You certainly know the unofficial batteries, called “compatible”, they are significantly cheaper than the original and sometimes they are not bad. However, note that the manufacturers will avoid the warranty (and sometimes quite rightly) of your product if you used such batteries and encountered a problem. By experience, I have always favored the purchase of original batteries and now I have 5 Canon LP-E6 battery for my two bodies. In this article, I will not talk about batteries “compatible”, but counterfeit!
There are about twenty days, I ordered one sixth copy to anticipate, among other things, an upcoming trip to Nepal. The battery then received had a different “touch” that I immediately noticed but since Canon points in the instructions that “The product specifications and exterior are subject to change without notice”, I considered it was likely possible, especially since the battery was in its packaging, manual, cap… in short, everything complete. Placed in my 5D Mark II or 7D, she “stated” as an LP-E6, with serial number.
Still, I decided to test its performance. In LiveView mode, LCD brightness to manual and maximum, lens stabilization active and automatic shutdown of the camera turned off, the battery was drained in 40 minutes during a first test, 50 min. for the second. By comparison, my original battery was at 50% of it's capacity after 1 hour and 20 min. So I returned the product for “performance or quality not adequate” and got a refund. A few days later, I placed a new order from a different store. The second battery was completely identical to the previous one(!), and this has obviously been confirmed by the tests…
The doubt of counterfeiting was then in my mind. While there are aesthetic differences here and there (see the rest of this article), both batteries have been recognized by the camera, everything seemed “real”, and also, they were both purchased on two different stores, as official Canon batteries. In addition, some talks about this new Japanese regulations — which I don't know in detail — that would regulate the power of new batteries.
Could these two batteries be original? How to ensure?
So I started taking reference photographies, studying differences, and I sincerely thank the Bistro members for the help, the Canon support and two other stores. I've then been able to get enough certitudes to say that these two batteries are counterfeit.
So, to help you make effective identification, you will find below a series of comparisons between such a battery and its original version.
I'm sure some of you will find those differences obvious, but quite frankly, these fakes really surprised me. They have a very high degree of likelihood and it's certain that many people have them, by ignoring it, especially since many do not keep the packaging, manuals, etc. and/or do not pay attention to it.
If I didn't had the curiosity/desire to test the battery, I would have been fooled. Instantly and without comparison, I had put away the observed differences in quality (printing of the box, battery plastic, etc.) to a simple reduction of production costs, unfortunately common in many areas. How good will be the tomorrow's counterfeit?
The third order was finally good!
Hopefully, my third order have been the good one, belying the proverb “things come in threes”.
I want to thank and congratulate Amazon.fr for their excellent product feedback system, their phone support and their reliability about the authenticity of the products they sell “themselves”.
At the end of this article, you will find a list of sellers to avoid and which to focus. It is based on my own experiences and user feedback following this article.
Canon LP-E6 • Front view of the boxes
Canon LP-E6 • Back view of the boxes
Canon LP-E6 • Right side of the boxes
Canon LP-E6 • Left side of the boxes
Canon LP-E6 • Top view of the boxes
Canon LP-E6 • Bottom view of the boxes
From an aesthetic point of view, the boxes are terribly similar and without element of comparison available, the identification of a counterfeit is at least complex or even impossible, except perhaps the poor quality battery photo, with a too much visible drop shadow added to it Thanks to an original box, we note some color differences on the red, green and "white". On the back of the box, a grooving reveal the copy (that said, nothing says that Canon has ever produced such a version). Click images above to see the differences in detail
Canon LP-E6 • Boxes comparison
Canon LP-E6 • Detailled comparison of boxes
Move the cursor over the images above to enable comparison.
One can clearly see the difference in visual quality of the battery and its shadow. The color variation of white background is due to the printing halftone. Note that if the two pictures seem to have a very different hologram, just by looking at actual size (≈ 1cm), the distinction is impossible. Indeed, the way the hologram takes light is almost identical when handling boxes. On picture, it's not that simple and I retouched the original hologram to reveal more details. In close up, the quality of the Canon hologram is far superior. P.-S.: the hologram of the third received Canon battery is different.
Canon LP-E6 • Plastic wrapped
Canon LP-E6 • User manual
Plastic packaging material are identical (touch feeling, color, etc.). Only the orientation of the suture changes. The user manuals are also very similar.
Paper is almost identical, and without original manual, print quality will be the only clue. The counterfeit user guide is indeed badly printed and lack of details (rendering close to a photocopy). Finally, among the manuals I have, there is a diagram of the battery only in the counterfeit. But again, there is no indication that such a manual, with diagram, have never been produced by Canon.
Canon LP-E6 • Top view of batteries
Canon LP-E6 • Top view of batteries, detail
Canon LP-E6 • Bottom view of batteries
Canon LP-E6 • Protective cover
Both received counterfeit batteries were strictly identical, but their appearance is slightly different from my original batteries. After handling about five years original batteries, you logically end up getting used to their touch feeling and this is the first detail that puzzled me. On the images above, we note a slightly different shade of plastic (subtle to the eye), the texture of counterfeit is less grainy, the logo embossing less pronounced/deep. On the back, you really have to look carefully to find the differences (they are identified on the comparison below). Finally, the fake cover color is slightly darker and less saturated; its finish is poor with burrs of plastic, a greater thickness and some details missing or extra.
Canon LP-E6 • Detailled comparison : main differences
In purple, we can note that the imprints on counterfeit are more rounded and rough. The shape is not identical on top left and bottom left corners. Right side, in the center of the “square”, we see the injection point of plastic, obviously placed elsewhere on the original. The characters “+, -, T and C” are smaller on the copy.
On electrical contacts, the central gray has a softer or flat tip, while the original is “sharpened", finishing more accurate. The two top contacts have a right-angle side while on the Canon battery, they are bent — you can feel it in the above photo based on the light, by real comparison, the difference is very easy to observe —
Finally, the label is of lower quality. The printing halftone is visible to the eye with a little attention, the color is less intense, especially the blue.
Batteries such as LP-E6 “declare” themselve to the camera and communicate their serial numbers — see the user manual –.
My (now) six batteries have a serial number composed of 8 digits and letters, but both fake ones received contained only 7.
This still shows the efficiency of the counterfeit, which occurs even in electronics.
Canon LP-E6 • Original batteries series
Above, the three “generations” of official LP-E6 batteries that I have so far. On the left, the first battery that came with my 5D Mark II (April 2009, I owns two) in the center, one of three batteries purchased subsequently (one included with the 7D) and on the right, the latest battery received, sold and shipped by Amazon.fr (see inset on the top of this page) and dated November 2011. Note the evolution of labels.
Good and bad sellers:
The experience taught me twice, that buying such products from third party resellers on Amazon is subject to vigilance. I invite you to always try to buy products “Shipped from and sold by Amazon”. I also hope that Amazon will take appropriate actions to prevent such kind of practices.
“Shipped from and sold by Amazon”
Warning! AineZ Store on Amazon
(also named Junior Store)
Warning! Blue Deal on Amazon
(also named A1 Deals)
Warning! E-TECH on Amazon
Thanks to Gregg for his experience sharing with the above form, and for sending me two pictures (see below).
Warning! « Livraison gratuite » (Free Shipping) (véritable nom du la boutique) sur Amazon
Thanks to Matth for sharing experience with the above form.
Gallery and user feedback, thank you!
I had a counterfeit seller via Amazon.
In the first photo of counterfeiting (note: above left), we see the word RECYDLE instead of RECYCLE as well as mistakes in the sentence. The battery was even not fitting into the 7D .
The second photo shows the new packaging of the batteries. Left is counterfeiting and the original on the right. We see immediately that the hologram is different and also that the texts are bolder and more saturated red on the Canon original. But without original to compare, we can not realize. Last thing, for the original case, cardboard was sealed with plastic, while for the counterfeit, you could remove the cardboard of the back by sliding in the plastic guides.
J'ai acheté une batterie supplémentaire pour mon 7D via Amazon Market Place, il y a 1 an et demi maintenant. Le nom du vendeur était "Livraison gratuite" (ndlr : Il s'agit réellement du nom de la boutique !!!) (je ne l'avais pas remarqué à l'époque, trompé par l'habituel lien d'Amazon "normal" avec son lien "livraison gratuite"). J'ai d'ailleurs eu quelques soucis avec le vendeur qui ne m'avait pas fourni de facture présentant la TVA et qui, après réclamation, m'a expliqué qu'il était une "trop petite entreprise" pour appliquer la TVA, sur quoi, il m'a remboursé l'équivalent du montant de la TVA sans que je réclame quoi que ce soit. Grâce à vos photos, j'ai vérifié ce soir et en comparant mes deux batteries, je m'aperçois qu'elles ne sont en effet pas vraiment identiques, c'est bluffant. J'avais remarqué qu'une de mes batteries chutait en charge plus rapidement que l'autre, en pensant naïvement que c'était la plus usagée. Désormais je comprends mieux. Je prêterai davantage attention la prochaine fois.
Don't forget to also check comments below.
If this article has helped you to identify that one of your batteries was a counterfeit, I would like you to comment this post or use the form on the right to tell me the name of the store you bought it and if you wish, to provide me one or more photos. I will then update the following user gallery/database of counterfeits and their sellers on this article.
This symbolic coffee would be a true expression of your appreciation of this work.