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.
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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