Are the Wasabi Power batteries any good?
That’s the question I am going to try to answer. Sometimes you wish you had a couple of extra camera batteries lying around. I know that the Lumix DMW-BLJ31 for the Lumix S1 series cameras carry a hefty price. At over $80 a battery, or even up to $120 on Amazon, that can break the bank! There are so many aftermarket brands of batteries that are available to work with the Lumix S1. So, which one do you choose? I just purchased a Wasabi Power 2-pack battery kit with a dual USB charger from Amazon. The total price for that was only $69.99 with free shipping. That’s a pretty good deal to me. Now, how do they hold up?
Why did I choose Wasabi Power?
Because I have experience with Wasabi brand. I had several Wasabi batteries with my Pentax camera and never had any problems. I also photograph all the new and used equipment for a high-end camera store. The majority of the aftermarket batteries that come through the used equipment department are Wasabi, which I do get to test out. With my experience using the Wasabi batteries in three different camera systems-the Pentax, the Lumix, and Leica-I can answer the question, “Do they hold up?” Yes, Wasabi batteries hold up to everyday use, they last as long as they should, and perform as good, or better, than the factory batteries.
In the images above, you can see the battery kit (2 batteries, USB dual charging stand and USB cable). It was packaged in a plain, kraft box. I wish I had taken a photo of the packaging, nothing fancy at all and no instructions either. The Wasabi battery is a nearly exact match to the Lumix battery. The only difference is the little, rectangle indention on the Lumix battery. I’m not sure what that is for. If not for that indention or any writing on the batteries, you could not tell them apart. The Wasabi battery and the Lumix battery are the exact same size, so the Wasabi batteries slide in and out of the camera and battery grip just as easy as the original batteries. I know some third-party batteries are not quite the exact size of the originals and therefore give a little resistance when trying to insert or take them out.
Now for a quick comparison between the Lumix battery and the Wasabi battery.
The Wasabi is packed with premium, grade-A cells. I hope the Lumix has premium cells. The Lumix is rated a 3050 mAh, while the Wasabi is rated at 3500 mAh. That difference in mAh should mean that the Wasabi battery would last longer on shoots. The Lumix is rated for 400 shots on a full charge and 720 shots when using the battery grip with 2 batteries. I don’t know what the Wasabi is rated for, because I have not seen any information about a shot count. I have not personally used the battery long enough to do a thorough test to add up a shot count. But I am hoping to get around 900-1000 shots while using 2 Wasabi batteries with the battery grip. With COVID going on, I have not had any jobs, and I have not been out street shooting around town in an abundance of caution. I will have to update this blog post when I get more testing done.
When I first charged the batteries, it took 3 hours 20 minutes for the first battery and 3 hours 28 minutes for the second. You can see there are two lights on the USB charging base. Red means the battery is charging, and green means the battery is charged. I had to look up that information from Wasabi’s website, since no instructions were included. The USB charging base uses a USB-A to USB-mini cable. I used an Anker USB IQ wall plug to plug up and charge the batteries. Wasabi also states that the Lumix batteries can be charged in the Wasabi charger, and that the Wasabi batteries can be charged in the Lumix charger. That’s pretty convenient. The Wasabi charger also has overcharge and short circuit protection for peace of mind. My only complaint thus far is that the USB charging dock should be using USB type-C. I feel that a type-C cable would be more stable and more reliable.
I recommend the Wasabi Power batteries. If you just want to purchase one battery, you can pick it up from Amazon for only $29.99. That’s a really good price when compared to the Lumix battery price at over $80 dollars. Since I run a battery grip, I wanted some extra batteries and went for the 2-pack kit with charger. The Wasabi charger is much smaller than the original charger, plus it will charge two batteries at a time. As a side note, Panasonic can void your warranty if there is some type of camera failure due to a third-party accessory. Just keep that in mind if you are going to use third-party accessories. I have provided direct links below if you are interested in purchasing any of the products I use and review. If you have any comments or questions, then please feel free to reach out to me.