Original batteries or third party?

► Facebook post unavailable

The topic was original vs. third party batteries. Which is better and why?

► My response

Don't use off brand batteries - You don't buy a Ferrari and place it with cardboard seat belts.

YES, they function (I used to have Hähnel), but I've been let down by this non-native brand in extreme conditions. And I'll elaborate on this if you will: Last winter I purchased my Z6II and I went out shooting with it in very cold weather. Used to the D500 which functions in literally all weather conditions I was eager to put this new camera to the test. The outside temperature here in The Netherlands was -11C that time of year and that night a huge snow storm had carpeted the country. Knowing the world would be completely white the next day I went up at 6am to go shooting in the white world.

The camera did a wonderful job until 45 minutes in. At that point it wouldn't switch on anymore. I had the Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 ART with FTZ on it and it just powered down after I flipped the power switch to the ON position after a few seconds. I checked everything but since it was still snowing a bit and the lens was frozen solid to the camera it could've been anything. Lens, battery, weather, FTZ adapter, grip itself.. and since it was way to cold and snowy, I couldn't check all that properly while being outside.

By this time I was kinda frustrated because this never happened with my D500. I was outside and was literally starting to get very disappointed in this new Nikon product becaus this Z6II couldn't handle the weather so it seems and I had only one camera on me so I now couldn't shoot and had basically a 3500gram brick on my shoulder.

I went home, posted my frustration in a variety of FB groups and waited to see the answer. In the meantime the camera warmed up to room temperature and after that I could switch lenses. I checked everything and the camera worked fine by that time. Then a user pointed me to the fact that it could've been the batteries and asked what I was using.

I used a Hahnel in the grip on position A and an original Nikon battery in position B. I was suggested to switch those so that the original Nikon battery was in position A. I didn't know at that time that the power to power it up is being solely drawn from the battery in position A and since that was a Hahnel, that battery couldn't handle the temperature differences.

I went back out there and shot with the Z6II for 7 hours straight in -11C without a hitch. The camera functioned properly and even after all that time and nearly 800 shots in 7 hours it only depleted my Nikon battery to 44% and the Hahnel backup battery was still at 100%(!) Now THAT is what I call engineering.

Conclusion for me: Only native batteries to avoid issues like this in the future.

Remarks: It might not be cold in your particular situation, but because it operated outside the temperature limits that are specified in the Nikon manual, it's not unthinkable that this also might be a situation where non-native batteries cannot handle other (extreme, more or less) situations.

The fact that all non-native batteries are reverse engineered (because Nikon doesn't open up its battery technology to other companies) combined with the fact that the Z series contains far more electronics that are very sensitive that all have to be powered in the correct manner, makes only the Nikon originals practically risk free.

Of course I never would've noticed the Hahnel not being able to handle extreme conditions if it weren't that cold outside back in January, but still. It pointed out that Nikon truly knows its stuff and that that company regained my full trust the very same day. I don't use non-native in critical times anymore. It's not just a marketing strategy. It's truly build in solid arguments and technical know-how by a company that makes products for over a century. Don't cheap out on accessories.

Also I'm a fulltime professional photographer that needs to completely rely on his gear. Nikon never let me down so far in all my years I've been using their products in both a professional and a recreational manner.

If you have any questions about any camera stuff; feel free to ask me anything. Have a good day. âˆŽ

Powered by SmugMug Owner Log In