April 4, 2015 at 2:26 pm #10514
What rechargeable AA batteries would you recommend? I use them in my external flash unit, and am looking for the fastest possible recycling time, and a fairly good recharge time. My current batteries are Power2000 and have 2900mAh and 2950mAh, 1.25V, but I’m thinking that having a few more on hand would be a good idea, and I know that a couple of mine are not recharging anymore (must have maxed out their life span). Should I look for the highest possible mAh? I’ve heard good things from several photographers about Sanyo Eneloop Pro.April 4, 2015 at 9:14 pm #10543
I have also heard great things about the Sanyo Eneloop batteries; as far as I know they lead the market in terms of quality and longevity.
However, if you read the reviews of rechargeable batteries on Amazon.com, you find that Amazon’s rechargeable “Amazon Basics” batteries, are really just re-branded Eneloops! And the good part is that they are only about half the price! I haven’t actually used them, but my cousin has, and as far as I know he is very happy with them.
Speaking of Amazon reviews, if you look at the batteries you currently own on Amazon, you’ll see quite a few people complain that after a while a couple of them won’t hold a charge at all… At least one person said that they are actually about 2000-2200 mAh instead of their claimed 2950. I was rather incredulous myself, I’ve never heard of batteries with that high of a capacity. The highest quality Eneloops are only 2550 mAh!
If you’re interested, here’s a link to the higher powered Amazon Basics, and here’s a link to the higher powered Eneloops. These are the 2500 mAh ones, there are also lower powered versions that are only 1900-2000 mAh. Keep an eye out for mAh ratings when you buy, I’m quite sure both the AB and Eneloop high-powered ones are black colored, and the low-powered are white.
I actually use Tenergy AA batteries in my speedlights. I got them because they were a pretty decent battery for a much better price than the Eneloops. (That was before I knew about the Amazon Basics batteries.) Tenergy makes “regular” and “Pre-Charged” (a.k.a LSD) batteries. The best price I’ve found on them as far as I can remember is at All-battery.com The Low Self Discharge ones are only 2000 mAh though, so you may want to go for the higher powered “regular” ones, or else get the Amazon Basics/Eneloop LSD ones which have 2500 mAh. In my experience the Tenergy ones don’t seem particularly “powerful” but they do the trick for me! Like I said, I haven’t tried the AB/Eneloops, so I can’t really compare them. If you know you’re going to be using them, and “top them off” beforehand, then you’ll get better recycle times. (Not to mention they’ll last longer).
Hope you can make sense of all my ramblings!April 12, 2015 at 6:19 am #10602
Nathanael & Samantha FrazerModerator
Just thought I’d slip this in: Canon warns against using lithium-ion batteries in speedlights (flashes) due to the potential to overheat. http://www.canonrumors.com/2014/12/canon-usa-warns-against-lithium-battery-use-with-speedlites/ From my understanding, l-i batteries have plenty of capacity, but aren’t designed to discharge quickly, and if you do a lot of repeat flashing, or strobing a speedlight could overwork the l-i technology, damaging both battery and flash unit. I’ve no experience with this and can’t say how much of a problem this is, but I’d take canon’s word for it.April 13, 2015 at 8:08 pm #10608
Good point @nasa! I didn’t really think of that, because I’ve never even used Li-Ion batteries, but it’s definitely something to be aware of! As long as you stick to something you know to be good, like the Eneloops for example, you should be ok.April 14, 2015 at 6:29 pm #10619
Nathanael & Samantha FrazerModerator
oh, and it might also be worth mentioning, just in case: if battery capacity and recycle speed are paramount, and if you *only* use them in your flash unit, you can get external battery packs such as the cp-e4 for *some* flashes (and equivalent in other brands) http://www.amazon.com/Canon-CP-E4-Compact-Battery-Pack/dp/B000NSJ4Q0/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1429053486&sr=8-2&keywords=cp-e4 (off-brands are cheaper)
These are hardly cost-effective for the average user, but provide unequalled performance.June 2, 2015 at 9:59 am #11299
Hey @jessilisestudios, just wanted to make sure you had received the answer you were looking for in your search for new batteries!
If it’s of any help, these batteries are the closest I could find on Amazon right now to the ones that I bought about a year ago for a very reason that you mentioned, that my non-eneloop batteries weren’t reliable or performing well.
The batteries that I have are 2400mAh, 1.2V and have performed for me very well.June 5, 2015 at 8:52 am #11352
Howdy @jessilisestudios, I have been using the Amazon Basics High capacity batteries and they work extremely well! The recycle time is very fast. The power up is instantaneous. They are probably eneloop batteries I’m guessing, But they are much cheaper. With 8 batteries, I can run a speedlight on a pro job all day covering a event, and taking over 500 shots in a day with it. Here’s the link: BatteriesJune 5, 2015 at 11:37 am #11356
Thank you for all of the advice! Your detailed comments have been great. I chose to purchase the Eneloop Pro batteries, and, though it was an investment, I’m really enjoying them. I’ve only had to charge them once so far, and the recycle time is wonderfully fast. It would be interesting to compare these to the AmazonBasic High Capacity.June 6, 2015 at 12:57 pm #11359
Glad you found something that works for you! I’d also be interested in a comparison of the Eneloop Pro vs. the AmazonBasic High Capacity. I’ve already got plenty of rechargeable batteries though, so I’ll leave that to someone else…
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