Quick test of a 3rd party battery

Quick test of the Watson LP-E6 Li-ion battery that fits in the 5D3 5D2, 70D, 60D, 7D.

Watson LP-E6: around $35 so about half the price. 1750mAh, new, 1 hour and 9 minutes

Canon LP-E6: around $60, 1800mAh, 1 year old, 1 hour and 28 minutes

The Watson must have a chip inside of it because you can register it within the 5D3 and you can track it’s performance.

Canon says in the manual you can recharge whenever you like, Watson says to recharge only when it is dead. So I have a feeling that Watson has less recharge cycles than the Canon does.

I will check back in about a year to see what the performance is like.

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15 comments

  • Dave, I understand the urge of testing the batteries, but you’re doing it wrong. I recommend you use Watson battery for few weeks, recharge it few times. Then test the performance again. You have to know, that batteries with right handling get longer and longer performance.

    I bought even cheaper than Watson batteries… for same money I get three-pack LP-E6 batteries from China. Well, they don’t recharge on 5D Mark III charger (because of the Canon “safety” chip), but they still work great even after half a year of use.

  • Dave, I have the new 70D and the 3rd party battery’s I used on my 60D do not register on the 70D. I can override them, but the camera does not keep track of the shots taken. So I am going to use my 2 Canon battery’s.

  • Dave,

    I have the 5DII (5+ years, orginal batteries)that uses the same battery (LP-E6) and needed some replacements. Here in Canada, the Canon LP-E6 ranges from $85CDN- $115CDN…OUCH. I picked up some iCan DCBADK0287 “for Canon LP-E6”, 7.4V, 1650mAh, Li-ion for $19. They are chipped, register in camera and charge on the Canon charger. I’m currently running some charge/discharge tests and will posts a video review in the next few weeks. So far, they seem to be doing just fine…and for the price/performance, I think I have a winner!

    Cheers from Ottawa,

    Jean D.

  • I have not tried them but just looked up Watson’s version of Nikon’s EN-EL15, the description which reads: “Small and lightweight, lithium-ion batteries can be charged or discharged at any time without developing memory effect.” Why would Watson’s batts for Canon be any different?

  • Usually with lithium ion and lithium polymer batteries it’s better NOT to fully discharge and recharge because it generates a lot of heat that can damage the battery. Canon batteries and chargers have safeguards (like trickle charging) to prevent this damage but if anything, it would be better for a third party battery to not run full charge cycles like they recommend.

  • My experience with third party batteries hasn’t been that great.

    I’ve bought a couple of different brands over the last few years, all names slip my mind except from Ex Pro (They sell through Amazon).

    Performance wise, at first most were probably 20% less than Canons, over time that has certainly fallen (we’re talking 2-3 years with a performance drop of another 20%).
    Like you say, you could counter this with more third party batteries.

    However, there’s a couple of slightly more concerning ‘quirks’ I’ve encountered that are worth noting when considering third party batteries. For the purpose of this list I’m going to refer to Third Party Batteries as TPBs:

    -Despite them looking the same size, I’ve had times when TPBs have (out of the blue) just become stuck in the camera body, and it’s taken a fair bit of fiddling to get out. This has occurred with batteries that have seemingly fitted fine for months previous. Not good on a hectic shoot.

    -Despite them producing battery life information, I’ve had TPBs spontaneously drop out when they get into the lower 25% of it’s cycle. This can be dangerous as the camera doesn’t know it’s about to drop power, increasing the risk of corrupting files.

    -Despite TPBs stating they can charge with Canon OEM chargers, when I’ve done so they conflict with my canon OEM batteries. I’ve stopped mixing Canon chargers and batteries with third party batteries and chargers because of this.
    What happened was my Canon chargers would stop recognising my Canon batteries, it would take a bit of jiggling around before they started charging. Likewise on the other end, my 5D mark iii would stop recognising OEM batteries.
    After I stopped mixing chargers and batteries, these problems ceased over a couple of weeks.

    -Build quality of TPBs aren’t as good. I’ve got equally old Canon and TPBs and some of my TPBs are literally falling apart.

    -Lastly would be TPB chargers. I can’t talk for all of them as there are many different ones. But the EX Pro ones are shocking, you have to jiggle them about for a good few seconds before batteries start to charge. They can sometimes stop charging mid cycle also, meaning an overnight charge for a shoot the next day is unsuccessful.

    Bottom line for me, I don’t trust TPBs. I took them out of my camera>battery loop a long time ago; I only use Canon batteries on my bodies. I currently have a large stock of TPBs, so am using them on my SmallHD DP6 until I need to buy another batch or Canons.

  • I have used TPB on my 60D with excellent results. But the same 2 battery’s give me a warning on my 70D and I have to bypass the camera’s questions. On the 70D these 2 battery’s do not keep track of shutter count, but they work perfectly on the 60D. I guess Canon made some internal software changes.

  • Hey Dave and everyone…

    I have been doing my own test for the past 6 months on off name batteries with my 5D3 and 7D. I use them along side Canon brand batteries daily at my studio. I use a grip on both cameras and man do they get a work out. Here is what I have found….

    Wassabi brand is popular and they work but they give me a warning which is annoying saying the camera does not recognize. So I do not trust the recharge feedback under “Battery Info”. I keep two of these just as a emergency backup.

    BUT wow am I happy with the Maxtek brand – JUST $15 on Amazon but they have the right chip and both cameras think they are canon batteries. They even register the LP-E6 name. At that price you would doubt them, but they perform just like the B & H reviews of the Watson brand Dave is trying (90% of Canon brand) – Yet are half the price of even that brand.

    So if it is helpful… Dave should link to this Amazon brand so he can get credit… I try to buy stuff with Dave’s links but here is one I have (I get no credit and don’t want any)

    http://amzn.to/2m8Pzgu

  • Furhter review of the iCan batteries (LP-E6 replacement…)

    I’ve run the iCan batteries through their paces by charging, using them, charging, using them etc…

    So far, the iCan batteries are showing about 10% less endurance (normal, given they are 1650mAh not 1800mAh like the Canon LP-E6’s…)than the new Canon LP-E6’s I’m also running.

    The camera (5D Mk II) sees the iCan batteries as LP-E6, tracks charge, shutter count, recharge health etc… and given I can get 4 of these iCan batteries for the price of 1 Canon battery, I think they’ll be staying in my bag for a long while. I’ll be keeping track of usage/charge/discharge over the next 12 months for both the iCan and Canon batteries…the long-term testing will tell me if they’re a solid investment or not.

    JD

  • I had the same problem than Tim with the third party batteries. After a couple of recharges, it became “fatter” and it was a real problem to take it out of my 5DMkII. I wouldn´t recommend it for the camera at all.

    On the other way, they work perfect for external monitors. I bought a Marshall 7´´ monitor with lp-e6 battery adapter and as far as i can see, those third party batteries are perfect for it.

  • I bought a 2 pack of wasabi LP e6 batteries from blue nook off Amazon. They are wonderful!! And here is the kicker.. THIRTY BUCKS!!! Can’t beat it!

  • im currently shopping for a third party backup battery and Grip for my 700d, im worried about what shawn wright had mention about his TPB working perfectly with his 60d but on the 70d apparently canon had made software changes… does anyone here have any personal experience with TPB/GRIPs for the t2i to the t4i used for their t5i??

    my research has left me just more unsure… last year all the youtube videos were about people finding out they can just use the t2i grip for their t4i… im hoping canon hasn’t made any software changes b/c my finger tips are practically on the order button for 2 TBS(including charger) for $20 and the NEEWER(amazon china brand) Grip also only $20