Friday, 19 April 2013

Third party battery for GH3

A spare battery for a digital camera is a good thing to have. If the battery runs out, the only way to charge it would be to remove it from the camera and place it in the charger, provided you are somewhere with a power outlet. This means not being able to shoot for an hour, at least.

If you carry a spare, charged battery with you, you can just exchange the battery in a matter of seconds, and be ready to shoot again. However, original batteries often cost a lot. The GH3 battery can easily cost US$80 new.

With the GH2, the third party batteries did not let the camera see how much power was left, hence, you would not get any "power bars" in the camera display. And even worse: When the battery eventually run out of juice, the camera would just die instantly, and the images in the buffer, not yet written to the memory card, would be lost. If you were recording video while the battery died, you would lose the video footage.

With the GH3, though, third party batteries are available cheaply, and they let the camera see how much juice is left. So, from the point of not losing data when running out of juice, they are safe to use. Just like when using original batteries, the camera will warn you that the battery power is low. And, eventually, the camera will stop video recording and write the data to the memory card before shutting down.


The battery I tested is marked with "FOR BLF19", indicating that it replaces the original battery called Panasonic DMW-BLF19. Just like the original battery, it is marked with 1860mAh, i.e., the same power reserve.

Here it is next to the original battery, original to the right:


The third party battery feels a bit lighter, but otherwise they appear to be identical.

I have not formally tested if they carry the same amount of power reserve, but so far, the third party battery appears to be as capable.

The third party battery is a good alternative to the original version. It appears to perform as well, and is good to have in the camera bag as a replacement power, for the times when you need it. At the low cost, I would recommend getting a second battery for spare power.


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