Generic NB-5L Battery Performance: FAIL

The first version of the NB-5L battery holder worked well enough to get some initial performance curves from the assortment of eBay batteries. I bought one apiece from four different vendors for around $3 each; an order of magnitude less than OEM Canon NB-5L camera batteries. Based on past experience, I didn’t expect much and, lo-and-behold, I wasn’t disappointed in the least! Clicky for more dots:

Canon NB-5L - first tests
Canon NB-5L - first tests

Using a 500 mA discharge current (roughly C/2) seemed reasonable, but I have no idea what the camera actually draws and the Canon manual isn’t forthcoming. These are all hot off the Canon charger.

That nice long curve on the top is the OEM Canon NB-5L that came with the camera and delivers pretty much its rated 1050 mAh.

The generic batteries have two faults:

  • Low discharge voltage (high internal resistance?)
  • Much less than their claimed capacity (they lie!)

The one labeled D Group was advertised as 1500 mAh, which seemed unreasonable on the face of it. The battery case says 1050 mAh and the vendor said their manufacturer “must have shipped them the wrong batteries”. Yeah, right, like they hadn’t noticed up. They wanted me to return it (on their dime, by “refusing” the shipment, which is, AFAICT, prohibited after you open the package), which says that they didn’t have any batteries with “1500 mAh” printed on the side for an exchange. Of course, their advertising for the other NB-5L batteries they offer on eBay hasn’t changed, so … they lie!

The Anonymous Gray battery is particularly feeble; I may harvest the frame and connector and battery protection circuit to build an external battery pack with far more capacity.

The crinkly black trace comes from testing that battery with wires taped in place before I got the first version of the holder up & running well enough to take the rest of the measurements.

Only one generic battery has a manufacturer’s name, two lack regulatory agency markings (not that I expect any to comply with the requirements implied by those markings), and all four are obviously junk. I’ll use them for around-the-house pix with the charger close at hand, but … now we all know that you don’t get something for nothing. No surprise there, eh?