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Archive 2013 · Those of your who don't do 3rd party batteries
  
 
farski
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p.1 #1 · Those of your who don't do 3rd party batteries


There have obviously been many threads here and elsewhere about using aftermarket batteries in cameras, and the jury is generally split. Everyone seems to be in agreement than going absolutely bottom dollar is an unnecessary risk. From there, though, there's the camp that says "well-known generic brands are perfectly fine", and the camp that says "why would you risk your $2000 camera to save a few bucks".

It's that last point I want to ask about first. The last few Nikons I've owned I've bought (Nikon) battery grips for. All of those grips have come with AA battery sleds. For those of you who won't use 3rd party batteries, do you just never use those sleds? People claim all the time that you void your warranty using non-Nikon batteries. How else would you use the AA sleds? Nikon doesn't make any AA batteries, and these sleds can accept NiMH, Li-ion, and alkaline batteries. I've never heard of anyone who voided their warranty using the sleds with a third party batteries. In fact, I don't think I've ever even heard of someone having a problem as a result of using them. And we're talking about all the different brands, capacities, battery types, etc that have been put into these sleds for years. Not to mention that you have the risk of eight cells being bad, not the the two or three than most Nikon batteries tend to have.

Am I missing something here? Are the fancy cartridge-style batteries with integrated electronics for some reason more of a liability than AAs? (That's not rhetorical. I'm not too up to speed on battery tech. I know that some of Nikon's more expensive batteries will, like, tell you when they need to be refreshed and stuff. The AAs will probably never do that, but in my experience the battery meter with them has been just about as accurate as batteries with ICs.) Why are third party EN-ELs so divisive, and third party AAs basically endorsed by Nikon?

So my next question, which isn't just for anti 3rd party people, is this. I was organizing my batteries today, and a Phottix ENEL4 replacement that I use a lot (and has been rock solid) happened to be sitting next to a pack of 18650 LIBs. It was painfully obvious that the Phottix battery is pretty much just a container for three 18650 cells (can't confirm that for sure, but the size is pretty much exactly correct, and 3 x 3.7V (18650) = 11.V (ENEL4). So my question is, if someone made a 18650 sled, allowing you to actually choose the Li-ion cells your putting into the camera, would you still be worried about using non-Nikon batteries? It seems like you'd be at least as safe as using AAs, if not more so, since going with SANYO or Panasonic 18650 protected cells is more or less the upper tier of LIBs at the moment (for this kind of thing). If not, what would be keeping you tied to Nikon branded batteries? Some real technical advantage (better reporting, etc) or just the peace of mind that Nikon has to stand behind their own batteries?

Edit: The reason I bring up the second question is this: if there's no significant technical advantage to ENEL batteries vs generic LIB cells, the cost savings becomes a major factor. Upgrading, for example, a D700 to ENEL4 batteries in a "professional capacity" with all Nikon brand equipment, would cost, for having two batteries for two bodies, at least ($100 * 4 + $200 + $70) ~$700. If there were a 18650 sled, you'd be looking at more like $70-100 for four "batteries", maybe $60 for the sleds, and $20 for the charger. $500 is a lot of money to save. And before anyone says "if it's for work, you should be able to afford the Nikon brand", real life doesn't always work that way.



May 05, 2013 at 03:14 AM
lxdesign
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p.1 #2 · Those of your who don't do 3rd party batteries


I have three camera's which all use the Nikon EN-EL15's and I have nothing but Nikon batteries for these camera's. After a bad experience many year's ago with third party batteries for my D1x, I swore never again. And I don't currently have a grip for the camera's, but I don't use AA batteries in my camera's anyhow. Only Procell's for my F100.


May 05, 2013 at 03:45 AM
CAlbertson
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p.1 #3 · Those of your who don't do 3rd party batteries


Just skip the MB-D10 grip and buy a few spare ENEL type batts from Nikon. They are $40 each. When you fill up the memory card swap the battery at the same time. It adds very little to the "down time" if you do both at once. If you are worried about cost that is the lest expensive way and the camera s more compact and lighter without the big external battery pack.

There was a time when those battery packs made sense because the old film camera lacked an internal film advance motor but those days are gone.



May 05, 2013 at 04:08 AM
farski
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p.1 #4 · Those of your who don't do 3rd party batteries


CAlbertson wrote:
Just skip the MB-D10 grip and buy a few spare ENEL type batts from Nikon. They are $40 each. When you fill up the memory card swap the battery at the same time. It adds very little to the "down time" if you do both at once. If you are worried about cost that is the lest expensive way and the camera s more compact and lighter without the big external battery pack.

There was a time when those battery packs made sense because the old film camera lacked an internal film advance motor but those days are gone.


That was just an example from my personal experience. Not to derail this from my original questions, but the grip provides a vertical shutter release and significantly faster frame rates. Both things I use extensively when working. For me, grips still make sense. But again, not the point of this thread.



May 05, 2013 at 04:27 AM
dlabrecque
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p.1 #5 · Those of your who don't do 3rd party batteries


I have no idea who's advice you were listening to, but it's obvious you're thinking way too hard about this. I use good quality rechargeable AA's in both of my grips that power my D300 and D700; been doing it that way for several years now with no apparent adverse effects. I think the issue that most seem to be talking about are the cheap lithium knockoffs manufactured in China and sold on Ebay and other places. These have always been a crap shoot in terms of reliability and in that respect I'd stick to the original manufacturers brands. Some exceptions might exist, but generally, the no-name brands invariably give out right before the wedding starts or when your ready to take that priceless Nat Geo shot.

Spend the bucks, get yourself the good stuff. I have original manufacturer lithium batteries that are now easing into their fifth year of use with no indication of giving out. As for AA's, good brands will give you a good two to three years of use as long as you don't cook them in those cheap half hour recharge stations.



May 05, 2013 at 04:37 AM
iseeq4life
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p.1 #6 · Those of your who don't do 3rd party batteries


The reason why "third party EN-ELs so divisive" is because they can be dangerous.

If you want to burn down your house or put your family at serious risk, go on ebay and buy a cheap unapproved, badly designed, poorly built and rarely proven LI-ION battery made by a third party company. The reason they put electronics in the LI-ION batteries because the chemistry of the batteries can get unstable under certain conditions. The electronics is there to monitor and keep the batteries from ever getting there.

When it does get there the result usually is a catastrophic failure ending with a fire and explosion. Li-ION has been around long enough and it's been known they can get dangerous when it's not properly designed or used. Undercharged or overcharge usually is the culprit.

Boeing recently has to recall all their flagship Dreamliner planes to replace the Li-ION batteries because the company decided to gamble on a Cobalt based chemistry technology that was poorly designed and now deemed unsafe.I have heard too many other stories about people getting hurt from poor quality Li-ION battery or charging device. Stick with NiCd or NiCd or Alkaline if you want to save money but don't ever buy knock off Li-ION.



May 05, 2013 at 04:49 AM
EB-1
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p.1 #7 · Those of your who don't do 3rd party batteries


farski wrote:
There have obviously been many threads here and elsewhere about using aftermarket batteries in cameras, and the jury is generally split. Everyone seems to be in agreement than going absolutely bottom dollar is an unnecessary risk. From there, though, there's the camp that says "well-known generic brands are perfectly fine", and the camp that says "why would you risk your $2000 camera to save a few bucks".

It's that last point I want to ask about first. The last few Nikons I've owned I've bought (Nikon) battery grips for. All of those grips have come with AA battery sleds. For those
...Show more

There is time and there is money. Spend one or the other, but not both.
I don't want to mess around with individual 18650 cells, AA battery trays, and extra chargers or deal with extra points of failure, safety hazzards, etc.

EBH



May 05, 2013 at 06:43 AM
tobicus
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p.1 #8 · Those of your who don't do 3rd party batteries


I think our two D700s came with two Nikon batteries and I ordered two generic batteries to go along with them. The generic ones don't last quite as long (~900 vs ~1100 shots, maybe?), but they're more than good enough for the job, and I think they cost perhaps $10 each. Definitely worth it to me, as we try to keep our overhead as low as possible.


May 05, 2013 at 07:06 AM
Mark_L
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p.1 #9 · Those of your who don't do 3rd party batteries


Because AAs are typically NiMH not lithium ion and are available from proven brands, I don't use them because of weight/hassle.

I don't want some random brand battery with unknown quality control providing power to my expensive camera.

Because if a battery goes down on my shoot I have a non-functional camera, not really what I want when I have a model, hair, makeup, hrs of prep work and client expecting images all to save maybe 15-20.



May 05, 2013 at 07:31 AM
DGC1
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p.1 #10 · Those of your who don't do 3rd party batteries


iseeq4life wrote:
The reason why "third party EN-ELs so divisive" is because they can be dangerous.

If you want to burn down your house or put your family at serious risk, go on ebay and buy a cheap unapproved, badly designed, poorly built and rarely proven LI-ION battery made by a third party company. The reason they put electronics in the LI-ION batteries because the chemistry of the batteries can get unstable under certain conditions. The electronics is there to monitor and keep the batteries from ever getting there.

When it does get there the result usually is a catastrophic failure ending with a
...Show more

Not the most scientific explanation but he's dead on. DON'T GO CHEAP ON BATTERIES.

As for third party grips...I've NEVER heard or read about an OEM grip that fried a camera body. I cannot say the same about third party grips.



May 05, 2013 at 12:13 PM
 

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workerdrone
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p.1 #11 · Those of your who don't do 3rd party batteries


I like having the option of AA batteries because they're available everywhere. If my charger decided to stop working for example, I could shoot with batteries from the nearest convenience store if I wanted until I got a new one in.


May 05, 2013 at 12:24 PM
farski
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p.1 #12 · Those of your who don't do 3rd party batteries


A lot of people are rehashing the "don't buy cheap Li-ions because they'll kill puppies" argument. I get that; I don't even buy cheap Li-ion batteries for my $10 EDC flashlights. None of what I was asking was about knockoffs or ebay batteries. Only about *reliable* replacement batteries; whether they be AA alkaline or ENEL-style LIB. Size, weight, hassle (of multiple chargers, etc) seem to be the biggest reasons people avoid AAs, but those are preference issues, and have nothing to do with reliability or risk, or replacement ENEL batteries.

I'm not really asking for guidance; I know which batteries I trust and which I don't. I'm also not trying to convince anyone one way or the other. I'm really just curious about the people who will gladly put reliable AA batteries in their camera, but only use Nikon Li-ion batteries. I realize it's an extremely specific question, but even people in this thread have said just that. Why is it that, just because there are some (lots) crappy ebay batteries out there, you skip right over all the reliable, proven, good QC, digitally protected, LIBs?

To be clear, if someone where to show up and say, I bought some protected LIBs from SANYO, Panasonic, AW, etc and my house burnt down, I would stop buying them in a heartbeat. So to that degree I am looking for input. But since I think the likelihood of that happening is close to zero, I'm really just being curious about people's shopping habits.



May 05, 2013 at 02:15 PM
Mark_L
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p.1 #13 · Those of your who don't do 3rd party batteries


farski wrote:
Why is it that, just because there are some (lots) crappy ebay batteries out there, you skip right over all the reliable, proven, good QC, digitally protected, LIBs?


Could you post some links to reliable, proven, good QC, digitally protected, EN-ELs so we know what you are talking about?



May 05, 2013 at 02:42 PM
Ben Horne
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p.1 #14 · Those of your who don't do 3rd party batteries


DGC1 wrote:
As for third party grips...I've NEVER heard or read about an OEM grip that fried a camera body. I cannot say the same about third party grips.


Though it is very rare for an OEM grip to fry a camera body, a friend of mine fried two D700's with a single defective Nikon OEM grip. It's super rare, but it can happen.


Edited on May 05, 2013 at 08:22 PM · View previous versions



May 05, 2013 at 03:56 PM
farski
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p.1 #15 · Those of your who don't do 3rd party batteries


Mark_L wrote:
Could you post some links to reliable, proven, good QC, digitally protected, EN-ELs so we know what you are talking about?


Don't have time right now to track down links, but I would say Duracell and Phottix both meet those requirements. Duracell offers a 3-year warranty on many batteries (I believe Nikon generally has 1-year, which is the same as Phottix). And before anyone says "but the Duracells that came with my Bop It only lasted two weeks!", clearly we're not talking about perfection here. Nikon has recalled entire lines of batteries over the years due to some pretty serious potential flaws.



May 05, 2013 at 06:04 PM
DGC1
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p.1 #16 · Those of your who don't do 3rd party batteries


Ben Horne wrote:
Though it is very rare for an OEM trip to fry a camera body, a friend of mine fried two D700's with a single defective Nikon OEM grip. It's super rare, but it can happen.


I stand corrected. That's ONE



May 05, 2013 at 07:34 PM
Mark_L
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p.1 #17 · Those of your who don't do 3rd party batteries


farski wrote:
Don't have time right now to track down links, but I would say Duracell and Phottix both meet those requirements. Duracell offers a 3-year warranty on many batteries (I believe Nikon generally has 1-year, which is the same as Phottix). And before anyone says "but the Duracells that came with my Bop It only lasted two weeks!", clearly we're not talking about perfection here. Nikon has recalled entire lines of batteries over the years due to some pretty serious potential flaws.


I had no idea Duracell made them, I'd use them without hesitation, Phottix not so much.



May 05, 2013 at 08:17 PM
Ben Horne
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p.1 #18 · Those of your who don't do 3rd party batteries


Mark_L wrote:
I had no idea Duracell made them, I'd use them without hesitation, Phottix not so much.


Phottix makes a lot of really high end camera accessories, including one of the best TTL radio flash triggers on the market. I haven't used their batteries yet, but the rest of the stuff they make is very good, and I would expect the same for their batteries.



May 05, 2013 at 08:25 PM
binary visions
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p.1 #19 · Those of your who don't do 3rd party batteries


For me, it's simple.

Lithium cells are more likely to be dangerous or rated higher than their actual capacity. Additionally, for a camera within a warranty period, a battery issue won't be covered.

Those things add up to a less desirable item.

AA batteries are much more stable and even cheap AAs tend to have normal capacities. Plus, no warranty issues, because there are no OEM AAs.



May 05, 2013 at 08:46 PM
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p.1 #20 · Those of your who don't do 3rd party batteries


farski wrote:
I'm really just curious about the people who will gladly put reliable AA batteries in their camera, but only use Nikon Li-ion batteries.


AA's are "dumb" batteries - they just provide power and that's it. Therefore, even a crappy one would work fine on the MB-D10 tray and there would be zero risk. The en-el3e/4a/15 on the other hand, have chips/electronics in them that communicate with the camera. There is a bigger chance that the 3rd party ones would create issues with Nikon bodies (as some people have already experienced)

Also on a financial standpoint, you've already spent $3K on the body, what's $30 more to get te authentic Nikon battery?



May 06, 2013 at 01:10 AM
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