Should you buy third-party camera batteries? The answer is yes and no at the same time. You should go for quality third-party batteries but avoid cheap and substandard batteries at any cost because they can damage your camera.
The number of people using third-party batteries is far less than those using third-party lenses for their cameras. For example, companies like Sigma and Rokinon make excellent lenses for Canon, Sony, Nikon, and other camera manufacturers. Unfortunately, the same is not true for batteries. Modern batteries other than OEM batteries enjoy a pretty bad reputation.
Do Third-Party Batteries Ruin Camera?
Your camera battery is a ticking time bomb unless you have an OEM battery with higher standards or one from a prestigious third-party brand. We continuously hear stories of smartphones and cameras exploding due to second rate batteries. You cannot take risk with batteries because they once created serious problems even for company like Boeing.
Nobody wants to ruin his camera using the batteries from an unknown manufacturer. However, some reputable companies are making superb batteries for all types of cameras. Just because you have no idea that they exist doesn’t mean they are disreputable. All third-party products in the world have their merits and demerits. Let us check what they are in the case of camera batteries.
Now you must be wondering are third party batteries safe. We have already answered this question. They are safe only if you buy them from a reputable brand (more about it later).
Merits of Using Third-Party Camera Batteries
Some of the pros of using third-party batteries for cameras are as below.
Price is of course the biggest advantage. You need extra batteries if you take a lot of photos every day or shoot hours of videos. OEM batteries are better bet they are also more expensive. Third-party batteries are significantly cheaper, usually third the price. However, some of them offer almost equal power as OEM batteries. Therefore, you can purchase as many batteries as you require and still save a lot of money.
A little research will help you discover reputable companies producing camera equipment including batteries. For example, companies like Hahnel, Wasabi Power, and BM Premium have been producing high quality batteries for a long time. They would never make poor quality batteries and tarnish their reputation.
These are the major player in the industry and some of their batteries even increase the number of photos you can capture. Similarly, some of them monitor power using the microchips just like OEM batteries.
Demerits of Using Third-Party Camera Batteries
The disadvantages of third-party batteries are as below.
Although some companies do make superb third-party batteries yet the number of manufacturers making mediocre or poor batteries is far too high. The manufacturing standard of these batteries is just poor. Most often, sustained use will result in these batteries swelling inside the camera. This can ruin or damage your camera beyond repair sometimes.
Incompatibility with Upgraded Cameras
Most of the new cameras tend to have battery problems. Camera manufacturers try to resolve these problems through firmware upgrades. However, this is mostly done to put third-party batteries out of contention. They become incompatible with upgraded cameras or OEM batteries becoming totally useless.
Shorter Battery Life
Third-party batteries may offer similar power and frames in the short run. However, they will start deteriorating soon enough and thus, usually have shorter battery life in the long run than their OEM counterparts.
Invalidation of Warranty
You should never use third-party batteries if your camera is still in warranty. They can invalidate your camera’s warranty in some cases. However, you are free to use third-party equipment once the warranty is over.
Can Third Party Batteries Damage Cameras?
The following video from Tin House Studio explains are third-party batteries safe for your cameras or not.
Are Third-Party Batteries Worth Using?
So, should you buy third-party camera batteries after going through their pros and cons? The answer is not that simple. Do you really want to insert a cheap battery in a camera that costs thousands of dollars? If yes, then you should use batteries only from the best third-party manufacturers.
But, how do you find such manufacturers? The best place to look for these companies is the photographic forums. These forums have a treasure of information regarding photography equipment including third-party batteries. Similarly, you can check famous photographic websites and take advice from fellow photographers.
You also need to consider whether or not your camera brand has any kind of support for third-party companies. For example, you can easily find Canon replacement batteries. However, almost all the major brands take good care of third-party manufacturers.
Base Your Decision on Research
A lot of photographers are using third-party batteries without any issue. But – you should base your decision on research. First of all, avoid using third-party parts until your camera is in warranty. Secondly, don’t pay head to horror stories regarding such batteries on the internet because people who are satisfied with them greatly outnumber those who don’t. Some photographers just hate third-party batteries while others use them for hours of shooting without costing a fortune.
so once again, should you buy third-party camera batteries? we must say that using third-party batteries for cameras is a personal choice. You can use as many of them as you want. However, purchase batteries only from reputable third-party manufacture if you don’t want to permanently damage your precious camera.