Batteries Printing Knowledge

Digital cameras wear down batteries very quickly, draining a set of AA's in as little as 15 minutes. Turning off the LCD display, using the optical viewfinder, and running on AC whenever possible will help conserve battery life.

Batteries are rated in milliampere-hours (mAh). mAh is a measurement of the amount of electrical current provided by a battery in designated amp hours. For example, a typical camera uses 1,000 milliamperes (mA) when it is using the LCD display. If the batteries being used are 1,000 mAh, they will provide approximately one hour of use. When rated for amounts of shots, a 1300 mAh battery will provide approximately 130 shots while a 1500 mAh battery will provide approximately 150 shots.

Battery Types

Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH):  Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) batteries are most often the best batteries for a digital camera. They are the highest capacity rechargeable AA batteries available and should provide an hour or two of continuous use. A single battery should last for approximately 400 charge and discharge cycles.

Nickel Cadmium (NiCad):  Nickel Cadmium (NiCad) is the most common rechargeable battery. They have about half the capacity of the NiMH batteries, but are considerably less expensive and should provide about one half hour of use when fully charged. A single battery should last for over 600 charge and discharge cycles if the battery is fully depleted of power and then charged. Batteries that are charged before being fully depleted of energy will begin holding only a partial charge and will then run for 50% of their normal fully charged cycle.

Lithium Ion (LiOn):  A lithium ion battery is non-rechargeable and is considerably more expensive than several other types. They will provide about two hours or more of use and have a shelf life of up to ten years. A single battery should last for approximately 400 charge and discharge cycles. They are less likely to lose their charge when in storage.

Alkaline:  An inexpensive battery that is the most commonly used non-rechargeable variety. An alkaline battery will provide only 15 to 20 minutes of use.

The type of battery selected depends on the amount of use the camera receives and whether it is used for extended periods of time or just single shots periodically. If it is used only occasionally, the lithium batteries would be best, since rechargeable batteries drain slowly even when not in use and may result in a set of dead batteries the next time the camera is operated. However, if the camera is used for extended periods of time or used periodically but often, the best choice may be rechargeable batteries with a set of lithium batteries as backup in case the rechargeable batteries lose power in the middle of a photo shoot.

Removing batteries from the camera and storing them in a cool dry location when the camera is not being used over extended periods of time will lengthen the battery life and protect the camera from any unexpected battery leaking. It is also wise to remove flash memory cards if the camera is not operated for extended periods of time.


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