A Hobbyist Photographer's Wish List by Juro Malazo

A Hobbyist Photographer’s Wish List, Item #8: Panasonic DMW-BCJ13 LX5 Battery

It’s become quite customary for most people to wish for things during the Christmas season. Some dream of driving off in a new car, some want to get their hands on the latest smartphone, and some others, like me, have wish for gear…photography gear, that is.

I’ve also got a wish list of sorts, arranged from the most affordable to the most expensive. I’ll be posting the items on the list over the next few days, with item #1 to be revealed on Christmas day.

Yesterday I posted Item #9, a  Black Rapid Metro Camera Strap.

Panasonic DMW-BCJ13 Battery
Panasonic DMW-BCJ13 Battery [image source: panasonic.com]

Today we look at Item #8: a Panasonic DMW-BCJ13 Battery for the LX5. I found an [local] online seller that claims to be selling the genuine Panasonic battery for about P1,500. I found some international stores that sell this for around P2,500 (est.).

The original battery is rated at 400 shots, but I’m pretty sure that there have been instances when I shot more than that on a single charge. I’ve had my LX5 for a little over a year now, so the battery’s performance is probably no longer as good as it was when it was new.

I don’t usually have problems with the battery life, because I rarely shoot long hours. A few weeks ago, however, I found myself wishing the battery had lasted longer.

It was the start of our city’s fiesta, and one of the scheduled events was the Dagupan City Fiesta Auto Show (Check out my photos of the Classics, the Sound Blasters, the Off-Roaders and the Racers in the show!). The public wasn’t allowed to go in yet when I got to the plaza in the afternoon, so I roamed and shot in the streets for around an hour or two. When I passed by the plaza the second time, I found out the show was already open for the public. I immediately paid the 10-peso entrance fee, went inside and began shooting the cars.

After another 2 hours of shooting, the battery died on me. I wasn’t yet satisfied with the photos I had taken at the time. I still wanted to try out different angles to get different shots, but no…no more LX5 photos for me. I had to go around shooting with my smartphone with a crappy camera. I used the Pro HDR Camera app with the hopes of producing better captures, but because the phone was bracketing three exposures, I had to hold as still as I can for about 5-8 seconds per shot. Blur was inevitable (you can see those photos here).

Off course, all that wouldn’t have happened if I had a spare battery for my LX5…which is exactly why a spare battery is part of my wish list. With my current kit that doesn’t have a spare battery, I could probably only shoot for around 3 – 4 hours. My typical street hunting is around that range, so I’m still covered. However, I’m thinking of starting a photo project  next year which would require roaming around more than I usually do now. For that to be possible, I’d have to have a spare battery or two.

A genuine Panasonic DMW-BCJ13 battery is a hard thing to find here in the Philippines. I’ve only found two local sellers so far, and I’m not even sure about how reliable they are.

There are “compatible” replacement batteries for my camera, but others have encountered problems in using these (battery levels aren’t indicated on the camera, corrupted sd cards because of sudden switch off, etc.). It’s worth noting, however, that there is a growing number of people who have had positive experiences with the Wasabi batteries. I’ve gotten to know some  fellow LX shooters on Google+, and some recommend trying out these batteries.

So there you have it: Item #8 on my wish list, a Panasonic DMW-BCJ13 LX5 Battery that could be bought for around P1,500 – 2,500.

Do you have any experiences with replacement batteries for your camera? What brands have you tried already, and what were the results?


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