Thursday, November 17, 2011

Clone Batteries Kaput!

Canon G3 and G9 Cameras

My G9 became a (mostly) unused spare camera when I got my G12 even though the G9 is used on occasion to photograph the G12 and its accessories. As part of testing the compatibility of the YN565EX flash, I put it on the G9 only to discover that the G9 battery was dead. No problem, I had spares. Whoops, that spare was usable but weak so I tried yet another spare battery and this one was usable. Then I noticed that the weak batteries were both clones whereas the usable battery was the original Canon battery.

For camera batteries, I follow a philosophy of one in the camera, one in the pocket and one on the charger. As this practice is both debatable and expensive, I usually use inexpensive cloned batteries. Most of the time I get those clones from (I have no affiliation with Sterlingtek except as a customer).

The next step, of course, was to recharge the weak cloned batteries; however, the charger changed from “charging” to “charged” all too quickly for both batteries so something was not quite right. After only a few shots and screen displays the G9 again indicated that the batteries were weak.

This post is really not a rant or even a gripe. These particular batteries, NB2L Li-ion, were purchased as spares almost exactly four years ago (I write the purchase date on the batteries). It does seem strange for both clones to go bad at the same time. Perhaps the lack of use was a contributing factor? I know that the G9 was used on July 4th this year and also that all the G9 batteries were recharged before a vacation in mid-July.

The problem does not appear to be with the G9 or the battery charger because the original Canon battery works and charges fine. On the other hand, what if the original battery is on its last legs? Even though the G9 is not used very often, I want it to be available so after a few minutes of internal debate, I placed an order with Sterlingtek for two NB2L batteries ($30 plus shipping).

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