DSLR cameras are great for traveling or covering concerts, parties, or other miscellaneous events. In these types of circumstances, you'll want to be sure to pack extra memory cards and plenty of spare batteries so you don't miss out on the action.
As some of you may know already, I own both a Canon 5D Mark III as well Canon's 70D DSLR model which is ultra convenient as they both share the same LP-E6 battery model. In order to be prepared for continuous on the go use, I decided to purchase several batteries although I refused to pay the full $60 for the Canon branded version. Due to this, I sought out quality 3rd party alternatives to get more bang for my buck without any significant decrease in performance.
Since then, I've purchased two different brands of LP-E6 batteries of which I'll get into more detail below. Both have performed flawlessly throughout my 3 months of testing and I would recommend either to any prospective buyers as you're able to buy several of these 3rd party batteries for the same price as a single Canon branded LP-E6 battery.
Just to make it clear, these battery recommendations are only compatible with the following DSLRs:
- 5D Mark II
- 5D Mark III
Amazon sells a pack of two 3rd-party LP-E6 batteries coupled with an additional LP-E6 charger for the impressively low price of $29.99. The two batteries are nearly identical to Canon's $60 offering although they are rated for 2600mAh versus Canon's 1800mAh. This means you'll get around 45% more battery life per charge. If you use a battery grip (an accessory that uses two batteries at once) then chances are you'll be wanting to buy your spare batteries in groups of two to make your life easier.
So far, my experience with the Wasabi batteries have been stellar. They charge and perform just like the Canon batteries and I have a significant increase in battery life while utilizing these 2600mAh batteries. Some people are saying these batteries will not work for their Canon 6D although I've had no problem utilizing them on both my 5D Mark III and 70D with both indicating the battery levels correctly on my camera's LCD.
The included charger works to charge any LP-E6 battery and I can also charge these Wasabi batteries with the traditional Canon-branded charger that shipped with my DSLR. The Wasabi charger includes both car and european plug adapters, but I have yet to test out either of these options. Given they work as I'd expect, these accessories could become very useful for a frequent traveler.
You may notice Amazon only sells these batteries through a 3rd party seller called “Blue Nook”. Don't let that discourage you as they are reputable sellers and will work with you if there is a problem with your order. Additionally, these batteries also come with a 3 year warranty so they are well worth the $29.99 price tag.
Price per battery (estimate): $14.99
Savings compared to Canon's LP-E6: $45.01 (75% cheaper)
Product link: Click To View The Product Page For Wasabi's Power Pack & Charger
The LP-E6 battery pack produced by Watson is the most popular 3rd-party LP-E6 battery pack found on B&H Photo. As you'd expect, the Watson appears to look nearly identical to the Canon LP-E6 battery although it is priced at $34.95 which is almost a 50% discount when compared to Canon.
Internally, the Watson harnesses a 1750mAh battery which is a slight disadvantage when compared to Canon's 1800mAh and Wasabi's 2600mAh. However, the 50mAh difference between the Canon and Watson is negligible so it shouldn't turn you away from this product. It is important to note that the Watson comes only with a single battery and does not include a charger like the Wasabi.
I have used the Watson LP-E6 for a few weeks now and have found its performance to be comparable with Canon's in virtually every aspect. It has been recognized by both DSLR's LCD battery level indicator without any hiccups.
Personally, I'd choose to buy the Wasabi over the Watson merely due to the difference in price and the larger battery capacity although I surely wouldn't discourage any prospective buyers from purchasing a Watson. It still performs as expected while still offering a significant savings when compared to spending $60 for the Canon version.
Price per battery: $34.95
Savings compared to Canon's LP-E6: $25.05 (42% cheaper)
Product link: Click To View The Product Page For Watson's LP-E6 Battery Pack