I've got a problem with my Nikon D5100 that I bought in 2012/2013. It's either the camera itself, the battery or the battery charger.

I don't know anyone with my set of equipment and can't really test whether it's because of the battery, charger, or camera. Therefore I want to know whether there are other means of how to check if the fault lies in one of them (or all of them) and how to solve it without spending money for another camera.

It used to work fine. I shot a fair amount of pics and (mostly) recorded videos of around 5 minutes each. Then I didn't use it for a few months. Yesterday I wanted to use it again. Charge it. Put it into the camera. And now it doesn't work anymore. The green light in the battery folder is lightning up when I put it in. And there is also a sign that the battery doesn't have lots of energy anymore - even though I charge it the whole night.The display doesn't go on. Needless to say I can't take any pictures with it. I never used flash or anything like that.

I've read a lot of posts that the battery of the D5100 is the culprit. Therefore I'm currently tending to buy a new battery (this time not from Nikon again but from a 3rdd party) or a grip. I've also read though that 3rd party batteries don't work in the newer D5100 (meaning cameras bought in around 2013) anymore?

Any recommendation?

UPDATE: So I bought a pair of new batteries from Patona. Charged it. Put it in my camera and shows the same behaviour as before: Green light of the the SD card reader goes on for a short period of time and goes on. Other than that no reactions from the camera whatsoever (no display, no other functionalities work).

I assume it's not the battery nor the charger. Probably something wrong with the camera itself. Maybe software or mechanical stuff within the camera?

1 Answer 1


From the description you've supplied it looks like your battery has failed and needs replacing. The easiest way to test it is to find someone who has another d5100 near you and try your battery in their charger / camera. The d5100 is a very popular body and it is likely that someone you know has one (or another camera that uses the same battery.)

Li-ion cells tend to be an area where you get what you pay for. 'Compatible' batteries are often less powerful and/or have had corners cut in production. Where they are equivalent in power and production they tend to be a broadly similar price to genuine Nikon batteries.

Unlike a lot of other battery types Li-ion cells contain a flammable electrolyte solution consisting of lithium salts in organic solvents such as ethylene carbonate and ethyl methyl carbonate. That means that when poorly made (or even well made ones in the case of faulty batches) Li-ion cells carry a fire or even explosive risk when not made properly (Source: Chemical and Engineering News: Assessing The Safety Of Lithium-Ion Batteries).

  • Sorry, but my experience with well known brand name 3rd party batteries (MaximalPower, SterlingTek) bought from reputable sources (Amazon) is every bit as good as with the OEM batteries that were supplied with my cameras. One of my Canon OEM LP-E6 batteries is gradually loosing recharge performance at a faster rate than a couple of MaximalPower LP-E6 compatibles bought at the same time and used interchangeably in my cameras. You're just as likely to get poorly made fake "OEM" batteries when buying from less than reputable sources as you are to get poorly made no name 3rd party batteries.
    – Michael C
    Aug 12, 2015 at 1:30
  • @MichaelClark - I'll remember to avoid Canon batteries then... your experience matches an experience I've had with batteries on a Canon Selphy printer I use for parties. It's not something I've had from Nikon but I'm sure you get the odd bad one from every manufacturer. But either way it stands that getting the cheapest battery, including fakes, is still generally a false economy - companies that are willing to put their name to things tend to want a reputation for producing decent stuff. Aug 12, 2015 at 9:28
  • And companies such as SterlingTek, MaximalPower, Sigma, Tamron, etc. are also interested in having a reputation for producing excellent stuff when their name goes on it.
    – Michael C
    Aug 13, 2015 at 2:53
  • Every rechargeable battery has a life cycle. Each charge discharge/cycle will reduce the capacity of the battery a minute amount. Just as even the best shutter assemblies eventually wear out, so do even the best rechargeable batteries. After fairly heavy use since around 2012, the LP-E6 referenced above now shows a recharge efficiency of three out of four bars. The rest of my OEM Canon LP-E6 batteries and 3rd party "LP-E6" batteries bought anywhere from 2011 until now all still show 4 out of 4.
    – Michael C
    Aug 13, 2015 at 2:59
  • It's probably not the battery.... Aug 16, 2015 at 19:23

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