Nikon EL15 vs EL15a batteries

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by rick_jack|1, Nov 3, 2017.

  1. I just placed my order for a D850 and was wondering if my D750's EL15 will work? I don't care if the life is less and I'm not shooting videos, I just don't want to damage my cameras.
    Thanks in advance.
  2. Anything said here should be considered an opinion. You should fire that question at Nikon. If not for any other reason than warrenty.
  3. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Moderator

    I have touched this topic on our other thread about the D850: Nikon D850, Early Impressions
    See my post on October 26, 2017.

    All variations of the EN-EL15 batteries should be interchangeable. As far as I know, Nikon is using slightly different chemicals now so that they use the EN-EL15a model number. The specs are exactly the same as the original EN-EL15.

    Some time in 2013, Nikon switched from the Li-ion01 type EN-EL15 to Li-ion20, and the newer Li-ion20 can last much longer on the D500. As a result, last year, Nikon set up a program for D500 owners to exchange their older Li-ion01 EN-EL15 to the new type. I exchanged five of mine and now only have one Li-ion01 type left. On purpose I used that particular battery (old Li-ion01) on the D850 with the GPS on. I only shot a couple of hundred images, and there were no issues, but I didn't shoot like 1000 to check how fast it drained.

  4. PapaTango

    PapaTango Itinerant Philosopher

    The EL15A battery is an "improved" version of the EN-EL15. Both are rated at 7VDC@1900mAh, and utilize the same MH25A charger. Good luck with that "fire a question at Nikon", as they are seemingly avoiding answering the question directly.

    The issue with the EL15 (and all Li-on batteries for that matter) is that as a device draws current from it, the internal resistance rises. Electrical laws tell us that as resistance rises with current, increasing energy is expended in the form of heat. This was a common issue with the original 01 series of this battery. What we are told to believe about the 15A is that the re-design reduces the rise in resistance (it cannot be eliminated), thus reducing the internal heating of the battery--and by extension providing more 'clicks' because capacity is not consumed at the previous rate through lowered 'draw' resistance.

    People are using them interchangeably in a variety of cameras. Nikon may have discontinued the original 15.

    Your answer here is the same as if you had asked "Can I use a third party equivalent battery in my D850." If you want to... :p

    ON EDIT: Shun posted just a couple minutes before I did while I was writing this. As he notes the original 01 is obsolete.
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2017
  5. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Moderator

    Well, I wouldn't say the old Li-ion01 type EN-EL15 is obsolete, as it continues to work just fine on most Nikon DSLRs (and the V1 mirrorless) that use the EN-EL15. However, on the D500, it lasts considerably shorter than expected. That was what prompted Nikon to exchange them for D500 owners last year.

    See the image below. It was somewhere between February 2013 and November 2013 that Nikon started producing the newer, Li-ion20 type EN-EL15, and the new gray-color EN-EL15a is also Li-ion20; see the image in my earlier post.

    I kept one Li-ion01 battery on purpose exactly for questions such as this one. That battery works just fine in the D850, but I have not determined whether it can last as long as a new EN-EL15a. And since all Li-ion01 type are from at least 4 years ago, maybe longer, they have aged somewhat and their capacity will go down regardless.

    Back to Rick Jack the OP's question, as long as his EN-EL15 batteries are the newer Li-ion20 type, they'll work just fine on the new D850, but Li-ion batteries will age over time anyway. You do not have to use the new EN-EL15a. Any Li-ion01 type EN-EL15 might not last very long on the D850, either due to internal circuitry or simple aging, or perhaps both. I would check out exactly how a particular old battery behaves inside the D850 before depending on it. I always carry one or two spare ones anyway.

  6. I wonder if they both have the same rating why one would last longer?
  7. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Moderator

    First of all, Nikon is not providing a lot of details, but you can take a look at this web page from a year ago (November 2016) when Nikon was replacing the Li-ion 01 battery with the newer Li-ion 20 batteries:

    You can also take a look at this thread from last year about the battery exchange: Nikon EN-EL15 Battery Exchange Program
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2017
  8. I know what Nikon will say. I should of asked if the new EL15a is OK in my D750, I definitely want a spare for my D850 but don't want to carry lots of batteries around.
  9. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Moderator

    Of course the new EN-EL15a is compatible with the D750, as well as all other Nikon DSLRs that use the EN-EL15. See the following link:
    EN-EL15a Rechargeable Li-ion Battery from Nikon
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2017

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