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Which battery does the Canon 1D Mark IV take?

The Canon EOS-1D Mark IV is a professional DSLR that features a 16MP sensor. It is powered by the Canon LP-E4, which is a rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery pack. Lithium-Ion batteries offer a high energy density and low self-discharge, and are nowadays found in many portable electronic devices.

Battery Pack

The LP-E4 operates at a voltage of 11.1V and has a capacity of 2300mAh. It can be charged from a standard electrical outlet via the Canon LC-E4 charger (that can be purchased separately, for example, at amazon). The battery pack measures 68mm in width, 34mm in height, and 93mm in depth. It weighs 185g. The LP-E4 has been on the market since February 2007 and sells at good camera retailers, such as amazon, for about $199. Generic alternatives (see below) that are compatible with the Canon EOS-1D Mark IV can be obtained at substantially lower cost.

What is the difference between the LP-E4 and the LP-E4N?

The Canon LP-E4 was replaced as a battery pack for digital cameras by the LP-E4N. Both types operate at a similar voltage and are fully interchangeable, so that the LP-E4N can also be used with the Canon 1D Mark IV. The main difference between the two packs is their capacity. The LP-E4 has a 6.5 percent lower mAh value (2300 vs 2450 mAh) and, hence, somewhat weaker performance (6.5 percent fewer shots per battery charge) than the LP-E4N.

How many shots can I take with a fully charged LP-E4?

The number of shots that one can get out of a battery pack depends heavily on the style and imaging practice of the photographer. For example, the extended use of the LCD screen for framing or reviewing will result in reduced battery performance.

LP-E4

The Camera & Imaging Products Association (CIPA) has established guidelines (click here to download the pdf-document) that manufacturers are supposed to respect when reporting the battery life of their cameras. According to this CIPA-rating, the Canon 1D Mark IV can take 1500 images on a single charge. Given the relatively demanding energy usage of the CIPA procedures, this rated number should be achievable or be surpassed in most practical situations. However, if the environment is cold, the LCD screen is used heavily, or the camera is turned on and off frequently, battery mileage might drop below the rating. Also, as the battery pack ages, its performance will tend to deteriorate.

 

What about generic battery packs?

Canon sells the original LP-E4 pack at quite a steep price. This premium pricing strategy has left room in the market for third party suppliers to offer fully compatible battery packs at much lower prices. Savings from buying generic replacement batteries can amount up to 70 percent of the price of the genuine battery pack.

Canon LP-E4 Specifications

Battery type: Rechargeable Lithium-Ion power pack
Compatibility: Canon 1D Mark IV & other selected Canon cameras
Voltage: 11.1V DC
Capacity: 2300mAh or 1500 shots (CIPA) with the Canon 1D Mark IV
Dimensions (W x H x D): 68 x 34 x 93mm
Weight: 185g

Indeed, one can easily find a variety of competitively-priced LP-E4 replacements from different vendors at major online platforms (see, for example, here on eBay). All these generic alternatives should work fine with your Canon 1D Mark IV. So why would anybody then buy the more expensive original battery? Well, below are some arguments in favor of the genuine LP-E4, which can perhaps be summarized as "peace of mind".

  • Assurance that the warranty of the camera will not be rendered void if a battery-related failure occurs;
  • Assurance that the battery pack will indeed have the stated capacity;
  • Assurance that the battery will have low self-discharge rates and, thus, will hold its charge even when not in use;
  • Assurance that the power unit will not trigger any warning messages on the camera and can be effectively charged with the standard charger;
  • Assurance that the manufacturing process has respected the safety guidelines for Lithium-Ion batteries;
 

If you can live without these assurances, then you are in for some nice savings from buying generic replacements for the LP-E4. Unfortunately, the market for generic battery packs is rather fluid, with new trade names popping up regularly while others disappear. Hence it is difficult to keep track of all the suppliers and the quality of their products. That said, in North America, battery packs from Wasabi have gained a good reputation, while in Europe, replacement power packs from Patona have received many favorable reviews. In any case, the existing comparisons tend to find that the cheapest of the generic replacement packs score worse in terms of achieving their rated capacity, holding their charge over time, or allowing for a large number of charge-discharge cycles than somewhat pricier battery packs (or the genuine Canon offer). Thus, the old adage, "If the price sounds too low to be true, it probably is" has some merit with respect to camera batteries also. You can check the current offers and prices for the original LP-E4 and its clones by using the buttons below.

amazon ebay

Which other cameras use the Canon LP-E4 or the LP-E4N?

The Canon 1D Mark IV is not alone in using the LP-E4 or the LP-E4N. Several other cameras from Canon are powered by the same type of lithium-ion pack. The adjacent table lists some of them along with a selection of their headline specifications.

Cameras using the LP-E4 or the LP-E4N
Camera
Model
Battery
(name)
Battery life
(CIPA)
Sensor Size
(type)
Resolution
(MP)
Weight
(g)
Camera Launch
(announcement)
Launch Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
Canon 1D Mark III LP-E4 2200 APS-H 10.1 1155 Feb 2007 4,499- i Canon 1D Mark III
Canon 1D Mark IV LP-E4 1500 APS-H 16.0 1230 Oct 2009 4,999- i Canon 1D Mark IV
Canon 1Ds Mark III LP-E4 1800 Full Frame 21.0 1385 Aug 2007 7,999- i Canon 1Ds Mark III
Canon 1D C LP-E4N 1120 Full Frame 17.9 1545 Apr 2012 14,999- i Canon 1D C
Canon 1D X LP-E4N 1120 Full Frame 17.9 1551 Oct 2011 6,799- i Canon 1D X

Canon LP-E4 FAQ

The LP-E4 is the standard power source for the Canon 1D Mark IV. As such it is an indispensable camera accessory. Below are some additional questions and answers concerning some particular aspects of the battery pack and Lithium-Ion power units more generally.

Is there a car charger available for the LP-E4?

Canon does not offer a travel charger, but third party suppliers do (see here on eBay).

Is the LP-E4 available in colors other than black?

No, Canon supplies this battery pack only in black. However, some generic alternatives from third party providers might be available in other colors.

Can I use the LP-E4 in any of my other electronic devices?

No, the battery is specifically designed for use in the Canon 1D Mark IV and other selected cameras from Canon.

How should the LP-E4 be stored?

Lithium-ion batteries can hold a charge for a long time. However, these battery packs have a safety mechanism build-in that disables any re-charge if the voltage drops below a certain minimum level. To avoid this safety-trigger to be activated, the battery pack should be charged at least once every few months.

How should I discard my old battery pack?

The contents of Lithium-Ion batteries is under pressure and the packs can explode if exposed to extreme heat. Lithium-Ion battery units should therefore never be incinerated and should not be thrown into the household trash, but put into the recycling stream. Most places that sell camera batteries will also accept them back for recycling.

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