Not Your Everyday Banana

by Bart Arondson

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My camera manual for EOS 50D says I can use either BP-511A, BP-511, BP-512 or BP-514. The camera came with a single BP-511A. Does anyone know what A stand for? How is BP-511A different from BP-511?

Also, I found an online shop that sells BP-511 replacements, and they state that it replaces BP-511, BP-512, BP-522 and BP-535. How does BP-522 and BP-535 come into the picture? These two are not mentioned in my manual.

Should I assume that pretty much any Canon EOS battery with the same size, voltage and shape is good with my camera? Are the Canon EOS battery packs compatible across all EOS models? I know that battery grips are different, but I don't know about the battery packs.

Update:

Here's a battery compatibility table I compiled based on the responses I got here and information from various web sources featuring the mid-range and advanced Canon EOS models.

Battery  Delivered     Optional
D30      BP-511        BP-511A
D60      BP-511        BP-511A
10D      BP-511/BP-512 BP-511A
20D      BP-511A       BP-511, BP-512, BP-514AC
30D      BP-511A       BP-511, BP-512, BP-514
40D      BP-511A       BP-511, BP-512, BP-514
50D      BP-511A       BP-511, BP-512, BP-514
5D       BP-511A       BP-511, BP-512, BP-514
60D      LP-E6         n/a
7D       LP-E6         n/a
5D mk2   LP-E6         n/a
5D mk3   LP-E6         n/a

Note that there is no optional battery pack for the LP-E6 at the moment. The BP-514AC is said to have an optional DC coupler. I'm not sure what that means. But I imagine you can attach something to it that will allow you to plug it directly into the electrical outlet to charge it. It is sort of a battery and a charger all in one. I think...

Here are the battery capacity specs for the above mentioned battery packs. These numbers apply to the original Canon battery packs. Replacements can have higher capacity.

BP-511  1100 mAh 7.4 V
BP-511A 1390 mAh 7.4 V
BP-512  1100 mAh 7.4 V
BP-522  2200 mAh 7.4 V
BP-535  3500 mAh 7.4 V

So if you can use a BP-511 and you're going for the original (OEM) battery pack, go for the BP-511A which will give you the best battery life.

Give me some feedback if you find this helpful or if you see any errors.

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2 Answers 2

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The OEM version of the Canon BP-511 is rated at 1100mAh capacity. The BP-511A is rated at 1390mAh. To the best of my knowledge Canon discontinued manufacture of the BP-511 after they updated it with the higher capacity BP-511A.

Third party vendors make BP-511 compatible batteries rated at up to 2200mAh. My experience with Sterling Tek BP-511A compatible batteries rated at 2200mAH was that they did indeed last longer than the OEM BP-511A supplied by Canon with the camera.

Some battery packs in Canon's system are interchangeable with other battery packs, but most are not. The BP-522 and BP-535, for instance, are much larger than the BP-511 and would not fit in most applications designed to use the BP-511. The BP-511 series, however, might fit in devices that use the BP-522. The lower capacity of the BP-511A means that it would not last as long compared to the 3500mAH BP-535 in those devices.

The BP-512, which was supplied with the G2 and several Canon camcorder models appears to be functionally identical to the original BP-511 (but inside a slightly slimmer case) and is also rated at 1100mAh. The BP-514 was supplied with the ZR80, ZR85, and ZR90 camcorders and appears to be the same size as the BP-512 and slightly thinner than the BP-511.

For the decision on whether to use OEM or generic batteries, see Should I buy an original manufacturer battery, or is a generic brand OK?. My answer is buried near the bottom as I didn't join this community until almost three years after the question was asked.

I've had good luck with Maximal Power and Sterling Tek batteries for my Canon cameras. Be aware that many sellers claiming to sell genuine OEM batteries are selling counterfeits, especially on eBay. Only buy OEM or generic batteries from a source you trust.

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Note - The positioning of answers in a thread is not based on when you joined the community, it is based on 1.The accepted answer 2.The amount of votes :) –  dpollitt May 31 '13 at 19:32
    
And answers submitted 3 years after the question is asked rarely get many views or votes, even when they sometimes contain more current and accurate information than the earliest answers that understandably get most of the votes. It seems to me that with many answers lately being accepted 10 minutes after the question is asked not only does it discourage others from writing what could perhaps be a better answer, but it often results in fewer votes being cast for the existing answer(s). –  Michael Clark May 31 '13 at 20:46
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It also depends on the page settings selected by the viewer. You can choose to display the order of the answers displayed following the accepted answer by oldest, active, or votes –  Michael Clark May 31 '13 at 21:00
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@MichaelClark Thank you for this detailed answer. –  sammyg May 31 '13 at 21:18
    
@MichaelClark I have marked this answer as the answer to my question. I hope you don't mind? I'll unmark it if you want to?... –  sammyg May 31 '13 at 21:20
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The BP-511A are 1390mAh(higher capacity) than the BP-511 which is 1100mAh. It is just a newer design and the BP-511A basically just replaced the BP-511.

The other various models you note were usually used in camcorders. BP-522 and BP-535 for example.

The only time you might really run into trouble is using the older lower capacity units in much newer equipment. It might not be enough power for the device. But this is unlikely.

Battery packs work exactly the same in grips, you just usually get to use 2 of them instead of one, and most grips allow the use of AA style batteries as well.

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Thanks! What I meant was that battery grips are different for different camera models. But apparently battery packs are different too, at least to some extent. There seem to be a generation shift every few years where the new camera models get a new battery pack type. I wish they would make one killer battery pack that works across all mid-range models, and maybe one specifically for advanced models. You know, make a commitment, and stick to that just like they do with lens mounts. –  sammyg May 31 '13 at 20:58
    
The BP-522 and BP-535 have the same base as BP-511 and BP-511A. But they are much deeper/thicker. I didn't know that. I guess that's why the online shop said it was compatible, it's compatible alright but only with camcorders where it usually sits on the outside. You can't put it in the battery compartment of an EOS camera. –  sammyg May 31 '13 at 21:07
    
@Sammy - They list their BP-511 copy as compatible with the BP-522 and BP-535 devices because the devices that use the larger BP-522 and BP-535 can also use the smaller BP-511. If they make a BP-522 or BP-535 sized copy they would not list it as compatible with the BP-511 or BP-511A because not all devices that use the BP-511 series can use the BP-522/535. –  Michael Clark May 31 '13 at 22:14
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