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All Charged Up


“All Charged Up”

By: Marc Henderson – MBP staff photographer.

All our modern cameras need batteries…duh, Marc. heh.

Yes’em, I’m here to talk a bit about batteries today. Some of it you might have already have known and some you might not have known.

First of all, treat your batteries with a little respect and kindness and you’ll will probably not miss those snapshots that you’ve wanted to get and more importantly, the ones you weren’t expecting!

Here’s some tips: I recommend nickel-metal hydride rechargeable batteries above the rest. They’re cheap, easy to acquire and with a little care, will last quite a long time. They will pay for themselves many times over alkalines.

If you use your flash often, especially a hot shoe mounted flash, alkalines will get hot and become a bit inefficient as well not being very “Green”.

In the photo below, I have a couple of nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) AA batteries. If you notice on the label, there are numbers followed by mAh. That stands for milliamps per hour. That’s how much current can flow from the battery under demand.

Think about it like this, your kitchen faucet will allow less water to flow when it’s not all the way open and more when it is. A 2000 mAh battery will allow more current flow than a 1800 mAh. What does that mean? Well, if you are using your flash often, the flash has to build up a bit of power from your batteries. A lower mAh number can make you wait a little longer, especially when you need more light produced by the flash! How many times have you or someone else have been taking pictures and the flash didn’t go off? might just have lost a bit of the moment and the shot itself!

Also, if you camera uses AA batteries for the camera operation and the built in flash, that can hold things up even more so. The next time you’re battery shopping, try to buy higher mAh rated batteries. AA rechargeables range from 1300 – 2900 mAh.

Another tip is recharging. Try to run your batteries down before you put them in your charger. I recommend not using a rapid charger because the rapid chargers substantially degrade and shorten the batteries’ useable life. The regular “overnight” chargers usually hold more batteries and some even can accommodate AAA and other sizes .

Buy a couple of sets of rechargeables batteries. When one set runs down, you’ll have the second set ready to go. That goes for the specific batteries that a lot of cameras and equipment use besides just AAs.

Getting back to alkalines for a minute. I think it’s a good idea to get a new pack of AA batteries and put them in you camera bag or glove compartment in your car…just in case, to use in a pinch.

An additional note here. The battery in the photo that reads “15 minute rechargeable”, I slow charge those as well. I suspect that’s a bit of marketing there. heh. From my experience, those “15 minute” NiMH batteries seem to degrade and wear out as fast over their lifetime just like regular NiMH batteries often do when constantly recharged with a quick charger.

I geeked out today, huh? heh.

’til next time.

Have fun.

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