Thursday, May 27, 2010

Batteries for the 7D

Although Canon's LP-E6 battery for their 7D appears to be a really good one, it is expensive. Seems like an extra OEM battery was about $65 when I got the 7D in October 2009 but now is nearly $100! In fact, there were few OEM LP-E6 batteries to be had in late April and early May. Apparently Canon has made (or bought) a fresh batch as batteries are now readily available.

Shown in the picture above (L-R) are my original Canon LP-E6, a newly purchased Canon LP-E6 and a copy labeled “Premium Tech”. Also pictured is the Canon charger on the left and the Premium Tech charger on the right. The Canon box for the latest issue LP-E6 is in the middle. The Premium Tech charger can be powered by either AC or automobile battery; the Canon charger is AC only. Both chargers accept 100-240V, 50/60 Hz AC. The new Canon LP-E6 has identical specifications to the one shipped with my 7D but slightly different markings. All three work fine with my 7D.

I subscribe to the battery management policy of “One in the camera, one in the case and one in the charger”. This means having a handful of batteries. In the past, I’ve used non-OEM batteries along with the OEM originals in my G3, G9, 20D and SD800 Canon cameras without any real problems. I do suspect that the non-OEM batteries may not accept as many recharges as do the OEMs; in fact, two went bad within a few months. Anticipating such problems, I’ve simply bought an extra battery or two – after all, the non-OEM battery is very inexpensive (OK – cheap!).

Because Canon's spare battery was so expensive, I naturally bought a non-OEM spare (only one) along with my 7D. The few times I’ve used it, the non-OEM LP-E6 seems fine and I’m glad to have it. The non-OEM must be recharged in its own charger; I think battery plus charger was about $25.

As I’m beginning to use the 7D for video, another battery seemed to be a good idea (remember that my philosophy calls for three batteries). After reading a few reviews of non-OEM batteries on Amazon, I decided to get Canon’s OEM battery. To my surprise, none were available; however, the supply has now been replenished – but at a higher price. The disparaging reviews on Amazon and discussion forums emphasize that the non-OEM battery cannot be recharged in the Canon charger and that the 7D displays a warning and does not indicate the remaining battery power with a non-OEM battery. Now I have two Canon LP-E6 batteries and a cheap clone.

Last year, I began to write the date of purchase on all my rechargeable batteries, even taking a guess at the older ones, but I’m hoping not to need this information for a long time!


Unknown said...

Great info; I'd wondered about the increase in price. I was also scared by reviews of some non-oem batteries that were so snug that they were very hard to pry out of the 7D. Good to know your positive experience with this brand.

Oriol Alamany Sesé said...

I am looking for a car charger for the LP-E6 batteries and have read a lot of bad reviews of this charger. What's your experience with that one?

The Geeks said...

Thanks for review, it was excellent and very informative.
thank you :)