New Firmware 2.0 Kills Third-Party Batteries – A7III, A7rIII, A9

If you’ve been using third-party batteries and you shoot with the Sony A7III or A7rIII and upgrade to the latest firmware 2.0, you may experience some issues.

 

Here is what happens

 

After updating your firmware when you start using your camera, you’ll get a message. “The operation and safety of this battery can not be guaranteed. Continue use?” If you choose “yes” the camera continues to run as normal, but you lose your battery life indicator. The battery symbol is still on the top of the display screen, it just doesn’t show you the power level or the percentage numbers. The batteries appear to be full even though they might be dead.

 

 

I’ve found you can still continue to use the camera fine, and when you turn the camera off, then back on again you can see the power level of the battery until getting the notice again.

If you still want to use third-party batteries, everything works fine, you’ll just have to cycle the power of your camera to see where your battery life is at.

Considering the Sony Z batteries are massive and last for days, I’ve found this to not really be a big deal. I use the vertical battery grip so for me, it’s not an issue.

I’ve tested the Wasabi batteries and the RavPower batteries and they both experience this problem. You can find them on my guide to the best Sony A7III accessories.

 

The Work Around

The work around is to not upgrade to the latest firmware. I didn’t really find anything useful in the latest firmware except that they added a menu option for the control ring with the new Sony 24mm G lens. 

Unless you have the latest Sony 24mm G lens, it might not be worth upgrading your firmware if you’re using your third-party batteries. I haven’t really seen many other benefits that make it worth it other than an improvement to IBIS that changes the way it works slightly. I feel like IBIS got a little better for still photography, but I’m noticing it’s a bit jumpy now for video on my A7rIII. I prefer it the old way where it felt more natural with video since I find IBIS for photography to not be that useful.

 

Can You Still Use Third-Party Batteries?

It looks like Sony is going the way of Apple or Nikon by hating their customers. For now, third-party batteries work, you’ll just lose your power indications after getting the message.

If you’re a professional, it’s probably still a good idea to buy official Sony batteries, but if you’re a video shooter and want a few more emergency backup batteries, the Wasabi and RavPower still seem to do their job. Going forward, buy third-party batteries at your own risk, or just don’t update your firmware to 2.0, or live with having to cycle your power every time you want to see your battery life. Don’t be surprised if Sony completely kills third-party battery support in future firmware updates.