Batteries – Rechargeable or not rechargeable that is the question!

Batteries
Rechargeable or Non rechargeable?

Today’s cameras mostly all take a rechargeable battery pack so we really have no choice as to what type of battery to put into our cameras. But if you look at all the other items that take batteries it can really be hard to decide what to buy to power these power hungry accessories.  A few of the accessories that I have that take batteries either at the studio or in my camera bag are:

Calculators

Camera Remotes

Clocks

Flashes

Flashlights

Light Meters

MP3 player

Thermometers

Now before I go any further I strongly believe in protecting the environment and I also believe in saving money as much as I can. But I have been experimenting with batteries over the past year and I have come to a few conclusions.

AS much as rechargeable batteries have many benefits they also have a lot of drawbacks.  When I was doing a wedding a week the choice was much easier as rechargeable batteries were really beneficial, I would charge up 6 sets of batteries on Thursday or Friday and I would be ready for a day of shooting.  BUT that has all changed now that I do not do weddings and add to that many rechargeable batteries are just not cutting it anymore for me in the area of holding a charge. I do not know if it is that many of my batteries are older, I bought some bad quality ones or if my uses just do not fit a rechargeable battery.

So many times I will charge some batteries and when I go to use them they are already dead or close to it, other times I will need another set of batteries and I need to charge a set before I can use them as they are already low.  I know the ads say that once charged they will last for years but I find many types don’t do this AND if I do not use them regularly they seem to loose their capacity and a relatively new set of rechargeable batteries is no longer trustworthy after a year or so.

So what have I done and what am I going to do?

Well I have switched a lot of my more important items to standard batteries  – I can grab a few from a pack and be good, items like flashlights, thermometers, or camera remotes.  I am not happy doing this as I hate tossing so many batteries and the cost can get really high if you like the better batteries but I have been stuck having to do this if I want my equipment to work.

I have also tried some of the newer rechargeable batteries and I have to say that I am impressed, they are not cheap to buy initially but they so far have been holding the charge they are suppose to. So in the next month or so I am going to clean house and dispose of all my older and questionable rechargeable battery sets and start using the new ones.

So what ones have I found to be the best? Well after a lot of reading and testing I am using Eneloop batteries They seem to be doing what they say they will and I have been happy so far.  In addition to the new batteries I went out and bought another high end charger.  Yes you can use many different chargers but I like one that will test the batteries so I know how good they actually are, no sense charging a bad battery that will die in a hour or two.  I am hoping that once I do the switch over I will be back 100% in the rechargeable battery club.

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