Most helpful positive review
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Must have if you use Pentax D-LI90 batteries.
on July 13, 2013
With the switch to proprietary batteries, and the ever increasing needs for power, spare batteries are a mandatory accessory for a new camera. As I tend to place a heavy demand on my camera when shooting on location, my ideal needs are one battery in the camera, one in my pocket and one on the charger. As I am also using a battery grip, that translates out to a minimum of an extra 3 batteries.
The kit is in the middle of the price range approximately $12 / battery. Individual batteries have been as low as $7.20 to as high as $19.95, with the Pentax original at $59.95 (and out of stock/backorder (10 days) as of this posting 7/13/2013. However the kit includes an additional battery charger, always a welcome addition when purchasing "generic" or third party batteries.
In comparison to the OEM, the battery specs are nearly identical. The OEM from Pentax is manufactured for Pentax/Ricoh Imaging Company LTD (China manufacturing) 7.2 v (voltage) 1860 mAh (milliampere-hour) 14Wh (watt-hour). The replacement batteries are listed as Premium Cells from Japan manufactured and sold as Wasabi Power (China manufacturing) 7.2v (voltage) 2300 mAh (milliampere-hour) 16.6Wh (watt-hour).
The OEM battery charger shows Pentax (manufactured for the Hoya Corporation - the prior owner of the Pentax brand name before its sale to Ricoh. The date stamp on mine shows it was made during the transition period - 08/2012 ) Model D-BC90 (China manufacturing) input 100 ~ 240 v 50-60 Hz, output 8.4v 400mAh. The Pentax charger utilizes a long plug in cord, and shows a red completed charging indicator (led) and utilizes a 3 prong connection (positive/negative/ground) for making contact with the battery. Instructions are contained in a separate manual with cautions in Japanese (?) or Chinese printed on the back with an odd stray French (Fabrique en Chine - translation Made in China) phrase on it.
In comparison the Wasabi Power charger (China manufacturing) input 100 ~ 240 v 50-60 Hz, output 8.4 v 500mAh. The Wasabi charger has a built in swing out plug with a solid "click" in place when turning, shows red (charging) / green (charged) indicator lights (led), and utilizes a 2 prong connection (positive/negative) for making contact with the battery. As a bonus it has charging instructions printed in English on the back of the unit and ships with additional car adaptor and European plug in adaptors.
Based on the data, the Wasabi Power replacement battery is nearly identical to the OEM. It should offer no compatibility issues, while providing for longer usage. The battery charger is compatible with OEM batteries, and other D-LI90 batteries from other manufacturers. It appears to charge them in a nearly identical time, based on battery usage and starting from a "non-charged" state.
Thus far my camera (Pentax K5 - II) has not noticed any difference between the OEM and the Wasabi Power battery. Nor have I seen any apparent differences in performance or duration by either the battery or the charger. By the same token as of this posting, I've not yet been able to work either battery to "depletion" while using the camera. I may update this review after getting an opportunity to do that in near future, if I notice any significant departures from the OEM battery.
On the other hand, the Wasabi Power charger offers a far greater convenience in use and while traveling. It is one less cord I need to travel with, takes up a smaller space in my camera bag, easily plugs into any standard US/Canada power outlet, and works well with the Pentax and other Power2000 / Photo Xit batteries. In contrast, while the Pentax equipment will charge the generic batteries, the Pentax charger does not seem to "grip" them as well. I has had the generic battery pop out of the charger if jostled while the Pentax OEM is locked in to the point of needing a slight effort to remove. The Pentax charger is also larger and wider than the Wasabi Power charger, requiring a flat surface as opposed to connecting to a wall outlet.
If you have money to burn and time on your hands, go with the OEM from Pentax.
If you want an exact "generic" match to the OEM for at an price point and the convenience of an extra charger, the Wasabi kit is an ideal choice.
If you just want compatible "generic" D-LI90 batteries, or would prefer other kit combinations, you can find them at lower price points per battery. HOWEVER, do be alert for potential differences in battery voltage. While the difference between 7.2 v and 7.4 v "should be" within camera tolerances (a quick review of the K5 - II manual did not indicate any specific warnings on battery voltage), it may make a differences over time and batteries not recharging to full capacity if used in a different chargers.