Proper Battery Use
Lithium-Ion batteries are expensive buggers, especially for cameras. They run in the $70 to $100 range for the “real” batteries from Canon, Nikon… and then there are the “fake/generic” batteries from other manufacturers and these range from $15 to $30. Why the difference in price?
Shouldn't Lithium be Lithium? Yes and no. Lithium is Lithium. The Lithium is the material used to create the charge by having the ions move from the negative to the positive during discharge and from the positive to the negative during the charge. This is a fairly simple, well-known process, but you can pack-in more lithium to get a higher capacity, use better electrodes…
The problem is that all the “real” camera batteries are smart batteries. Smart batteries are batteries that can tell you that there is still 25% left on the charge… and that's where many of the complications happen. Neither Canon, nor Nikon, nor the other camera manufacturers have released, published the electronics for the smarts. Everybody does it differently. The other companies, like the one manufacturing for Neweer, Ezo… had to reverse engineer the electronics and hope for the best.
- Contrarily to Nickel Hydrate batteries (NiMH), you should never fully, fully discharge a Lithium-Ion battery. Depending on the quality of the battery, if the battery charge falls below 1% to 3%, the battery will loose its capacity to recharge.
- There is no need to prep a brand new Lithium-Ion battery, just use it until it's low, but not fully discharged.
- For long term storage, the recommended procedure is to fully charge the Lithium-Ion battery, and then discharge the battery until the 50% charge level, and finally store it at room temperature. When starting to use the Lithium-Ion battery, use it until the charge is low, around 10 to 15%, then fully charge it again and you are ready to go back to normal.
- Lithium-Ion batteries last 300-500 full charges cycles for 95% discharges. They last around around 1,200 to 1,500 cycles for 50% discharges.
- Temperature strongly affects the capacity of the battery.
batteriescells are 3.6 volt each. If a manufacturer needs 7.2 volt like the Canon 7D or the Nikon D7000, the battery pack is made of 2 Lithium-Ion batteriescells into one casing.
Many people have reported being extremely unhappy for the “non-brand name.” Just as many people are extremely happy for their cheaper battery. Make your own choice. For the Canon LP-E6, 2 years ago, I would have said “only buy the Canon,” but now Canon has fixed the firmware to work properly with “non-brand name” batteries. What about Nikon, Pentax, Olympus …? The story is the same since we are dealing with the same technology.