I have a love hate relationship with batteries. I love them, because they make my life great, everything uses a battery, no wires, no mess…but at the same time…everything is DEAD and I’m always charging them. My wife says I have too many cameras, I disagree, but having so many cameras I have at least two batteries for each one, and in some cases three or four.

So that brings me to a question that I have asked, and others have asked…are third party batteries acceptable to use in our cameras?

The number one reason to use an OEM battery, is because batteries can explode. We have all read stories of exploding batteries on cell phones, planes, electric scooters, just do a google search and you’ll see.

Photo by Stephen Radford on Unsplash

Li-Ion Batteris for the most part are safe. But, they can explode, and when they do it gets sporty quick. Recall the Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 problems for one. According to Wired.com “By nature, lithium-ion batteries are dangerous. Inside, the main line of defense against short circuiting is a thin and porous slip of polypropylene that keeps the electrodes from touching. If that separator is breached, the electrodes come in contact, and things get very hot very quickly. The batteries are also filled with a flammable electrolyte, one that can combust when it heats up, then really get going once oxygen hits it. Not scary enough? That liquid is mixed with a compound that can burn your skin.”

Ok, so back to the original question, should you use third party batteries in your cameras? Well it depends….Camera makers regulate, and have specs for their cameras, lenses and batteries. Sometimes, those cheap Chinese knock offs, churned out by factories where safety standards and testing are foreign concepts, and are not up to the best specs. What if its in your camera when something happens? Well not many of us have a back up camera. I have a Nikon d7200, and I have used both the Nikon batteries, and third party Wasabi batteries. I have two of each, and have had one Wasabi fail already. I also noticed that over time, the Wasabi’s did not hold a charge as long as the stock Nikons.

Why else would you not use a third party battery?

Camera makers are not obligated to make a camera work with anything other than their original equipment. This includes both batteries and lenses. Companies can push updates that can render third party batteries obsolete at any time. See this article about Nikon.

Camera makers may not provide warranty work on a camera with a third party battery issue.

Third party camera batteries are not held to the same manufacturer specs as the original. Under votage and over voltage for one example, are serious problems with electronics. Safety standards in the battery itself may be sub par.

I do not recommend buying the cheaper batteries, but I do understand. You dropped a lot of coin to buy a camera, and you want to save a few bucks and get a cheaper battery. I get it, I’m as cheap as they come. Just do your research on the better third party brands out there like Wasabi or SterlingTek. Buy the batteries from reputable camera stores like B&H or KEH. Find a battery that matches your OEM battery specs, and hope that you arent the one failure per ten million cells. As long as you are not the one failure, the third party batteries are as good as the expensive ones.

Volt meter
Photo by Thomas Kelley on Unsplash

Read more:
Really good – https://www.wired.com/2017/03/dont-blame-batteries-every-lithium-ion-explosion/