A Better Battery Charger

When you use AA or AAA batteries, like those in your flash, use rechargeables. But they lose 10% of their charge on day 1 and 2% each subsequent day. Worse, your batteries are NiMH so they have a “memory effect”.

The solution:

  • Only use conditioning chargers, like the Lacrosse. They discharge your NiMH batteries before recharging. Worth every penny.
  • Use low-discharge batteries, like the Eneloop batteries. They keep their charge.

Problem solved!

I have three of these Lacrosse chargers.

8 thoughts on “A Better Battery Charger

  1. I always thought conventional wisdom was to avoid rechargeable batteries for things like a camera flash as they are slow to refresh. Instead, I’ve invested in Lithium batteries which, while expensive, offer great performance allowing the flash to re-set very quickly so you don’t miss the shot and providing much better lifespan than a standardAlkaline.

  2. Edward,

    Actually, w.r.t. refresh, it is the opposite. As far as I am aware, NiMH provides much higher current (lower internal resistance), so while their capacity is indeed less, their charge current is higher, so they refresh faster than Alkalines.


    • An engineer and a photographer — you’re uniquely suited to answering this question! 🙂

      So you’ve convinced me that the NiMH is a better choice than Alkaline, but would it provide me with the same fast refresh that I get from my Lithium batteries? They have the added benefit for an occasional enthusiast myself of not depleting significantly when not in use. I may only take my camera out once a week when not on a vacation so it’s nice not to have to worry about charging the flash batteries before each session.

      • You’ll get the same fast refresh, yes. But Lithium will not self discharge as quickly, so it is much better if you do not have chargers like the ones I describe above.

        A normal NiMH will lose 10% of its charge on day 1 and 1% on each subsequent day. The “low discharge” or “precharged” batteries fix that – but they are still not as good as LiIon.

        So if you use your flash occasionally, LiIon does offer the advantage of not having to worry about it. If, like me, you have a lot of flashes and use them frequently, the do get the chargers I mentioned above (even from amazon.ca) and NiMH batteries.

  3. Quote from that:

    “NiMH cells are particularly advantageous for high current drain applications, due in large part to their low internal resistance. Alkaline batteries, which might have approximately 3000mAh capacity at low current demand (200mA), will have about 700mAh capacity with a 1000mA load.[21] Digital cameras with LCDs and flashlights can draw over 1000mA, quickly depleting alkaline batteries. NiMH cells can handle these current levels and maintain their full capacity.”

  4. Hey Mike,

    How are things?

    I am reading about Lacross charger and I see that lot of people are having meltdown issues. Did you have similar problems? At what rate do you normally charge your batteries? Thank you


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