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Which battery does the Canon 1Ds Mark II take?

The Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II is a professional DSLR that features a 16.6MP sensor. It is powered by the Canon NP-E3, which is a rechargeable Nickel-Metal Hybride (NiMH) battery pack. NiMH batteries offer a high energy density at relatively low cost, and are used in many high-current-drain electronic devices.

Battery Pack

The NP-E3 operates at a voltage of 12V and has a capacity of 1650mAh. It can be charged from a standard electrical outlet via the Canon NC-E2 charger (that can be purchased separately, for example, at amazon). The battery pack measures 127mm in width, 35mm in height, and 68mm in depth. It weighs 300g. The NP-E3 has been on the market since September 2001 and sells at good camera retailers, such as amazon, for about $200. Generic alternatives (see below) that are compatible with the Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II can be obtained at substantially lower cost.

How many shots can I take with a fully charged NP-E3?

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.

NP-E3

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 1Ds Mark II can take 1200 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 NP-E3 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 NP-E3 Specifications

Battery type: Rechargeable Nickel-Metal Hybride power pack
Compatibility: Canon 1Ds Mark II & other selected Canon cameras
Voltage: 12V DC
Capacity: 1650mAh or 1200 shots (CIPA) with the Canon 1Ds Mark II
Dimensions (W x H x D): 127 x 35 x 68mm
Weight: 300g

Indeed, one can easily find a variety of competitively-priced NP-E3 replacements from different vendors at major online platforms (see, for example, here on eBay). All these generic alternatives should work fine with your Canon 1Ds Mark II. So why would anybody then buy the more expensive original battery? Well, below are some arguments in favor of the genuine NP-E3, 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 Nickel-Metal Hybride batteries;
 

If you can live without these assurances, then you are in for some nice savings from buying generic replacements for the NP-E3. 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 NP-E3 and its clones by using the buttons below.

amazon ebay

Which other cameras use the Canon NP-E3?

The Canon 1Ds Mark II is not alone in using the NP-E3. 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 NP-E3
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 NP-E3 500 APS-H 4.1 1585 Sep 2001 6,499- i Canon 1D
Canon 1D Mark II NP-E3 1200 APS-H 8.2 1535 Jan 2004 4,499- i Canon 1D Mark II
Canon 1D Mark II N NP-E3 1200 APS-H 8.2 1565 Aug 2005 3,999- i Canon 1D Mark II N
Canon 1Ds NP-E3 600 Full Frame 11.0 1265 Sep 2002 8,999- i Canon 1Ds
Canon 1Ds Mark II NP-E3 1200 Full Frame 16.6 1215 Sep 2004 7,999- i Canon 1Ds Mark II

Canon NP-E3 FAQ

The NP-E3 is the standard power source for the Canon 1Ds Mark II. As such it is an indispensable camera accessory. Below are some additional questions and answers concerning some particular aspects of the battery pack and Nickel-Metal Hybride power units more generally.

Is there a car charger available for the NP-E3?

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

Is the NP-E3 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 NP-E3 in any of my other electronic devices?

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

How should the NP-E3 be stored?

Nickel-Metal Hybride batteries can be stored for several months without any detrimental effects on their long-term performance as long as they are not exposed to extreme temperatures. If storage over periods of more than one year is envisaged, the power packs should be recharged intermittently to avoid battery deterioration.

How should I discard my old battery pack?

NiMH batteries contain Nickel, which in large quantities can be dangerous to human health. If thrown into the household trash, NiMH packs can pollute the water and cause cancer, cardiovascular disease and kidney damage. Hence, these batteries should be kept out of the waste stream and deposited at recycling stations at the end of their use. Most places that sell camera batteries will also accept them back for recycling.

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