Battery tips

A tip for photographers: batteries. For speedlighters like me, these are very important – so here are a few tips.

  • Camera batteries are Lithium-Ion (LiIon). A battery technology that is used in most of your cameras. LiIon batteries do not need to be “fully discharged before charging”. You can charge them any time, even after just using 10% of the batteries. So go ahead and charge them daily. Never leave home without a full camera battery.
  • Also, if you have not used a spare battery (you do have one, yes?) for a month, charge it (top it up).
  • Flash batteries are NiMH, and these do have a slight memory effect. So use them up fully at least once a month. Better, get a conditioning charger like a Lacrosse (these can fully discharge the batteries before recharging). Also, these batteries “self discharge” in a month or two (some “low self discharge” batteries take longer, but they still discharge!). So recharge regularly.
  • Light meter batteries are specialized. And they last a long time. And they run out when you need the meter… so, carry a spare.
  • Pockwizard batteries: here you do not use rechargeables, which self discharge. but you use quality Alkaline batteries (low self discharge rate).
  • Strobe batteries: (i.e. those heavy optional batteries for outside use of large flashes): These are lead-acid, like your car battery, and should be kept charged. No memory effect here, either. They must not be discharged fully.

And did I mention “always carry a spare set”?

Finally: when shooting an event or a commercial shoot, or anything else, even a family picnic: make it a routine to replace your flash batteries before you start each section. That way you will not run out.

9 thoughts on “Battery tips

  1. Michael,

    What do you recommend for flash batteries? My Canon 430 Ex II drinks up Duracell AAs!

    Do you use rechargeables? If so, what brand and charger? I’ve never been a fan of rechargeables — they never seem to last very long.


  2. Interesting. So, you use a Lacrosse charger and what type of batteries?

    The “eneloop” brand seems promising.

    Should I just buy the Lacrosse charge and *just* the eneloop batteries (skipping their charger)?


  3. Hi again Michael,

    Can you give me a lead on where I can buy these batteries/charger locally? (without having to buy online from, etc.)

    I checked at my local Costco (I’d seen them there before) and they didn’t stock them anymore. Future Shop and Best Buy don’t carry them.

    Any help from anyone?


      • Hi again,

        I found the “family pack” at Canada Computers for $34.99. [Charger+4 AAs, 2 AAAs, 4 Cs, 4 Ds + Carrying Case].

        I’ll probably pick up the Lacrosse charger from later when I get a chance to test out the Sanyo charger that comes with it.



        • Good, try that. But if that charger is not a “conditioning charger”, meaning it also DISchargers, then you need to discharge your batteries, which is a bit of a nuisance to sauy the least.

          Either way though, rechargeable is great, you will find.


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