Best After Market Battery for Olympus OM-D E-M1 and OM-D E-M5

Some of the Olympus most popular Micro Four Thirds cameras use BLN-1 battery made by Olympus.  These cameras include OM-D E-M1, PEN E-P5, OM-D E-M5 & OM-D E-M5 Mark II.

Unfortunately, mirroless cameras burn through more battery juice compared to a typical DSR which doesn't have EVF (electronic viewfinder).  You may have a sticker shock when you first see that an additional BLN-1 costs $60 dollars.

There is no doubt that the OEM battery from Olympus is more reliable and last longer than almost all after market batteries out there.

Olympus BLN-1 Rechargeable Battery (Gray)

Reliable, Durable and Expensive
1220mAh rechargeable lithium-ion battery from Olympus will not disappoint you as long as you are willing to spend about $50+.  It is currently on sale on Amazon.

For those of you who is willing to tryout aftermarket options at a much lower price point, there are two models I have tested for long term use.

These are the models that have the most number of review with the highest rating:

Wasabi Battery for Olympus BLN-1 1300mAh
Progo Battery for Olympus BLN-1, 1600mAh

First, don't let the higher capacity rating of 1600aAh claimed by Progo battery fool you.  By comparison, the OEM version is rated at 1220mAh, but you won't notice any difference in performance.

Wasabi Replacement Battery for BLN-1

Wasabi model is available in a single pack or two pack plus rapid charger.  At the time of this writing, even the two pack + charger version is priced at less than half of the one single OEM battery.  I actually have used the Wasabi battery for my Olympus E-P3 which uses BLS-1 battery and was very impressed with it's performance and quality.

You will also see that Wasabi model uses higher quality Japanese battery cell inside even though the final product is made in China.  I believe the company's claim of 1300mAh to be accurate since this battery gave me slightly longer battery life on a full charge.

In terms of long term durability and performance, I  have not run into a single issue other that the fact that they all - OEM and Wasabi alike - dies out after 1-2 years of use depending on how dedicated you are with your photo shooting.

I highly recommend the two pack + charger package deal because you are basically getting the rapid charger for FREE.  This charger definitely charges the battery faster than the OEM standard charger.

Wasabi Power Battery (2-Pack) and Charger

Cost Effective, OEM-like Performance
1300mAh rechargeable lithium-ion battery from Wasabi prove to be a great alternative to the OEM model at a fraction of the cost. The included rapid charger is a must have.  It even includes car charging adapter and European plug.  It's an absolute bargain!

Progo Replacement Battery for BLN-1

I have purchased several units of this model to use with my OM-D E-M1 in the last few years.  Initially, they worked just as great as the OEM battery.   However, the full charge were giving me significantly less juice even after 6 months of use. After about 18 months of on and off use, I noticed that the battery start bulging in the mid section, making it very difficult to take it out of the camera.

You know what bulging lithium battery means.  It simply means buildup of gas inside which almost always caused by faulty battery or overcharging.  I have been using the same charger for my OEM battery which did not show the same symptom.  Additionally, all Progo batteries had the exact same issue.  It's now time to recycle them!  I don't want $1000+ camera ruined by a $10 battery.

I see a lot of other companies making BLN-1 replacement batteries, but I would not put any of them in my camera.  Please let us know if you have any other insight or feedback on replacement batteries for Olympus Cameras.

Best After Market Battery for Olympus OM-D E-M1 and OM-D E-M5 Reviewed by Brandon on 12/10/2016 Rating: 5

1 comment:

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