Should You Buy Third-Party Camera Batteries?
Currently we provide research and development of replacement batteries for cameras from the following three brands, including Canon, Nikon and Sony. In the future, we have plans to expand the production of alternative battery products to include but not limited to the following brands:
Leica, Jupio, Green Extreme, Panasonic, Bescor, Adorama, Descor and Power2000.
In this article, we'll cover some of the pros and cons of buying third-party batteries. Then, we’ll go over some of the best third-party camera batteries for your camera brand.
The worst feeling in the world is holding a camera with a dead battery. You might own the most expensive digital camera in the world, but it is useless without a battery.
You buy lots of backups and charge them faithfully. But camera batteries can be pricey. So, what about off-brand batteries? Is it safe to buy these? Do they work? Let’s find out!
What is a Third-Party Battery?
Each camera company makes a line of batteries to work with their cameras. Brands like Canon, who created the original camera battery, are called the “Original Equipment Manufacturer” or OEM.
A third-party camera battery also called “off-brand” or “aftermarket” is made by companies that did not create the original battery.
Designations and Compatibility
The names for the batteries are not catchy or memorable. They are a series of numbers and letters that make sense only to the camera company.
Always make sure you are comparing like-with-like when looking at price. And make sure your camera body is listed as compatible.
Camera companies upgrade their batteries to add more power. Or they use differently sized units in some product lines. So ensure you’re using the correct counterpart to avoid any compatibility problems.
Pros and Cons of Third-Party Batteries
There is a wide array of companies that make aftermarket camera batteries. It is impossible to generalise about quality.
Are third-party batteries good? The answer is yes… sometimes. Some aftermarket batteries are better than others.
Over the years, I have bought third-party camera batteries and have had good experiences with them. Other users report problems.
Let’s first look at some of the pros and cons of aftermarket batteries and some of the problems you might encounter.
Pro: Lower Prices
The most common reason to buy third-party batteries is the affordable price. OEM batteries are designed by the camera manufacturer. So, they come at a premium cost.
To buy even a couple of extra name-brand batteries may cost you hundreds of dollars. The new Nikon battery released in 2022, the EN-EL18d, is priced at a whoppingly high price.
To some extent, you are paying the extra price for peace of mind. The camera companies know that some photographers feel better buying the brand name. The higher price is not necessarily because the product is better.
A third-party camera battery costs less. Good replacement batteries are generally a quarter to half the cost of OEM batteries.
You may not even be able to tell the difference between the brand name and the third-party battery. But in some instances, you may get what you pay for.
Con: Reduced Power and Longevity
In some cases, users report that the aftermarket batteries do not last as long as their brand name cousins. They may deplete faster when taking photos. Or they may have a shorter life span.
Sometimes this is expected. Third-party batteries do not necessarily give you the same capacity as their equivalent.
A battery may be compatible with your camera, but it may not have the same specs. Take, for example, the milliampere-hour (mAh) for Nikon’s EN-EL15c and the Wasabi equivalent.
The brand name battery has 2280mAh. The Wasabi has 2000mAh. All other things being equal, the higher number in the battery gives you more operating time.
With lower-powered batteries, you may not achieve your camera’s maximum frame rate. This is not necessarily a problem—just don’t expect more than you are buying.
But third-party batteries are not always less powerful than their original counterparts. Many good aftermarket batteries have more storage capacity.
Pro: Extreme Problems are Rare
Photographers use third-party batteries when supplies are low and OEM batteries unobtainable. Some reviews of third-party batteries note worrisome problems… the most alarming being a battery making your camera explode!
Here are some of the other worst-case scenarios:
- Batteries swell over time or become hot.
- The camera does not recognise the battery.
- Aftermarket batteries ruin cameras.
But reports of these issues appear to be rare with aftermarket batteries from established companies. Most online reviewers seem okay with their choice. And their concerns are not super dramatic.
Affordable Cost Outweighs Potential Problems
The majority aren’t worried about their camera being damaged or blowing up. Most people are concerned about the longevity of batteries and whether they are worth the price.
Users sometimes report issues, mainly involving camera batteries not remaining charged as long as the OEM ones. Or they have limited battery life in comparison.
Users are aware of the potential problems. But they’re willing to take the risk for a significant discount.
Plus, problems can happen with any battery, including OEM batteries. Samsung recalled their Galaxy Note 7 phones after reports of batteries overheating.
Best Third-Party Camera Batteries to Buy
There is a mind-boggling array of third-party batteries, so we can’t be exhaustive. Here are a couple of the best choices for the popular camera makers. Notice that some companies seem to come up again and again.
And if you buy a third-party battery, don’t automatically assume that there is no warranty. Some companies stand behind products. ENEGON offer a one-year warranty and a safety guarantee with our products.
Best Third-Party Nikon Camera Batteries
The C version is an upgrade from previous Nikon batteries. Customers noticed the difference in capacity to the C version. But they also mention the more expensive price tag
1. ENEGON EN-EL15c
ENEGON offers EN-EL15c batteries at half the cost of Nikon, and you get two plus a dual battery charger. Both Nikon and BM Premium batteries have 1900 mAH. The retailer offers a safety guarantee and a one-year warranty on their chargers.
Users like the product and rate it highly. Some reported batteries faded faster than Nikon.
One user reported an issue with the batteries shutting down their camera. Another person told of a video recording error. But most photographers found that these batteries worked fine.
Best Third-Party Canon Camera Batteries
The LP-E6NH is an upgrade to the LP-E6N. It powers many Canon cameras, including their mirrorless series.
The ENEGON of the LP-E6NH is about a third of the cost of a Canon battery. They come in a two-pack with a charger. We offers a one-year warranty and a safety guarantee.
In general, many users like ENEGON replacement battery and rate it highly. Most users reported that these batteries functioned exactly like the Canon counterpart, including shooting at a high frame rate.
Best Third-Party Sony Camera Batteries
Starting with their third-generation mirrorless cameras, Sony upgraded to larger-capacity NP-FZ100 batteries.
The smaller-bodied, first- and second-generation cameras, like the A7RII, use a smaller battery. But this meant you were changing batteries a lot.
For my A7II, we have handfuls of batteries as a authorized OEM manufacturer. Others are aftermarket.
For the same price as one Sony NP-FZ100, you can get three Neewer batteries plus a charger. This battery has the same capacity as Sony’s.
Some reviewers report error warnings with batteries from other companies, but not Neewer. It seems to work well, with many users rating it very well. Customers seem to really like the accompanying charging unit.
We are one of the best third-party camera batteries around. In the end, photographers are looking for quality batteries that won’t disappoint them in the field.
Some photographers use OEM batteries regardless of the cost. They are willing to spend the extra cash so they won’t have to think about it.
If you read reviews and do some research, you can buy the best third-party batteries at half the cost of the brand name batteries. And they function as well or nearly as well as the originals. It’s worth it to get 95% of the performance for 50% of the price!