Generic EN-EL3e batteries.

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by gogu, Jun 23, 2009.

  1. Hi all!
    I bought my new D90 (my first DSLR!), I researched (and decided) what zoom lens should I buy (70-300 VR), what flash (SB-600) and started figuring how to save to buy all that stuff.
    And then…then it came poster Pete Harlan and destroyed my plans by “forcing” me to include in my wish list that ^%&*$# Zeikos grip;-)
    OK I said, that’s only a few more bucks, I’m gonna buy it. Then I realized I also have to buy 2 more En-El3e batteries in order to operate it. So while searching on e bay I saw that there are up for sale many third party, generic such batteries. Most of them 2000 mAh.
    My two questions are: can these third party generic batteries be trusted?
    Is there any (positive) difference between these 2000 mAh batteries and the 1500 mAh original ones?
    Thank you all,
    gogu
     
  2. I wouldn't buy them. You don't know what you're getting, and the "good" generics are only a few dollars cheaper than the branded Nikon batteries. I carry one extra battery with me and haven't ever needed more than that (with a D300).
     
  3. I'm using an after-market 1600 mAh along with an OEM in my battery grip, and I have no complaints. I didn't know that 200 mAh were availalble. I'd likely give 'em a shot.
     
  4. When it comes to batteries, I'd only trust the Nikons. I've read about many problems including the 3rd party batteries exploding when charging. Also, the in camera battery charge and life indicators may give you problems with an aftermarket battery and I've "read" that Nikon might not warranty the camera if a 3rd party battery is used (but that would be hard for them to prove of course.)
    Why do you need two more? The grip only holds 2 and the slot camera is filled by the grip. You should have received one with the camera.
    Just my opinion.
     
  5. i wouldn't trust the generics. i came to acquire one, and in less than a year's time, it won't hold a charge. besides, it doesn't have the nikon circuitry to let you know when it's running out of charge -- so one minute it'll show full charge, and the next it'll be stone, cold dead.
    incidentally, why do you need 2 en-el3e batteries for the grip? is this a new design? the nikon version uses either one en-el3e or 8 AAs. besides, you can use the grip or the camera (not both) without a battery if you so choose. but that's the nikon mb-d10, not the zeikos.
     
  6. You are right Jay but I want a set of 2 to use with the grip and keep my original battery just for in-camera use.
    As for your concerns about 3rd party batteries, yes, I've also heard about some problems with them and that's exactly why I’m asking for opinions:) I wonder for instance, if I "trust" Zeikos and buy their grip, why should I distrust their batteries?...
    Questions, questions...
    -------------
    Thanks William for sharing your experience! That’s the kind of problems I want to avoid!

    PS
    I thought that the grip takes 6 AAs not 8! Am I wrong?
     
  7. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

  8. The genuine nikon is 38.00 on amazon. Why are we even having this discussion.
    The original Nikon battery that came with my D100 en-el3 is still going strong after 7 years.
    Why would I even consider an other battery. This is not a high priced item.
     
  9. Thanks for the link Shun, most enlightening, especially Stan Chang's experience!
     
  10. I have used generics successfully with my D70s and with a panasonic L1 but the later batteries for Nikon cameras seem more complex- containing circuitry that conveys info to the camera. I have the D200 and it provides quite extenssive info on battery charging state, overall condition etc. I am not sure I would risk it at least without knowing more.
     
  11. I have tried several different after market brands of the EN-EL3 and have been very dissatisfied with all of them. It is a shame too, because Nikon's pricing on batteries is absurd. Borderline price gouging.
    One option is to buy a grip like the Jenis J-ND70S-P-B which allows you to use rchargeable AA batteries.
     
  12. I find it fascinating that people who spend $1000+ on a camera, and another few hundred on a lens (sometimes more than that), scoff at the idea of spending $10-15 more to buy the geniuine Nikon battery vs. a generic. Simply bizarre really. Like buying a $40,000 car and telling the salesperson to take the dealer installed carpets out that they are charging $199 for.
    I think the link Shun posted tells the story. It's a risk of fire with those cheap batteries. A risk I'm not willing to take.
     
  13. Dave,
    in this case the difference between genuine and generic is about $160.00 ($200.00 vs $40.00) as I said elsewhere, that's about 10-12% of my camera/lens combo and if for you this is not a big deal, for some people it is.
    Yep, to paraphrase someone "I find it fascinating people talking without reading all postings before answering" ;-)...
     
  14. I've been using two "generic" En-el3e batteries in my D700 for over six months now without any problem at all. I rotate the generics with the genuine Nikon article and haven't noticed any difference in performance or battery life.
    Since most of the Lithium-ion cells used in the world originate in China, I really can't see any reason to pay a premium for a "branded" battery at a ripoff price. Buy from an established online battery store and you won't go far wrong. I paid about 1/3rd of the cheapest advertised Nikon price for my generics, so even if they only lasted half as long, I'd still be in pocket.
    The only thing I would say is that you can take the stated higher capacity rating of the generics with a pinch of salt. Milliampere-hour inflation seems rife with off-brand battery suppliers. That's not to say their performance is any worse than OEM batteries, but it's not noticeably better either.
    The only brand of battery that's given me trouble at all is Hahnel. I bought an NP-80 for a digital compact which lasted about 2 months, the shop replaced it and the replacement also gave up after a very short time. Hahnel NiMH cells have also given me poor performance. Steer clear of these German robbers!
     
  15. As a postscript, buying OEM batteries is no guarantee of safety. There was a famous spate of Nokia mobile phone batteries overheating and exploding a couple of years back. I also have a dead Nikon EN-El3e as proof that the genuine Nikon article doesn't last forever either. Still, the hologram sticker is pretty isn't it? Well worth the premium price.
     
  16. US$200.00 too much to pay for real Nikon EN-EL3e batteries? How much does it cost to replace that D90 when the generic batteries destroy the camera? I have a D700. No way am I going to put generic batteries in the camera or even in the same backpack with the camera. I have too many $$$$ in lens and camera gear in that backpack to have it flame out.
     
  17. Unless I am mistaken ..... and heaven knows I sure have been many times, isn't the Nikon Batteries actually a 2rd party battery anyway. I don't think that Nikon makes batteries. They most likely get them from a source and that source might change midstream the same as other companies do. SO what might be an aftermarket battery, one day, may be an original the next? Flip a coin and you might just get an original for less!!
    yes/no??
    phil b
    benton, ky
     
  18. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    We have had a lot of threads on "generic" EN-EL3e batteries. Essentially there are a lot of different experience with them, and IMO it is wrong to lump all of them into just one category.
    The thing is that at least in the US, genuine EN-EL3e batteries are within $40. You can't possibly save a whole lot of money buying 3rd party. If it is indeed a lot more expensive in Europe, I would just order them from the US or Asia.
    The problem with batteries is that it can be a hazard. The case where some 3rd-party batteries exploded is merely a reminder about it. Recall that a few years ago Nikon recalled some EN-EL3 because of over-heating concerns. I have reasons to believe that Nikon batteries have better quality control, and in case it does explode, Nikon will be responsible for any damage. Good luck getting compensation from some unknown company.
    Another issue is that these batteries have electronics inside. In future cameras, Nikon can make some small changes and potentially 3rd-party batteries can become incompatible. A few years ago my wife bought a generic battery for her Sony camcorder because the Sony version was out of stock. The generic battery worked fine until she bought a new camcorder. The new camcorder would detect the generic battery as non Sony, displays an error message on the LCD to remind you to use a genuine Sony battery and then immediately shuts itself off.
     
  19. Shun's last two sentences in his third paragraph above are all really anyone needs to think about on this.
    It doesn't matter whether the batteries are any better, but if a Nikon battery, charged in my Nikon charger ever damaged my Nikon camera and Nikon didn't take care of me...do you really think they want to find out just how aggrieved I'd feel? I don't think so. I long ago went into 5 digits in the worth of my Nikon equipment. I do not care about saving $5 or $10 on the small explosive I place in the body I carry around.
     
  20. My newly acquired D70 came with a regular Nikon battery & a generic one. Though I've used the generic one in the D70 I would not ever put it in my D300 or D700. As a matter of fact, I may just discard it completely due to "incidents" with generic batteries.
    JMHO
    Lil :)
     
  21. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Since this topic comes up a lot, here is the error message on my wife's newer Sony camcorder when we put the generic battery on. Sony calls its battery technology "Info Lithium." We bought the 3rd-party battery for about $70 instead of $80 for the Sony one, but at the time we got it because the Sony one wasn't available and we thought it "didn't make any difference." It worked fine on the camcorders from the same time, but the newer ones can detect it and would shut down. Now we have a battery that is useless on the current camcorders my wife uses.
    And this is an old thread where some Duracell AAs leaked inside Ellis' F5 body. Again, since the batteries are from a name brand, Duracell was responsible for the repair of his F5: http://www.photo.net/nikon-camera-forum/005G30
    00TkCK-147589584.jpg
     
  22. In my experience these 3rd party generic batteries don't last, so it's false economy. You'd be better off spending for the Nikon.
     
  23. My newly acquired D70 came with a regular Nikon battery & a generic one. Though I've used the generic one in the D70 I would not ever put it in my D300 or D700. As a matter of fact, I may just discard it completely due to "incidents" with generic batteries.
    JMHO
    Lil :)
     
  24. Stick to manufacturer's! I bought my camera used and it came with one 3rd party and one nikon original. Had lots of issues with the shutter not tripping properly with the 3rd party, had me worried, thought it was the sigma lens :p WIth the originals it's been fair sailing.
    Alvin
     
  25. After having used two generic batteries I payed less than 10$ each together with the original one (where additional ones would have cost 100$ each) in my D200 for more than two years without problems, I now put them in my D700 without being scared. No problems so far nor did the camera catch fire...
    And even if I pay 2000$ for a camera I do care for not being ripped off on the accessories. Do not believe everything manufacturers tell about "original parts"...
     
  26. I'm also one of many people who use generic batteries in addition to geniuine. As Gogu mentioned, things are a little bit different in Europe that in US. In my last camera, D40, i was using 2 Phottix baterries, EN-EL9 without any issue. They survived hot and humid places (Borneo), dry and cold (Mt. Kinabalu), and still, working as good as the original one.
    At this moment, i have D80, and again, one genuine Nikon, and 2 Phottix Titan, EN-EL3e that i bought online for a fraction of the price of the original. I personally, cannot see any difference in using genuine vs. non genuine bateries, since they perform the same.
     
  27. Thank you all for your help!
    It seems I'll go for the genuine ones as I found a good deal on e bay, a UK based seller has them for 32.00 pounds (that's around 37.00 euros)!
     
  28. I have had excellent results with the Calumet branded batteries.
    Bill Pearce
     
  29. You don't need the grip. Save even more money and don't bother with it. The camera's heavy enough as it is.
    Well actually, I don't know whether you need it or not. Maybe you do. I do know that they aren't useful to me, but that's because I'm left-eye dominant and rotate the camera the "wrong" direction for vertical format shots. As for battery life, my experience is that one battery lasts me a LONG time, so despite having shot 50k shutter actuations (hundreds of basketball games plus a variety of other stuff) I never have run out of battery, and I only have one! I've shot as many as 700 shots on one battery before and it still wasn't flat. And if it did run out, I'd rather have another in my pocket or bag than be carrying it on the camera all day long. My experience is with a D50 and a D90.
     
  30. I also bought original en-el3e at empress_jose for half the european price.
    Be aware of fake batteries presenting as the real thing. Some nikon website has a photo of the real and fake boxes and batteries, didn´t bookmark it.
     
  31. Well,
    I just recieved my replacement (Phottix Titan) battery after my supposedly still new Nikon EN-EL3e died on me, probably because I missed reloading it immediately. No way I could revive it!
    The generic battery has loaded and shows on the display so I hope there shall be no problems. I will report if anything happens and I am still around to tell... ;-).
     
  32. I think buying generic is ok, as long as the buyer knows he's buying generic, but passing off generic as geniune Nikon with fake holograms etc, is wicked. Judging by the pictures in the link posted further up, its a difficult thing to spot the difference between the two. The statement at the EN-EL3 part "NOTE: Some of the original Nikon EN-EL3 Rechargeable Li-Ion Batteries are also "MADE IN CHINA", I thought would not help matters very much. Where are these 'fakes' supposed to be sold from ?
     
  33. Coincidently, I just finished reading an article on another forum that Panasonic just released firmware updates for their cameras that will block the use of 3rd party batteries. This is a link to the article. http://www.digitalhome.ca/content/view/3819/284/.
    Is Nikon beyond doing the same thing in the future? Panasonic claims it is to protect the camera from substandard batteries. Of course there will be the opposing views that it's just a rip off to force consumers to buy Panasonic. Personally, I wouldn't want to gamble on the aftermarket batteries. In Canada, Nikon brand EN-EL3e batteries run about $75 to $85.
     
  34. Of course Warren, that would be a stupid idea on Nikon's behalf because that would mean you could not even use AA's or other such batteries other than Nikon's original. As for the myth of the exploding batteries, I would have to see other factors such as what charger was used, what mains voltage was used and what is the chargers rating, ie, was 240v shoved into a 115v charger by mistake and stuff like that. It happens you know.
     
  35. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    that would be a stupid idea on Nikon's behalf because that would mean you could not even use AA's or other such batteries other than Nikon's original.​
    Not exactly. If you use 8 AA batteries inside the MB-D10, they come through a different set of electronic contacts from those used by the EN-EL3e. 8AA gives you 12V, which is also different from the EN-EL3e's 7.4V. Therefore, it is very easy to distinguish those different power sources.
    The bottomline is that if Nikon wants to block a bunch of 3rd-party EN-EL3e equivalents, it should be very easy for them to do so, perhaps simply via one firmware upgrade. Therefore, you are somewhat at their mercy for not turning your 3rd-party batteries into useless ones, as it happend to my Sony battery clone. E.g., there are some reports that certain clones only work on the D200 but not the D300.
     
  36. Shun, that also was something I was wondering about. How can the same motorised equipment work from 12v source or a 7.4v source ? (or 9.6v if using rechargable AA's).
     
  37. I'm also one of many people who use generic batteries in addition to geniuine. As Gogu mentioned, things are a little bit different in Europe that in US. In my last camera, D40, i was using 2 Phottix baterries, EN-EL9 without any issue. They survived hot and humid places (Borneo), dry and cold (Mt. Kinabalu), and still, working as good as the original one.​
    This is my experience as well with my D40. The OEM is rated 1000mAH and the generics are 1800mAH, but it seems they don't last any longer or shorter than the OEM. I suspect that the price you pay for Nikon brand batteries guarantees that yes, this is an approved, correctly rated battery, whereas the generics are just from resellers who can get the best deal at any given time.
    Another example: Ever buy a multi-pack of memory cards? There's a decent chance they came off of different lines, or even from different companies before Sandisk slapped that sticker on there.
    Like I said, knowing the manufacturing world, the generics are just the cheapest the distributor can get at the time. The extra you pay is a guarantee.
    Would I buy the generics again? Probably not - you guys scare me with stories of batteries exploding in the chargers. Cameras are easy to replace; burned down houses and safety issues is an entirely different thing.
    RE: Sony camcorder... typical Sony. Had an old Sony Erricson phone... wouldn't take the generic charger. Proprietary stuff, but people are willing to pay for it, since it says Sony. My mom only buys Sony stuff and then complains why accessories and parts are so expensive. And yet, here I am with one of their cameras... oh well. :)
     
  38. To add to the words of caution in using cheaper generic batteries...
    Some batteries boast of higher capacity ie. 2000mAh yet in reality fall quite short of that and even lower than the original battery. Another issue is longevity. I have seen budget lithium batteries initailly work very well for about a year but fail shortly after.
    Another note: All rechargable lithium batteries have not only a cycle life, but a calendar life. They will go bad just sitting on a shelf in about 3 years. Therefore, it does not make any sense to stock-pile lithium batteries with the intent to use them later. To get the most out of your lithium batteries, buy only the amount that you will keep in use and use them till their capacity fades significantly.
     
  39. Joseph,
    it may be "$38.00" for you in the US but here in Europe it's "69 euros or about $100.00" each at my local Adorama store (http://www.adorama.gr/e-shop/Products.php?CatID=16&SubCatID=255)! Two of them...US$200.00.
    You still find it's ... "not a high priced item"?!​
    I just bought a "Genuine Nikon EN-EL3e" from a Hong Kong ebay place for $24.99 with free worldwide shipping. Sounds like a good deal. Is that price possible for a genuine Nikon, with free shipping ? I wait to recieve it.
     
  40. There were several Hong Kong dealers wwith the same deal. Their feedback was in the thousands and all positive. Just ordered 2 myself. Got a email within 24 hours with the tracking number, I'll post the results.
     
  41. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Andrew and Joseph, please post your experience with the EN-EL3e from those Hong Hong dealers. I would make sure that those are genuine Nikon EN-EL3e batteries as there are some reports of counterfeit ones.
    Again, a main problem with threads such as this one is that people simply lump all 3rd-party batteries into just one discussion. The fact of the matter is that there are quite a few different brand names and who knows how many different manufacturers behind them, and they may have different quality controls and standards. Just because someone has or does not have problems does not mean a whole lot, especially you buy some "no name" ones.
     
  42. I have a couple of Lenmar EN-EL3A that I have used for a couple of years and been happy with. Exactly the same performance as the Nikon EN-EL3A I have (I've analyzed them all with a computerized battery analyzer).
    The Lenmar batteries comes with a three year warranty and Nikon's don't. Go figure.
     
  43. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    I should point out that the generic Sony battery my wife bought for her Sony camcorder and eventually became non-compatible with her newer camcorders was a Lenmar.
    I have a bunch of Lenmar rechargable AA batteries that I am fairly happy with, so I thought their generic Sony battery was fine ....
     
  44. Yes, I have the Lenmar batteries for Sony as well and they are not as well made as the original Sony. Compatability would not have been a problem within the three year warranty so I guess your battery was an old one. Still sad nevertheless.
    Sony is a little different than Nikon though because they really are a Li-Ion manufacturer as well so it is possible that they can make a better product than other battery manufacturers. But in the end it comes down to dollars and yens and neither Sony nor Nikon likes to give away anything for free. And it's a similar situation with Sigma, Tamron, Tokina and Zeiss of course. They will never be allowed access to Nikon information on the lens mount and it's data communication protocol. Why encourage free enterprise?
     
  45. I ordered a genuine Nikon EN-EL3e from a Hong Kong dealer on ebay...and it never arrived. I was out $23 plus shipping. Never again. I'll only order batteries from B&H.
     
  46. I would only use Nikon batteries, at least during the warranty period since if the battery causes any damage it won't be covered unless it's a Nikon battery. Having said that I have owned several 3rd party batteries and had no problems. I would however, stick with a name brand. A lot of the stuff on eBay don't even have a company name on the battery which makes me a bid nervous of its quality. I would buy one of the 3rd party batteries from a place like B&H. At least they are brand name batteries so I would feel a bit more comfortable using them.
    For what it is worth you should be able to operate your camera with just one battery in the grip.
     
  47. I have had some 3rd party 2000mAh and you do get more shots out of them. So if you go with a 3rd party the additional shots are nice. As I stated before be very careful of the brand. So many of the ones on ebay have no brand name on the acutual battery. You never know what your getting, I have heard of batteries blowing up on people and burning their face and blinding people. Big risk just to save a few dollars.
     
  48. I have been using both Canon and Nikon generic copies (including EN EL3e equivalent) plus original batteries for about 5 years. So far one Canon generic battery has failed. No explosions though... The Nikon generics show the same performance as the Nikon orginals. I'd bet money that if you were to crack open the batteries' cases they would all contain two third party Lithium ion AA cells. And a couple of connectors. Maybe there are some passive electronic components too, but I doubt even that. The whole practice of constantly changing batteries' mechanical formats even within a single manufacturer's range, is just another way of wringing out a little extra profit from their customers.
    There's room to argue about third-party add-on components like battery grips, but I feel that batteries are ridiculously overpriced. No doubt that there are better and worse examples on sale, but the current UK RRP for a Nikon EN EL3e is £66! Discounted they are still £50.
    Remember, if you bought a Sony Vaio laptop a few years ago it may have been subject to a recall as the batteries tended to catch fire. So battery problems happen to major manufacturers too.
    Roy
     
  49. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Remember, if you bought a Sony Vaio laptop a few years ago it may have been subject to a recall as the batteries tended to catch fire. So battery problems happen to major manufacturers too.​
    Roy, that is the whole point. If the likes of Sony and Nikon discovers a battery problem, they will recall it and in case it burns down your house, they are responsible. If a "no name" battery causes a fire at your house, you don't even know who to complain to.
     
  50. I personally wouldn't give to much credence to the alarmist posts about batteries buring your house down - the name brand ones as well as the generic ones all have a roughly equal and entirely infinitessimal likelihood of actually starting a fire. More to the point is, do the generics actually work? My experience is, that it completely depends upon the camera. I had a couple of generic clone batteries that were rated at 1800 mAh, and they worked BETTER (as in, they lasted longer, and they were never susceptible to a D80 firmware sensing bug that the battery was dead - even when fully charged) compared to the OEM EN-EL3e battery, when I used them in my D50 and D80. If I was using the D80, I wouldn't think twice about using the clone batteries.
    But then I upgraded to a D90, and low and behold, the D90 can and does sense the difference between the Clone batteries, and the genuine EN-EL3e, and it only works with the genuine battery - always giving a dead battery readout with the clones, even when they were fully charged. And the fact is, most clone batteries that work fine in a D50 or D80, don't work in a D90. So, I bit the bullet and got two genuine EN-EL3e batteries as spares.
     
  51. Here's the EN-EL9 batteries I bought for my D40:
    http://www.amazon.com/Nextop-2-EN-E...2?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1246366747&sr=8-2
    As I said, they work... and I presume they work longer than the stock (1000mAh) battery but I can't say for sure. Honestly as soon as the indicator says it's not showing full charge I switch it out for anther, so I've got my rotation of three going (in an attempt to prolong battery life and preserve capacity).
    I notice when i look at them... there's no brand, no serial # or otherwise identifying marks on them. Just as the pic shows, they indicate they are EN-EL9 type, 7.4v Lithium-ion batteries (they don't even say 1800mAh on them... hmm). No I haven't tested them as I don't have the facilities or patience to do so.
    I'm still sticking with my theory that el-cheapo Nextop-2 is just a reseller that takes manufacturer's word for it, whereas Nikon puts their name on the battery so they make sure it meets/exceeds specs.
     
  52. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

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