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04-27-2016, 08:14 AM   #1
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Will 3rd-Party (Generic) Batteries Even Work In The K1 ?

Thom reports here that many third-party batteries do not work at all in the new Nikon D500 digital camera.

I intend to purchase a Pentax K1 in June or July. I currently have 8 Pentax batteries, and 7 cheap third-party (generic) batteries left over from the K3ii camera that I recently sold. I'd sure like to know if the third-party batteries that worked so well in my K3ii will also work in the K1.

To all of those early adopters out there - please let us know what you are finding out about 3rd-party battery usage in the K1.


Last edited by Fenwoodian; 04-27-2016 at 08:26 AM.
04-27-2016, 10:16 AM - 2 Likes   #2
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In answer to your question: I suspect they will.

Nikon goes out of their way to insure that 3rd party batteries don't function in their cameras. They go so far as to include a chip in the batteries to insure this. There are two reasons for this; the stated reason - which is to insure the batteries meet Nikon specs - and the real reason: so that down the line they can cut off production of old batteries and force you to buy a new camera. They learned this when Mercury batteries went out of production and people had to buy new cameras to replace the ones whose meters quit working.

Just one of the reasons I would never buy a Nikon.
04-27-2016, 10:22 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by HoustonBob Quote
In answer to your question: I suspect they will.

Nikon goes out of their way to insure that 3rd party batteries don't function in their cameras. They go so far as to include a chip in the batteries to insure this. There are two reasons for this; the stated reason - which is to insure the batteries meet Nikon specs - and the real reason: so that down the line they can cut off production of old batteries and force you to buy a new camera. They learned this when Mercury batteries went out of production and people had to buy new cameras to replace the ones whose meters quit working.

Just one of the reasons I would never buy a Nikon.
Bob, great explaination. Those sly Nikon devils!

Last edited by Fenwoodian; 04-27-2016 at 10:28 AM.
04-27-2016, 11:40 AM - 1 Like   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by HoustonBob Quote
In answer to your question: I suspect they will.

Nikon goes out of their way to insure that 3rd party batteries don't function in their cameras. They go so far as to include a chip in the batteries to insure this. There are two reasons for this; the stated reason - which is to insure the batteries meet Nikon specs - and the real reason: so that down the line they can cut off production of old batteries and force you to buy a new camera. They learned this when Mercury batteries went out of production and people had to buy new cameras to replace the ones whose meters quit working.

Just one of the reasons I would never buy a Nikon.
A third reason for Nikon doing this is that users have to buy spare batteries made by Nikon instead of third parties. More money for Nikon.

04-27-2016, 12:40 PM - 1 Like   #5
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Now for your Pentax gear...

Something you should find on all of your third party batteries is the amp hour rating, usually abbreviated "Ah". A typical Pentax brand D-LI-90 battery (from the K5 era mind you) has a rating of 1860mAh. I recently found some from DSTE which are 2800mAh. The higher the amp hour rating, the more energy the battery can store and release over a longer period of time. I've noticed that a number of third party batteries have poor amp hour ratings, so caveat emptor. Only use batteries which match or exceed the amp hour rating of the OEM specifications.

Remember that only a few companies actually make the cells that comprise these batteries, so brand really doesn't matter much. Focus on the battery specifications.
04-27-2016, 01:30 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by pete-tarmigan Quote
A third reason for Nikon doing this is that users have to buy spare batteries made by Nikon instead of third parties. More money for Nikon.
Is this a new thing? When I bought a D800 back in 2012, it B&H supplied a free house brand battery that worked just fine.

Maybe they're just trying to make sure that all batteries are chipped?

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04-27-2016, 01:31 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Harry_the_Wombat Quote
Now for your Pentax gear...

Something you should find on all of your third party batteries is the amp hour rating, usually abbreviated "Ah". A typical Pentax brand D-LI-90 battery (from the K5 era mind you) has a rating of 1860mAh. I recently found some from DSTE which are 2800mAh. The higher the amp hour rating, the more energy the battery can store and release over a longer period of time. I've noticed that a number of third party batteries have poor amp hour ratings, so caveat emptor. Only use batteries which match or exceed the amp hour rating of the OEM specifications.

Remember that only a few companies actually make the cells that comprise these batteries, so brand really doesn't matter much. Focus on the battery specifications.

Great advice Harry! Thanks much...

---------- Post added 04-27-16 at 03:34 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
Is this a new thing? When I bought a D800 back in 2012, it B&H supplied a free house brand battery that worked just fine.

Maybe they're just trying to make sure that all batteries are chipped?
I have a Nikon D7100 and so far have not had problems with using generic 3rd-party batteries in it either.

So, I suspect Nikon chipping their batteries is indeed a fairly new practice for them.
04-27-2016, 01:58 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Harry_the_Wombat Quote
Now for your Pentax gear...

Something you should find on all of your third party batteries is the amp hour rating, usually abbreviated "Ah". A typical Pentax brand D-LI-90 battery (from the K5 era mind you) has a rating of 1860mAh. I recently found some from DSTE which are 2800mAh. The higher the amp hour rating, the more energy the battery can store and release over a longer period of time. I've noticed that a number of third party batteries have poor amp hour ratings, so caveat emptor. Only use batteries which match or exceed the amp hour rating of the OEM specifications.

Remember that only a few companies actually make the cells that comprise these batteries, so brand really doesn't matter much. Focus on the battery specifications.
I've also heard that some of the third-party batteries are, shall we say, rated generously, so the extra capacity promised on the label may not be real.

I think I would be more accepting of proprietary batteries if there was a real, obvious benefit -- but I haven't even heard as much about DSLRs catching on fire from bad batteries as I have with other consumer electronics...

Maybe I'm just not paying attention...

04-27-2016, 02:22 PM - 2 Likes   #9
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FYI: For sake of completeness, I've just tested a non-pentax battery in the K-1. It works, as it did the last five years in my K-5. That specific example isn't as good as the original, but back then I needed a backup and that was what back then was available on short notice.

Please don't consider this a recommendation; as stated previously, YMMV, because non-brand batteries are not standardized in any way. You might get lucky (as I apparently did), but you might also get a battery that loses it's charge in the most inconvenient moments.
04-28-2016, 01:40 AM - 1 Like   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Harry_the_Wombat Quote
Something you should find on all of your third party batteries is the amp hour rating, usually abbreviated "Ah". A typical Pentax brand D-LI-90 battery (from the K5 era mind you) has a rating of 1860mAh. I recently found some from DSTE which are 2800mAh.
Regarding the DSTE battery. I have tested one and the actual capacity is not even 1000mAh. So far I have tested a few 3rd party brands and they range from 600mAh to 1200mAh, regardless of the printed capacity. Only the original Pentax battery have the stated capacity at 1940mAh.
04-28-2016, 03:58 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
Is this a new thing? When I bought a D800 back in 2012, it B&H supplied a free house brand battery that worked just fine.

Maybe they're just trying to make sure that all batteries are chipped?
No, it is not a new thing from Nikon - they have been doing this for a while. The chip in the battery only has one purpose to keep generic batteries from being used in the camera. Epson has the same sort of thing in their ink cartridges for their large printers. Nikon keeps having to change chips because the third party vendors have reverse engineered the older ones. That is why the third party batteries aren't working in the D-500 Nikon.

Like I said just one of many reasons I would never buy a Nikon.
04-28-2016, 09:45 PM - 1 Like   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Harry_the_Wombat Quote
Now for your Pentax gear...

Something you should find on all of your third party batteries is the amp hour rating, usually abbreviated "Ah". A typical Pentax brand D-LI-90 battery (from the K5 era mind you) has a rating of 1860mAh. I recently found some from DSTE which are 2800mAh. The higher the amp hour rating, the more energy the battery can store and release over a longer period of time. I've noticed that a number of third party batteries have poor amp hour ratings, so caveat emptor. Only use batteries which match or exceed the amp hour rating of the OEM specifications.

Remember that only a few companies actually make the cells that comprise these batteries, so brand really doesn't matter much. Focus on the battery specifications.
In my experience, the more fanciful the ah rating, the more likely the battery underperforms and suffers an early demise. The DSTE/Wasabi batteries are slightly above the median for generics, but the Watson/Pearstone line (rated conservatively as a matter of fact) are very much a rival to the OEM - and possibly slightly better overall. Well worth the higher price than other generics, yet half the price of OEM. High grade and high value.
04-29-2016, 01:08 PM   #13
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My chinese noname batteries work with the K-1
04-29-2016, 01:17 PM   #14
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Cyberphoto in Sweden sells the K-1 bundled with some extras including a non Pentax battery.
04-29-2016, 06:33 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by HoustonBob Quote
No, it is not a new thing from Nikon - they have been doing this for a while. The chip in the battery only has one purpose to keep generic batteries from being used in the camera. Epson has the same sort of thing in their ink cartridges for their large printers. Nikon keeps having to change chips because the third party vendors have reverse engineered the older ones. That is why the third party batteries aren't working in the D-500 Nikon.

Like I said just one of many reasons I would never buy a Nikon.
Well that sucks! But on the other hand, if the chip just forces third-party makers to pay more attention and make safe products, then it's a good thing- as long as third-party batteries actually keep coming.

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