Yes, we know all the mid-range and high-end photographic equipment all use specific rechargeable batteries, but there are people out there who still use either older professional equipment, analogue equipment or lower-end gear which takes standard AA batteries or something similar. What people with these kinds of cameras do is tend to buy NiMH (Nickel-Metal Hydride) Rechargeable batteries – and they’ll find that these batteries aren’t lasting too long on a charge (unless you’ve pushed the boat out and gotten Lithium AA Batteries, in which you’ve done the right thing).
However, your standard batteries won’t last long basically because shooting will eat up your battery life, especially if you’re using the flash – cameras will deliver high current in bursts, and most batteries simply can’t handle this. Normal batteries should be avoided when using them in a camera – especially if it’s you’re garden-variety Zinc-Carbon battery, you’ll be lucky if it lasts five minutes. You can get superior Alkaline batteries too, which will last longer, but still not very long at all, around 25 shots in general. Even less with he flash on. Which is kinda lame isn’t it?
You can probably get away with buying regular rechargeable batteries if you’re not intending on using your camera too often – as the battery can be recharged – but this doesn’t mean the battery will last forever. A rechargeable battery will typically only recharge around 100 times until it dies. Plus you’ve got to remember that the capacity of the battery isn’t going to be the same each time you recharge (e.g. if you’re able to take 25 shots on one charge, and then through regular use the battery gets recharged 10 times, you’ll probably only be able to take around 20 shots on a full charge – the max capacity of the battery generally drops after each charge) It’s not only a pain to recharge batteries all the time, it’s not worth all the effort when there’s a decent solution out there: Lithium cells.
If you buy a set of Lithium AA batteries, you’ll probably get over 600 shots out of them – and that’s with the flash on. Now compare that back to the 25 from the absolute best Alkaline or Rechargeable battery you can buy. Big difference! These batteries aren’t rechargeable, but they last a whole lot longer. Lithium batteries are incredibly useful, and if you have a camera which accepts regular batteries these are essential. Using any other kind of battery will just waste you money.
So, how much do we expect to pay? Depending where you go, and what spec of battery you get, the pries can vary wildly. You’ll just need to check out your local store or supermarket to get some prices, however for lithium batteries you may need to look for a battery specialist depending on where you live.
You may have a query at this point – can you get rechargeable lithium batteries? Unfortunately, not in this form. You may have heard of Lithium-Ion or Lithium-Polymer batteries, but they’re not the same as this.
Hopefully this article has helped some of you get more out of your equipment! If you’re bored, why don’t you sign up and talk to us!