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Which battery does the Sony H400 take?

The Sony DSC-H400 is a digital compact camera that features a 19.9MP sensor. It is powered by the Sony NP-BX1, 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.

Battery Pack

The NP-BX1 operates at a voltage of 3.6V and has a capacity of 1240mAh. It can be charged from a standard electrical outlet via the Sony BC-TRX charger (that can be purchased separately, for example, at amazon). The battery pack measures 29mm in width, 9mm in height, and 42mm in depth. It weighs 25g. The NP-BX1 has been on the market since June 2012 and sells at good camera retailers, such as amazon, for about $50. Generic alternatives (see below) that are compatible with the Sony DSC-H400 can be obtained at substantially lower cost.

How many shots can I take with a fully charged NP-BX1?

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-BX1

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 H400 can take 300 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 sells the original NP-BX1 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.

Sony NP-BX1 Specifications

Battery type: Rechargeable Lithium-Ion power pack
Compatibility: Sony H400 & other selected Sony cameras
Voltage: 3.6V DC
Capacity: 1240mAh or 300 shots (CIPA) with the Sony H400
Dimensions (W x H x D): 29 x 9 x 42mm
Weight: 25g

Indeed, one can easily find a variety of competitively-priced NP-BX1 replacements from different vendors at major online platforms (see, for example, here on eBay). All these generic alternatives should work fine with your Sony H400. So why would anybody then buy the more expensive original battery? Well, below are some arguments in favor of the genuine NP-BX1, 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 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-BX1. 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-BX1 and its clones by using the buttons below.

amazon ebay

Which other cameras use the Sony NP-BX1?

The Sony H400 is not alone in using the NP-BX1. 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.

Cameras using the NP-BX1
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
Sony H400 NP-BX1 300 1/2.3 19.9 603 Feb 2014 319- i Sony H400
Sony HX50V NP-BX1 400 1/2.3 15.1 247 Apr 2013 449- i Sony HX50V
Sony HX80 NP-BX1 390 1/2.3 18.0 220 Mar 2016 349- i Sony HX80
Sony HX90V NP-BX1 360 1/2.3 18.0 220 Apr 2015 429- i Sony HX90V
Sony HX300 NP-BX1 310 1/2.3 20.2 650 Feb 2013 499- i Sony HX300
Sony HX400V NP-BX1 300 1/2.3 20.2 660 Feb 2014 499 i i Sony HX400V
Sony RX1 NP-BX1 270 Full Frame 24.0 482 Sep 2012 2,799- i Sony RX1
Sony RX1R NP-BX1 270 Full Frame 24.0 482 Jun 2013 2,799- i Sony RX1R
Sony RX1R II NP-BX1 220 Full Frame 42.2 507 Oct 2015 3,299 i i Sony RX1R II
Sony RX100 NP-BX1 330 1-inch 20.0 240 Jun 2012 649- i Sony RX100
Sony RX100 II NP-BX1 350 1-inch 20.0 281 Jun 2013 749- i Sony RX100 II
Sony RX100 III NP-BX1 320 1-inch 20.0 290 May 2014 799- i Sony RX100 III
Sony RX100 IV NP-BX1 280 1-inch 20.0 298 Jun 2015 999- i Sony RX100 IV
Sony RX100 V NP-BX1 220 1-inch 20.0 299 Oct 2016 999 i i Sony RX100 V
Sony RX100 VI NP-BX1 240 1-inch 20.0 301 Jun 2018 1,199 i i Sony RX100 VI
Sony WX300 NP-BX1 500 1/2.3 18.0 141 Feb 2013 329- i Sony WX300
Sony WX350 NP-BX1 470 1/2.3 18.0 137 Feb 2014 329- i Sony WX350
Sony WX500 NP-BX1 360 1/2.3 18.0 211 Apr 2015 329- i Sony WX500

Sony NP-BX1 FAQ

The NP-BX1 is the standard power source for the Sony H400. 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-BX1?

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

Is the NP-BX1 available in colors other than gray?

No, Sony supplies this battery pack only in gray. However, some generic alternatives from third party providers might be available in other colors.

Can I use the NP-BX1 in any of my other electronic devices?

No, the battery is specifically designed for use in the Sony H400 and other selected cameras from Sony.

How should the NP-BX1 be stored?

Lithium-ion batteries can hold a charge for a long time. 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.