When good camera batteries go bad – I bought fakes, but I've only just found out

Nikon EN-EL15b fakes
(Image credit: Matthew Richards)

I switched from a Nikon D750 DSLR to a Z 6II mirrorless camera back in 2020. One thing became immediately obvious – I needed more back-up batteries. At the time, the then-new Nikon EN-EL15c was so expensive I felt like they should have been gold-plated, and they were hard to get hold of anyway. 

Thankfully (or so I thought) eBay came to my rescue with a great deal on the previous generation of EN-EL15b batteries, which are 100% compatible with the Z 6II and other newer cameras. Better still, they were ‘genuine’ Nikon batteries, at just a quarter of the usual price. But as the saying goes, ‘if something looks too good to be true, it probably is’.

It all started so well. The batteries arrived all the way from China in double-quick time. The first sign that something wasn’t quite right was that, instead of being shipped in Nikon packaging, they were enclosed in cheap plastic toy cars. Very odd, but I figured the seller was probably trying to avoid higher shipping costs for dispatching batteries rather than plastic toys, or dodging customs duty.

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Matthew Richards

Matthew Richards is a photographer and journalist who has spent years using and reviewing all manner of photo gear. He is Digital Camera World's principal lens reviewer – and has tested more primes and zooms than most people have had hot dinners! 

His expertise with equipment doesn’t end there, though. He is also an encyclopedia  when it comes to all manner of cameras, camera holsters and bags, flashguns, tripods and heads, printers, papers and inks, and just about anything imaging-related. 

In an earlier life he was a broadcast engineer at the BBC, as well as a former editor of PC Guide.