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Sony Battery

Everyone has been complaining about how the Sony NP-FW50 batteries are inadequate. I have experienced this first hand. I was curious to see why. From looking at the specs we can immediately tell that the Sony battery is ~53% of the size of the Nikon battery. Which means you would need 2 Sony batteries to get the same amount of shots. That's not entirely true. You would need 2.5 Sony NP-FW50 to get the same number of shots.

So why is that? First we have to think about what cameras use the Sony NP-FW50. I have owned the Sony NEX 3, Sony NEX 7, Sony A6000  and currently own the Sony A7. They all share the same battery. It is safe to assume that most if not all the Sony NEX cameras and some of the Sony NEX Alpha use the same battery. If you have ever seen any of these cameras you know, what makes them so fantastic is the great image quality from the APS-C sensor combined with the small form factor. The size of these cameras forced Sony to create a smaller battery. To reduce the size of something, for example comparing the Nikon D7100 with the Sony A6000 which offer comparable performance, they had to make some compromises. One of the many compromises was of course the battery.  Sony Cameras being mirrorless they have to use either the LCD or the EVF to display the photos or what you are looking at which uses the battery, where on the non mirrorless DSLR such as Nikon or Canon they take advantage of the OVF to save battery.

The good news is that you're are not stuck using the Sony batteries. There are cheaper, larger alternatives out there. Instead of buying one Sony NP-FW50 for $54 dollars you can get the larger Wasabi Power Battery for Sony NP-FW50 for $14 dollars on Amazon. For the price of one sony you can get 3 Wasabi batteries and have some money left over. Not only are the Wasabi Batteries cheaper the are also larger. Wasabi Power Battery for Sony NP-FW50 has a 1300 mAh size. That's an extra 27%.  While you can get ~340 shots on a Sony NP-FW50 you can get about ~450 shots out of the Wasabi. You still need 2 Wasabi batteries to come close to a Nikon battery but at least it's not 3. That extra 100 shots can make you get that shot that otherwise would have missed.

There are other even larger alternatives on amazon like NP-FW50 2300mAh Li-Ion Battery for Sony Cameras. However I have only used the Wasabi and I have been very happy with the.
7.2V 7.3 Wh 1020 mAh

7.0V 14Wh 1900mAh

Should the battery size discourage you from buying a Sony? I honestly do not think so. For example the size and weight of just the body of the Sony A7 compared to a Nikon D610 is about 1/2.  That much weight and space saving in my camera bag or strain on my neck and shoulders is worth carrying an extra sony battery. That also makes the Sony cameras extremely good candidates for a travel kit.

One trick to save some battery is to have the camera in Airplane mode. If you don't use the WIFI or the NFC, there is no reason to have this on. The savings are minimal but anything counts. 

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