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Which battery does the Sony RX100 take?

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 is a digital compact camera that features a 20MP 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 Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 can be obtained at substantially lower cost.

It is noteworthy, that the Sony RX100 supports internal charging of its battery pack via the USB port. This feature can be particularly useful when travelling, as one can re-charge the camera battery simply by plugging a USB cable into one's laptop, rather than carrying a separate battery charger along.

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 RX100 can take 330 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 RX100 & other selected Sony cameras
  • Voltage: 3.6V DC
  • Capacity: 1240mAh or 330 shots (CIPA) with the Sony RX100
  • 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 RX100. 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.

ebay amazon


Which other cameras use the Sony NP-BX1?

The Sony RX100 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.

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Cameras using the NP-BX1
# Camera
Model
Battery
(name)
Battery life
(CIPA)
Sensor Size
(type)
Resolution
(MP)
Weight
(g)
Camera
Launch
Launch Price
(USD)
Street Price
(USD)
1Sony H400NP-BX13001/2.319.9603Feb 2014319i
2Sony HX50VNP-BX14001/2.315.1247Apr 2013449i
3Sony HX80NP-BX13901/2.318.0220Mar 2016349i
4Sony HX90VNP-BX13601/2.318.0220Apr 2015429i
5Sony HX95NP-BX13701/2.318.0242Aug 2018429i
6Sony HX99NP-BX13701/2.318.0242Aug 2018449i
7Sony HX300NP-BX13101/2.320.2650Feb 2013499i
8Sony HX350NP-BX13001/2.319.9652Dec 2016449i
9Sony HX400VNP-BX13001/2.320.2660Feb 2014499i
10Sony RX1NP-BX1270Full Frame24.0482Sep 20122,799i
11Sony RX1RNP-BX1270Full Frame24.0482Jun 20132,799i
12Sony RX1R IINP-BX1220Full Frame42.2507Oct 20153,299i
13Sony RX100NP-BX13301-inch20.0240Jun 2012649i
14Sony RX100 IINP-BX13501-inch20.0281Jun 2013749i
15Sony RX100 IIINP-BX13201-inch20.0290May 2014799i
16Sony RX100 IVNP-BX12801-inch20.0298Jun 2015999i
17Sony RX100 VNP-BX12201-inch20.0299Oct 2016999i
18Sony RX100 VINP-BX12401-inch20.0301Jun 20181,199i
19Sony RX100 VIINP-BX12601-inch20.0302Jul 20191,199i
20Sony WX300NP-BX15001/2.318.0141Feb 2013329i
21Sony WX350NP-BX14701/2.318.0137Feb 2014329i
22Sony WX500NP-BX13601/2.318.0211Apr 2015329i
23Sony WX800NP-BX13701/2.318.0233Oct 2018399i
24Sony ZV-1NP-BX12601-inch20.0294May 2020799i

Sony NP-BX1 FAQ

The NP-BX1 is the standard power source for the Sony RX100. 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 RX100 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 built-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.

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