Olympus batteries

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by Rudy, Apr 24, 2013.

  1. Rudy

    Rudy Mu-43 Veteran

    449
    Jan 24, 2013
    Oakland, CA
    I read somewhere (it was on the Internet, so it must be true) that the reason the OM-D has a different battery from the Pen series is some new safety requirements imposed by regulators in Japan.
    If this is true, will all future Olympus cameras be using the BLN-1 batteries?
    I find this hard to imagine, in particular for the about to be released EPL-6.
    If not, then what's the real excuse for changing the battery on the OM-D?

    Having two types of batteries and chargers is a big hassle for a traveling kit. The spare batteries and charger eliminates the size / weight advantage of an E-PM2 over the OM-D as a second body.

    Does anyone know what battery will be used in the EP-5?

    Rudy
     
  2. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    I think there's more chance of solving middle-east peace than figuring this conundrum out!
     
  3. Rudy

    Rudy Mu-43 Veteran

    449
    Jan 24, 2013
    Oakland, CA
    The Olympus BLS-1 is 1080mAh at 7.2V vs. the BLN-1 being 1220mAh at 7.6V.
    There is a difference of about 20%.

    In any case, I would like to see new cameras all use the same batteries,
    please...

    Rudy
     
  4. slothead

    slothead Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 14, 2012
    Frederick, MD
    I agree with you about the issue of having multiple chargers and battery styles, but I also think the pens don't have the depth to accommodate the BLN-1, so I personally doubt your supposition.
     
  5. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Keith
    I assume the reason for the larger battery in the OM-D was because of the power requirements (you have both an LCD and a EVF to power) as well as the fact that the slightly larger body could accommodate a larger battery and thus provide more battery life for a "pro" type camera.

    The E-PL5/E-PM2 which were introduced after the OM-D share the same BLS-5 battery of the other PENs, which is interoperable in ALL of the PEN cameras (even the early ones which came with the BLS-1). This indicates that there is no regulatory reason for the introduction of the OM-D battery. I would expect the new E-P5 to utilize the BLS-5 battery and not share the BLN-1 from the OM-D.

    Issues of battery interoperability are much worse on the Panasonic side of things compared to Olympus.
     
  6. Anthon

    Anthon Mu-43 Regular

    182
    Dec 8, 2012
    Spain
    you're right, my mistake

    Also, BLS-5 is 1150mAh so there isn't a big difference between them.
     
  7. cdmicha

    cdmicha Mu-43 Regular

    74
    Dec 28, 2012
    Arkansas
    Chris
    Well, as mentioned, the larger capacity gives it slightly better specs on the sheet... but I also imagine that money has something to do with it. I don't know the numbers, but based on the price discrepancy between OEM and 3rd party batteries, I have to imaging the mark up is pretty high. And like other things Olympus does (lens hoods, anyone?), it's a way to improve their bottom line.

    Also- I'd love to see some "standardized" batteries- at least maybe 3-4 batteries that all companies use, but again, I have to imagine we won't see it- it would certainly cause them to make less money.
     
  8. owczi

    owczi nareteV 34-uM

    My sad bet for the reason behind the BLN-1 is "just because" :)

    However (not originally my find but I tend to agree) apparently one of the reasons why they dropped compatibility with other PEN batteries was that BLS-1/5 were too easy to drop in back to front and people were having issues with that. BLS has a rectangular profile; BLN is rounded on one side making it impossible to insert it the wrong way. Well you can still insert them upside down...
     
  9. Salt Peanuts

    Salt Peanuts Mu-43 Regular

    61
    May 26, 2012
    Massachusetts
    Haj
    There actually is relatively new battery regulation in Japan that has affected camera batteries. IIRC, BLS-5 was introduced to meet the new regulation.
     
  10. Mikefellh

    Mikefellh Mu-43 Top Veteran

    939
    Jun 7, 2012
    Toronto, Canada
    There is a regulation in now that devices that charge must shut off after charging. The new Olympus chargers now do that; in the old days the light would change from red to green when done...now the light shuts off when charging. There were probably other safety measures added to the battery at that time too.

    The BLS-1 and its charger was replaced by the BLS-5 and its charger, (and the BLM-1 and its charger was replaced by the BLM-5 and its charger).

    The third party companies don't have to abide by the regulations if they aren't made in Japan. In fact many don't bother with the safety circuits, or fake signals to fool the Oympus charger.
     
  11. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    The BLS-5 is only ~3mm thinner than the BLN-1, and it's actually ~6mm longer, so I think size has to be discarded as an explanation.
     
  12. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Keith
    3mm of thickness can't be merely dismissed. That's nearly 9% of the overall depth of the E-PM1/E-PM2.

    sent from my Android tablet using Mu-43 app
     
  13. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Jay
    We discussed a similar topic in another thread recently, same info essentially applies here:

    https://www.mu-43.com/f43/panasonic-proprietary-battery-rant-re-gf6-44361/#post430951
     
  14. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Keith
    Except that I don't think new regulation caused Olympus to abandon the BLS-5 battery for the OM-D. If that were the case one would expect the E-PL5/E-PM2 which were introduced 6 months or so subsequent to the O-MD to be subject to the same regulations, yet they use the "old" battery.

    sent from my Android tablet using Mu-43 app
     
  15. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Jay
    Certainly a valid point, though the regulation hasn't kicked in yet either. It will be interesting to see if they continue using the BLN-1 in future models.

    I suspect the need for larger capacity as noted in a previous reply was a big factor, much like with the GH3 in order to improve battery life even as they add more power-consuming features.

    If this was simply an accessory money-grab by Olympus then they did a poor job of it considering how scarce the BLN-1 batteries were for quite a long time after release, and how many lost sales that entailed :wink:
     
  16. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Keith
    Great point. Maybe they had their best minds working in the "cooking the books" department rather than the "accessory money grab" group.

    sent from my Android tablet using Mu-43 app
     
  17. dav1dz

    dav1dz Mu-43 Top Veteran

    926
    Nov 6, 2012
    Canada
    Why is it so hard to just buy the right battery for the right system? Olympus kind of distinguish PEN and OM-D lines of products pretty clearly.

    There will be future PEN bodies using the PEN batteries, and there will be future OM-D bodies using OM-D batteries.
     
  18. Wizard Steve

    Wizard Steve Mu-43 Regular

    128
    Feb 10, 2013
    Provence, France
    David Ricketts
    The differing voltages might indicate differing chemistry which would explain the need for a new charger and a new case to prevent batteries being used in the wrong charger.
     
  19. Anthon

    Anthon Mu-43 Regular

    182
    Dec 8, 2012
    Spain
    But that doesn't explain why the OM-D uses BLM-5 and the PENs BLS-5
     
  20. Rudy

    Rudy Mu-43 Veteran

    449
    Jan 24, 2013
    Oakland, CA
    It's very easy to buy the correct batteries, but that misses the point.
    (Actually, for a while the BLN-1 wasn't easy to get at all, but I digress)

    I love the OM-D, but it would be nice to use a cheaper Pen body as a second body. However, the battery issue makes this an unnecessary hassle especially when traveling.

    The Pen and OM-D share lenses. There is no reason why they couldn't have been built to share batteries. The least they should do is to provide a charger that can charge both types of battery.

    Rudy