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01-22-2014, 05:07 PM - 1 Like   #1
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Testing Aftermarket Batteries for K-30

I tested 3 brands of D-LI109 batteries for a K-30. The Pentax and the Synergy brand batteries were purchased in April 2013 and have been used regularly since then. The Wasabi brand batteries were purchased in January 2014 and have very little use before the test. The testing was done with a Optim Engineering CBA III computerized battery analyzer. They were tested with a constant 1A load. It discharges them to 5.6V and then removes the load. The cutoff point is not critical because once it discharged to 6V it drops quickly after that point. This is obviously not very similar to the camera load, but it should be a good indication of the relative capacities of the different batteries. All units were charged and discharged twice. The results were very similar in both runs of each battery.

Pentax had a claimed capacity of 1.05 AH and a measured capacity of 1.0 AH capacity (cost about $48)
Synergy had claimed capacity of 1.2 AH and a measured capacity of 0.6 AH capacity (cost about $14)
Wasabi had a claimed capacity of 1.4 AH and a measured capacity of 0.8 AH capacity (cost about $27 for 2 and included a charger that works from both 12V and 110 or 240V)

So the moral of the story is that the Pentax batteries are somewhat better than the aftermarket batteries, but cost much more per AH.

01-22-2014, 05:08 PM   #2
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You get what you pay for Thanks for posting the tests!

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01-23-2014, 11:22 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by GSWayne Quote
I tested 3 brands of D-LI109 batteries for a K-30. The Pentax and the Synergy brand batteries were purchased in April 2013 and have been used regularly since then. The Wasabi brand batteries were purchased in January 2014 and have very little use before the test. The testing was done with a Optim Engineering CBA III computerized battery analyzer. They were tested with a constant 1A load. It discharges them to 5.6V and then removes the load. The cutoff point is not critical because once it discharged to 6V it drops quickly after that point. This is obviously not very similar to the camera load, but it should be a good indication of the relative capacities of the different batteries. All units were charged and discharged twice. The results were very similar in both runs of each battery.

Pentax had a claimed capacity of 1.05 AH and a measured capacity of 1.0 AH capacity (cost about $48)
Synergy had claimed capacity of 1.2 AH and a measured capacity of 0.6 AH capacity (cost about $14)
Wasabi had a claimed capacity of 1.4 AH and a measured capacity of 0.8 AH capacity (cost about $27 for 2 and included a charger that works from both 12V and 110 or 240V)

So the moral of the story is that the Pentax batteries are somewhat better than the aftermarket batteries, but cost much more per AH.
So pentax is $48 per AH
Synergy is $23.33 per AH
Wasabi is $17.50 per AH (checked price on amazon for single battery.)

Wasabi seems to be the best value. You just have to carry more of them.

Assuming the Pentax gets 400 shots per charge, (410 spec'd, but we all know battery specs are wishful thinking) to get 1000 photographs you need

2.5 Pentax batteries. (400 per battery)
4.1 of the Synergy batteries (240 per battery)
3.1 Wasabi batteries. (320 pics per battery)

So, to me this just means you use your Pentax battery, and keep a pair of Wasabi as your 2nd and 3rd if you shoot that much.

In my case, the most I shoot is my daughter's volleyball. The most I shot per day was 330. So, I could get by with just the Pentax battery. However, I will always carry a back up.
01-23-2014, 11:33 AM   #4
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A cheap DSTE K-30 battery measured only 5% less than the Pentax one in a similar test I ran a couple of months back, so 1.0Ah. I got the same 1.05Ah as you for the Pentax. 2 other nameless ones measured only 0.4Ah!

01-23-2014, 12:03 PM   #5
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Can the included Wasabi charger also charge the Pentax OEM battery? Or only the Wasabi brand batteries?
01-23-2014, 01:27 PM   #6
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Has anyone tried the "Watson" available from B & H? They are $19.95. I was thinking about ordering one, but if it's not going to be as good as the original, I'll just spring for the Pentax.

Watson D-LI109 Lithium-Ion Battery Pack (7.4V, 1050mAh) B-3706
01-23-2014, 03:07 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by seventysixersfan Quote
Can the included Wasabi charger also charge the Pentax OEM battery? Or only the Wasabi brand batteries?
It can charge all three of the brands of batteries I tested. It is nicer than the OEM charger in that it has the plug built in so you do not need a cord for it.
01-23-2014, 03:51 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by GSWayne Quote
It can charge all three of the brands of batteries I tested. It is nicer than the OEM charger in that it has the plug built in so you do not need a cord for it.
Thanks! I am definitely planning to buy this Wasabi package deal sometime soon.

01-23-2014, 04:01 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by beebs Quote
Has anyone tried the "Watson" available from B & H? They are $19.95. I was thinking about ordering one, but if it's not going to be as good as the original, I'll just spring for the Pentax. Watson D-LI109 Lithium-Ion Battery Pack (7.4V, 1050mAh) B-3706
I'm not sure if Watson and Pearstone are the same company's brands, but I bought a Pearstone compact battery charger that has interchangeable adapter "plates" that allow you to charge many different Li-Ion batteries. One of the compatible plates was a Watson brand one. Anyway, I use this Pearstone/Watson battery charger to charge my K-01's battery, as well as battery packs for my Canon camcorder, Canon S95, and Olympus Tough camera. I did not buy the Watson battery for my K-01 or K-50, however, so I'm sorry that my response isn't helpful in answering your question.
01-23-2014, 05:06 PM   #10
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Not a problem...since this was a thread about testing third-party batteries, I was just asking if anyone had tried the Watson brand, since it comes from B & H.
01-24-2014, 04:37 AM   #11
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dstebattery, I have 2 of them.
1100-1050 mAh. declared 1400 mAh, but it almost impossible, so do not try to find true 1400 mah D-li109
chip a lot, approx 17 USD for pare+charger.
very useful.
01-24-2014, 08:43 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by beebs Quote
Not a problem...since this was a thread about testing third-party batteries, I was just asking if anyone had tried the Watson brand, since it comes from B & H.
Not long ago, I confirmed with B&H that Watson and Pearstone are the same; they are emphatic that they are (and their websites are very similar). Having had less than stellar results from Wasabi on the Q (MaximalPower lasted longer at a lower price), and finding that the Pearstone closely matches the Pentax OEM on the K-01 at half the price - I went with the Watson for K30 from BH. So far, not sure if it is quite up to the Pentax OEM but I need to test it more. Certainly lasts at least two-thirds as long. I think the best bet would be an OEM, a generic (or two), and back up from lithium AAs. The Eneloops just aren't consistent enough for me under heavy use. Pentax has to think through the AA thing a bit better if they want to continue with that combo as grip and both battery options are far less than ideal.

Regarding generics, the issue isn't just a matter of initial capacity after break in. Many of my older generics I tried just didn't last very long at all (losing most capacity after a few dozen charges). It appears the quality in Pearstone/Watson might be higher and longer lasting than the slightly cheaper alternatives.
01-24-2014, 09:02 AM   #13
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By going to the website of the company that sells the Wasabi on Amazon (Blue Nook) I ordered a single K3 battery for $2 less than the Amazon price-$11.99 vs. 13.99. so for $37 I'm getting 3 batteries and the wasabi charger delivered free via Priority Mail directly from Blue Nook. There are mostly good reviews of the battery on Amazon and the negative feedbacks with poor performance batteries were mostly addressed by a rep from Blue Nook with the promise of replacement. Their ads say there is a 3 year warranty from the manufacturer.
01-24-2014, 10:18 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by sandpipe Quote
By going to the website of the company that sells the Wasabi on Amazon (Blue Nook) I ordered a single K3 battery for $2 less than the Amazon price-$11.99 vs. 13.99. so for $37 I'm getting 3 batteries and the wasabi charger delivered free via Priority Mail directly from Blue Nook. There are mostly good reviews of the battery on Amazon and the negative feedbacks with poor performance batteries were mostly addressed by a rep from Blue Nook with the promise of replacement. Their ads say there is a 3 year warranty from the manufacturer.
3 yrs on a battery??? That's impressive
01-24-2014, 10:28 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by ScooterMaxi Jim Quote
Not long ago, I confirmed with B&H that Watson and Pearstone are the same; they are emphatic that they are (and their websites are very similar). Having had less than stellar results from Wasabi on the Q (MaximalPower lasted longer at a lower price), and finding that the Pearstone closely matches the Pentax OEM on the K-01 at half the price - I went with the Watson for K30 from BH. So far, not sure if it is quite up to the Pentax OEM but I need to test it more. Certainly lasts at least two-thirds as long. I think the best bet would be an OEM, a generic (or two), and back up from lithium AAs. The Eneloops just aren't consistent enough for me under heavy use. Pentax has to think through the AA thing a bit better if they want to continue with that combo as grip and both battery options are far less than ideal.

Regarding generics, the issue isn't just a matter of initial capacity after break in. Many of my older generics I tried just didn't last very long at all (losing most capacity after a few dozen charges). It appears the quality in Pearstone/Watson might be higher and longer lasting than the slightly cheaper alternatives.

Ah, thanks for that. I will probably go with an extra OEM for now...had less than stellar results with the rechargeable AA's...not sure whether to attribute it to the cells I'm using (the 2300mAh Energizers) or the aftermarket clips...more than likely a little of both. Sometimes it works great, other times, I can take the AA's right out of the charger, put 'em in the clip and put 'em in the K-30 and turn it on, and get "BATTERY DEPLETED"...go figure.
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