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October 21, 2011 11:36 AM   Subscribe

Are there ANY aftermarket (non-Nikon) batteries that work with the Nikon D3100?

I recently purchased a D3100 and want to obtain a spare battery. It didn't take long to discover that the 3100 (and other newer Nikon bodies) require a chip-containing OEM battery that handshakes with the camera. Cheap aftermarket batteries (including those advertised as the equivalent of the Nikon model number) are locked out and the camera will not function.

The likely solution (I assume) is for an aftermarket battery maker to reverse-engineer the Nikon chip and emulate the handshaking. I've tried to search photography-specific forums but I swear every mention of this issue quickly devolves into "OMG YOU DON'T USE OFFICIAL NIKON BATTERIES!?!?!?" versus "WAKE UP SHEEPLE OEM BATTERIES ARE A FRAUD!!!!" No one actually seems to know if there is a possibilty of using a 3rd party battery with this camera or if anyone is working on a solution.

So MeFi photographers, any information?
posted by werkzeuger to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (8 answers total)
I have a Panasonic Lumix camera, and they chip their batteries now, too. My solution is to read through the comments on and see what other people report. *shrug* Reminds me of inkjet cartirdges, and just as annoying/needlessly expensive.
posted by wenestvedt at 12:15 PM on October 21, 2011

Response by poster: My solution is to read through the comments on and see what other people report.

This is where I first learned of the issue.

Reminds me of inkjet cartirdges, and just as annoying/needlessly expensive.

Right on both counts.
posted by werkzeuger at 12:21 PM on October 21, 2011

I have no idea if what you are looking for is available, but if a legitimate and trustworthy manufacturer does make one, I'd bet that Adorama and B&H both carry it. If they don't claim to have such a product I'd be very way of someone who does.

Unfortunately I think both are closed for the next several days due to a Jewish holiday.
posted by dave*p at 1:50 PM on October 21, 2011

I just bought an aftermarket battery for my girlfriend's D3100, currently en route from China. I didn't know about the chip issue! If the battery actually works in her camera, I'll come back here and post the eBay seller's name. It was about $9 including shipping. I will be really irritated if I am forced to buy Nikon branded batteries. I hate that racket.
posted by reeddavid at 6:53 AM on October 22, 2011

Response by poster: reeddavid I hope they work for you, but all the $9 D3100 batts (from China) on amazon have scores of 1-star ratings from unhappy D3100 owners.

It seems there is a Nikon point-and-shoot (P7000?) that uses the same battery but does not validate with a chip. So these cheap batteries will work for that model.
posted by werkzeuger at 10:39 AM on October 22, 2011

I looked at the eBay description and I guess I missed the bold red type that says "Only works with Nikon P7000". Looks like the cheapest option is a $50 genuine Nikon battery. How frustrating. I've been happily using aftermarket batteries in digital cameras and camcorders for years. Can't believe I missed the red type, I usually have an eagle eye for even the finest print. I will be carefully watching this thread.
posted by reeddavid at 10:15 PM on October 22, 2011

I've discovered that one possible answer is a cheap battery grip (e.g.). It will take a third-party battery in the left slot and a genuine Nikon battery in the right slot. Once the camera is booted, you can even swap out the Nikon battery. I also added an external power jack to mine.
posted by afiler at 1:06 AM on February 3, 2012

I know this is a late follow-up, but in case anyone finds this thread: the aftermarket battery I purchased does NOT work with the Nikon D3100.
posted by reeddavid at 2:27 PM on March 1, 2012

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