Watch for fake batteries…

Canon info to help spot counterfeit batteries

Lithium batteries have been in the news in unwelcome ways for Boeing of late (787 grounding), but similar problems have led to recalls and accidents for a range of consumer equipment over the last few years.  My old Apple PowerBook battery was replaced by Apple, after one such recall.

An even bigger problem comes from the widespread appearance of fake batteries – I for one would be very disinclined to buy new camera batteries from eBay for example. I’m sure there are lots of genuine Canon batteries and battery chargers there, but to me it still remains a bit like buying cheap screwdrivers from a market stall – they may be great for opening tins of paint, but not for hard to shift screws.

You might not think much could go wrong with chargers, but modern lithium batteries are very fussy about charging – this isn’t like charging your car battery overnight with an old charger, overcharging Lithium batteries is a great way to make them catch fire.

A while ago I created a general guide to Canon photo batteries, with all the different types, and I’ve just noticed that Canon US have produced a guide to spotting counterfeit batteries.

In general it’s relatively difficult to spot fake ones, but the guide I work on is that if something looks too cheap, then it’s unlikely they are real.

Here are a few examples from Canon’s guide, showing that it’s not always that obvious

examples of counterfeit and real Canon batteries

examples of counterfeit and real Canon batteries

Some of Canon’s tips

  • Purchase from authorised dealers or directly from the manufacturer
  • Be careful when buying through foreign sites
  • Beware of “too good to be true” prices
  • Check to make sure the package is of high quality
  • Beware of suspicious messaging
  • Check to make sure your battery fits easily in your device
  • Watch out for overheating
  • Make sure your battery holds on to its charge
  • Compare logos and text – note that logos and text may vary from market to market. A battery for the US market may have different information printed on it from the European market.