Whether you’re a professional photographer or a young hobbyist, you’ll eventually find yourself shopping for camera batteries. And you’ll be left with one of two options: buy an “official” battery or choose a cheaper third-party option. Which path should you choose?
Third-party camera batteries are a mixed bag
Buying a third-party battery may seem like a gamble. Even with good reviews, there is no guarantee that a third-party battery will match the capacity or life of your camera’s “official” battery. It may have trouble holding a charge, or it may die after a year.
That being said, some non-brand camera batteries work just fine. Big-name third-party manufacturers like Wasabi and SterlingTek are highly prized by photographers – their batteries usually They work as advertised, and these companies have been known to work with customers when something goes wrong.
If you don’t feel calm, consider this; Off-brand batteries are a serious bargain. Even if you end up with something that’s kind of mediocre, at least you didn’t spend $60 or $70 on a damn battery. (Also, if you’re a serious photographer, you probably want to have multiple batteries. Going third-party is probably the “economically responsible” decision.)
Obviously, if you don’t want to take any chances, you should buy an “official” battery from your camera manufacturer. And if you choose to buy a battery from a third party, you should look for reviews or testimonials to make sure it’s from a well-known brand.
You should also avoid buying no Amazon camera battery as you could easily end up with a fake. Stick with B&H or visit a retailer in person like Best Buy.
Will a different brand of battery damage your camera?
Can batteries from other brands damage your DSLR or mirrorless camera? Well, anything is possible, but this is not something you should worry about. The chances of a battery damaging your camera are pretty low, regardless of where the battery came from.
In fact, there are only two ways a lithium-ion battery could damage a camera: swell or explode. swelling will occur long after a battery stops working properly and spontaneous battery explosions are extremely rare. (This is also true for older Nickel Metal Hydride batteries.)
It seems that the “non-brand batteries will harm your camera” thing is mostly a rumor. That being said, manufacturer warranties do not cover damage caused by third-party batteries or accessories. If a battery somehow manages to explode inside your camera, you’d better hope it’s an “official” battery.
Here is my suggestion; Don’t buy camera batteries from unknown brands or unreliable retailers. If some weird counterfeit battery manages to damage your camera, you’re probably screwed. Buy an “official” battery that is covered by their warranty, or buy one from an established third-party brand that can take responsibility if something goes wrong. (And don’t buy camera batteries on Amazon.)
Should I buy official camera batteries?
When you buy a battery from Canon, Nikon, Sony, or another brand of camera, you can trust that it will perform as advertised. Unless you’re extremely unlucky (or buy a fake on Amazon), your “official” camera battery will hold a good charge and last several years.
Buying your own camera battery saves you a lot of hassle – you don’t need to do your research or read reviews. Also, if something goes wrong, you should have no problem contacting the manufacturer.
Is this convenience worth the extra money? It really depends on the circumstance. If you’re a photographer who needs a couple extra batteries, it’s worth the effort to hire a third party. You will save a ton of money.
But maybe you’re buying for a first-time DSLR owner, or replacing the battery that came with your camera. In these situations, an “official” battery can reduce the chance of running into a frustrating problem. Just buy your battery from a good retailer; yes, I still insist on this, and I’ll explain why in a moment.
Buy camera batteries from trusted retailers
Online shoppers should always be wary of counterfeit items. And this is especially true when buying batteries: these things are cheap when bought in bulk, and any con man with half a brain can slap the words “Canon” or “Nikon” on a cheap battery.
This is why you should only buy camera batteries from reputable retailers. I suggest going with B&H or Adorama as both companies are very well known and offer great prices. Best Buy is also a decent option, and you can always shop at a local camera store if there’s one in your area. (Your camera manufacturer may also sell batteries on their website or through their cell center.)
Do not buy camera batteries on Amazon. It relies too much on third-party sellers, making it very vulnerable to scammers. (To be clear, most Amazon camera batteries are genuine. But the chances of ending up with a fake are too high, and because batteries are just little gray bricks, it’s not always easy to spot a fake.)
For this reason, you should also avoid eBay and AliExpress. Sure, these platforms can save you a lot of money, but they are not worth the headache of ending up with a fake.