Panasonic, after some careful deliberation, has decided that certain third party batteries fail to meet the required "rigid safety standards [that] Panasonic uses." While it's certainly heartwarming to think that Panasonic only has your best interests at heart, it would be no surprise to find this become standard operating procedure.
The camera manufacturer claims that the third party batteries don't come equipped with standard safety protections that genuine OEM batteries use. These generics may fail to shut off and suffer from overcharging, heating or short circuit isses. At worst, use of the alternative energy cells may "lead to an accident causing damage to your camera or personal injury."
So if you use a cheap battery in your new Panasonic camera, it may KILL YOU, YOUR SPOUSE and YOUR LITTLE DOG, TOO*. If you do install the new firmware, be aware that your camera will flat out refuse to recognize non-Panasonic batteries from this point out; whether buying a new battery is worth the perceived safety gains is a decision only you can make.
|Affected camera models||Battery pack model||New firmware|
A link to the press release can be found on Panasonic's Japanese site.
* Outcome not proven.