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SWIT S-8U63 Batteries with Sony PXW-FS5 & PMW-300: UPDATED

Recently, I became aware of reports from Alister Chapman of certain pre-2020 manufactured third-party BP-U type batteries completely bricking Sony cameras. I knew nothing of this before so I wrote to SWIT about my two SWIT S-8U63 aftermarket batteries, bought in 2017. This is what I found out.

Incidentally, these batteries correctly display power levels on the viewfinders of both of my current cameras. Like the genuine Sony's they have the 4 LEDs of course. They also have highly useful D-Tap and USB ports too which (unlike many third-party BP-U style batteries) come out of the top and bottom of the SWITs. This is something I prefer - rather than at the end/back. After nearly 4 years they are still superbly effective too.

Anyway, details in my letter to SWIT Europe and their reply below:



I have two of your S-8U63 batteries which I use (along with normal Sony batteries) on both my Sony PXW-FS5 and Sony PMW-300 cameras - and I like the SWIT's a lot. The serial numbers are 001776XX and 001777XX. I have read recently that some third-party batteries can seriously damage Sony cameras, for example here on the website blog of the well regarded Alister Chapman:

Can you please clarify if it is safe for me to continue to use these batteries or do I risk damaging my cameras? Thank you.

Reply from SWIT Europe:

Hi Andy,

Our 8U63 is fully compatible with FS5, but PMW-300 has not been tested, it is theoretically possible.

Oskar Qin

That's basically good enough for me to keep on using them without worrying too much. After all, no third party battery manufacturer is going to be more specific in this litigious world.

Below is my original blog from May 2017:

I recently decided to get two non-Sony BP-U style batteries as some of the six Sony BP-U60 ones I currently have are now almost 9 years old! I also have a couple of the BP-U30s that came with both cams. Whilst my oldest batteries still hold a reasonably good charge they are, unsurprisingly, not as long lasting as they once were. I can still get about 2 hours out of some of the older ones on my FS5, less on the PMW-300 though. The newest batteries I have give about 3 hours or more on the FS5 (which is terrific).

I was reluctant to buy non-Sony batteries as it's always good to see a remaining level icon in the camera's display. Also, every now and again one reads of a new Sony camera firmware update that breaks the "handshake" with non-Sony batteries. However, finding Swit S-8U63 BPU batteries at just £112 ex VAT (each - from Digibroadcast), plus the fact that they have both D-tap and USB outlets was just too good to pass on - so last month I bought two.

I'm happy to report they currently work well on my Sony PXW-FS5 and PMW-300 cameras. They are very slightly larger (deeper) than the Sony BP-U60's, the extra depth is where the outlet sockets are. They are also ever so slightly larger capacity than the Sony's.

When I update the firmware of the FS5 this summer - to get the recently announced free HDR capability (new Picture Profile number 10 setting), plus I might also buy the 120fps continuous 1080p HFR unlock key (depending on it's price) it'll be interesting to see if these new Swits will continue to display battery level information etc. But so far, so good!