Which battery does the Nikon D800 use?

Battery Pack
Nikon EN-EL15
Nikon EN-EL15

The Nikon D800 is a professional DSLR that features a 36.2MP sensor. It is powered by the Nikon EN-EL15, 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 EN-EL15 operates at a voltage of 7.0V and has a capacity of 1900mAh. It can be charged from a standard electrical outlet via the Nikon MH-25a charger (that can be purchased separately, for example, at amazon). The battery pack measures 40mm in width, 21mm in height, and 56mm in depth. It weighs 88g. The EN-EL15 has been on the market since September 2012 and sells at good camera retailers, such as amazon, for about $70. Generic alternatives (see below) can be obtained at substantially lower cost.

What is the difference between the EN-EL15 and the EN-EL15a?

The Nikon EN-EL15 was replaced as a battery pack for digital cameras by the EN-EL15a. Both types operate at a similar voltage and are fully interchangeable, so that the EN-EL15a can also be used with the Nikon D800. The main difference between the two packs is their internal circuit design. The newer battery pack has less internal resistance and, thus, less energy loss from internal heating. It will therefore last longer on a single charge and be less prone to overheating.

How many shots can I take with a fully charged EN-EL15?

Genuine EN-EL15
Genuine EN-EL15

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 D800 can take 900 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 EN-EL15 Specifications

Battery type: Rechargeable Lithium-Ion power pack
Compatibility: Nikon D800 & other selected Nikon cameras
Voltage: 7.0V DC
Capacity: 1900mAh or 900 shots (CIPA) with the Nikon D800
Dimensions (W x H x D): 40 x 21 x 56mm
Weight: 88g

Nikon sells the original EN-EL15 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 EN-EL15 replacements from different vendors at major online platforms (see, for example, here at ebay). All these generic alternatives should work fine with your Nikon D800 and the standard battery charger. So why would anybody then buy the more expensive original battery? Well, below are some arguments in favor of the genuine EN-EL15, 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 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 EN-EL15. 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-EL15 and its clones by using the buttons below.

amazon ebay

What other cameras use the Nikon EN-EL15 or the EN-EL15a?

The Nikon D800 is not alone in using the EN-EL15 or the EN-EL15a. Several other cameras from Nikon 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. Click on the camera name for further details on the particular model.

Cameras using the EN-EL15 or the EN-EL15a
Camera Battery
Battery life
Sensor Size
Camera Launch
Launch Price
Street Price
Used Price
Nikon D500 EN-EL15 1240 APS-C 20.7 860 2016 1,999 latest check
Nikon D600 EN-EL15 900 Full Frame 24.2 850 2012 2,099discont. check
Nikon D610 EN-EL15 900 Full Frame 24.2 850 2013 1,999 latest check
Nikon D750 EN-EL15 1230 Full Frame 24.2 750 2014 2,299 latest check
Nikon D800 EN-EL15 900 Full Frame 36.2 1000 2012 2,999discont. check
Nikon D800E EN-EL15 900 Full Frame 36.2 1000 2012 3,299discont. check
Nikon D810 EN-EL15 1200 Full Frame 36.2 980 2014 3,299discont. check
Nikon D850 EN-EL15a 1840 Full Frame 45.4 1005 2017 3,299 latest check
Nikon D7000 EN-EL15 1050 APS-C 16.1 780 2010 1,499discont. check
Nikon D7100 EN-EL15 950 APS-C 24.0 765 2013 1,199discont. check
Nikon D7200 EN-EL15 1110 APS-C 24.0 765 2015 1,199discont. check
Nikon D7500 EN-EL15a 950 APS-C 20.7 720 2017 1,299 latest check

Nikon EN-EL15 FAQ

The EN-EL15 is the standard power source for the Nikon D800. 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 EN-EL15?

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

Is the EN-EL15 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-EL15 in any of my other electronic devices?

No, the battery is specifically designed for use in the Nikon D800 and other selected cameras from Nikon.

How should the EN-EL15 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 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.