General discussion

Digital Camera Battery Packs ? OK to go generic?

Oct 20, 2004 7:26AM PDT

I just bought a Canon Powershot G6 and I wanted to buy some extra batteries but they're very expensive. I looked on eBay and found generic ones for a fraction of the amount but I'm a little leery about putting crap in a camera that I just spent a lot of money on. Does anyone have any experience with generic battery packs for digicams that they could share?

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Comments
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Re: Digital Camera Battery Packs ? OK to go generic?
Oct 20, 2004 9:07AM PDT

I bought one for my Nikon Coolpix 880 and it has worked fine for several years. I would look carefully at the feedback of the Ebay seller and, although I don't want to sound biased, steer away from any questionable sellers in NYC.

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Re: Digital Camera Battery Packs ? OK to go generic?
Oct 21, 2004 10:24PM PDT

I bought two generic batteries for my digita camera for $4.50 US on e-bay. Turns out they were made by Fuji and work just fine. Postage was $7.00 each, still quite a savings. The seller should tell you who the manufacture is I would think and then you could make a decision.

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Re: Digital Camera Battery Packs ? OK to go generic?
Oct 23, 2004 3:50AM PDT

Hello jbecton,

This is a not an easy question to answer and buying unguaranteed batteries could mean you are being taken for a ride, or it could be a perfectly good bargain.

Why? Well let's suppose you have found the same type of battery as you are now using , what can go wrong?

Many cameras are using the AA size NiMH bateries as they are a well tried technology.
They come in different capacities, the older ones will give 1 amp for an hour, the latest will give about 2.5 amps for an hour, which means they will last about 2.5 times more for your application, your camera.

Now you say you want a PACK, which are batteries preformed in a block. This is the dodgy bit. You normally can't see the manufactureres name on the individual batteries so you don't know how long they will last before needing recharging.

Here we come to the second point. OK, they last as long as the ones you have got at present between recharges, but how many times can you recharge them?

Well if it is any consolation, makers are very coy about quoting the number of times you can recharge a battery, even the reputable ones.

The reason is simple. In the old days physically small batteries were only expected to give small currents and a reasonaable life could be expected. Say 300 recharges or even 1000.

But today size is a premium and the manufacturers to compete must make the batteries small, be it for a portable laptop, a camera or a power tool.

So instead of a large D-size we get the same power from a small AA size.

These batteries now GET HOT. Heat shortens battery life and this is why you should stick with a known brand name and not chance your luck.

As I said in the beginning, the unknown brand ( generic) may be perfectly good, but then again it may give up the ghost after a few recharges.

I hope this may have helped you to decide.

Cheers
Fred

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Re: Digital Camera Battery Packs ? OK to go generic?
Oct 25, 2004 6:43PM PDT

I've had good luck with the Lenmar brand (cells made in Japan, assembled in China) in both a Panasonic and a Sony camera. They were rated higher than the originals and have proven long-lasting.

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Re: Digital Camera Battery Packs ? OK to go generic?
Oct 27, 2004 7:15AM PDT

Unless you are familiar with the manufacturer, be very causious. Some batteries can explode and others can slowly leak corosives in your expensive equipment. Others can have an erratic discharge resulting in component damage. I may use off brand names on my old cameras, but not anything new tryed, and true.

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Re: Digital Camera Battery Packs ? OK to go generic?
Nov 4, 2004 8:14PM PST

After three years my Ricoh Battery still works fine. The unbranded one I bought cheaply as a backup when fully charged works for half the time of the original but, as a backup is useful. I would be very disappointed if I had bought it as a replacement. Perhaps the answer is to by a branded battery as cheaply as possible and stay away from the real cheapies

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Re: Digital Camera Battery Packs ? OK to go generic?
Nov 5, 2004 12:37AM PST

I use a Nikon 5700 and have four generic batteries that do as well as the factory and brand names do. Going on a year now and no problems yet

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Re: Digital Camera Battery Packs ? OK to go generic?
Nov 4, 2004 8:26PM PST

I own a Canon G5. The Canon battery really lasts a long time (probably 500+ pictures at full resolution). I bought a second (generic) battery for travel-- also because of $$$. Although it claimed to last longer than the original, I found that it dies after about only 100-150 pics.

Note that this was only an incidental observation, not a scientific test. Also, I don't know if different generic brands will act differently.

ADVICE: If you really need a second long-life battery, go with the Canon. If you only want a "back-up" until you can recharge your original, a generic is probaly OK.

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Just a comment...
Nov 4, 2004 9:29PM PST

My Canon Digital Elph which I paid dearly for would get at most 30 pictures on a full charge. The new Canon battery which was about 50 bucks gets about 50 to 60 pictures so I wonder if I got lucky with the new battery or unlucky with the old battery.

Remember this is a 5 year old digital camera and many advances have been made since then, but the 2.1 Megapixel Digital Elph is still in use by the kids with great results and my comment is ...

Wow, you get over 100 shots?

In closing, my newer cameras do much better. The HP 812 gets hundreds of shots on a set of AA's. The Kodak DX6490 went on a 8 day trip and on the end of day 8 finally complained about the low battery. I filled the 256MB memory card 3 times and was working on the fourth filling. That was a lot of pictures.

Bob

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Re: Digital Camera Battery Packs ? OK to go generic?
Nov 4, 2004 9:56PM PST

I have a Canon S230 Digital Elph. I purchased a high capacity Generic battery for it from http://www.after5pm.net. I have had NO trouble at all with it and would NOT hesitate for one minute to purchase a Generic battery any of my 3 Digital cameras.
Hippy

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Re: Digital Camera Battery Packs ? OK to go generic?
Nov 4, 2004 10:36PM PST

I have a Canon S-30 and have used generic battery packs for several years with great success.

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Re: Digital Camera Battery Packs ? OK to go generic?
Nov 5, 2004 12:07AM PST

I purchased a generic battery pack(Digital brand)for my Digital Rebel from Walmart. Won't even take a first charge on my Canon battery charger. Maybe just a dud. My experience is that the brand name lasts longer with the three digital cameras that I own. Beware of those overseas sellers that advertise on the internet. Many of their batteries are made of poor quality components. I wonder if some of those who sell from overseas (China, Hong Kong) who offer brand name batteries might be actually selling bogus ones.

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Not the overseas ones!!
Oct 9, 2006 12:49AM PDT

I have a coolpix 5700 for 3 years now. The original battery (EN-EL1) still works but is getting weaker and weaker. A years or so ago, I bought 2 additional brand new batteries ''genuine'' from EBAY. They were from Hong Kong or Taiwan. They just don't work. You charge them and 2-3 shots later, they die!!! They are just junk. Now, I REALLY need to buy some batteries. You can find some $1.50 or $10-20 generic ones on Ebay and other sites (after5pm.net is really expensive, $37 for the same generic battery). I think I'm going to buy the $10-20 from EBAY and see what happens. I just can't believe that $1.50-$2 ones would work at all or the $37 ones are better than $10-$20

Just do NOT buy the OVERSEAS ones.

Ali

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DON'T buy NEW stuff on eBay. You'll always pay more
Oct 9, 2006 2:20AM PDT

than it's worth, and wind up ripped off.

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Re: Digital Camera Battery Packs ? OK to go generic?
Nov 5, 2004 5:59AM PST

If I were you, I wouldn't go either. I would just go to like Wal-Mart, Target, or Radio Shack and just by two sets of rechargable batteries (ex. if your camera uses two AA batteries, then buy one charger and 4 rechargable AA batteries. Always have two charged.). You will save tons of money and that's what almost everybody does with their cameras!!!

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Re: Digital Camera Battery Packs ? OK to go generic?
Nov 5, 2004 10:00PM PST

I have had 2 generations of JVC mini-dv cams. Bought "generic" batteries on ebay for one. Discovered that they came from http://www.sabahoceanic.com/ so when I just bought my new JVC DV 3000 I went direct. Great buy, work perfect and saved $$$

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Re: Digital Camera Battery Packs ? OK to go generic?
Nov 6, 2004 1:17AM PST

I have a Canon Powershot A75. I did some research online and found that several sources recommended Maha. I bought a charger and two sets of batteries, all by Maha. They work great, no problems.

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Re: Digital Camera Battery Packs ? OK to go generic?
Nov 6, 2004 6:18AM PST

I have a 4-meg Canon Powershot Elph and bought a generic battery on the web. It was OK at first, but after a few months, it can't hold a charge. I put it in the camera after a full charge, and after 1-2 shots, the warning light blinks that the battery needs to be replaced.

Is it a one-time problem, or generic with the lower price? I don't know, but won't buy the generic again.

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Re: Digital Camera Battery Packs ? OK to go generic?
Nov 7, 2004 8:04AM PST

I have used various digital cameras (& other electronic devices) for many years now. I've used generic brands of batteries/battery packs (rechargeable & disposable) in all of them without any problems. It seems that the one thing that is most important is to make sure the product doesn't leak into your device. One is usually safe staying with a well-known brand.

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That's puzzling.
Dec 3, 2004 6:44AM PST

Hm. You say, "I've used generic brands of batteries" and they're fine, and then you say, "One is usually safe staying with a well-known brand." Isn't that contradictory?

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Fine.
Dec 3, 2004 6:42AM PST

I bought some for my Canon camera from SterlingTek, and they've been fine.

We're talking prices like $5-$9 instead of the unmitigated rip-offs of $50-$80 perpetrated by the manufacturers. Even if the overall number of charging cycles is lower than the OEM, I find it hard to believe that it would be 80 percent lower.

The stakes of this risk are pretty low, at these prices.

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digicam generic batteries
Oct 22, 2006 3:24AM PDT

I reckon it must be ok to use these batteries providing they are up to the specs set by Canon.
I am trying to find a suitable battery for a camera made by Sony. It turns out that the battery is no longer sold, but the camera is just under a year old!
Try Maplin Electronics.co.uk. They have a vast selection of batteries of all kinds, even branded ones. All the best in your efforts.

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New Battery standard
Oct 30, 2006 12:47AM PST

I will never buy another camera that uses a non-standard battery type. If you are out of batteries, unless it runs on AA or AAA, you are out of luck!!! Dumb!!! OK, not dumb for the manufacturer, but very dumb for the consumer.
When battery manufacturers wake up to the need for a new compact standard, much of the waste created by this industry will cease.
When will the public wake up & demand new standards & stop buying things that require proprietary batteries???

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When it stops working for me.
Oct 30, 2006 12:52AM PST

I have such "proprietary" batteries and find them very nice and enjoy the lower costs. I have a way to charge either from the car or AC in my travel pack plus I have 2 to swap. One charges while the other is in use.

I get about 7 days use out of my Koday dx6490 between charges so I rarely have to swap batteries before I return home.

It's been grand to not have to hunt down AA or other batteries while on travel.

Bob

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