Canon NB-6L Compatible Battery

This is a test and comparison of the electrical characteristics of three NB-6L batteries for Canon PowerShot S95 (original and compatibles).

After a very long wait (25 days for the shipping) for batteries the two NB-6L compatibles finally arrived from Deal Extreme. Priced at just 3.6 EUR/$5 each including shipping they are really a very cheap alternative to the original which are 15 times as expensive here in Sweden!

I also ordered one NB-6L compatible battery from an eBay shop called Broadbattery. Depending on where you live and how lucky you are in the bidding it can – at the moment – cost as little as $ 0.90 including shipping! I got mine for $2 + $2 shipping (2.7 EUR/$4). It arrived much quicker after “just” 12 days!

Having bought a set of compatible batteries that has worked very well – so far – for my Canon EOS 550D (Read my test of LP-E8 compatible battery here!) I decided to go about it the same way – testing and comparing the batteries as far as I could – before putting them in the camera!

The Deal Extreme batteries came very well packed in separate blister packs with a lot of “quality inspiring” text: 100% Compatible Original, Intelligence Protection, New Technology, Longrun Lithium, NO Memory Effect and IC Control. (Second one sure is scary! 😉 )
The Broadbattery one had less fancy packaging but was still well packed in a padded envelope with an extra plastic “bubble” bag  around it! All batteries arrived in perfect condition!

I must admit that I always feel a slight worry 😦 about these compatible batteries – so I try to be as “sure” as I can before I give them the GO! I feel that there are two different areas which to consider: First of all is whether the battery is safe – voltage and current wise – that is if all voltages are reasonably close to the original. This I can measure! Secondly, most (all?) Li-ion batteries contain some sort of protection circuitry for short-circuit, overloading and over charging – and this I will not be able to access and therefore can not comment on!

NOTE! This test of compatible batteries just shows the results from the samples that I got and that I give NO GUARANTEE that any batteries bought by you will work as the ones I got! Any tests that you make are your own responsibility!

My Canon PowerShot S95 seems to really eat battery power! So having a pair of extra batteries is something I would recommend to anyone – especially at these ridiculously low prices! Also having extra high capacity is quite tempting…

The original Canon NB-6L is specified as 3.7 V, 1000 mAh (min 940 mAh) and the NB-6L compatibles are specified as Broadbattery 1600(!) mAh and Deal Extreme 850 mAh so if these specifications are to be trusted – the compatible batteries should give around 60% more or 15% fewer shots.

A funny observation I have made with the original is that it seems to “recuperate” to some extent after the camera has switched itself off. Just a few seconds later I can take maybe 5 more pictures – and I can repeat this 2-3 times… One more observation – the original battery goes from full via 2 stripes to empty very quickly – it is not as if the stripes indicate some sort of proportionality….

As you can see from the picture the Deal Extreme compatible is of a completely different design from the original Canon and Broadbattery ones! But size measurements are within 0.1 mm of each other – so size wise there should be no problem! The weight differs very slightly – the original weighing in at 19 grammes and the compatibles at 18 and 19 grammes. All have a good, light but very solid feel to them!

After charging all three batteries I set about to measure them under different loads – before even considering to put them in my Canon S95. Charging proceeded similarly for all three of the batteries!
NOTE! After getting a “normal” response  from all three batteries in the capacity test I redid the following Load tests!

The different measurements that I did show VERY SIMILAR results from the original and all of the compatibles! They are so close to the original that it is impossible to pick out the different curves in the diagram! They are like identical twins – measurement wise! This at least convinces me that there should be very little risk in putting the them in the S95! 

After brooding for a few minutes – first thinking about what could go wrong I then thought about the similarities. All of them the exact same size – should fit well in the camera! They had fit well in the charger – but that is not such a tight fit. Then – as far as I could measure – the voltages under load were the exactly same – so that should pose no problem! The weights were also very close! The text on the package about “100% Compatible” seems to be correct – according to my measurements!

The question that is left is that about the protection circuitry – should one trust or laugh at the text about this: “Intelligence Protection” and “IC Control”. It sounds as if it has the relevant circuitry … Bad english can be forgiven – but to find out if these statements are true I would have to open the batteries and this I will not do!

Finally I put the Deal Extreme battery in the camera and switched it on … and it workedI am very glad to say! 🙂 The fit was perfect – as it should be with such close size! Then I repeated it with the Broadbattery – and again it worked – I am again very glad to say! 🙂

For capacity measurements of these batteries look HERE!

Now I have all the NB-6L batteries that I need for my Canon PowerShot S95 – for a very low price!

Advertisements

, ,

  1. #1 by Vtsang on January 22, 2011 - 13:09

    Hi there,

    I just came across this review as I was trying to find user reviews on this exact battery. I was just wondering how they have been holding up for the while you’ve had it? Would you still recommend it? How many shots were you able to take with it in comparison to the original canon battery?

    Thanks for the great reviews! I’ve read your other posts on the s95 and find much enjoyment in your writing 🙂 ive linked this specific post to a thread regarding the battery in dpreviews’ forums.

    Cheers,
    -vtsang

    • #2 by sfennl on January 22, 2011 - 17:22

      Hi Vtsang,

      I definately still recommend them! I have had no problems at all and they are holding up roughly as the original. I write “roughly” because it has turned into a non-issue for me. I have stopped thinking about what battery I use – all three (1 orig 2 comp) I have work so well. I think that is the best vote of confidence I can give!

      That also means that I have clean forgotten to note if there is any difference in capacity. But as you ask – I will make it my business to keep an eye on this and will report back – I will update that entry on that post!

      Also it was really great to hear that you like my reviews!
      Welcome back many more times! 😉
      /Photoman

  2. #3 by Francois B. on April 19, 2011 - 03:35

    Hi,

    I am just about to buy a S95 and was looking at reviews and tips. I was most interested in the low-cost battery substitute you suggest and the price looked amazing. However I decided to check if I could find the same product on eBay. I did, But what surprised me most is that there was another brand offered (no-name) that is rated 1600mAh. and most astonishing was that the seller “broadbattery” lists them at a start price of 90 cents – worldwide shipping included. Although some are listed with a “buy it now” price of $4.50,, looking at completed prices, most of the auctioned ones end at the start price of 90 cents or just slightly above it. This seems almost too good to be true, but I bid and did win one at 90 cents. I don’t know much about testing batteries however and I am wondering if you might be curious enough to test one of these yourself. At 90 cents shipping included, it wouldn’t be too much of a risk. Given this is nearly twice the mAh as the “GooP” battery, this battery should theorically deliver several more shots than either it or the original Canon battery. But I keep wondering if a battery paid ninety cents is safe ??? What do you think ?

    • #4 by sfennl on April 19, 2011 - 22:24

      Hi Francois,
      It certainly sounds like a “give-away” price! First of all congrats to winning the bid for 90 cents – with shipping! 🙂 I could only find the same starting bid 90 cents plus $2 in shipping making them closer to $3 instead. Not that I think the price matters much wheater it is 90 cents or $5 – when you only need one or two! Either way it is much cheaper then the original! But it is also the “sport” of buying loooow to be considered!
      After testing a few different batteries I am sorry to say that I strongly doubt that the capacity ratings given on these (and on most other cheap batteries) are much to go by – expect them instead to most often be around or slightly below the original battery. Most manufacturers seem to use the same (probably most cost effective) production – making them very similar in capacity. But as I am working on a new equipment to measure battery capacity I might just give it a try – I will put up a bid and see how it goes!
      You asked if I thought that a ninety cent battery is safe … I would put my answer like this: I think there is definately some form of cost cutting in manufactoring with the low cost “no-name brands” but I do not think it is much difference between an $1 or a $5 battery – but a $75 battery OUGHT to be MUCH better built – otherwise Canon/Nikon/All big brand OEMs should be ashamed! Not that I have seen much of that difference yet with the batteries that I bought!
      Finally I will also add that I am still pleased with my GODP batteries! BUT I have still not managed to keep track of the number of pictures per charge … 😉
      /Photoman
      (I do not know their real name – it is listed as GODP in block letters on the packaging – but their website is http://www.goodbattery.cn)

      • #5 by Francois B. on April 20, 2011 - 01:56

        Hi Sfenn,

        In regards the eBay listings from “broad battery”, it would appear that – for some strange reason – free shipping is only available to the USA, Canada and Australia. For all other destinations – even local shipping (Hong Kong) – a $2.00 shipping fee is added. Being located in Canada, I feel among the privileged ! 😉

        As for differences in battery quality, it might all be in a name. That’s why the “giants” seem to have unlimited funds at their disposal for research and development. We pay for it by buying name-brand products at an exhorbitant price ! (Let’s be realistic: How can a tiny battery actually cost $75.00 ???) One should also consider the many mark-ups due to the number of international and local distributors as well as retailers that cause prices to go up substantially.

        Therefore, it would indeed be interesting to find out how a no-name 90-cent battery measures up !

        • #6 by sfennl on April 20, 2011 - 12:37

          Hi Francois,
          Couldn’t agree more with you! You certainly were lucky with the shipping! We’ll see tomorrow if I get lucky with my bidding – and if, it will take a few days shipping.
          I will post my findings here in the blog as an update as soon as I have run my tests!
          /Photoman

  3. #7 by Francois B. on April 20, 2011 - 17:28

    Don’t worry too much about winning that bid. The seller keeps putting more up at 90 cents so if you don’t win this one, just put a bid on another one. Many of these auctions end with a single bid.

    • #8 by sfennl on April 22, 2011 - 01:29

      Hi Francois,

      Missed my bid – will try again as you recommended!

    • #9 by sfennl on April 26, 2011 - 00:20

      Hi Francois,

      Now i got the bid – now is just to wait to get the battery delivered.
      Will let you know when it appears!
      /Photoman

      • #10 by Francois B. on April 26, 2011 - 05:21

        Great ! 😉 Still waiting for mine to arrive but I am not quite in a hurry as I have not yet bought my S95 ! Anyhow, I may prefer to see the results of your tests before trying them out myself … 😉

        By the way, even though I know you’ve ordered from China before, keep in mind shipments from there can take anywhere from three to six weeks to get to their destination…

        • #11 by sfennl on April 26, 2011 - 18:38

          It will interesting to see if my three different “brands” of batteries (original, GODP and Ebay) turn out to have similar capacity measurements … or different ones! 1600 mAh cited for the Ebay one is quite a bit better than the others!

          While waiting for the new battery to arrive I will start with the capacity testing of my present batteries.

          /Photoman

      • #12 by Francois B. on April 29, 2011 - 04:48

        Well, the batteries have arrived. They took only 12 days to get here ! First impressions: They “look” pretty good ! 😉 In fact, it’s hard to tell them apart from regular Canon batteries as far as build and finish.

        Very curious to see what your test results will show ! 😉

        • #13 by sfennl on April 29, 2011 - 16:40

          That sounds good! I hope that mine is on its way also! Qualitywise my present ones also feels quite good!
          I have started capacity testing of my present batteries and will write it up in the blog – starting tonight. 😉
          /Photoman

        • #14 by sfennl on May 4, 2011 - 23:53

          I just got the battery delivered and have started the test! You might be interested to look at the results! Looking very good so far!
          Thanks for the recommendation!
          /Photoman!

      • #15 by Francois B. on May 5, 2011 - 03:55

        Looks pretty good ! Better than the Canon original. Very curious to see how the capacity test will look. As for the protection cicuitry, I will wait about a month to make sure your camera has not overloaded. if it is OK, then I will take it that it is fairly safe to use in mine ! 😉

        • #16 by sfennl on May 6, 2011 - 20:19

          I am in the process of “exercising” the new battery with a few charge-discharge cycles before I do the proper capacity measurement. Even though I not have had my hopes up too high I must say that I am a little mollified that these charge-discharge cycles does not indicate any particular extra capacity compared to my other compatible battery – considering the high voltage shown under load at the initial test. Voltage seems to be getting lower instead of higher … 😦
          I will put up the discharcge curves on monday.
          Still it has been grat fun devicing a good test for the batteries! 🙂
          /Photoman

  1. Canon PowerShot S95 – Handling « Photoman Camera Reviews
  2. Canon NB-6L Compatible Battery Capacity « Photoman Camera Reviews

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: