Which battery does the Nikon D1H take?
The Nikon D1H is a professional DSLR that features a 2.6MP sensor. It is powered by the Nikon EN-4, 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.
The EN-4 operates at a voltage of 7.2V and has a capacity of 2000mAh. It can be charged from a standard electrical outlet via the Nikon EH-4 charger (that can be purchased separately, for example, at amazon). The battery pack measures 120mm in width, 40mm in height, and 60mm in depth. It weighs 235g. The EN-4 has been on the market since June 1999 and sells at good camera retailers, such as amazon, for about $125. Generic alternatives (see below) that are compatible with the Nikon D1H can be obtained at substantially lower cost.
How many shots can I take with a fully charged EN-4?
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.
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 Nikon D1H 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?
Nikon sells the original EN-4 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.
Nikon EN-4 Specifications
- Battery type: Rechargeable Nickel-Metal Hybride power pack
- Compatibility: Nikon D1H & other selected Nikon cameras
- Voltage: 7.2V DC
- Capacity: 2000mAh or 1200 shots (CIPA) with the Nikon D1H
- Dimensions (W x H x D): 120 x 40 x 60mm
- Weight: 235g
Indeed, one can easily find a variety of competitively-priced EN-4 replacements from different vendors at major online platforms (see, for example, here on ebay). All these generic alternatives should work fine with your Nikon D1H. So why would anybody then buy the more expensive original battery? Well, below are some arguments in favor of the genuine EN-4, 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 EN-4. 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 Nikon 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 EN-4 and its clones by using the buttons below.
Nikon EN-4 FAQ
The EN-4 is the standard power source for the Nikon D1H. 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 EN-4?
Nikon does not offer a travel charger, but third party suppliers do (see here on ebay).
Is the EN-4 available in colors other than black?
No, Nikon 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 EN-4 in any of my other electronic devices?
No, the battery is specifically designed for use in the Nikon D1H and other selected cameras from Nikon.
How should the EN-4 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.