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Canon’s Common Counterfeits

If you’re a Canon body owner, you might think that getting some good spare batteries for cheap would be a great idea! That would mean hours upon hours of shooting, right? Well, those hours could be substantially cut down and could cause some other frustration. The horrible keyword is “cheap.” Ya dig?

I love saving money, although I’m horrible at it. Wait, I should rephrase that. I love finding deals. Quite often, you’ll be able to find some third party batteries for popular Canon bodies for a relatively inexpensive price–$15 for a battery! $15?! I could buy 4 of them for the price of one genuine battery!

But what you don’t know is that those third party batteries tend to die a lot faster and are quite inconsistent in their build quality. In my scenario, it caused my camera to malfunction–I don’t remember what code was displayed, but it my camera wouldn’t function unless I had a different battery in it. In the worst case scenario, it can literally explode. But, in the best case scenario, the battery works for a decent amount of time, giving you a good $15 worth of battery life, but that’s your gamble.

So that’s an $15 battery. What about if you can find a $15 or even $9 Genuine Canon battery? That would be amazeballs right?! Or how about a Genuine Canon Charger for $23? Well, I tend to think that if it’s too good to be true, there might be a slightly small but very much achievable chance of it being true, but probably most likely isn’t. Yeah, I learned that from the trusty old internet. But for real, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. These typically end up being counterfeit items– those fakes, they’ll get you.
Canon LP-E6
The most common batteries and chargers that are counterfeited are listed here:

  • NB-8L Batter
  • NB-6L Battery
  • NB-4L Battery
  • LP-E8 Battery
  • NB-5L Battery
  • LP-E6 Battery
  • CB-2LV Charger
  • LP-E5 Battery
  • NB-7L Battery
  • CB-2LA Charger

Where would I find these “Genuine” batteries and chargers? All over the place. eBay is chock-full of them! Some small independently owned electronic stores may also carry them. Your boss might actually have one or two because your co-worker may have bought one. Unfortunately, they’re increasingly getting better looking. So how do we save the world and your photographer friends? By knowing how to spot a fake one charger and one battery at a time. They’re good looking, but not that good looking. This sounds bad, but most, if not all of them are from China! That’s right, we’re all sorts of crafty and ninja-like over there.

Screen Shot 2014-05-17 at 1.06.35 AM

For Batteries

  • Look for is the moving hologram on the packaging of the box. If it doesn’t have it, don’t buy it.
  • Look for weird imprinting. If it’s weird, don’t buy it.
  • Many times the kerning isn’t correct or the logo is tilted, jagged or not smooth, or just doesn’t look right.
  • Check the back of the battery and look for cracked and/or faded print.
  • It is quite often to find that the ink isn’t of good quality.
  • Look at the date stamp found on many batteries. Canon uses a specific font that is kind of tall and narrower than what I’ve typically seen.

For Chargers

  • Beware of corded chargers that require a plug. Genuine ones of this style are typically shipped in Europe.
  • Check the screws, most of the chargers have security screws and not just everyday Phillips (+) screws.
  • Look at the molding of the text near the terminals for the charger.
  • They should be clean and not messily raised. Typically, its a (+) and a (-).
  • Also, the shape and weight may also vary.

Canon has been plagued with this issue so much that they dedicated a whole section on their website towards educating people like you and me about this! There’s even a fun little game! Head over to Canon’s About Counterfeits page to explore around. Keep yourself updated and beware that many of Canon’s accessories have fakes– even battery grips! This may sound like a plug, but buy genuine. Maybe find them on sale or something. It’ll save you from a pretty big headache if your batteries turn out to be anything like the ones I bought.

*Update, even Nikon has their warnings, they can be found here.

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