Find out what happens when you use third-party batteries in your camera
I want to talk about third-party batteries and chargers as there is not much information available on the topic. I recently purchased a RAVPower charging point to work with my official Sony Battery. This package also came with two batteries for my Sony A6500.
RAVPower Sony Battery
I bought the RAVPower Charger and batteries when I purchased my Sony A6500 in the summer. I’ve been rotating all three batteries; the official Sony battery that I got with the camera and the two that come with the RAVPower.
I must have been pleasantly surprised at how well this solution works. It comes in slimline packaging which I am always happy to see (I hate non-green packaging). The end result is a portable charger that plugs in via USB. You get the USB cable with the charger but no plug adapter.
This charging point is super handy to have. Firstly you can charge two batteries at the same time. Most chargers come with only one charging slot – like the one included with Canon Cameras. Secondly, the Sony A6500 camera doesn’t even come with a charger. You have to charge the battery inside the camera itself like you would a mobile phone. Whilst this can be convenient, for example, the Sony a6500 can use a charging point like a battery pack to charge it on the go. I prefer to charge the batteries externally.
With the RAVPower Charger, you’ve got two lights. If one of the batteries charges sooner than the other, you can take that out straight away and start using it. You don’t have to charge both of them at the same time and wait for both to finish. Really handy to have.
Now I must say when I’ve been using this I’ve generally been getting about an hour with these batteries of taking video. That may not sound like much, but that is standard on the Sony A6500 when shooting in 4k video mode. I haven’t noticed much difference with using the official Sony battery either.
The RAVPower is packaged with the two batteries and in total costs around £30 pounds. I think that’s a really good deal when if you take into consideration buying an official Sony battery costs around £50 pounds – and that’s just for one battery.
Other Battery Manufacturers
How does RAVPower compare with other brands?
I have tried another popular battery manufacturer called DSTE.
DSTE make batteries for a lot of different devices. It was this brand I orginally started off using.
I am quite happy with DSTE, I’ve been using their battery in my Canon G7X Mark ii and it’s been working fine. I’ve only got one spare alongside the official Canon battery and to be honest, they both work pretty much the same.
The only difference is I’ve had an issue with using DSTE in my Canon G7X mark ii – albeit once on a hot summer day.
Camera detects unofficial battery
Out of the blue, I got a warning message on the Canon G7X mark ii saying that a detected an unofficial battery. It asked me if I knew that it was an unofficial battery? I made the mistake of telling it “I didn’t know it was an unofficial battery”.
I was trying to trick the system. Instead, the camera shut down on me because it thought that there might be a mistake and it might damage the camera.
However, this was easily remedied. After I turned off the camera, took out the battery and put it back in. Once turned on, I got the message again. This time I told it “yes, I did know it is an unofficial battery” and it seemed to carry on as it was. All in all, that’s only happened once. In general, performance-wise, it’s been very good.
DSTE Charger and battery Package
When it comes to charging points, you can tell a difference in quality.
Whilst I didn’t get a charging point for my Canon battery, I have purchased a battery set by DSTE for my video lights.
The packaging is a little bit more basic. Included, is a charger and two batteries for my Yungnuo YN300 lights. The batteries are individually wrapped. Included is a power cable – this time no USB charging. They do however include a car charger which is good to have if you are out on location.
There is a difference in the quality of the chargers. The RAVPower is fairly slim whereas the DSTE charger looks like no consideration to size was given with it being thicker than most Canon battery chargers.
Build quality is not as good either. If I pull hard on the base of the charger, the top part comes off. It is almost like they have made the charger modular for quick factory assembly.
In the long run, it doesn’t affect me too much, it still charges effectively. But feels less premium and less portable.
There is a difference in price also. This package costs around £16-20 at the time of writing. The RAVPower is nearly £30. This could be brand, could also be because one is for a popular camera over a lesser-known light manufacturer, that said, the pricing was similar for the single Canon camera battery at around £15.
Should you use third-party batteries?
The overall message of this page/video is to go ahead and buy those third party batteries and save your self some money.
It’s always worth having at least one spare battery with you. The Sony a6500 chews through the batteries really quickly so I could quite easily see myself buying another RAVPower package in the future. This would mean I will have five batteries in total.
But for now, the three seems to be working fine as I mainly shoot video indoors and can keep them charging in the background. I find that works well with this camera and on the Canon G7X mark ii – The battery power seems to last a significantly longer so two batteries have seen me through most days.
Have you used any third party batteries? have they worked well for you or have you had less Joy? Please leave a comment and share your experience (and brand of battery).