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Should You Buy Third-Party Camera Batteries? (8 Best & Safe Picks)

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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!Two third-party camera batteriesNote: ExpertPhotography is supported by readers. Product links on ExpertPhotography are referral links. If you use one of these and buy something, we make a little bit of money. Need more info? See how it all works here.

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.

Sony NP-FZ100 camera battery

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.

Nikon EN-EL18d camera battery

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.

Nikon-EN-EL15c camera battery

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.

Laptop and Neewer NP-FZ100 camera batteries and charger

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. For instance, BM Premium offer a one-year warranty and a safety guarantee with their products.

Best Third-Party Nikon Camera Batteries

In 2022, Nikon will release the EN-EL18d for their mirrorless Z9. But at the time of writing this, the EN-EL15c battery is the standard for Nikon cameras, including the mirrorless Z series.

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. BM Premium EN-EL15c

BM Premium 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 2280mAH. 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.

Two BM Premium EN-EL15c third party camera batteries for Nikon cameras and charger

2. Wasabi Power EN-EL15c

Wasabi’s EN-EL15c is even less expensive than the one made by BM Premium. You get two batteries for about a third of the cost of one made by Nikon.

It is a little less powerful, at 2000mAh versus the 2280mAh Nikon. But Wasabi offers a three-year warranty on this product.

Most users give the battery a decent review. But there are some concerning issues. Users found that it doesn’t hold a charge as well as the OEM. Some reported communication errors with their camera.

Others who have used Wasabi products in the past had problems with this unit. But many feel these are worth the cost.

Two Wasabi EN-EL15c third party camera batteries for Nikon cameras

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. And it’s also the recommended battery for Canon’s mirrorless R5 and R6.

1. BM Premium LP-E6NH

The BM Premium version of the LP-E6NH is about a third of the cost of a Canon battery. They come in a two-pack with a charger. The company offers a one-year warranty and a safety guarantee.

In general, many users like BM Premium’s battery and rate it highly. Most users reported that these batteries functioned exactly like the Canon counterpart, including shooting at a high frame rate.

Two BM Premium LP-E6NH third party camera batteries for Canon cameras in a charger

2. Powerextra LP-E6NH

A two-pack with a charger from Powerextra costs a little less than the BM Premium LP-E6NH. These batteries have a higher capacity than Canon batteries of 2950mAh.

There are reports of the battery draining faster than Canon’s. But reviewers seem happy, with many giving it a high rating.

This battery supports high-speed shooting and stays cool during video recording. You may not be able to tell the difference between a Powerextra battery and one made by Canon.

Two Powerextra LP-E6NH third party camera batteries for Canon cameras charger and cables

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, I have handfuls of batteries. Some are OEM. Others are aftermarket.

1. Neewer NP-FZ100

For the same price as one Sony NP-FZ100, you can get two 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.

Two Neewer NP-FZ100 third party camera batters in a charger for Sony cameras

2. Powerextra NP-FZ100

For two-thirds of the cost of a Sony battery, you can get two Powerextra batteries with a charger. The capacity is higher than the original at 2500mAh. Ratings are high for the battery. Lots of users give it a high-star rating.

But reviews are mixed. Some users report that it lasts as long as the brand name. Others find that it drains faster. But all in all, the battery seems to work fine with no camera errors.

Sony Powerextra third party camera batteries

Best Third-Party Fujifilm Camera Batteries

Most Fujifilm cameras use an NP-W126S battery. This is a smaller capacity battery than newer mirrorless cameras from other manufacturers.

You may need a few extras to get you through a day of shooting. But be careful. Reviewers warn of several counterfeit Fujifilm batteries on the market.

1. Powerextra NP-W126S

A two-pack with a charger from Powerextra is less than half the cost of a Fujifilm brand battery. The batteries are slightly higher capacity at 1500mAh.

There seem to be no compatibility issues with the cameras, and they have the same power as Fujifilm’s. Users especially like the charging unit.

Two Powerextra NP-W126S third party camera batteries and charger for Fujifilm cameras

2. Wasabi Power NP-W126S

Wasabi and Powerextra are similar in cost. The batteries have a higher capacity at 1400mAh.

Some users report that they last as long as the brand name. Others found that they drain faster. But all in all, the battery seems to work fine with no camera errors.

Wasabi Power NP-W126S third party camera batteries and charging cord for Fujifim cameras

Conclusion

These are some 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 80% of the performance for 50% of the price!

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