Panasonic OEM Battery vs. After Market Battery

Discussion in 'This or That?' started by xxjorelxx, Dec 17, 2012.

  1. xxjorelxx

    xxjorelxx Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 11, 2012
    MD, USA
    Real Name:
    Hi all,
    Im still fairly new to all this and was hoping for some advice. I am expecting to recieve a newly bought GH2 this week and I was thinking of buying an extra battery for it but i'm having issues trying to decide on whether or not I should buy an OEM Panasonic Battery or just opt for one of those aftermarket batteries that are normally found for a few dollars cheaper. Naturaly i'm inclined to think that buying OEM is always better but the budget is tight these days and I could sure save a few dollars here and there. From anyones experience, is there anything I have to worry about when deciding on what brand battery to buy or does it really not even matter? Things that im worried about are pretty much battery life, and charge. If these aftermarket battieries perform just as good as OEM batteries, I might as well just save some money and get one of those. Thanks in advance for any recommendations or suggestions.
  2. Joon525

    Joon525 Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 24, 2012
    I forgot what brand of aftermarket battery I have but my GX1 came with it (bought it used) as a spare. Since then I've also bought a used OEM battery as an additional backup.
    I never once caught myself out shooting and had anything negative happen that I could pin down on the aftermarket battery. I'm not saying there will NEVER be something negative but so far it's been perfectly fine.
    I will get the name of the maker and edit this post when I get home tonight.

    (I guess the middle ground to your decision making process is to buy a used OEM battery.)

    Edit: I looked but cannot even find a brand name on the battery.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. kinlau

    kinlau Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 29, 2012
    The majority of my batteries are 3rd party, that's about 100 of them over the years, and most have performed as well if not better than OEM. The only difference is my GH2 which requires chipped batteries, and the OEM's in this case are much better than 3rd party.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. gcogger

    gcogger Mu-43 Veteran

    May 25, 2010
    Real Name:
    In general, 3rd party batteries can be just as good as OEM batteries if you buy sensibly, and are often 1/4 the price or less. The problem with the GH2 is that Panasonic have fitted a chip to try to prevent you from buying 3rd party (considering the profit margin they must have on their batteries, I can see why!). You can get 3rd party batteries that work on the GH2 these days, but they won't show the charge level and the camera won't automatically go to sleep after a minute or two of inactivity.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Warren T.

    Warren T. Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 10, 2010
    San Francisco
    I am in a similar situation to John, I just ordered a G5, which I believe uses the same battery as the GH2. Can anyone recommend a source for an aftermarket battery?


  6. xxjorelxx

    xxjorelxx Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 11, 2012
    MD, USA
    Real Name:
    Thanks for the information guys. I was unaware that some of these panasonic batteries were fitted with a chip. Good thing I didnt buy just yet. I guess I will hold out and see if I find a decently priced OEM Panasonic Battery.

    Warren, If I end up finding a good source, I'll make sure to send you the info on where I got it from.
  7. powderbanks

    powderbanks Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 7, 2012
    north carolina
    i bought several 3rd party batteries from ebay. not having the battery meter is annoying, but really not that bad. for video, they last about the same amount of time as the oem batteries. i usually get 1 to 2 hours of battery time. it depends on what i'm shooting. if i'm shooting with the 3rd party batteries i just make sure i have a fully charged one on me for whenever the one in the camera dies.
  8. Whyzor

    Whyzor Mu-43 Rookie

    Dec 11, 2012
    Wow, I had a panasonic P&S a couple of years ago and hated the fact that Panasonic uses proprietary chips on their batteries. Another reason to go with Olympus m4/3 (+ the better 16MP sensors lately & in-body image stabilization).
  9. Cruzan80

    Cruzan80 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    Denver, Co
    Real Name:
    Sean Rastsmith
    I know for the G3 (used the same batteries as another, think it is the GH2) that 3rd party batteries did work, but only showed full, then 2/3 for about 5 min, then died. But it does sleep normally. Wasabi is the ones I have.
  10. Andwise

    Andwise Mu-43 Rookie

    Nov 26, 2012
    i would recommend you panasonic battery as i have used it in past with my cameras of panasonic......
  11. harry66

    harry66 Mu-43 Rookie

    Mar 5, 2012
    Redbridge, London
    In the UK, Lumix are currently doing an offer for their Lumix Lifestyle members; discounts on genuine Panasonic batteries e.g the DMW-BLC12E is only £15 - which is a bargain for the UK! Is there an equivalent website in the USA?

    I have purchased OEM batteries (for Lumix and my previous Nikon DSRLs) and they have generally been OK. However, recently the OEM battery for my LX5 compact failed when I needed it most - on holiday! The worst thing is that it had probably only been charged 5-6 times... That is the risk.
  12. rnagoda

    rnagoda Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 12, 2012
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Real Name:
    I've been using non-OEM (Opteka) batteries with my GH2 for a while and have never had a problem. One of them, oddly, even functions as though it is chipped (insofar as the battery levels show) but I'm pretty sure Opteka doesn't offer a chipped version and it confounds me.

    On the basis of this I've just ordered some non-OEM batteries for my GX1 and I feel pretty good about the savings.
  13. onlyonearrow

    onlyonearrow New to Mu-43

    Jan 23, 2013
    Thanks for mentioning this. Just saw this and have ordered a spare for my new GX1. Not worth risk/uncertainty with non-branded at this price.

  14. Chas

    Chas Mu-43 Rookie

    Feb 15, 2011
    I have a GX1 and an LX5. Knowing that all Panasonic Lumix G cams have chipped batteries, as does the LX5, I approached this with trepidation. For the LX5, I found a chipped third party battery on ebay made by DSTS, and it seems to work as well as, and behave the same as the OEM battery.

    For the GX1, since the batteries are so expensive, I contacted many ebay vendors and asked if the batteries had decoded the GX1 chip. All said no chip functionality.

    In the end, I tried a Wasabi non chipped battery. Here is my experience. Seems to work fine. The camera goes to sleep normally (I had read reports that the camera will not go to sleep, and just run and run until the battery goes flat) The camera appears to communicate battery status...appears to...3 bars, no problem, two bars, no apparent problem, but time from two bars to one bar to totally dead is very quick, and not linear at all (I had read about this problem, or an even worse problem, that there is no battery state feedback at all) At least with the GX1, the former is true. I could buy three Wasabi batteries for the price of one OEM battery, so I think the experiment was worth it, and I would buy another Wasabi battery again, and still consider myself ahead.

    So my strategy is this, both cams are loaded with the third party battery, with the OEM battery kept as a spare. On the GX1, I know that when I reach two bars, my time is limited, and take solace in that my chipped OEM battery will give me more realistic information. I don't worry about the LX5.
  15. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    I have nothing but good experiences using Wasabi batteries from Blue Nook via Amazon. Great prices, higher battery capacity and they sell a very compact/modular charger. Highly recommended.
  16. parka

    parka Mu-43 Regular

    May 12, 2012
    If the camera is going to stay for a long time, I would suggest original.

    I've used the GH2 with 3rd party batteries bought on eBay. Performance is respectable, but they don't have the battery gauge. It also doesn't auto power off so if you forget to switch off the camera, the battery will just draw away without you knowing.

    This time with the GH3, I've chose the original extra battery. I know I'll be using the camera for a long time so it's not that expensive over the period of time.
  17. Cruzan80

    Cruzan80 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    Denver, Co
    Real Name:
    Sean Rastsmith
    Have two Wasabi batteries for my G3. Mine also behave in the 3 bars (85%), 2 bars (10%), 1 bar (5%). However, the OEM battery is rated for 270, and the wasabi gave me over 450 (at least 50-75 with onboard flash).
  18. Joe777

    Joe777 Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 11, 2012
    UpStart batteries are a great alternative. Well made with lifetime warranty. Available on Ebay. I use them in my OM-D and E-3, plus in my Panasonic.
  19. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    I get DSTS or other batteries on eBay for all my cams. Well, almost all - I do have a genuine spare 5D mark II battery, but all my other cameras have two spare aftermarket batteries. No problems with any of them, all are at least as good as the OEM stuff.