PW

Which battery does the Sony A77 use?

Battery Pack
Sony NP-FM500H
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Sony NP-FM500H

The Sony A77 is a enthusiast DSLR that features a 24MP sensor. It is powered by the Sony NP-FM500H, 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 NP-FM500H operates at a voltage of 7.4V and has a capacity of 1600mAh. It can be charged from a standard electrical outlet via the Sony BC-VM10 charger (that can be purchased separately, for example, at amazon). The battery pack measures 38mm in width, 21mm in height, and 56mm in depth. It weighs 79g. The NP-FM500H has been on the market since September 2008 and sells at good camera retailers, such as amazon, for about $70. Generic alternatives (see below) can be obtained at 30-70% lower cost.

How many shots can I take with a fully charged NP-FM500H?

NP-FM500H
NP-FM500H, back
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NP-FM500H, back

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 Sony A77 can take 470 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?

Sony NP-FM500H Specifications

Battery type:Rechargeable Lithium-Ion power pack
Compatibility:Sony A77 & other selected Sony cameras
Voltage:7.4V DC
Capacity:1600mAh or 470 shots (CIPA) with the Sony A77
Dimensions (W x H x D):38 x 21 x 56mm
Weight:79g

Sony sells the original NP-FM500H 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 NP-FM500H replacements from different vendors at major online platforms (see, for example, here at ebay). All these generic alternatives should work fine with your Sony A77 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 NP-FM500H, 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 NP-FM500H. 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 Sony 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-FM500H and its clones by using the buttons below.

amazon ebay

What other cameras use the Sony NP-FM500H?

The Sony A77 is not alone in using the NP-FM500H. Several other cameras from Sony 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 NP-FM500H
Camera Battery
(name)
Battery life
(CIPA)
Sensor Size
(type)
Resolution
(MP)
Weight
(grams)
Camera Launch
(year)
Launch Price
(USD)
Street Price
(amazon)
Used Price
(ebay)
Sony A58 NP-FM500H 690 APS-C 19.8 492 2013 599discont. check
Sony A77 NP-FM500H 470 APS-C 24.0 732 2011 1,999discont. check
Sony A77 II NP-FM500H 480 APS-C 24.0 647 2014 1,199 latest check
Sony A99 NP-FM500H 500 Full Frame 24.0 812 2012 2,799discont. check
Sony A99 II NP-FM500H 490 Full Frame 42.2 849 2016 3,199 latest check
Sony A850 NP-FM500H 880 Full Frame 24.4 895 2009 1,999discont. check
Sony A900 NP-FM500H 880 Full Frame 24.4 895 2008 2,999discont. check

Sony NP-FM500H FAQ

The NP-FM500H is the standard power source for the Sony A77. 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 NP-FM500H?

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

Is the NP-FM500H available in colors other than black?

No, Sony 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-FM500H in any of my other electronic devices?

No, the battery is specifically designed for use in the Sony A77 and other selected cameras from Sony.

How should the NP-FM500H 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.