Berenstargh NP-FW50 battery

This is a (very) short review of the Berenstargh replacement battery for the Sony NP-FW50. The description on the official Berenstargh webpage is rather amusing and full of bold claims: maximal capacity, low self-discharge, especially durable, for professional use and pro quality are just a few examples. No hard facts or mention of any protective circuits. Suspicious. Let’s see if this battery can deliver the promised performance.

Berenstargh is a relatively new brand of Patona, a well-known supplier of replacement batteries for digital cameras. Patona batteries are designed in Germany and made in China. The Berenstargh line is their most expensive offering (above the Premium line).

The Berenstargh battery is fully compatibly and recognized by the camera as a genuine product (at least on my A6300). The remaining charge is shown correctly and the battery can be charged in the camera body.

With a capacity rating of 1030mAh, it should offer about the same runtime as the original battery. To my surprise, the battery drained pretty quickly, much faster than the original battery. I don’t think I was able to take more than 100 shots. Also, the battery seems to have a higher self-discharge rate when not in use.
As if this wasn’t bad enough, the battery failed after about four weeks of use. Meaning, I could still use the camera, but recharging the battery doesn’t work properly. Even after five hours in the charger, it only went up by about 4%.

Summary

Positive:

  • precise fit, fully compatible
  • 2 years warranty

Neutral:

  • cheaper than the original battery, but still not cheap (MSRP 44€)

Negative:

  • low capacity
  • not reliable (stopped working after a few weeks)
  • questionable quality control
  • no information about protective circuits

Bärenstark? I don’t think so. It is hard to say if my unit was representative for this new brand (high failure rate) or if I just got unlucky. In any case, a failure like this is not supposed to happen. I’ve had dozens of 3rd party batteries over the last years but not once has one stopped working. I could wait for a replacement unit and redo the review, but honestly I do not trust these batteries anymore and will stay away from them. The score may seem unfair, but I simply cannot recommend this battery.

Rating:  2/10    junk

Value:  3/10    (reviewed at 26€)

Do yourself a favor and get the original Sony battery, e.g. at Amazon.de.

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