It's holiday time; the sun is going to shine – hopefully – and there's a chance to capture some fantastic memories on your camera. There's nothing more annoying though than pointing the lens at a beautiful sunset or a candid family moment and realising the batteries are flat. Whilst it's impossible to keep a camera charged for every second of the day without at some point needing to change the battery, there are some types that are more suited than others. Many cameras use their own rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack but many other cameras need AA batteries, and the different kinds are single use disposable Alkaline, Lithium and rechargeable AA batteries.
Alkaline AA Batteries Single Use Disposable
Alkaline batteries are the standard kind of batteries you see on the shelves of supermarkets and stores. They have a very short life though when used in the camera, as it's a rather power hungry beast. These are good for emergency back-up but if you rely on them, you'll go through dozens on even a short family holiday as they can need to be changed as frequently as every few hours and you can't recharge them – once they are flat they need to be disposed of. Whilst on the surface they are the cheapest option, the cost will quickly start to mount up and carrying around bagful each day is more to carry and frustrating to have to keep changing.
Lithium AA Batteries Single Use Disposable
The 1.5V Lithium AA batteries are basically a longer lasting option to alkaline batteries. These lithium batteries are ideal for use in digital cameras and flash units. Whist you are going to be wanting to take snaps in the sunny weather over the coming months, it's useful to know that they are the best kind to use for later in the year in colder temperatures. They are 40% lighter and more powerful than alkaline batteries. Lithium AA batteries can last up to 11 x longer than alkaline batteries and so produce 11 x less waste. They also offer a leak resistant construction, ideal for expensive equipment. The downside is that they do cost more than alkaline.
Rechargeable AA Batteries
There are two different types of nickel metal hydride (NiMH) rechargeable AA batteries that are suitable for cameras; High Capacity and Pre-Charged Ready to Use batteries. The high capacity batteries are ideal for use in high drain equipment like digital cameras and flash units. Professionals who use and charge their batteries almost daily will choose these high capacity batteries. The second, most recent addition to the range of NiMH batteries are Pre-Charged Ready to Use rechargeable batteries. This type are charged up at the factory and so can used straight from the pack like disposable batteries. They also have a very low self-discharge rate and so retain most of their charge for up to 12 months. Ideal for the amateur photographer using their camera less often. The capacity of the latter type are improving all the time. The obvious advantage of all rechargeable batteries is that they can be recharged 100’s of times, not only saving you a small fortune but also reducing the amount of waste batteries we produce.