Facebook Pixel Discussion - Camera Firmware Update Causes Third Party Batteries to Fail

Discussion – Camera Firmware Update Causes Third Party Batteries to Fail

Recently we ran an article on – Updating your Camera’s Firmware – What is it and Why it’s Important. Funny thing is, I had never updated mine on any camera up to that point. As I edited and read the article I figured, yeah I guess I should do that. So I went ahead and updated the firmware on my Canon 5D Mark III.

Battery Failure

What happened is that my Canon batteries continued to work just fine. I went away to Oregon for 3.5 weeks and took three batteries with me – should be plenty right? Wrong! One ran down so I went to switch and got an error message on the screen that looks like this (excuse the iPhone photo, it’s hard to take a photo OF your camera).


Okay so now what? I was afraid to just choose “OK” not knowing if doing so would then somehow damage my camera. I wasn’t prepared to take that risk. So I chose “Cancel” which basically caused the battery to be ignored and therefore the camera to have no power.

Image: LP-E6 battery alternative

LP-E6 battery alternative

So I was left with one other third party battery, and one Canon battery for my trip. I hadn’t tested them before I left home (I use them all the time but lesson learned, don’t do what I did – test all gear before you go away anywhere) and apparently the Canon battery is completely dead. Not even the charger recognizes it. Nothing – nada – el zippo!

I had one battery left for the duration of my trip, one off-market one that didn’t produce the error. Luckily I have a handy charger that is portable (can charge batteries without being plugged in long as you charge it up first) and we weren’t out and about for long enough for me to fully drain it on any given day.

Cause and points for discussion

I did some digging on the internet and found that this is a common issue and that Canon has built that into the firmware update – aha! I knew the cause now – but what is the logic here? Apparently Canon wants you to only use their batteries and limit or eliminate the off-market ones.

It raises these questions for discussion

So tell me – what do you think about this?  Have you been affected by this firmware update too? I’m personally not crazy about being forced to use a given product, or the fact it killed my existing battery. Or did it really? What if I choose “OK” and it’s just fine but Canon just wants to freak me out, to which end they succeeded!

Why would one off-market brand get singled out and not work, when the other did just fine? Did the firmware update somehow affect my Canon battery too? It was fine last time I used it. Makes me wonder.

Discussion - Camera Firmware Update Causes Third Party Batteries to FailDo you use third party batteries? If you don’t, do you even care one way or the other?

But also let’s think about this, where does it end? What about filters, lenses, flashes? Will that mean that soon we may not be able to buy a Sigma or Tamron lens to fit? Or use a Hoya filter or a Metz flash?

How do you feel about this new policy? Tell me in the comments below. Let’s talk about this!


Disclaimer: this site does not advocate the use of third party of off-market batteries or products, do so at your own risk. 

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Darlene Hildebrandt
Darlene Hildebrandt

is an educator who teaches aspiring amateurs and hobbyists how to improve their skills through free articles on her website Digital Photo Mentor, online photography classes, and travel tours to exotic places like Peru, Thailand, India, Cuba, Morocco, Bhutan, Vietnam and more. To help you improve and learn she has two email mini-courses. Sign up for her free beginner OR portrait photography email mini-course here. Or get both, no charge!