Which battery does the Canon 5D Mark IV use?
The Canon 5D Mark IV is a professional DSLR that features a 30.1MP full frame sensor. It is powered by the Canon LP-E6N, 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. The LP-E6N operates at a voltage of 7.2V and has a capacity of 1865mAh. It is charged from a standard electrical outlet via the Canon LC-E6 charger that comes with the camera (or can be purchased separately, for example, at amazon). The battery pack measures 56mm in width, 20mm in height, and 38mm in depth. It weighs 79g. The LP-E6N has been on the market since September 2014 and sells at good online retailers, such as amazon, for about $65. Generic alternatives (see below) can be obtained at 30-70% lower cost.
What is the difference between the LP-E6N and the LP-E6?
The Canon LP-E6N was preceded as a battery pack for some of Canon's digital cameras by the LP-E6. Both types operate at the same voltage and are fully interchangeable, so that the LP-E6 can also be used with the Canon 5D Mark IV. The only difference between the two packs is their capacity. The newer LP-E6N has a 3.5% higher mAh value (1865 vs 1800mAh) and, hence, slightly better performance.
How many shots can I take with a fully charged LP-E6N?
The number of shots that one can get out of a battery pack depends heavily on one's photography style and imaging practice. For example, the extended use of the LCD screen for framing or reviewing will result in reduced battery performance. 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 5D Mark IV can take 900 images on a single charge. Given the relatively high 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 LP-E6N Specifications
|Battery type:||Rechargeable Lithium-Ion power pack|
|Compatibility:||Canon 5D Mark IV & other selected Canon DSLR|
|Capacity:||1865mAh or 900 shots (CIPA) with the Canon 5D Mark IV|
|Dimensions (W x H x D):||56 x 20 x 38mm|
Canon sells the LP-E6N 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. Indeed, one can easily find a variety of competitively-priced LP-E6N replacements from different vendors at major online platforms (see, for example, here at ebay). All these generic alternatives should work fine with your Canon 5D Mark IV and the standard battery charger. So why would anybody then buy the more expensive genuine battery? Well, below are some arguments in favor of the genuine LP-E6N, which can perhaps be summarized as "peace of mind".
- Assurance that the camera's warranty 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 or 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-E6N. 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 current suppliers and the quality of their products. Yet, what some of the existing comparisons find is that the cheapest of the generic replacement packs tend to 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 Canon's genuine offer). Thus, the old adage, "If the price sounds too low to be true, it probably is" seems to have some merit with respect to Lithium-Ion camera batteries also.
Canon LP-E6N FAQ
The LP-E6N is the standard power source for the Canon 5D 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 that can be used with the LP-E6N?
Canon offers the CBC-E6 (here at amazon) to charge the battery pack from the standard lighter outlet of a car.
Is the LP-E6N 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-E6N in any of my other electronic devices?
No, the battery is specifically designed for use in the Canon 5D Mark IV and other selected cameras from Canon.
How should the LP-E6N be stored?
Lithium-ion batteries can hold a charge for many months. However, these battery packs have a safety mechanism build-in that disables any re-charge if the battery's 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.