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Old Oct 10, 2006, 8:25 AM   #1
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I went to my local photographic store last Monday to buy a FZ50, but they were out of stock. Oh well. They'll get one in for me.

While I was there I asked about all the accessories I'd need and found they sold cheap 3rd party batteries. That's a real win considering how much Panasonic slugs you for batteries.

But then the guy says "Wait, that's a FZ30 battery. The FZ50 is different and the 3rd party FZ30 batteries don't work in it."

Eh? What's he on about? Is there any difference?

In the past, when I thought I might get a FZ30, I tested my FZ10 batteries in a FZ30 and they worked. Why would a FZ30 battery not work in a FZ50?
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Old Oct 11, 2006, 2:21 AM   #2
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Well, I can't say for sure... I just ordered the FZ250 an hour or so ago...

But searching the net, it SEEMS like the batteries for the FZ30 and FZ27 will work just fine in the FZ50. The Panasonic site is down at the moment, so I can't provide the proper link, but even according to them, the CGR-S006A/1B battery is the one for all three mentioned above. So, I would assume that any of the generic batteries would work, assuming they are of decent quality.

I'm planning to order a 3rd party battery soon as I decide which and where, but of course it will be a week or two before I can report on actual use.
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Old Oct 11, 2006, 8:19 AM   #3
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They are the same battery.....and while I have many 3rd party batteries .....I would be worried since he said the battery will not work.....did he try one or is it just a stupid guess.
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Old Oct 14, 2006, 6:59 AM   #4
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The salesman was telling me how much I'd save with the 3rd party battery and I was busy agreeing with him. Then he read a note on the inventory system that claimed that the FZ50 battery was a different model number to the FZ30 battery and that the 3rd party battery wasn't compatible with this new model number.

So, no, he didn't test it, but it's not a store full of clueless newbies, so I'm a bit worried about buying the clone battery.

I suppose I'll just ask to see a test and buy a few cheap spare batteries if they seem to work.
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Old Oct 14, 2006, 7:43 AM   #5
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I think your dealer speaks nonsens.

There are different batteries with 1200, 1400, ... mAh ... all suited for FZ30, FZ50 ...

sample1 sample2


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Old Oct 14, 2006, 10:03 AM   #6
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I have a FZ30 and I bought no name batteries off of ebay and they work great so IMO, go for the no names!!!
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Old Oct 14, 2006, 10:35 AM   #7
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The only reason I can think of as to why FZ30 and FZ50 batteries MIGHT not be interchangeable is a voltage issue, i.e. if one operates at a different voltage than another. However I have no experience of this, it is just an off the top of my head thought! (Dangerous I know, but sometimes useful lol)

As to your dealer not being sure, could it be that cos the FZ50 is relatively new they weren't up to speed on its specifications? Also an off the top of my head thought!

Finally, another one, could the dealer have been trying to sell you a battery they had in stock, rather than one they didn't?

Would be interested to know how you, or any other readers of the forum get on with the FZ50, I have the FZ30 and am (still) considering upgrading to either the FZ50 or the Leica VLux1 (?) which is basically the same camera as the FZ50 but has some different internal settings.

Regards and good luck


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Old Oct 14, 2006, 3:41 PM   #8
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Pany lists the same part # (CGR-S006A/1B) for the FZ-7, 30 &50 models.
Its a 7.2V , 710mAh LI unit. I go with brand name batteries & memory, but I'll admit Pany's ask of $80 for this battery is too extravagant for my wallet.

Generally the important factors with batteries are form factor, voltage & capacity (mAh). But there can be other factors that sometimes can bite you in totally unexpected ways (battery shorts out, the case leaks or terminals corrode - because they are not plated, etc. thereby making a mess inside the battery compartment [once you chemically damage the plating on the internal battery connectors of the camera you will now have a permanent issue] ). Recommend staying away from knock-off batteries & buy a Lenmar or something from a reputable manufacturer (the Lenmar is about $25).

Some batteries, such as ones for Sonys, have a chip in them that needs to be there or the camera will not work with the battery (eg, my F717). Sony says that purpose of this chip is to ensure accurate measurement of the battery's charge status. I dont think Pany uses such technology (at least not in the S006A series).
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Old Oct 14, 2006, 9:09 PM   #9
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I ordered a spare battery AND a car/home charger for it off eBay: Both , including shipping came to just under $24.00.

Got here super fast: only two and a half days after I ordered them. The guy on ebay lists them as 1000mah, they are labeled as 1200mah.... Since they are china made, they are probably REALLY in the 650 -800 mah range: I don't want to rip the pack open but size wise it looks like it is probably two 16340 (CR123 size) batteries in the pack, and the best of the 16340 Lithium Ions are about 800mah, maybe 850 when you luck out and get a primo one.

Still, that is in the same range as the factory battery at 710mah, and even at the lowest end of the capacity, 650mah at ten bucks beats 710mah at eighty bucks, Just buy a couple ;-) .

Anyway, I charged it up and everything seems fine. Voltage at the right level, so the charger and battery working properly so far. Can't actually test it yet because the camera isn't here yet; ( camera due in Monday (Oct 16) evening). I'll cycle the battery / camera through a couple of charges as quickly as I can, and report the results here ASAP.

If it turns out to be OK, I'll post a link to the guy that sells them on eBay. Don't want to do it now, in case they prove to be poor quality in the short run. Don't want you all mad at me if you order one and it burns up in your cameras ;-)

OH, and just about every lithium Ion battery pack has the same sort of 'chip' in it. Has nothing to do with the camera's operation per se, although the camera or other device can be set up to read off the standard protection circuit; The circuit is there to prevent overcharging and overdischarging, not something that is part of the camera's operation other than a handy way of measuring the battery's remaining power level. You can buy individual cells without the protection circuit, but out of the hundreds of various LiIon packs I've opened up, they have ALL had basically the same sort of protection circuit. That is very important for a consumer product, because Lithium Ion batteries will die forever if they discharge below about 2.8 volts per cell, and can explode ('vent with flame)' if overcharged or shorted out.


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Old Oct 19, 2006, 4:05 PM   #10
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Well, after two cycles of the cheap battery, I'm pretty pleased with it. On first cycle, It got about 160 photos, mostly RAW, full size, about 70% using flash, about 10 minutes of movies and a lot of LCD use... At least a couple of hours of that on for photos and playback and messing around in the menus.

On the second cycle it did even better: 269 RAW full size photos about 80% of them with flash, 20 minutes of movies, and the LCD was used constantly for all, plus 15 minutes or so of playback.

(conventional 'wisdom' has it that Lithium Ion batteries don't reach their maximum capacity until they have been cycled 3-5 times)

Obviously, it didn't burn up in my camera or on the cheap charger I bought with it, or I would be less than pleased.

The only negative comment I can come up with for it is that it is the tinyest bit longer than the OEM battery... So you have to squeeze it into the battery holder a bit more than the OEM requires. Not enough to worry about breaking something, but it is noticable enough to mention.

Now; China made batteries can and often do vary in quality, even among the same batch from the same manufacturer, so I can't promise that your experiences will be the same as mine, but I'm confident enough that I'm going to order another battery and another AC/Dc charger from the vendor, so I can leave a charger in each vehicle and not have to worry about having to recharge on the go.

If you want to risk buying a non OEM battery and/or charger, this is the guy I purchased from:
http://stores.ebay.com/Battery-Merchants
His service was great, and fast shipping.
The battery for the FZ50 or 30 is his: CGR-S006A - DMW-BMA7
The battery is 'buy-it-now' priced $7.99 and USA shipping is $2.50.
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