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