For ages I’ve heeded the warnings from camera manufacturers that inserting non-OEM batteries into my camera could make the camera explode or at the very least give it a nasty case of shingles. But a year ago I purchased a Nikon D4s and wanted a spare EN-EL18 battery. The Nikon battery was 150 bucks – why I could get a fifth of 25-year old Glenfarclas for that much. I saw positive reviews of the Wasabi batteries and decided to try one of those at a third of the price of the OEM battery. It worked just fine so I got more batteries, both the Wasabi and the Watson brands, for my D4s and my D7000 and D810 bodies. I’ve been using the Wasabis for a year and the Watsons for 7 months. For the first few months, they worked so well I never give a second thought as to whether I’d grabbed the Nikon batteries or the third party batteries when I went out on a shoot.
One of the big surprises from the Nikon D4 announcement was its lower battery life compared to the older Nikon D3 and D3s cameras. According to the Nikon D4 specifications, the new EN-EL18 battery that is shipped with the Nikon D4 is rated at 2,600 shots, while the older EN-EL4a battery used on D3/D3s/D3x cameras is rated at 4,200 shots – almost half in difference.