Panasonic has changed its policy on generic batteries - "sell the device cheap and make big money from the accessories."
Panasonic has built technology into its cameras that shuts the camera down if anything other than an official Panasonic battery is inserted, part of a new worldwide policy banning the use of generic batteries.
Panasonic's decision to block the ability to use these generic batteries clearly makes the total cost of ownership for LUMIX digital cameras much higher and should discourage any photographers from buying them.
From the Panasonic website:- Important Notice for non genuine Panasonic or 3rd party battery packs 24 Jun,2009
Panasonic Digital Cameras now include a technology that can identify Panasonic's authorised batteries.
For the protection of our customers Panasonic developed this technology after it was discovered that some aftermarket 3rd party batteries do not meet the rigid safety standards Panasonic uses.
Some of these aftermarket batteries are not equipped with internal protective devices to guard against overcharging, internal heating and short circuit. If these aftermarket battery packs were used, it could lead to an accident causing damage to your camera or personal injury.
Accordingly, for our customers safety, Panasonic's Digital camera firmware have been updated to ensure the genuine battery identification to prevent any unauthorised battery usage for our customers' update at our support webpage, and introduced into each camera's mass-production on running change basis.
Please find the link below to download each camera's updated firmware. (Are they kidding?)
[ Warning ] After this firmware update your Panasonic Digital Camera cannot be operated by unauthorised 3rd party batteries. (Currently there is no authorised 3rd party battery available in the market.)