PetaPixel

New Nikon Firmware Update Kills 3rd Party Battery Compatibility for Several Models

enel14

Nikon recently released a firmware update for its D3100, D3200, D5100, D5200, and P7700 cameras that maximized battery performance and allowed the camera to more accurately tell you how much charge you have left. But it seems there was an unintended (or maybe not so unintended) side-effect: third party batteries no longer work.

At least that’s the story many users are telling Nikon Rumors, who broke the news last night. It seems that, after the update, third party versions of the EN-EL14 and 14a are no longer compatible with any of the models listed above, an understandable (if annoying) side-effect given that the update had to do with the battery in the first place.

d5200b

The issue, as many users see it, is that Nikon didn’t mention this in the change log (although, to be fair, it’s possible they didn’t know this would happen). Unfortunately, users who have downloaded and installed the update are out of luck for the foreseeable future, as Nikon does not provide links to previous versions of its firmware.

This goes without saying, but if you haven’t updated and you use third party batteries, we suggest you hold off. If, on the other hand, you’ve already run the update, keep checking back and we’ll be sure to let you know if and when Nikon decides to solve this problem.

(via Nikon Rumors)


 
Get the hottest photo stories delivered to your inbox.
Get a daily digest of the latest headlines:
  • Kynikos

    Dear Nikon users,

    Bend over.

    Sinc,
    Nikon

  • fahrertuer

    There were 3rd party EN-EL14s that work(ed) with the D5100?
    I’ve got several and with each of them my D5100 throws an error message to use a genuine Nikon battery. And that’s been happening for the past 20 months!

  • http://www.michaelpalmer.com/ Michael Palmer

    Bastards.

  • Vlad Dusil

    Not sure why you’d jeopardize the functionality of your expensive camera by going cheap on batteries. There have been plenty of instances where cheap third-party batteries damages cameras. I would never go cheap and have a battery fail (or worse, blow up) mid-shoot.

  • HelloP

    Nikon: Our camera sales are down. We need to milk our existing customers dry.

  • KLC

    Coming soon, the Nikon battery CC. Lifetime updates! Low monthly subscriptions! Teaser special prices!

  • Mark Dub

    Just because a third party makes batteries, that does not make them bad. Yes, I normally purchase OEM parts, but that does not mean that 3rd party batteries will damage your camera. In fact, I used 3rd party batteries exclusively on my Canon GL1 back in the day. Never had an issue.

    Now, if you’re shopping from cheap China websites, then you argument may hold water. But there are plenty of reputable battery companies out there.

  • jrconner

    If it ain’t broke, don’t fix or upgrade it. Nikon Rumors reports that some third party batteries apparently are compatible with the firmware update. I suspect that within a couple of weeks, there’ll be a list of batteries to avoid and batteries that might work.

  • Bruce K

    Don’t have any Nikons, but discovered this same dilemma with Sony products years ago. In their case, I think it was more intentional because the third party battery would start the camera for about 40 seconds, then a notice would appear telling me I had installed a non-Sony battery, then the firmware shut the camera down. This is why I no longer buy Sony hardware and stick with Canon and Olympus. And. frankly, I’ve never figured out why a battery indicator needs to be that accurate anyway. Is anyone so foolish as to go out without several fully charged batteries on their person?

    Perhaps I’ve been lucky too, but I never have had a third-party battery leak or explode. However, I can say the worst performing batteries I’ve ever used were the aforementioned Sony InfoLITHIUM batteries. If they were left “on the shelf” after charging they would be dead in 10 to 20 days – even if brand new – and loose about 20% of their charge within 3 days anyway. All of my third party and brand name Canon/Olympus batteries hold their charge for so long, that I have never been surprised by a discharged state, even when I dig towards the back of the shelf.

    I prefer to have the option to use third party lenses, batteries and other kit. I certainly hope Canon or Olympus will be sure to test their updates to assure compatibility, even if it means that my battery indicator is a little off.

  • Jake

    Jesus, Nikon! All I do is give you money, and this is how you treat me??

  • kassim

    Nikon… F— you. Thanks.

  • kassim

    If the camera fail, Nikon ain’t losing anything right? Why bother? I don’t think consumer’s safety is the reason behind this. Every 3rd party battery user aware of the risks. They don’t need another one, especially deliberately made.

  • Peng Tuck Kwok

    Right but they are also bit more costly. Of course don’t buy any battery that you see on ebay. There are good brands like Phottix, I have 1 as a spare for my 5D MKII and 2 original batteries.

  • madmax

    You are right. Sony is also out of my list, for ever.

  • Sir Stewart Wallace

    Sync*

  • http://wilcfry.com/ Wil Fry

    I just don’t install firmware updates, so I can’t see ever running into this issue. The firmware that came with the camera has always worked just fine for me.

  • Chris Pickrell

    Didn’t the same thing happen to Canon cameras recently?

    I want to say it was the 5DII and III (and likely the 6D and 7D, which use the same battery I think).

  • Chris Pickrell

    I’m pretty sure this has happened with Canon already. A couple months ago or something. I read about it.

  • Chris Pickrell

    The 5D wouldn’t recognize a 16GB card until the 1.0.1 update.

    Worth it when shooting a wedding in RAW.

  • http://www.markwheadon.com/ Mark Wheadon

    “Is anyone so foolish as to go out without several fully charged batteries on their person?”

    Why foolish? The battery in my D300 lasts for a long time. If it is anywhere near fully charged there is absolutely no way I can drain it in one day — not even close. To say that people who venture out without several fully charged batteries are all foolish is, well, foolish.

  • Spider- Man

    On top of the counterfeit batteries. Yes there may be good aftermarket ones, but the list of cheap ones, counterfeits and knockoff crap engineered ones out weighs the good ones. This will save Nikon in warranty repairs which is a bottom line they are looking at not you saving a few bucks. Sorry folks…

  • http://wilcfry.com/ Wil Fry

    Yes, for something like, it would be a no-brainer. :-) I guess I’m fortunate I’ve never had such an issue.

  • Pat Dooley

    I have three Sony cameras (A65, RX100M2, TX20) and I use Wasabi batteries and chargers with all of them. Never had an issue.

  • rocketride

    I had heard about this trick that Sonyuvab***h pulled, but had already not been buying any of their products, especially their music CDs because of their tendency to put “rootkit” viruses on their CDs to prevent copying.

  • rocketride

    Do you have any specifics? I am a Canon user. So far, all my bodies work with good brand aftermarket batteries (Phottix, Duracell) and I’d like to keep it that way. . .

  • Brian Jensen

    I am currently using 3rd party EN-EL14s on my D5100 bought from two different suppliers and they work perfectly. I made sure that the sellers stated that they were decoded. And just as a failsafe I have the custom firmware that enables me to use 3rd party batteries.

  • Brian Jensen

    And as a sidenote, those batteries work just as well on my P7700 :-)

  • J. Dennis Thomas

    Why do you consider Phottix a good brand? I bought 2 of them and they would sporadically show “no-charge” and even when using them in the grip with a real Nikon battery in the body the “no-charge” bricked the camera instead of letting it switch to the good battery. They both died completely within 6 months.

    Phottix is just a “brand” name slapped on the same cheap Chinese batteries that you find on eBay. Of course Phottix was also ONLY available on eBay just a few years ago.

  • Carlos

    JUST DO NOT INSTALL THIS NEW FIRMWARE. It is absurd. Nikon wants to give orders to the customers and decide what they must use!!

  • Carlos

    First Nikon forget the D600 customers and do not make the recall of that DEFECTIVE cameras. Now they want to kill you freedom of choose what you want to use! DO NOT INSTAL THIS FIRMWARE.

  • Carlos

    I have two Nikon bodies. But after that I really think to change for other brand. I do not trust Nikon from now.

  • Chris Pickrell

    Well, older cameras won’t be affected as firmware updates trail off after a while. I want to say it was the LP-E6, which is the 5DII, III, 7D and I think 6D battery.

    It’s also possible this has since been rectified. But I know I read about it while researching rumors of 3rd party batteries dying after less than a year of use.

    But it was the same issue. After the firmware, it kept telling them to use Canon brand batteries. Something to do with the firmware fixing the glitch, and then the batteries being built on the old system not working anymore (I think they still worked, you just couldn’t see the bar showing the charge).

    I dont’ know though, my newest camera is a 7D and I don’t really do firmware really. I just read about it on a google search. That’s the best I can give you.

  • fahrertuer

    Using Nikon Hacker that is no problem. But I was talking about stock FW

  • rocketride

    Thanks. I don’t have any of those cameras but I do have a 50D which, IIRC, uses the LP-E6. I’m going to be real careful about any firmware upgrades from here on out. . .

  • Bruce K

    Pat, that’s good to hear! Perhaps in the intervening years, since my last Sony camera, they have seen the error of their ways?

    Downside for Sony is the sizeable commitment I’ve made to Canon (and Olympus), so it is unlikely that even their new A7R will change my mind.

    As for my Canon gear, I haven’t been meticulous about firmware updates, but all of my third-party batteries (Duracell, Maxell) have worked as well as my Canon batteries and lasted just as long. I am pretty meticulous about storage, especially avoiding high heat which degrades lithium ion batteries very quickly.

    And, to address Mark’s comment, yes, I do carry at least one, and sometimes two, spare batteries whenever I go out. Many years ago I was an Army medic and was nearly laughed out of the battalion command tent when I went to sleep in my fatigues with all my gear stuffed in my sleeping bag with me. That evening, the stove in the tent developed a fuel leak and when the ensuing fire erupted, I was the only person that exited the tent fully dressed with all my gear. A colonel, several lieutenants, and the first sergeant, all had to be driven to the rear in their skivvies while I just scrounged another tent for the night. Ever since then, I’ve always tried to “be prepared” – I would hate to miss a Pulitzer shot just because a battery failed.

  • Chris Pickrell

    I want to say this was a recent upgrade, like within the last year (or as old as 2012 at most) and the 50D most likely won’t have any new ones with the 60D and probably wasn’t subject to this one.

    But again, I could be wrong.

  • Brian Jensen

    So was I. Before installing the Nikonhacker firmware on my D5100 I used these ‘decoded’ batteries without any problems. And my P7700 is stock firmware and runs on the same batteries.

  • gretsch59

    Hey folks, just fyi… a Google search of “Nikon d5100 firmware” (or whichever model you have) will show an older Nikon support page to download older firmware versions. For example, when I typed the above, the first search result was for a Nikon support page for firmware version 1.01, last updated in May of this year. FWIW….

  • mmdccbslm

    I have a pearstone en-el14 alternate and it works fine. no error messages, so not all OEM’s batteries are affected. (fingers crossed)

  • Shawn Earle

    I did not see this when i updated my firmware, but somehow my after market batteries seem to still work fine? Maybe it’s only certain model numbers or something? I hope i don’t start having problems later! Not everyone is rich and can shell out $70 a piece for batteries! I wish i could go back to the old firmware! I think Nikon took a Page out of Apple/Macintosh’s book on this gimmik!

  • Matthew Fleisher

    Sinc(erely)

  • Matthew Fleisher

    Using a third party battery grip you could (could…) pop the Nikon battery in, turn camera on and wait for green light, then add any other battery to the other spot in battery grip. However, this update also killed battery grips and a non Nikon lens that used to work perfectly.

  • Matthew Fleisher

    Too late for some people. Know where I can find the old versions?

  • Matthew Fleisher

    Link please? I’ve been googling and haven’t found anything but the current versions.

  • Richard Labelle

    Hi Brian where can I get that custom firmware. I just bought a new D5200 and 2 new non-oem batteries from different dealers figuring they sent me the wrong battery the first time and it wouldn’t make sense money wise to send them back. :(