1. Reminder: Please use our affiliate links for holiday shopping!

Third Party Batteries

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by OzRay, Mar 13, 2014.

  1. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    I did some searching, but there doesn't appear to be a dedicated thread that lists/discusses the qualities of third party battery options for various cameras. So perhaps we could accumulate a knowledge base to make it easier to find what works and what does not.

    I recently purchased a set of batteries and chargers from here: http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/140942447831?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1439.l2649. They don't really have a name and they seem to be a dime a dozen on eBay, with minor variations. It's certainly cheap, comes with a car charger, can charge Olympus batteries and comes with two batteries. The kit most certainly works and the camera appears to work without any issues. I haven't yet been able to determine whether they have the same duration as the Olympus battery, but they appear to last only about half the time, but only through a very subjective observation. Hopefully this coming weekend I'll be able to find out how they actually compare to the Olympus battery and will provide feedback.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  2. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    I've been using DSTE branded batteries I got on eBay (non-decoded, so use their own charger) for the E-M5, now E-M1, RX100 and now A7r and they all work perfectly fine. Slightly less battery life, but close enough not to matter to me. I'm curious about the decoded batteries - would be handy to at least have the option to use both types of chargers, and they cost the same as the non-decoded batteries. Advantage of the chargers is that you can simply swap the plates and charge both the A7r and E-M1 batteries with the same 'base station' (not the RX100, though, which has a base station with a lower voltage).
     
  3. mcasan

    mcasan Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 26, 2014
    Atlanta
    Got Power2000 battery and charger from B&H Friday. The charger says to only use their batteries with it. I charged the battery and used it in the E-M1 without problem. I have not let the battery drain to see if the body can correctly indicate the battery level. The battery and charger were $20.
     
  4. LoneRider

    LoneRider Mu-43 Veteran

    250
    Feb 25, 2014
    Marysville, WA.
    Wayne
  5. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    I went camping in the mountains this weekend, but unfortunately the weather wasn't the greatest, so didn't end up taking as many photos as I'd hoped and couldn't give the batteries a real test and compare them to the Olympus battery. One thing these batteries don't do is give you an accurate capacity reading, even though they have all the terminals, the battery indicator tends to go from green to red without much warning.
     
  6. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    The Progo set looks identical to the DSTE stuff except for the branding..
     
  7. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    There was a guy on the DPR forum who seemed to know just nearly everything about aftermarket batteries and did extensive testing and disassembly of these batteries. Whatever he recommended could pretty much be taken as Gospel to work effectively and safely.
     
  8. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    Got a link?
     
  9. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    Unfortunately no.
     
  10. hazwing

    hazwing Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 25, 2012
    Australia
    • Like Like x 1
  11. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    I wonder whether the fact that the batteries you tried are only rated to 7.2V, 1220mAh; whereas, the generic ones I got are 7.4V, 1600mAh, so the rating (if true) may help in providing better longevity. They certainly don't last as long as the Olympus battery, but for the price, they will do OK for what I need. I do remember from the reviews the guy at DPR wrote, that the circuitry seemed to be the biggest issue between good and bad batteries. If OEM batteries were somewhat cheaper, that's all I'd buy, but considering that I can get three sets of these batteries and chargers for the price of one Olympus battery, I'll take my chances with the generic.
     
  12. hazwing

    hazwing Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 25, 2012
    Australia
    Generic battery manufacturers are notorious for overstating the capacity of batteries, I would never trust what it says on the label. I can guarantee you the ones you have are not 1600mah (especially when genuine batteries are only rated at 1220mah).

    Yes third party batteries are cheaper and better value for money. But generally your going to get better battery life from genuine olympus batteries. You'll probably get better quality control (including safety features) with the both the charger and battery. I have notice some reports of third party batteries swelling up as well.

    I am still using the 'upstart' batteries at the moment. I usually charge them on my olympus charger, but I get a much reduced capacity, doing so.
     
  13. hazwing

    hazwing Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 25, 2012
    Australia
    oh btw, would be great if you could dig up that dpreview thread. I'd be interested to read what it says, too.
     
  14. Uncle Frank

    Uncle Frank Photo Enthusiast

    772
    Jul 26, 2012
    San Jose, CA
    Frank
    I've had great luck with the Wasabi battery kits. I've used them with the versions appropriate for my earlier cameras (em5, ep3, g5), and now with the kit designed for the em1,em5 and ep5.
     
  15. HarryS

    HarryS Mu-43 Top Veteran

    919
    Jun 23, 2012
    Midwest, USA
    Yesterday, I grabbed two non-Olympus BLN1 batteries out of my "charged stack", and went to the St. Pats Day Parade. I got only 20 shots out of one (a no-name off ebay), but over 300 shots off the other (a Progo off ebay). I did start turning off my EM5 between shots as I only had the one battery.

    On the one hand, the Progo performed well, but the other stinks. I just gave it full charge and after test firing 60 shots in burst mode (I never use it otherwise) , the camera says it's almost dead again. That battery goes to the recycle bin.



    .
     
  16. budeny

    budeny Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 4, 2014
    Boulder, CO
    I had similar experience with BLS-5 generics. Stick to OEM batteries since then.
     
  17. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    I recently tossed out two E-5 generic batteries as they just stopped charging, but they did last a few years before going wheels up. It kind of annoys me that Olympus went from the BLS-1 to a BLN-1, where other than a height difference of about 3mm, the BLS-1 fits easily into the E-M1 battery slot. I now have a several BLS-1 batteries that I will never use. Why couldn't they have kept the form factor the same?

    I also tried to find the guy on DPR that was doing all the battery evaluations, but with no luck.
     
  18. MarkoPolo

    MarkoPolo Mu-43 Regular

    141
    Jan 25, 2014
    Greeley, CO
    Mark Brown
    Just received the Wasabi charger and two battery kit from Amazon.
    I have a few questions:
    What does it mean that the Wasabi batteries are not decoded?
    Does that have to do with there only being two contacts on the charger?
    Can the charger be used to charge the Olympus batteries?
    And finally, the Wasabi kit looks pretty much identical to the Progo brand kit on Amazon...are they the same?
    Thanks
     
  19. hazwing

    hazwing Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 25, 2012
    Australia
    I don't know if there is an official definition on what 'decoded' means. For some it will mean that the battery can communicate with the camera, to give you a better reading of how much battery life is left. For me decoded also means that it should work with the official olympus charger.

    I'm guessing with your wasabi batteries, they won't charge in the olympus charger and you will need to charge them in the wasabi charger. I believe olympus charger/olympus batteries are coded for additional safety requirements. The olympus charger charges olympus batteries up to ~8.6V. Most 2cell lithium ion batteries should only be charged up to ~8.4V. Only special brands of batteries should be charged higher. If you charge a 8.4V battery to 8.6V+, you risk damaging the battery and possibly worse (battery can vent and flame).

    Btw your olympus batteries will probably charge in the wasabi charger. However they'll probably only charge up to ~8.4V which means you won't be getting the maximum capacity that you could from the olympus batteries. Having said that, you'll probably get more cycles out of the olympus batteries if you only charge them to 8.4V

    p.s. I am referring to the battery that is used in the em5/em1. Older batteries might be different.
     
  20. LoneRider

    LoneRider Mu-43 Veteran

    250
    Feb 25, 2014
    Marysville, WA.
    Wayne
    Went to charge one of my Progo branded batteries in the Olympus charger today. When I first put it in the light went orange, then after a moment it started flashing. According to the manual this means "error". I removed it, then put it back in, went orange and stayed steady and charged.

    Will dig out the multimeter and see about checking the voltage on them. No way for me to check the capacity, though.