The Strange Case of the EN-EL25

I've been dinging Nikon over accessory and battery available for quite some time. Apparently, no one's home in Tokyo. 

First, a reminder: the two cameras Nikon wants to sell the most quantity of, the Z50 and the Zfc, both use the EN-EL25 battery. No other cameras use this battery. The official CIPA numbers for those cameras with the EN-EL25 is 300 shots, which means that you're almost certainly going to want an extra battery, maybe two.

After a very brief restock, B&H and many others are once again out of stock for the official Nikon version of the battery. Which sells for US$70. Except when it doesn't. At one point last week, the official battery was going for US$101 on Amazon. But don't worry, you won't have to pay that price, because it's out of stock again, and available for whenever it reappears for a now discounted US$61. Let's see, in stock Amazon charged US$101, out-of-stock, they'll give you a discount. Yeah, right.

I wondered why we didn't see replacement batteries from third parties earlier, but they've finally appeared. Most seem to be from the same source, though they have different names like Zthy, Dongni. Kastar also finally seems to have an EN-EL25 replacement battery, which sells on Amazon for US$40 at the moment (there's a discount on the two-pack). (I'm not going to put affiliate links into this article at the moment, nor have I added them to the appropriate accessories page on this site, as I haven't verified that any of these cloned batteries work reliably.)

But here's another interesting twist:

  • Nikon EN-EL25 — 7.6v, 1120mAh
  • Dongni/Zthy — 8.7v, 1350mAh
  • Kastar — 7.6v, 1320mAh

In theory, at least, the Kastar battery ought to provide a bit of a boost in terms of images per charge. In practice, power ratings of third-party lithium-ion batteries don't seem particularly accurate. 

In my experience so far, Kastar has tended to be a reliable third party source for batteries and chargers. Can't speak for the others yet. I've ordered samples of all so that I can do some testing. I'll let you know what I find out. 

I have no idea why Nikon thinks that people will be happy with cameras with only one battery. Why would they want anyone complaining about anything, let alone not being able to buy a second battery for a camera that doesn't have a deep shots-per-charge number? But apparently no one in Tokyo cares about what people say after they've bought their camera. 

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