Batteries are dangerous – they're practically a bomb – so be careful when you buy them. Sure, they're not likely to put an airplane out of circulation, but a broken battery can definitely damage your camera. It may not work as expected. Here's what you should know about buying batteries for your DSLR or mirrorless cameras.
RELATED: Why Lithium-Ion Batteries Explode
First and Other Manufacturers
The battery that came to your camera is referred to as a "first-party battery" because it is manufactured by the camera manufacturer (or at least by a licensee they supervise). It is the battery with which your camera was developed. You can purchase additional first-party batteries, which are quite expensive.
Third Party Batteries are manufactured by a manufacturer other than the manufacturer of your camera. They range from high quality rechargeable batteries made by reputable camera manufacturers – such as Blackmagic – to cheap Chinese knock-offs produced by factories where safety standards and tests are alien concepts. It's a pretty big selection.
The (potential) problems with third-party batteries
With first-party batteries, you always know what you are getting (as long as you really get a first-party battery and not a counterfeit, more on that later). It's exactly the same thing you got with the camera when you bought it. However, things are not so safe with third-party batteries.
Third-party batteries are almost always cheaper than original batteries. The Canon LP-E6N battery costs $ 64, while the replica of Blackmagic – probably of high quality – costs $ 35. That's a big difference. I've seen that batteries from less respected manufacturers cost only $ 10 – and no, I will not connect to them.
The problem here is that money has to be saved somewhere. It certainly does not cost Canon $ 60 to make a battery, but it costs a fraction of that. Good third-party manufacturers deliberately make less profit to undercut Canon. However, poor manufacturers will only lower the cost of materials, testing, design and other areas that affect the overall quality of the battery.
In the best case, you'll get a battery that may not hold so much charge, will not last as long, or may feel a little plasticky, but will otherwise work as expected. There is also the possibility that you end up with a total fool who does not work or is not charged with the official charger. In the worst case, as we have seen with USB cables, you can get a battery that will actively damage your camera.
RELATED: Attention: Buy a USB C cable that can not damage your devices
Now, I'm not saying that all third-party batteries are bad. Chances are they will work well – and the odds are even better if you work with a reputable manufacturer – but you have to be careful, especially if you buy them.
Do not Shop at Amazon
Amazon has a lot of fraud issues right now – even our own Chris Hoffman was caught by a single one. Most problems are sellers that are "served" by Amazon. Amazon does very little to monitor inventory and ensure that no sloppy products or counterfeits are sold. For most things, buying from Amazon is fine, but you need to be a little more cautious about batteries for your cherished camera.
RELATED: Preventing Counterfeit and Fraudulent Amazon Sellers 19659009] We've thought about it, and we honestly recommend not buying camera batteries from Amazon – including first-party batteries. The likelihood of you getting a bad third-party battery or a fake first-party battery is just too high.
Instead, buy rechargeable batteries at your local camera store or a high-quality online retailer like B & H. Even if you opt for a third-party battery, at least you know it was ordered by someone who knows about cameras. A good camera business is much less likely to sell a problematic product than Amazon's opener, anyone can sell, […]
Personally, I prefer to stick with first-party batteries, but that's a luxury I have, because that's photography big part of my job. If you need an extra battery but do not want to pay the highest price, buy a third-party battery – do not go to the cheapest that you find on Amazon.