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Old May 28, 2012, 11:58 PM   #1
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Default generic batteries

Hi all,

I'm getting a little frustrated here. When I bought my K5 back in October I had bought two spare batteries, giving me three batteries. I hadn't taken many photos so not much use of the batteries.

I've been in California for two months now and taking photos off and on. In the past week I've experienced twice, at the most inopportune times, an instant loss of battery power using one of the generic batteries. I only brought the Pentax and one generic battery with me. One time was during a funeral service and one was during a memorial service today at the cemetery. It's always the generic battery it happens to.

The first time I figured it was because the battery had been depleted. So, I charged it. But, then today, that same battery just stopped again. I've taken maybe 30 photos with that battery.

Needless to say, I think I'll be purchasing some different batteries. The Pentax battery (knock on wood) is still working fine. I had generic batteries with my K20 that I used for I think 3 years of use with that camera and never had any problems.

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Old May 29, 2012, 3:07 AM   #2
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Hi Patty,

I think that the specific battery manufacturer makes more of a difference than OEM vs generic in general. I currently have 2 Pentax and 3 generics (two different brands, 1 Pearstone and 2 Wasabis) and have always rotated them between the K-7 and K-5 so each gets about the same number of charges. At any given time, I don't know which battery is in each camera, and it doesn't seem to make much of a difference.

I have done the same type of rotation and have had the same experience with K10/K20 batteries and also the Q. I generally look for Japanese manufacturers for camera batteries if possible because at least the perception is that they have higher standards for QC, and don't just shop for price because any of the generics will be a considerable saving over the OEM, which always seem to be overpriced by at least a factor of two.

I'd also suggest that you look for any dullness or difference in height in any of the contacts. Polish any dull looking contacts with a pencil eraser and if there's any difference in height, then contact the seller and see if they will replace it. If the battery continues to fail for whatever reason, I'd try to get a replacement because this is just unacceptable.

One more thing about Lithium Ion batteries like this -- it's recommended that you fully charge them when you first get them, then let use them until they're pretty much fully depleted after a full charge for the first couple of cycles. This seems to ensure the best charging capacity and number of charges in the battery's life.

Edit: -- One more thing I did was mark each battery so I can tell them apart. If I had any repeated failures, I could tell if it was the same one doing it. . .


Last edited by snostorm; May 29, 2012 at 8:23 AM.
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Old May 29, 2012, 7:11 AM   #3
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I also have one generic battery for my Kr and it seems the same as my Pentax. Got it from Amazon


...It is better to burn a roll of film than curse the darkness. Equip. K30, Q7, DA PLM 55-300, DA 18-135, DA 35 f2.4, DA 50 f1.8, SMC-M 28 f3.5, SMC M 50 f1.4, Canon P&S S100 w/CHDK Beta, Panasonic DMC-GM5, Flickr:
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Old May 29, 2012, 11:25 AM   #4
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I bought an Energiser equivalent to the Pentax D-Li90 which, for all intents & purposes, is identical to the OEM - twice the price of other generics but under half the price of the OEM.

Well recommended!
Pentax K10/K5, DA18-55mm, DA50-200mm & Tamrom 18-250mm
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Old May 29, 2012, 2:28 PM   #5
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I received 2x generic batteries with my fake battery grip and they are better than the Pentax batteries, one of which (Pentax, not generic) has completely died.
Pentax K-7
Tamron 90mm SP Di Macro
Tamron Adaptall 2 - 28mm, 28-80mm, 500mm Mirror
Pentax KAF - 18-55mm WR, 28-105mm PowerZoom
Pentax K - 50mm f/2, 50mm f/1.7, 28mm f/2.2
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Old May 29, 2012, 2:58 PM   #6
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I think it depends - the one time I had a generic battery for the K10/K20 (bought from Adorama and was their house brand), it was a bit smaller than the OEM battery and never held a charge as well as the OEM battery did. I finally tossed it a year later when it wouldn't keep a charge, and after getting a couple of Pentax batteries on sale when Ritz Cameras went out of business. The K5 OEM batteries aren't as expensive as the K20 ones were, so I just bought a Pentax battery when I got the K7. I have 4 batteries now, rotate them up to a point and haven't had a problem with any of them. I got the impression that the generic battery makers aren't as careful about quality control, so you are more likely to get one that isn't quite right and that will fail relatively quickly. If you get one that's correctly made you won't have any problems.
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Old May 29, 2012, 8:36 PM   #7
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I wish I could offer some helpful insights, but I don't know anything about OEM vs. generic batteries. I have only the one Pentax battery that came with my K5. I have an extra battery for my K20; it's a generic and has always performed just as well as as the original Pentax battery.
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Old Jun 1, 2012, 1:09 AM   #8
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Thank you for the tips. I will check the contacts, etc and see if that resolves my problem. I won't be home for another two weeks probably.

I've bought generics before my my K100 and my K20 and never had problems with them. But, these were bought used (supposedly new) from someone online. I think ebay. Sorry for the rambling about the battery problem the other day. I was just so frustrated about the problem happening.

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Old Jun 2, 2012, 7:52 PM   #9
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You can get a bad battery anywhere and any time, but there are some common sense "guidelines" to keep in mind that will improve your chances of getting good ones:

Camera manufacturers' batteries are most likely to be reliable, but are the most expensive. Many generics are perfectly fine, but there are also poor ones, most likely from China. Price is no guideline, but don't expect a $3 battery (shipped free) to be the equal of the OEM one. Buy only with a guarantee and in-country if possible - returning a cheap battery to China in possible, but not worth the hassle.

Don't buy unbranded batteries or unpackaged "OEM" batteries "bought in bulk" - branded batteries and those in retail packaging have a better chance of being reliable. If you get a reliable one, buy the same one again - don't take another chance on an unfamiliar one.

Buy batteries with the same or greater milliamp rating if you expect the same number of shots as the battery that came with the camera.

Buy from a house that sells the camera that uses that battery - their reputation is on the line, and they won't knowingly give you a bad one, lest you return the camera too.

Some camera manufacturers are now placing a chip in their batteries that will block the use of a battery without the same chip - new Sony cameras are particularly fussy about that. Most without the chip won't "load" at all, but some Chinese generics that appear to work at first must have unlicensed imperfect copies of the chip because you can get a message on the camera's LCD as it stops working that you must "use the correct battery" and at the most inopportune time, too!

There are probably more, but you get the idea - and the same guidelines apply to SD and CF cards, too! The fact that there are many counterfeit memory cards out there has been well documented - and there is every reason to expect that there are counterfeit batteries as well. Caveat emptor
If life brings you lemons, you can make lemonade.

Last edited by penolta; Jun 3, 2012 at 12:42 AM.
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Old Jun 2, 2012, 10:27 PM   #10
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I have 4 Pentax batteries...2 each...for my K10D and K-5.

I've had the K10D since 2007....thousands of shutter actuations....never a problem with the batteries....they hold a very long charge and have never seemed to lose their abilities.

The K-5 I've had since November, 2011....same performance as the K10D's batteries.

I only get Pentax accessories...so far no aftermarket stuff. It's always worked very well for me.

Not saying aftermarket accessories aren't as good....as I don't know.
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