Careful test of a cheap 'OEM' battery for FZ200

Started Oct 13, 2012 | Discussions thread
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trevmar
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Careful test of a cheap 'OEM' battery for FZ200
Oct 13, 2012

I ordered a cheap Chinese battery for my FZ200. I ordered two, actually, but am reporting the tests on the first to arrive. Here is the auction: http://www.ebay.com/itm/140851692720

First comparison is weight - the Panny is 50 grams, Chinese is 47 grams. Lithium is heavy, so this simple test immediately tells me that the battery is unlikely to be equally powerful.

I put the battery on a B6AC computer-controlled battery charger / tester: http://www.hobbypartz.com/skychb6chdup.html

At a 600ma draw, the capacity measured 877 maH versus the 1150 maH of the Panasonics (both Pannys I have are almost identical performance). That's about 76% of the capacity.

Unlike the Panasonic's gentle discharge curve, the Chinese cells typically discharge very quickly at the end of their capacity, and this cell is no different.

The chip works fine with the FZ200. Battery meter is displayed, all else looks OK. When running with continuous FullHD video recording the first 2hrs 35mins show 3 bars on the display. At this point it drops to 2 bars, at 2:40 to 1 bar and the camera switches off at 2:42. That reflects the rapid voltage drop I saw on the B6AC tester, and compares with the approx 3hrs 25mins life of a Panasonic BLC12E.

As a spare battery it seems the Chinese 'OEM' substitutes will work fine. As long as you realize that the battery will suddenly 'die' as its charge depletes. The FZ200 behaves correctly, safely saving the file before it switches off. Based on dozens of batteries I have tested for other cameras, I would expect most of the Chinese batteries to be similar or lower performance than this.

I have another battery on its way, will report how that works in a few days...

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200
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