Berenstargh Batteries and Chargers

Camera batteries – we all have our thoughts and understanding of these little things.

For most people, gone are the days when you could operate a camera without batteries. Only those of us who still continue to use 35mm film cameras will appreciate just how easy this was! Maybe a small button battery for a light meter was needed every few years but that was that!

With the advent of digital cameras and phone cameras, we have become totally dependent on battery power!
And this can be so inconvenient! To be a well-prepared photographer you not only need one kept full charged but also have a spare one charged just in case! See my May blog 2019 when I failed to adopt this approach haha!

Checking for battery charge is another step in the photographic process – you may feel this is a small element but, for me, it takes away the spontaneity that comes with the shooting of many of my images.

If you get your camera new you get a brand new spanking battery which is just wonderful. This might not be the case if you picked up your camera, second-hand – it may well have a nonstandard battery. This means that you have no idea of its previous usage, even worse the capacity that the battery provides.

There are so many inconsistencies when it comes to batteries. You need something good and reliable that you can trust. Some batteries keep their charge better than others. Others charge quicker than others. And, the battery is unable to tell you how much charge it has left in relation to how many pictures it could take.

I think for most of us, our choice decision comes from either the internet and/or YouTube or maybe reviewers and bloggers like ourselves at GCM Photographic. And you also need to take account of the battery’s price and value for money. It is a conundrum.

So this is an unpaid review on a battery that is produced by Berenstargh, a German company manufacturing its products in China. It is an Olympus fit battery for my OMD E1. with a 2 year guarantee product number, BLN-1 1140mAh 7.6V.

 The battery came to us from InfinityX – they are the UK distributor of the battery. Both Colin and myself were delighted not only with the packaging of this product but it also came with clear, readable and understandable instructions in English which is a rare treat!

Please note that it also came with a supply charger which has a multiple adapter charger. A SYNCHRON LCD, which comes with a 5 year warranty.

Charger with adapter for Olympus

You attach the top plate to the charger so that the Olympus fit battery can be charged. This plate can be replaced for a another one suitable for another manufacturer’s battery if you don’t use Olympus.  This flexibility and an opportunity to save some money is always appreciated by GCM Photographic.

The charging of the battery can be done in several ways. Primarily I used it directly from the mains with the options of a USB capable charger or a car cigarette charger too.

Charger with adapter fitted plus charging options

So now I’ve got the battery charging, how am I going to test it?

Firstly, I made a note of just how long it would take to charge from empty to full.

Secondly, compared this battery to 3 different manufacturer’s batteries that I own. It’s on a par with the best of them, which is a very good thing.

Thirdly, it did not appear to drain much if left it unused in the camera body for a day or two.

Finally, I continued to use the battery in my camera as most people would do. This particular battery worked very well – it charged well and retained its charge.

I cannot make an assumption about the long-term value of this particular product as it was returned to the manufacturer. However, it does come with a good warranty and in my opinion, worked well.

Battery prices, of course, vary. And you will need to decide what represents value for money.

The most expensive price for a new camera battery will always be from the manufacturer of your camera system and these are often made in China, as are most third party batteries as is the case with this one.

So the question is, in my short time of having this battery and the use of it, would I purchase one if I needed another battery? Over the cost of the genuine Olympus battery I think the answer would probably be yes. But ultimately it’s down to market availability and pricing.

 

Whilst Mark was testing the Berenstargh compatible battery for his Olympus, I had the chance to their Hi Speed LCD charger and AA batteries to the test.

The charger itself is neat, compact and lightweight. Our charger came with 4 AA, 2700mAH NiMh partially charged batteries for testing purposes. The charger will also accept AAA batteries.

Battery charge status is shown on an LCD display at the bottom of the charger, whilst the charging itself is done via a Micro USB connection.

Charger with supplied Micro USB charging lead

How did the batteries perform?

I put them in a high drain situation and in the limited time I had access to them they lasted very well, I would have liked to have had use of them for longer to fully test their reliability. As a slight aside, a good battery will last well in high drain erratic use scenario because the battery under more strain than in a constant low drain one.

Would I buy the Berenstargh LCD battery charger?

Personally I am not a great fan of Micro USB chargers for batteries of this type, but it functioned as it should, so only a minor gripe there!

Bearing in mind that the marketplace has many chargers of this type already, the overriding factor would once again be down to how competitively priced the unit is and how readily available it is.

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