"Say cheese on three! One, two--oh, shoot, the battery died."
December 26, 2006 9:27 AM   Subscribe

Is it safe to use a non-Panasonic CGA-S005 battery in my shiny new Lumix DMC-FX8 camera? What if there are stipulations?

I just got a new digital camera for Christmas. I really like it--the quality is excellent--but I'm a bit dissatisfied with the battery life. I need to stockpile some batteries so I don't have my camera die on me.

I checked the Panasonic site and replacement CGA-S005A batteries are crazy.

On E-bay, they have plenty of off-brand batteries. However, some don't match the same mAh; some are CGA-S005E. Does this matter?

My original battery is 1150mAh, 3.7V, CGA-S005A.

-Is it OK if the mAh is different, as in this item's 1250mAh? What about this item's 1600mAh? What does the mAh control, exactly?
-Is it OK if the battery is CGA-S005E instead of CGA-S005A, as with this item?

Heck, a lesson in batteries is fine with me.

Please, MeFi, you're my only hope! My camera's current battery only has one bar left!
posted by ElectricBlue to Technology (5 answers total)
The mAh is the capacity. A 1600 mAh battery will last longer than a 1150mAh. It shouldn't make a difference otherwise. The exact model number shouldn't either, as long as it says it's compatible with your camera.

There are occasional storied of off-brand batteries catching fire or whatever, but I don't think it's an issue. I have a couple for my FX7 and have never worried about it.
posted by cillit bang at 9:45 AM on December 26, 2006

My eBay-special Canon replacement batteries lasted longer than the name-brand ones they replaced. 99% of these batteries come out of the same factory, name brand ones included. What you're paying for with name-brand batteries (like wine) is consistency. Every "Panasonic" battery will last about the same lengh. Off brand ones will probably be fine, but they might be totally useleess.

mAh is good to pay attention to, but as long as the rating is at least as high as the name brand battery's, you're golden.
posted by Skorgu at 11:35 AM on December 26, 2006

Check reviews on the battery you are buying. No-name batteries can ruin your device. Remember the Nokia fiasco with no-name batteries catching fire?

They may also cause your device to run unstable, I had a friend with a fancy cellphone that needed to be hard reset every day or so. The phone ended up dying and he found out it was because of the no-name battery he was using. It will most likely void your warranty if something battery related happens.

So do some research before you do buy that battery.
posted by mphuie at 1:42 PM on December 26, 2006

One thing you might want to consider is that Panasonic is a leading manufacturer of NiMH rechargable batteries. There is a good chance that your 'off brand' battery pack is actually using Panasonic cells under the shrinkwrap.

That said, I have no idea of the econonomics of the situation and there could well be a difference. Oh, and I share your pain: I have a similar Panasonic digital cam and it just bleeds battery power. Great camera otherwise...
posted by tim_in_oz at 2:15 PM on December 26, 2006

I've been buying off-brand batteries for my cameras on ebay for years. I bought them for my Canon S100 and S500, bought some for my SD700 and I have no qualms about using ebay-bought batteries in a $1000 Nikon D80. I think off-brand FUD is baseless.
posted by phearlez at 5:41 PM on December 26, 2006

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