Panasonic FZ-series Li-Ion Battery Shootout!

I took 5 different lithium ion proprietary batteries for the Panasonic FZ series cameras and measured how long they last.



Test Setup and Procedure

I used a Radio Shack digital voltmeter with an RS-232 serial connection to my PC as the measuring device:


I found some opensource code on the net that will drive this voltmeter from linux and then hacked it to work with FreeBSD, which is what I use at home. I was able to save data in 10 second intervals, in a very simple ASCII file format, saving data samples of (time, volts), like this:


000000 08.300
000010 08.300
000020 08.300
000030 08.300
000040 08.300
000050 08.300
000060 08.190
000070 08.170
000080 08.160
000090 08.150
000100 08.140
000110 08.130
000120 08.120
000130 08.120
000140 08.110
000150 08.110
000160 08.100
000170 08.100
000180 08.090

I connected the battery to a hacked-up charger cradle:


 


 


and some jumper wires to connect from the voltmeter and the cradle to the camera, itself:




Procedure

1. Turn camera off, turn voltmeter on, insert battery in cradle.

2. Start the computer voltage-reading capture.

3. Let the computer sample a few values before you turn the camera on.

4. Turn the camera on and let it 'idle' with power-saver disabled

5. Let it run until the camera turns off due to the battery running out.

6. Stop the computer capture and create a .jpg from the data

Voltage-Time run-out Graphs

These are actual measurement runs done with computer-collected voltage measurements at 10 second intervals.



Power2000 brand battery



Ebay (Hong Kong) battery


Ebay (USA 'blue') battery



Panasonic FZ-5 OEM battery



Panasonic FZ-30 OEM battery