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GH2 batteries discussion
  • This discussion was created from comments split from: Official GH2 "Stalin" hack development topic.
  • 52 Replies sorted by
  • Even if you could find one, it's no good if you can't get spare batteries.
  • You can use the cheaper 3rd party batteries (I ordered some off Amazon), but they don't indicate how full they are on-camera, so the way you find out it's time to change batteries is when your camera dies in the middle of a take ;)
  • Just donated. Vitaliy, have a drink on me. Looking forward to the results.

    @Oedipax, at those prices it's worth buying a few more batteries and changing them often while charging the official lump. But make sure you buy the 1200mAH versions as they last as long as the original, easily.
  • @overdrive: when the battery dies in a shoot, are you able to load it again? mine stayed dead and did not recharge. in fact, the charger did not even recognize it.
  • I moved all batteries related discussion here.
  • Here's one idea to get a battery cheap.

    If GH2 and GF2 share same battery, use facebook panasonic fan deal to get GF2 with 14mm at $600. Then sell GF2 body around $300 + shipping. Then you getting 14mm and a genuine battery at only $300.
  • Never mind. I can't sell GF2 body without a battery. LOL.
  • Panasonic really needs to get its act together. If they cannot supply enough batteries, they need to adjust the firmware so third party batteries work. Otherwise, nobody will buy the cameras if they cannot get necessary accessories. I can only hope that Vitaliy's work will result in more options being available for us.
  • @fatpig, sorry have not experienced that as I recharge before they go dead, so can't comment.
  • @mranthony, third party batteries do work in the GH2. Just not the battery life indicator. That's because the 3rd party batteries do NOT have the circuitry inside to report battery conditions.
  • "If they cannot supply enough batteries, they need to adjust the firmware so third party batteries work."

    Uhm, LOL, you´re right, but look at Panasonics politics for 3rd party batteries. They try to make the customers believe that these are totally dangerous, I think firmware updates for some of their cameras with the only "improvement" that 3rd party batteries don´t work anymore says it all.
    I don´t know any other company that is so anal retentive about 3rd party battery support.
    E.G. their new camcorder series(SD-900/909, TM-900, HS-900) is basically the same as the predecessors but with a new battery type(which also sells at very high prices and often bad availability).

    I wouldn´t buy one of their original spares as a matter of principle. I don´t support such a rip-off. So I go with the cheap 3rd party batteries, for the fifth of the price I can live with the disadvantage of not having a status indicator.
  • Actually those 3rd party batteries can be very dangerous. Lithium is highly flammable and when Li-ion batteries are mishandled (overcharged, overcurrent, overvoltaged, overheated,etc) they can spontaneously combust due to metallic Lithium precipitating out of the electrolyte and causing excessive internal pressure to the point where they pop open and igniting in open air. They are fickle and the 3rd party batteries have the absolute minimum protection needed to keep them from becoming little bombs.

    Do you want to bet your camera or your life on that cheap battery?

    I design Li-ion batteries and chargers. I just paid full price for a GH2 battery simply for piece of mind after I bought one of those cheap ebay specials and opened it up to see what was inside.
  • @svart:
    can you confirm that the cheap chinese batteries are li-polymer instead of li-ion?
    also, is it possible that maybe some of the more expensive third party batteries have protection?
    is there any way to find out without opening it up?

    i have dead dste battery here from gh2. any way for me to check if its dangerous?
  • Echo, svart! Enough battery speculation, already!
    How come the same GH2 users who so appreciate the GH2's logical circuitry and all its sophistication are the ones who decide they'll treat its power supply & monitoring circuitry as some kind of DC toy-town? Even mild damage to the GH2s power could cause unexplained crashes, slow or inoperable servos or lenses and impairment of the very image quality we've all come to enjoy.
    -Or it may not cause any damage at all. For the foolhardy, yes, please - experiment and post all your results. For the rest of us, take real care!
  • I heard there's 3rd party battery that works with GH2's battery power indicator. Anyone knows where to get it?
  • I used two official batteries on this last shoot. A battery lasted about the same time it took the other to charge (about 3 hours) so I just kept rotating them all day. Never had a point where I was without a charged battery.
  • I use 3 third-party batteries (until the camera is switched off by lack of power) for 2 months and no problemo at all (excepted the random change of the camera settings occuring after the loss of power). Of course the current footage is lost when the camera has lost his alimentation.
  • @sebalto:
    i did the same, but my battery wouldnt recharge. battery guy said thats normal, if its completely empty- its dead forever. your experience says it still recharges after it went dead?
  • I can recharge mine even if they are completely empty.
  • Li-Ion batteries are never completely empty. Their outputs(are supposed to) shut off when they reach their lowest safe voltage.

    Generally the battery system will send a "low cell" warning to the LI-ion controller, which will shut down the camera. The controller can either tell the battery to shut down or the battery will do this itself once it reaches the lowest programmed voltage.

    The lithium gel inside the battery needs to be biased at a certain voltage to keep the chemicals stable. IF an improperly designed battery does not have these safety features, or they do not work, then the lithium metals can precipitate out of the gel and the battery becomes a fire hazard.
  • but the GH2 ignores those warnings right? thats why it completely shuts off and does not switch on again. someone on another forum suggested, that the DSTE batteries with 1400mah , based upon the bare number, may be li-poly instead- he said 1400mah , 7.4v could not be done with li-ion. is this possible? and could this be an explanation that my 3rd party 1400mah battery does not recharge after emptied?
  • No, what I'm saying is that the 3rd party batteries don't send any warning flags or anything. They just shut off. The real battery will give you the red flashing battery warning and then beep and shut down.

    They could be Li-poly but I doubt it. All of the batteries I opened are either NiMh or li-ion. Since they have some protection circuitry, I expect them to be Li-ion. Both have similar discharge curves and usually can be charged from the same type of charger. Li-ion have much higher current densities though.

    Li-ion can have fully discharged voltages of anywhere from 2.8v to 3.7v depending on anode/cathode composition and electrolyte type. It's not the same for all Li-ion cells so don't guess with these types of batteries. *Most* commercial cells will be around 3.6v(discharged)-4.2v(charged, no load) range.
  • @svart

    I thinkt hat it is not battery manufacturers to blame only.
    Panasonic GH2 also take some part here, as it don't power off despite low voltage.
  • True, but the SBS system expects that the battery gives warnings. The controller has some built in functionality usually but they are almost always meant to be used in tandem with a smart battery.

    Shutting off abruptly is only one annoying problem, however since we never know the quality of the battery safety circuit in these cheap batteries, we also don't know what kind of unwanted problems they might create either.
  • Despite the safety of 3rd party battery, does it mean the battery indicator can be fixed in the firmware or is it something built into the battery to allow the camera to access it? Coz previously in GH1 can show how much juice left with 3rd party battery.