Friday, 20 March 2009

The ridiculous story of the Canon 5DII Battery

As anyone else who has bought a Canon 5DII will no doubt have found, the availability of extra batteries is non-existant. I have had 3 spares on order from Warehouse Express, a large online supplier, since December and they still haven’t had any stock.

By February I was getting desperate, and collared a Canon rep at the Focus on Imaging trade show at the NEC. He promised to prioritise an order for me but they still haven’t had any stock to ship.

Around the same time I bought the Wireless File Transmitter (WFT), which takes the same battery. However, Canon, in their wisdom, decided not to ship it with one. So I had to cannibalise the battery from my second body to power the WFT, essentially turning my backup 5DII into a £2000 paper weight.

About to depart on a major shoot (see future posts) I was desperate to get my hands on more batteries. Eventually I resorted to bribing a friend with a slap up lunch in order to persuade him to lend me the battery for his 5DII (thank you Dominic!)

How Canon can release a major camera such as this, which will likely be used by as many pros as amateurs, and not be able to supply extra batteries for 4 months after the camera’s launch is simply ridiculous. It almost makes the camera unusable as a professional tool...

Yes, there are aftermarket batteries beginning to appear on eBay and the like, but they lack the electronics of the Canon batteries, cannnot use the same charger, and cause the camera to give out warning messages. Not an ideal solution.

Here’s hoping they ramp up production soon.


  1. "One possible workaround for the time being is to use the optional Battery Grip BG-E6 with rechargeable NiMH or lithium AA batteries." - Chuck Westfall

  2. We invested in a couple of 5D MKII's for our Wedding Photography business before Christmas and had the same issue finding batteries, there just weren't any available from the usual UK suppliers as there still isn't.

    I didn't fancy the 3rd party ones from eBay as they needed different chargers, didn't show charge remaining in camera so didn't seem specific to the 5D MKII so I didn't want to risk my cameras with them.

    My solution was to buy a couple of original Canon LP-E6 batteries from ebay from a seller in Hong Kong.

    I had to pay £70 each for them and wait 5 days for them to arrive but I am glad I did because they are even more expensive and hard to get hold of now.

    £80-£100 for originals seems to be the going rate on ebay now!

  3. Hi Mark - the problem is I can't use the battery grip AND the WFT at the same time...