Some Samsung camcorders made since 2008 including the HMX10C, HMX20C and the HMX100 series do not work with 3rd party batteries. The original Samsung battery (IA-BP85ST) contains a patented chip which prevents the use of 3rd party batteries and chargers.
There are thousands of IA-BP85ST 'replacement' batteries for sale on eBay which claim full compatibility with the original but which are absolutley no use in any of the above camcorders, and probably all future Samsung camcorders using this battery. Likewise there are hundreds of external chargers for this battery for sale on eBay which are useless - yes even with the original battery. Some earlier Samsung camcorders also use this battery but do not read the chip and therefore do not have compatibility issues - hence the great deal of confusion and ignorance among both buyers and sellers.
Many sellers guarantee 100% compatibility. It is little comfort when the guarantee just means that the buyer is entitled to a refund less the cost of international postage and packing when he/she finds the battery or charger does not work.
Specifically the issue manifests itself as follows. Trying to power up from a non-original battery, the camcorder will display the message "Check the authenticity of the battery." then automatically power down. It is not possible to operate any controls or access the menu, or keep the camcorder switched on. If the original battery is charged in an external charger (Samsung do not sell an external charger), the camcorder will not accept that it has been charged and again power down with a "low battery" warning displayed. These chargers do actually charge the batteries (as can be measured by a voltmeter across the outer two contacts) but they lack a third contact to communicate with the chip inside the battery and therefore do not update the data held on the chip about its charge status which is subsequently read by the camcorder. The battery is therefore fully charged but the chip tells the camcorder otherwise.
There must be dozens of these sold everyday on eBay to unsuspecting buyers. Elsewhere on the web many 3rd-party battery sellers are starting to list these camcorders as not been compatible with their IA-BP85ST replacements. I hope that eBay sellers will eventually follow suit.
For now, owners of these Samsung camcorders will have to stick to original Samsung batteries and to in-camcorder charging only.
If anyone knows any differently, e.g. has experience of a 3rd party battery working in of the above, or has any suggestions for workarounds, then please share your thoughts on the following forum thread:
IA-BP85ST Batteries for Samsung HMX10C, HMX20C & HMX100
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15 December 2009
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