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Thread: camera batteries

  1. #1 camera batteries 
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    Hi. I'm a one-trick pony. I'm a strictly nonscientific guy, but I thought I'd ask the opinon of experts. What is it with camera batteries? I've been dealing with these things for years. I have at least three battery recharging kits (I've given two away) + at least a dozen sets of twin AA batteries, supposedly rechargeable. Coupled with that, I have a shopping-bag full of AA batteries which are not rechargeable.

    Basically, they're all rubbish. Probably having spent close on a thousand dollars over the years, rechargeable batteries do not hold a charge for more than a couple of days, while non rc batts. simply don't have the oomph! to operate the damn camera anyway.

    I would have thought battery technology would be 'state-of-the-art' by now, but we don't seem to have advanced - in retail terms - in the last twenty years, at all. The supreme irony is I have an extremely cheap 'battery-tester' which tells me the strength of each to an accurate extent.

    I would have thought this is a market screaming to be served. I'm not the only one, surely?


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  3. #2  
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    You bring up an interesting point, I have a sneaking suspicion that one of reasons is that companies make money from selling batteries and the better the battery the longer it lasts ergo the less they will end up selling but perhaps thats just the cynic in me.

    Anyway to get back to the battery it's self, I think there are some new technologies coming through. Trevor Baylis invented a wind up radio several years ago and the idea that it didn't need batteries seemed really revolutionary at the time, even though we'd had wind up clocks for centuries.
    Well it seems now technology is actually making wind up batteries possible. The link below is for one such company offering them, hope you find it interesting.


    Wind up Battery


    “The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts.”

    Bertrand Russell
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  4. #3  
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    Battery do improve, else (if not improved then) smart phone battery would be a size of a brick! Can't you use battery that power an HD video camera & iPad (to power your camera)?
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  5. #4  
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    I've used recyclable batteries for years and good success; we use them for just about everything around the home including my digital SLR. A lot of it comes down to knowing their characteristics.

    Most of the smaller batteries (A, AA , C, D etc) are rated for 1.2 Volts instead of 1.5 Volts of alkali batteries. What makes them unique is their voltage range is small say 1.3 to 1.1 from fully charges to no charge left. Alkali batteries on the other hand, start at 1.6+V but drop below 1.0 at discharge. This is important because SOME electrical devices (including many AA cameras) require 1.4 or more volts to operate...they won't work at all for rechargeable batteries and will only operate for fully charged conventional batteries.

    Nickel Cadmiums have little loss in power over time, but have memory issues which dramatically shorten their useful life if not discharged and recharged correctly.

    nickel–metal hydride (ni-mh) batteries have little to no memory but loose 5-10% charge per month and more during warm weather--so don't use them for your emergency kit for example. I refrigerate them which reduces the loss to 1-2% per month.

    when buying ni-mh batteries there's a huge difference in holding capacity. Many home depot solar light AA batteries for example are only rated for 600mAH (miliamps) at the low end to the up to 3 AH ones I use in my digital SLR. There are also a few dishonest companies producing higher capacity ones on ebay (e.g 4AH +) --so I'd avoid them.

    I don't have much experience with rechargeable lithiums.
    Meteorologist/Naturalist & Retired Soldier
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  6. #5  
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    Excellent advice L_F !!
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  7. #6  
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    Thanks, Chrisgorlitz, remember Ralph Nader? - he exposed the entire concept of 'built-in obsolecence.' I don't think you need be accused of being cynical, this is commercial reality. But then, the need for affordable good-quality camera batteries is, I would have thought, an even more pressing commercial realty. This is an oil-well waiting to be tapped. Entrepeneurs, take note! Thanks for the link, I'll have a look at it.
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  8. #7  
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    Thank you very much for this useful & interesting reply, Lynx Fox - now I just need to go one step further, & locate a website which translates all the technical information about different battery types, into 'idiot-proof' language for me!
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