Hahnel have a wide range of digital camera batteries, but we're concentrating on the DCL-511 here. It's a replacement model for the popular Canon BP-511 batteries used in the Canon G2, EOS D30/D60 and other cameras.
Available for around 50 online you get the Hahnel BP-511 battery equivelant, the HL-511 and a Digital Powerstation fast charger with two powerplug adaptors. These adaptors allow you to use the charger in various countries, making it a compact and portable device. It's much smaller than the default double charger included with the Canon EOS digital SLRs.
The HL-511 is exactly the same shape as Canon's BP-511 but is finished in silver.
The two power plug adaptors can be removed and replaced. When neither detachable plug is attached, the charger can be used in US-type sockets.
To charge the battery, you lift up the blue flap and it slots straight in.
A full charge of the Hahnel HL-511 battery takes 140 minutes, just over 2 hours. Having fully charged both Hahnel's battery and the one supplied with the Canon EOS D60 Digital SLR, we proceeded to test them both. To compare the performance of both batteries directly we left the D60 in continous mode with the flash on, creating RAW images on a 1GB IBM Microdrive. However, with the D60 having good battery performance, the Microdrive filled up several times before either of the batteries was run down.
When they did finally run down, we counted up the total number of shots taken with each battery to see which performed better. The Hahnel managed a total of 476 shots, the Canon 469. So by a whisker, the Hahnel seems a better performer.
Considering that you can get the HL-511 battery with a charger and international compatability for less than the official Canon battery on its own, this package is good value for money. Hahnel have designed the charger very well, making it compatible with other countries plugs and have even gone to bother of including a blue light to indicate charging status.
Performance wise, there's little difference between them in real world terms, but the fact that a third-party product can out-perform Canon's own battery is quite suprising. So if you're looking for a replacement or spare battery for your compatabile Canon camera, the Hahnel Digital PowerStation DCL-511 is well worth considering.