries have a thought life, because of crashes and hard landings, and it is recommended only to charge them under supervision or in special container, which flood them with sand it they catch fire.

    Sf
     
  11. Iconindustries

    Iconindustries Mu-43 Hall of Famer


    I do know the new Lithium Polymer battery technology is far more rugged and durable than the older Lithium-ion type due to the electrolyte being in a solid form rather than a solvent. So they're getting better and better.
     
  12. Sawfish

    Sawfish Mu-43 Regular

    70
    Nov 11, 2011
    Denmark
    You are quite right – again. :smile:
    There is lot R@D going on to make lithium batteries safer, and e.g. laptop batteries are much less prone to run away.

    But maybe we should return to the thread topic. :tongue:

    Sf