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Archive 2011 · From which eBay'er to buy NEX-5N replacement batteries?
  
 
ZeroSteve
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · From which eBay'er to buy NEX-5N replacement batteries?


Can anyone recommend an eBay'er from where it's safe to buy a 3rd party replacement battery for the Sony NEX-5N?

I've read that some fakes doesn't work well with the camera/chargers at all, so I'd of course like to avoid that - as well as those batteries that may damage the camera.

Anyone bought from an eBay'er and used their batteries in a NEX camera for a while without problem?



Dec 12, 2011 at 01:40 PM
Smiert Spionam
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · From which eBay'er to buy NEX-5N replacement batteries?


The problem is that the 5n has some kind of circuitry change that rejects batteries that work fine in the NEX-3 and 5. I returned one battery to Amazon that didn't work, but haven't tried again. When I do, I'll make sure the 5n is clearly included in the specs, and get it from Amazon, which has a more consistent and easier return policy than most ebay sellers.


Dec 12, 2011 at 02:22 PM
ZeroSteve
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · From which eBay'er to buy NEX-5N replacement batteries?


That's what I was afraid of, that NEX-5 batteries might not necessarily work with 5N. Maybe it's best just to bite the bullet and buy an original battery. I mean, it's "just" $70 locally... so, bargain for the price, right?


Dec 12, 2011 at 02:24 PM
Jonas B
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · From which eBay'er to buy NEX-5N replacement batteries?


I have two third party batteries working with both the Nex-5 and the 5N:

eBay #120756404396, seller accstation
and
a "powerson" bought from eBayer pandjshop

They seem to deliver about as many images per charge as the original Sony batteries I have, they can be charged using the original charger and one of them came with a car charger.




Dec 12, 2011 at 02:31 PM
ZeroSteve
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · From which eBay'er to buy NEX-5N replacement batteries?


Thanks for the recommendation Jonas. Too bad your seller is located in the US though.


Dec 12, 2011 at 02:33 PM
Jonas B
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · From which eBay'er to buy NEX-5N replacement batteries?


ZeroSteve wrote:
Thanks for the recommendation Jonas. Too bad your seller is located in the US though.


Ah, is that a problem? The other seller is located in Hong-Kong, both sent the stuff in nice small envelopes and the Swedish customs didn't care about adding moms (our VAT). Also if you have to add 20% on the total that shouldn't stop you from getting a battery, a charger and an IR remote for a total of

USD 18, shipping USD 1, moms USD 4 --> approx USD 23 or GBP 15

To me it sounds like a no brainer compared to the OEM price you mentioned. Am I missing something?



Dec 12, 2011 at 02:44 PM
ZeroSteve
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · From which eBay'er to buy NEX-5N replacement batteries?


Yeah there's a $30 processing fee on items from outside EU, so it's not having to pay VAT etc., (that's not so much anyway), but adding another $30 in fees on top of that, makes the deal a little less worth it.

But there's a chance it might go through anyway, so I'll have to think about it



Dec 12, 2011 at 02:59 PM
Jonas B
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · From which eBay'er to buy NEX-5N replacement batteries?


ZeroSteve wrote:
Yeah there's a $30 processing fee on items from outside EU, so it's not having to pay VAT etc., (that's not so much anyway), but adding another $30 in fees on top of that, makes the deal a little less worth it.

But there's a chance it might go through anyway, so I'll have to think about it


That was odd. In theory the Swedish taxes and fees are the highest I know of in the EU. In practise small parcels declared as low value item most often are let in without any charges at all (as long as the dogs don't feel the smell of drugs). Where do you live? A processing fee that high sounds... well, high.



Dec 12, 2011 at 03:18 PM
Jacob D
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · From which eBay'er to buy NEX-5N replacement batteries?


Not sure if Amazon works for you but I purchased one of these:

http://www.amazon.com/Sony-NPFW50-Rechargeable-Battery-Pack/dp/B003OBUJIK/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1323703008&sr=8-2

... and it works fine with the 5N an OEM charger. It came in a Sony retail package. I paid $39, but it looks like the price has gone up.



Dec 12, 2011 at 03:19 PM
ZeroSteve
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · From which eBay'er to buy NEX-5N replacement batteries?


The limit goes at $14 (including shipping), anything below that gets through without any fees, VAT etc. Anything above that, gotta pay VAT and paying VAT also means paying the processing fee. It's in Denmark.


Dec 12, 2011 at 03:20 PM
 

Search in Used Dept. 



Jonas B
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · From which eBay'er to buy NEX-5N replacement batteries?


ZeroSteve wrote:
The limit goes at $14 (including shipping), anything below that gets through without any fees, VAT etc. Anything above that, gotta pay VAT and paying VAT also means paying the processing fee. It's in Denmark.


I would contact the seller and ask if he/she, if possible, can declare the item at a total of USD 10. Then you can donate a little to your local photo museum or something instead. (Yes, that's what I do from time to time.)



Dec 12, 2011 at 03:43 PM
ZeroSteve
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · From which eBay'er to buy NEX-5N replacement batteries?


That's a good idea. I'll do that instead.


Dec 12, 2011 at 03:47 PM
michaelwatkins
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · From which eBay'er to buy NEX-5N replacement batteries?


I am less sanguine about no-name sellers of no-name batteries, which make up the bulk of eBay sellers. I've got even less time for sellers of no-name chargers.

Lithium ion technology is not intrinsically safe. This is why you do not see lithium ion rechargeable bare cells for sale at your grocery store but you will find at various retailers intrinsically safe rechargeable cell technologies like Nickel Metal Hydride.

Li-ion cells can be used safely if used within an overall system (cell / pack, consuming device, charging device) where each component is designed with safety in mind and is sized properly for the task at hand.

In another part of my life I've unfortunately had to become something of an expert on lithium ion and lithium polymer rechargeable power solutions and chargers for same. While the cells and battery packs are physically different than the cylindrical mostly lithium cobalt based lithium ion cells found in laptops, the underlying chemistry and charger requirements are exactly the same. LiCo are the least stable formulation of li-ion cells, but also the most common as they offer more storage capacity for volume than some of the safer varieties. If managed correctly (by the device consuming power from them - check, we assume companies like Sony and Ricoh do this; and by the charger) they are more than safe enough.

I started writing my standard li-ion lecture but am going to ditch all that detail and cut to the chase a little faster than I ordinarily would, which still won't be a bullet point or two.

Cells / power packs: budget makers often skimp on quality, or the truth, and certainly on product support; I'm aware of factories that purchase cast off materials from the established quality makers. There are a handful of terrific makers in China whose production is sought after and spoken for by multi national OEMS. There are a whole bunch more makers of questionable or variable quality. Unfortunately it is very difficult to trace who made what unless one is willing to open up and often destroy a pack in doing so, and even that is no guarantee you'll be successful in IDing the less reputable makers, although the quality makers generally are not ashamed to mark their products properly.

Further complicating matters, often the cell producer is not the same outfit as the pack maker.

As buyers of budget power packs you can't know if the innards are coming from one of these lesser cell producers. Some pack makers change suppliers as often as they change their underwear, whatever is cheapest today, please. This is no way to make a quality safe product with chemistry that can react very badly when things go wrong.

Chargers: You'd think this is a simple thing to get right, given that there are charger-on-a-chip components available for pennies in volume that properly implement the Constant Current/Constant Voltage algorithm.

CC/CV is *the* proper way to charge li-ion cells. In addition any decent charger needs to be on the look out for under and over voltage situations. In one case wildly out of spec voltage can indicate a serious problem with a cell or pack and that deficiency must be made known to the user so that the user can take appropriate action: safely dispose of the cell/pack. In the other case the cell/pack is slowly or rapidly becoming a small time bomb at worst, presenting a vastly increased risk of fire while still on the charger at best.

Do no-name chargers properly implement the CC/CV algorithm and do they enforce charging cut off at a sane maximum voltage and do they never do anything remotely looking like "trickle charging" and do they warn of under and over voltage situations when a cell or pack is placed in the cradle?

The answer is: you just don't know. Nor do I, unless I am given a charger for testing.

I can tell you that across dozens of chargers commonly sold for use in a non-photographic part of my life, only one properly implemented the right charging algorithm and safety protocol. One out of dozens tested.

Another was close enough to be considered safe to recommend to others to purchase. A handful were actually dangerous if used without monitoring closely by someone equipped with both knowledge and a digital multi-meter.

Others did bad things like keep a constant but low voltage on the cell even after the charging light went out... leaving a cell/pack on such a charger will ultimately lead to the cell reaching a critical voltage threshold where it starts to break down rapidly as heat reaches a point where thermal runaway occurs. Big shooting flames and toxic, caustic, fumes are the byproduct of this reaction.

A bunch of others couldn't be called time-bomb makers but failed to even approximate the CC/CV charging algorithm that lithium ion technology requires.

To my knowledge no one has undertaken a serious review of camera power packs and chargers. Maybe by virtue of the consumer nature of this market, there are fewer really bad actors out there. Maybe.

Recommendations:

Personally I'm not willing to assume anything about the too-cheap li-ion pack and charger products out there - I try to source the best deal I can on OEM power packs, and I only use OEM chargers. That would be my best recommendation for anyone.

However... if you are going to dabble in third party power, at least consider buying a third party power pack that is sold by reputable retailers and has been sold through the retail channel for a long time. At least then if there are problems detected, the retailer might just be in a position to contact its customers of these products. As well, hopefully the larger retailers are establishing relationships with more solid producers of packs.

And chargers: unless you've got the knowledge and equipment to test them yourself, I just can't see a way to recommend buying a third party charger from a no name / brand of the day/year internet marketed entity.

If you are at all worried about the gear you already have, and happen to have a digital multimeter, check the open circuit voltage of your lithium ion power pack. As long as it near or below 4.15 - 4.19 volts per cell then the charger is at least signalling to you, correctly, when the pack is charged. The NEX-5N pack contains two cells wired in series, so divide the measured voltage by two to come up with a per cell estimate. Note: the nominal voltage printed on the pack (usually 3.6 or 3.7V) is not the charged voltage of the pack. Standard li-ion cells commonly used in these packs should never be charged beyond 4.2V per cell as they start to become dangerously unstable not far after that operating maximum.

When the charge light goes out, remove the pack from the charger. Don't leave packs in chargers overnight or over a weekend unless you are certain that the charger absolutely 100% stops the charging process completely when the charge light goes out.

Phew. I'm taking my camera outside now.



Dec 12, 2011 at 04:37 PM
ZeroSteve
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · From which eBay'er to buy NEX-5N replacement batteries?


@michaelwatkins,

Wow

You've certainly given me some stuff to think about. Maybe I'll get a voucher for Christmas I can use on an original battery so I don't have to risk anything with the cheap stuff. Would be nice with an extra charger though, too bad the original one costs $80 plus the battery at $70, that's $150 compared to the $20 the cheap stuff costs.



Dec 12, 2011 at 04:48 PM
FlyPenFly
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · From which eBay'er to buy NEX-5N replacement batteries?


I wouldn't save $20 to use an off brand battery on my $800-$2000 cameras.

I've had experiences in the past where off brand batteries caused weird problems like unresponsive and hung cameras.



Dec 12, 2011 at 05:02 PM
ZeroSteve
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · From which eBay'er to buy NEX-5N replacement batteries?


FlyPenFly wrote:
I wouldn't save $20 to use an off brand battery on my $800-$2000 cameras.


Me too, but it's not $20 I'm saving, it's $130 for charger+battery. So it's quite a lot.



Dec 12, 2011 at 05:04 PM
Jonas B
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · From which eBay'er to buy NEX-5N replacement batteries?


Hepp, I'm living on the edge.
I have to admit though that I use the original charger. How do I dare using these cheapo batteries? Well, the last time I read anything about Li-Ion batteries causing problems it was OEM stuff setting fire to laptops. Was that HP or Sony? I don't remember.
Anyway, the batteries from the suppliers I mentioned above has caused no problems. No guarantee though.



Dec 12, 2011 at 05:18 PM
Bifurcator
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · From which eBay'er to buy NEX-5N replacement batteries?


@michaelwatkins, Does the fact that I DO SEE lithium-ion bare cells at every grocery store and 7-11 blow you're entire premiss? Just thought I would mention it cuz here in Japan at least they're everywhere.

I don't actually know enough to call paranoid BS on your post but I certainly suspect it. If there are any scare stories they're propagated by only the greediest of manufacturers. Sony, Panasonic, etc. And like Jonas is making the case for, any of the actual trouble events are VERY likely to be spread evenly across all manufacturers big and small simply based on the number of units produced by whatever the failure rate happens to be.

I dunno about anyone else but if the price difference was more than about $10 I would definitely go with the no-namers - which are probably bought direct from the same factory which supplies the brand namers. At only $10 I could hang. At $20 no way! At $130 I wouldn't even consider it - it would be a TOTAL no-brainer.

One thing I would make sure of tho is that the contacts used in the 3rd party units are the same materials as the OEM is using. ie, gold, nickel, etc. It's not good to mix materials and that actually could cause intermittent troubles from spikes and dips as well as corrosion over time.

-- Disclaimer: I didn't mean for any of that to sound as if I were calling you personally a paranoid BS'er. I understand you put a lot of thought into the post and it's appreciated. I just don't buy it is all.



Dec 12, 2011 at 05:52 PM
ZeroSteve
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · From which eBay'er to buy NEX-5N replacement batteries?


Jonas B,

I asked your ebay guy (itemid 120756404396) to confirm the battery works with 5N as well, since only "5" is listed at the auction page. He says it's not compatible with 5N. Even though the battery number is the same, I've read elsewhere that some third party batteries won't work with the newer 5N for some reason (probably a Sony protection).



Dec 13, 2011 at 06:52 AM





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