Rudy Winston
Rudy Winston

Rudy Winston has over 17 years experience with Canon USA's Pro Products team, and has been responsible during that time for training Canon's staff on new products, creating presentations for customers and dealers, numerous writing projects, and providing technical assistance to professional and amateur photographers.

How to protect yourself against counterfeit Canon batteries

February 10, 2015

As digital camera technology has advanced in recent years, Canon has taken steps to help ensure the safety of these products. Although they may seem harmless, lithium-ion rechargeable batteries carry risk if safeguards aren’t engineered into place, especially when they are recharged in a 110-volt or 220-volt charger plugged into a household AC socket.

Numerous safeguards are engineered into genuine Canon batteries and chargers to help ensure that Canon cameras are protected from power surges, other electrical irregularities and from internal heat build-up. Without these safeguards, your camera could suffer damage to its electronic components. In addition, excessive heat build-up within the camera could pose a danger to your property and personal safety.

It’s important to repeat: genuine Canon batteries and battery chargers have these safeguards engineered into them, and Canon customers can be confident that using these batteries and chargers will result in safe, reliable operation.

The rise — and risk — of counterfeit products

With the worldwide proliferation of digital cameras has come an increase in the presence of counterfeit products, designed to look like genuine products from major camera makers. Unscrupulous manufacturers seek to sell counterfeit batteries, chargers and other power accessories with forged logos, unauthorized product markings and fake packaging – making it appear as though they are legitimate products from major camera makers, including Canon.

While counterfeit batteries and chargers may mimic the appearance of genuine Canon accessories on the outside, there’s no assurance that the safety technologies incorporated into Canon accessories exist on the inside of these counterfeit products. Indeed, the costs of incorporating the protective technologies and features present in Canon accessories would prevent the counterfeiter from obtaining the easy profits it seeks.

Third party batteries, chargers and other accessories

Counterfeit accessories are distinguishable from ‚Äúthird party accessories.” Third party accessories carry a different manufacturer’s logo with references such as, “replacement battery for Canon LP-E6,” or similar wording, and are intended as replacements for Canon accessories. There is no attempt, as there is with counterfeits, to fool dealers and customers into thinking they’re genuine Canon products.

However, because Canon does not know which safeguards, if any, are incorporated into third party accessories, Canon cannot endorse or recommend their use in Canon products. Any use of these products with Canon equipment must, therefore, remain at the customer’s risk.

New safeguards in Canon cameras

While Canon digital cameras — still and video — have had internal protective circuitry for years, recent Canon models have gone even further to protect customers who may be using batteries that lack the built-in protective technologies mentioned earlier in this article.

Newer model Canon batteries have circuitry that communicates with the camera when they’re installed and when the camera is initially turned on. If a genuine Canon battery is inserted, the start up process will continue normally. However, if there’s a problem with this communication — which could happen if a non-genuine Canon battery is inserted — a series of warnings will appear on the camera’s LCD monitor.

It’s important to understand that these warnings will still allow the user to proceed, after confirming via simple menu commands on the camera whether the battery has a Canon logo and, if so, whether the user accepts any potential risk in using a battery that the camera cannot confirm is a genuine Canon-brand battery. If you have purchased a non-Canon branded third party battery, you may get this warning screen upon every start up — but you’re free to use the battery, after telling the camera that you accept any possible risks.

Here’s what you’ll see on the newest cameras:

  • Actual Canon-brand battery:
    No warning screen appears. Camera starts up normally and is ready to use.
  • Camera cannot confirm full communication with battery:
    Warning screen appears. Here’s the sequence:
    • Within 5 seconds: “Battery Communication Error. Does this battery display the Canon logo?”
    • NO > “Canon does not guarantee the performance or safety of this battery. Continue use?”
      If you select YES and press the SET button, the camera turns on normally. You’ve told the system this is a non-Canon branded battery and you accept any possible risk of a performance or safety issue. If you select NO, you’ve told the camera not to continue use with this battery and the camera will shut off. You can restart it by turning the camera’s main switch back to ON or pressing the On-Off button again, if you change your mind.
    • YES > “Battery may be counterfeit! Please call customer support. Shutting off for your safety.”
      A battery with a Canon logo (not a third party accessory, as discussed above) is one of two things: (1) a genuine Canon battery which cannot communicate with the camera possibly due to a defect or dirty battery contact or (2) a counterfeit Canon-branded battery, made to look like a genuine Canon battery but without the internal communication circuitry needed to complete the start up process with the select Canon camera(s).
      “OK” is your only option in this case; the camera will shut off to prevent potential damage to you and your property. You can turn it back on by repeating the start procedure.

This new protective sequence will happen each time you turn the camera on (recent Canon EOS, PowerShot, and VIXIA products), if full battery-to-camera communication cannot be confirmed upon start up.

Summary

Canon continues to strive to protect our customers from potentially dangerous counterfeit Canon-branded power accessories. And, unlike the technology of some of Canon’s competitors, Canon’s technology doesn’t strictly prohibit the use of any non-Canon battery. Instead, it gives users a way to continue to use legitimate third party batteries, if they’re willing to accept the risks in doing so, while helping to protect against potential damage from counterfeit products that bear the Canon logo, but incorporate few (if any) of the internal safeguards customers take for granted.

We hope that this article has given you an understanding of the reasons why Canon builds into its products the protective measures described above. If you have any questions or suspect you have a counterfeit Canon power accessory, we strongly recommend you contact your local customer support center. In the U.S., call 1-855-46-CANON from Monday – Friday, 8 am – midnight EST.

The CDLC contributors are compensated spokespersons and actual users of the Canon products that they promote.

http://learn.usa.canon.com

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