Panasonic proprietary battery rant (re: GF6)

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by DeeJayK, Apr 9, 2013.

  1. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Real Name:
    Why does Panasonic refuse to standardize their batteries? The new GF6 introduces yet another proprietary battery. By my count this will be the sixth different battery that Panasonic has used in its :43: cameras, none of which are interchangeable AFAIK.

    On the other side of the fence Olympus has just three battery models, but two of these (the BLS-1 & BLS-5) are all but interchangeable and can be used in ANY of the PEN cameras. The only Olympus camera with a unique battery is the OM-D.

    Not having to buy another backup battery or two takes some of the sting out of upgrading ones camera.

    I realize that Panasonic would likely provide some technical reason citing voltage needs and form factor that it would have been impractical to implement any of the battery designs they already have in the new camera. Perhaps the capacity of the new battery needs to be greater to power all of the WiFi and NFC capabilities and to power the hi-res screen. However, its not lost on me that the profit margin on additional batteries is likely higher than the margin on just about anything else they sell.
  2. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    I learned this from Panny which I used to use their p&s cams. They have a battery division, AFAIK, which helps explain it. Oly has no such division, and I really love buying brand new $5 3rd party batts for my Oly!
  3. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Real Name:
    The Panasonic batteries were interchangeable between all three of the G3, GX1, and GF2 bodies I owned. The G5 reuses the GH2 battery. The GF3 and GF5 shared the same battery. Various other cameras they've made share the same battery packs as well. All things considered I don't think they do too badly in that department.

    The GH3 introduces a new battery as does the GF6. I suspect that's at least in part so they could get the much larger capacity/run time into the GH3, but I also heard there was some sort of Japanese battery regulation change recently that forced a number of battery & electronics manufacturers to update their battery specifications. I don't know if that's true or if it's a factor here, but it's possible.

    EDIT: it occurs to me that both cameras also happen to be the first 2 wifi-enabled models, so your supposition about the wifi power draw being a factor may be true as well.
  4. Chas

    Chas Mu-43 Rookie

    Feb 15, 2011
    So it is not just another BLE9 retread, higher capacity, but same form factor (I only ask because it uses the same DCC11 AC adaptor as the GF3 and GF5)? That is maddening.

    The G1, G2, G10, GH1, GF1 all used a BLB13 battery
    The GH2 and G5 uses a BLC12 battery
    The GF2, GX1 and G3 all use some sort of BLD10 form factor battery
    The GF3 and GF5 use a BLE9 form factor battery
  5. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Real Name:
    I was curious, so I did some quick searching. Looks like there is indeed an international lithium battery regulation change taking place 2012-2013:

    Global battery safety regulations harmonised as IEC 62133

    UL | Batteries | IEC62133 | Changes for International Battery Regulations IEC 62133

    As I read it, it means batteries have to meet newer (presumably more stringent) safety & testing regulations and audio-visual equipment batteries have to meet them by 2013. So that may even be a factor in why Olympus created a new battery for the OM-D since it was released in 2012 and they would have known this was coming down the pipe.
  6. Chas

    Chas Mu-43 Rookie

    Feb 15, 2011
    makes good sense.
  7. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    I'm pretty sure Panasonic does it for profit. That's why they have chip encoded batteries. I don't mind it so much since Panasonic cameras are heavily discounted.
  8. sinclair

    sinclair Mu-43 Veteran

    Guess it's not really an issue for some of us, since we don't get a new body at every release. My GF5 isn't perfect, but I love it, and am not going to go get any new camera bodies for a number of years, well, at least as long as the GF5 lasts. By then there'll be a GF12, and my battery for the GF5 will be so dead I couldn't even use it even if it was the same.
  9. kinlau

    kinlau Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 29, 2012
    The stupid situation Panny battery situation is definitely a pain. My GH1, GH2 and GF3 all use different batteries, which is very irritating when travelling. I have figured out that I can actually recharge my GF3 battery in my GH2 charger, a bit of a hack, but it works.
  10. spatulaboy

    spatulaboy I'm not really here

    Jul 13, 2011
    North Carolina
    Real Name:
    Hmmm I don't know why I clicked on this since I hate reading people's complaints... :confused:

    Top 3 topics of complaints on Mu-43:

    1. Olympus doesn't include hoods for lenses
    2. Panasonic keeps introducing different batteries
    3. ???

    Sorry for this post, it's not very constructive.
  11. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Real Name:
    There, filled it in for you :biggrin:
  12. rklepper

    rklepper Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 19, 2012
    Iowa, USA
    Real Name:
    They are a for profit corporation and as such need to maximize profit first and foremost.
  13. xdayv

    xdayv Color Blind

    Aug 26, 2011
    Tacloban City, Philippines
    Real Name:
    I think it happens to other companies as well, for Nikon, they changed battery into a smaller capacity for the D4 from the D3 series, when in fact they could have used the same. Probably the same reasons because of new regulations, and we might like it or not, it also becomes an additional sales generation for these companies, the accessories are a big part of their business too.

    One of the reasons why I'm sticking with the G3 and GX1 combo -- the same battery.
  14. ginggreenaninja

    ginggreenaninja Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 7, 2010
    South Yorkshire
    Although they have introduced the choice of a free battery or SD card promotion when buying a Lumix, G series, or camcorder (along with the chance to win 1 of 25 safaris). I know which one i'd choose.
  15. Promit

    Promit Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 6, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Real Name:
    Promit Roy
    Incidentally the BlackMagic uses a (currently unspecified?) stock Nikon battery.
  16. Highgrovemanor

    Highgrovemanor Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 12, 2011
    Me too! Went from G1/GF1 to G3/GX1 when body only prices went sub $300. :smile:

    I do wish they were hire capacity, but oh we'll.
  17. Cruzan80

    Cruzan80 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    Denver, Co
    Real Name:
    Sean Rastsmith
    Another couple of options on there as well. :drinks:
  18. kevwilfoto

    kevwilfoto Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 23, 2011
    A few other common complaints added to your list.
  19. xdayv

    xdayv Color Blind

    Aug 26, 2011
    Tacloban City, Philippines
    Real Name:

    I don't feel those white lenses are any sexier than my Micro 4/3s though. :cloud-9-039:
  20. Southerndude

    Southerndude New to Mu-43

    Apr 20, 2013
    South Carolina
    Well, I thought that I would post something positive to this thread.

    I made a decision to purchase Non-OEM batteries. I got the Wasabi Battery Kit for my GH3 from Ebay, for $39.68! Thats 2-Batteries@2000mAh, and a small wall charger that comes with North American and European Plug and a 12 volt adapter for the charger! They are made in Japan, not China! Yeah!

    Just for kicks I decided to put one of the batteries in my GH3 to see if had any charge in it, to my surprise, It was fully charged according to my GH3, and has been working fine for a while. Of course the real test is in how the batteries hold up to charging, In length of time, for use and how long they take to charge, also if the GH3's battery discharge guide is accurate as the OEM battery.

    Very hard to beat that price! I'll report back here in a few days to report my serious usage findings. Anyhow, here is the model# of the Kit I got.