Monday, October 14, 2013

Review of Generic Batteries After 3 Years of Use

Generic batteries can look like an considerable bargains when compared to the name brand varieties. But is this a case where you get what you pay for, or does the bargain bin provide an outstanding value in this situation? How does a $5-$10 generic battery compare to a $40-$50 brand name after steady use and are you paying for the name or does the branded battery justify the price? Read on and make the decision.

When we purchased our compact Canon camera, I knew I had to have at least one extra battery so as to always be prepared. Wanting to save money and not shell out at least another $40 for a Canon brand battery I went on the Internet hunt and came across They sell generic replacements at a significant discount over the name brand and we were able to to purchase two replacement batteries for $25 and some change with shipping. After 3+ years of use there is now a noticeable difference between the Canon that came with the camera and the two for $25 bargain bin batteries. The Canon still functions like it did from day one without any  appearance of getting less pictures per charge, even while using the LCD screen 100% of the time and mixing in video recordings.

The generic batteries on the other hand, show a noticeable difference in performance. One of these batteries is virtually useless now as it no longer gets through a full two hour charge cycle with the canon charger - getting the full charge green light in half an hour or just a few minutes. While the charger thinks it is full, the camera says otherwise. With a fresh charge I am greeted with "Change the Battery Pack" on my LCD screen when attempting to use the camera for taking photos. For some reason, I can view all the photos I want with playback - but as soon as I switch to camera mode, the black screen 'change the battery pack' message is back. I haven't tried this battery for several months after it started doing this, so who knows it may have just needed a long rest - but I am guessing it is done.

The other generic has faired better and is still usable, but it is one that we do not like to depend on anymore and get a little nervous if it is in the camera and we don't want to miss a shot. This battery runs out of juice noticeably quicker than the Canon branded battery does and we mainly use it sparingly, typically while we charge the Canon battery. While three years of use out of two batteries for $25 isn't bad, the original Canon battery is still dependable and strong.

Long a proponent of generics in nearly every case, my experience with generic batteries for my small Canon camera has changed my mind for camera batteries. When we purchased our Nikon D5100 I was sure to purchase a Nikon brand spare battery for it, and I haven't been disappointed with the Nikon battery and don't worry about missing a shot due to a questionable battery.



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