GPB Battery – just as good?

November 4, 2019

Spoiler – No it isn’t! Not even close.

While I’ve had my doubts about generic batteries, my experience with same discouraged me from buying one again.

I had a video shoot lined up for this passed weekend. Exciting times! I mean, it’s been a while.

I was confident that I could get it done with the limited gear I had, but I just couldn’t risk not having an extra battery ot two. That live-view will drain the heck out of your battery, even when setting the monitor to minimum brightness. Switching the camera on/off between shots also wouldn’t be a suitable power-saving solution as you need to be ready to capture important moments ALL THE TIME, AT ANY TIME.

All of this justified the purchase of at least one new battery. However, buying one turned out to be a little more trickier than I thought, with the main question being whether to get a OEM version or try out the lesser expensive generic ones.

At the end of the day, I settled for 2x generic, GPB batteries which I was promised to be “just as good”, when in fact, it just doesn’t hold up to the OEM version. Yes, it’s just less than half the price but it has a fraction of the capacity that the original (in my case, Nikon) batteries has.

My experience

We had a long day of shooting ahead – about 9 hours in total. I’ve shot the whole video, with the live-view on of course, for well over 4 hours with a fully charged Nikon battery before I managed to drain it down to 1-bar. I swopped batteries with one of the GPB ones and to my surprise, it only lasted me about 30mins, using the same shooting style I did with the original. That’s way less than I expected.

If you primarily do photography…. MAYBE… you’ll get some bang for your buck here, although I wouldn’t bet on it. The Nikon battery lasts me through a whole 3-4hour photoshoot with about 50-70% of battery life left, depending on how often I use my speedlight. I’ll try and lead with the generic batteries upon my next photoshoot to see how they hold up.

IMO, if you can afford it, save yourself some frustration and just buy the original.

Camera and battery used -  Nikon D750 + EL-EN15a 

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