Perhaps you bought an expensive Canon camera and you want an extra battery. Or possibly you bought a grip for your Canon Digital SLR and you need the required second battery. What do you do? Well there are two options, buy a Canon BP-511A. Or buy a competitor's battery like the Adorama BP-511 Lithium-Ion Battery Pack that Amazon lists as an alternative option.
The Canon battery performs well with Canon products. I have never had a Canon battery short out or over heat on me. Nor have I ever had any other problems with one. I own three and rotate them out when needed. Most of the time, I can go all day on one fully charged battery in my 20D. Other times I may need to switch out one for the other. Depending on what I am shooting, I can easily shoot 1000+ images in a day. My average is usually more around 500-600. I'm not always at a location where I can charge my batteries daily, so three makes sense for me and works well.
There are certain parts of the battery a photographer may never even think about. Under that plastic shell, there should be quality components to take a charge and prevent safety issues. Some of the most expensive parts are the safety components meant to prevent shorts, over heating, and other adverse reactions. The easiest way to reduce the price is to use inferior components or even leave a few of them out.
Not all off brand batteries use the shortcuts mentioned above. It is not something that is listed on the package though. I might consider one of the off brands like the Adorama version only if I were to know for sure that it's a quality reliable product.
For me I'd rather pay the extra $20 or so if for nothing else peace of mind. The Canon Battery is pretty cheap in comparison to what I have spent on my 20D. I can't imagine buying an expensive camera and then balking at the price of suggested Canon battery. If I had bought one of the less expensive camera options like the G1, maybe the $20 difference would be more of an acceptable risk. In my mind its still seems penny wise, pound foolish.
PROS: A quality Canon product A trusted brand The battery all the others try to imitate
CONS: I don't doubt some of the price is based on the Canon name. Is it really worth the risk though?
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