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Cheap vs. Expensive Batteries

Camera batteries can be expensive and the likes of Sony, Canon, Nikon, Fuji and GoPro insist that you only use official, original (OEM) batteries in their cameras. However, many companies produce much cheaper “aftermarket” batteries for half the price of the originals. Should you risk getting the unofficial versions for your cameras and camcorders? And which aftermarket brands are trustworthy? In this video I explain the pros and cons of the different options.

TRANSCRIPT

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Whatup nerds? I’m Jay Shareef and 
once again I’m trying to save you money.


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Have you ever searched on Amazon
for batteries for your camera?

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There are always hundreds of results.

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Now one or two of them will
be genuine, original batteries

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made or approved by your camera manufacturer.

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These are known as OEM batteries, which is
short for “Original Equipment Manufacturer.”


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Like this one here. This is a genuine Canon battery.

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However, you’re going to see far more
third-party batteries in your search results.

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And those batteries are normally much much cheaper.

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Third-party batteries are made without the
camera manufacturers’ approval or consent.

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They’re also known as “after-market” batteries.

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And, in theory, they can save you a lot of money.

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But should you be buying the cheap alternatives?

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And will they cause you problems later down the line?

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Well, I’m going to explain all that in this video.

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The first thing I’m going to say
is that if you can afford it

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then you should buy the original OEM batteries.

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If you’ve got a GoPro then the best option
is always original GoPro batteries.

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If you’ve got a Sony then the best
option is always original Sony batteries.

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But…

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let’s say you have an old camera, that isn’t
worth much, or you have a very tight budget?

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in that case buying cheaper,
third-party batteries is a viable option.

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However, you need to be careful.

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Firstly, a lot of after-market battery manufacturers
will straight up lie to you about the battery specs.

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It’s quite common for cheap battery
makers to inflate the numbers.

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So a battery that claims to have 2,000 mAh might
actually have half that capacity, or even less!

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The second problem you may face is that some
cameras will refuse to run with aftermarket batteries.

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If you have a GoPro, for example, you will likely
get a warning that some features will be disabled

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unless you use a genuine battery.

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Obviously, that’s there to stop you using cheaper
batteries so GoPro can make more profit.

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But it’s also there for safety reasons.

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You see, Lithium batteries are a lot more
dangerous than most people realise.

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Lithium is an extremely volatile element,

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and a lithium battery must be built
and sealed to a very high standard.

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Otherwise, it could fail.

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At which point your battery will go
into, what’s called, “thermal runaway”.

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And, when the battery fails, it will
do one or more of the following:

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Release toxic gas.

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Start smoking.

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Catch fire.

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And, in the worst case, scenario…

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Explode!!

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I’ll say it again: lithium batteries are dangerous!

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A few years ago, Samsung spent
a fortune recalling millions of phones

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and replacing the internal batteries.

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This one issue cost Samsung $5 billion (USD).

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Five BILLION.

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But they knew it would cost
them a hell of a lot more

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if one of their faulty batteries
ended up killing a customer.

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And it really is that serious.

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Which is why you need to be very careful when
buying third-party batteries for your cameras.

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The cheapest batteries usually have poor insulation,

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poor quality cells inside,

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and there’s a good chance they will last
you half as long as the genuine batteries.

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That’s the bad news.

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The good news is that there are reputable
and reliable companies out there

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making after-market batteries
to a decent standard.

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And these are the ones I trust
from personal experience:

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Firstly, I’ve used plenty of Neewer batteries without problems.

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In fact, I can’t show you any because they’re
being used around the room right now.

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I can say the same about PowerExtra batteries.

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Wasabi Power is a brand that also has a great reputation.

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And BM Premium is well respected
for making quality products.

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In addition, I’ve had good experiences using Telesin,

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DSTE, Dot.Foto and Patona batteries,
with my action cameras.

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However, I would not recommend
those for more expensive cameras.

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So, that’s my consumer advice for today.

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If you can afford it then buy original batteries.

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if you can’t afford it then these four brands
are almost as good as the originals.

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Just one last piece of safety advice before I go.

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If you ever find that your battery has swollen,

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then you need to immediately stop using that battery.

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A swollen battery is on the verge of thermal runaway.

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So, if you can, remove it from your camera and
give it to your nearest battery recycling centre.

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Under no circumstances should you
use that battery ever, ever again.

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I’m very serious, okay?

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That’s all for today. I hope that was useful.

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I’ll be back with another video very soon.

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Later nerds!

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