3rd party Panasonic camera batteries?

  onionskin 01:32 11 Aug 2009

Panasonic charge £40 for a battery for my fs15 camera. Their website says the camera will not recognise batteries from 3rd party manufacturers and that there are no 3rd party batteries available anyway.

There are 3rd party batteries avilable for half what Panasonic charge, or less. Worse, Panasonic do not have any in stock.

Has anybody used 3rd Party batteries in their camera without any problems?

  John B 07:49 11 Aug 2009
  anchor 15:40 11 Aug 2009

You do not state if you refer to a Panasonic digital still, or a movie camera.

I have bought excellent 3rd party batteries for my Panasonic digital camera, and for my Sony Video camera from here. No problems at all; plus 2yr warranty. I can recommend them.

click here

  onionskin 23:35 11 Aug 2009

Thanks for your replies. Any battery not supplied by panasonic would be 3rd party I suppose.

I'm thinking that I made a mistake downloaing the firmware upgrade for my FS15 digital still camera.

This is what Panasonic say about the upgrade:
Ver 1.3 Improvement of battery detection for safety standards Panasonic uses.
(After this firmware update your Panasonic Digital Camera cannot be operated by unauthorised 3rd party batteries.)

Ver 1.2 Improved image quality

Ver 1.1 Performance improvement at the time of the slide show enforcement.


Dear Customers,
We would like to thank you for purchasing Panasonic DMC-FS15.
From this site, you'll be able to easily download the latest firmware to enhance the product's performance.

[ Warning ]
For our customers safety, after this firmware update your Panasonic Digital Camera cannot be operated by unauthorised 3rd party batteries.
(Currently there is no authorised 3rd party battery available in the market.)

The new firmware is V1.3, the old was V1.1, There was no way to only download V1.2 on its own.

Have I been suckered into fixing my camera so that it will only operate with Panasonic's (expensive) batteries by the promise of improved image quality?

  namtas 23:38 11 Aug 2009

I think you know that you have but to confirm, In a word YES.

  onionskin 01:43 12 Aug 2009

Ah well. Maybe it will serve as a warning to others, think before you click. I can't say I've noticed any improvement in image quality...
I'm pretty pleased with the camera though, I just wish I could get a spare battery which doesn't cost nearly as much as I paid for it.

  John B 07:52 12 Aug 2009

Perhaps the key is the word 'unauthorised' when describing 3rd party batteries?

  onionskin 12:07 12 Aug 2009

Hi, Thanks,
I have contacted a few suppliers but haven't tried duracell yet, this is a typical response:

Dear Customer,
It should be compatible as they are designed to work with the latest cameras, if you did have a problem however then let me know and we would be able to sort something out for you. It should work ok though.

Somehow, after reading their returns policies, that doesn't reassure me and I'm reluctant to part with my money to try one out.

I'm still waiting for responses to other enquiries. If you've ever tried to contact Panasonic, you'll know they can take weeks to reply.

I sort of hoped it would be like when Epson chipped their printer cartridges and the 3rd party suppliers chipped their cartridges too, and that someone had actually bought a battery that works.

Incidentally, it isn't just the FS15 which this affects, purchasers of other Panasonic cameras have been offered the same firmware upgrade. It doesn't surprise me that I'm the only one daft enough to download it :)

  anchor 16:55 12 Aug 2009

It sounds to me that this may be a Panasonic try-on to ensure you only use their own brand of battery.

However, I have my doubts the warning really is true; but the only way of really knowing is to try a different brand and see.

I use Duracell equivalents in my Panasonic, (which admittedly has not had the upgrade). The contacts on both the original and the Duracell battery appear identical. I can no differences whatsoever, except for the name printed on the side.

  jjss 18:43 12 Aug 2009

I've just received a battery from Durcelldirect and when reading the paperwork that came with it, the warrentee appears very good. The battery is guarented for 3 years, but what surprised me was that if the battery (because of manufacture default) caused damage to the device, Durecell will repair/replace the device as well! Well pleased with my purchase.

I have a Panasonic Lumix FZ18 and the battery was bought as a second battery.


  961 19:34 12 Aug 2009

I agree with all that, but if Panasonic engineer software that will identify a code within their own batteries and update their firmware to disable any battery without, that seems to me to be just like the carry on with printer cartridges

All a bit sad really

Restraint of trade?

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