BATTERY EMPTY! How to pick the best AA battery cells!

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Choosing the right AA Batteries for your camera


If your camera uses AA batteries chances are it came with a set of single use alkaline batteries that are now long since dead. You will want to get a set of AA rechargeable batteries as soon as possible, however if you can’t get access to a set of rechargeable batteries you will need to buy another set of single use cells. Beware because not every single use battery is created equal.


As a first rule, never buy Carbon Zinc batteries for use in a digital camera. Digital camera’s draw current from a battery super fast. Carbon Zinc batteries suffer from high internal impedance which causes the batteries voltage to collapse under the power load of the camera. If you’re lucky you will see the camera power up for a split second before shutting down. Eveready heavy-duty ‘Reds’ are the most common Carbon Zinc batteries you will find as well as most home brand or no name batteries.

As a bare minimum you need alkaline cells to get your camera going. Alkaline can cope with the power load of the camera and deliver enough current to capture those memories without fail! Standard Energizer and Duracell batteries are made from Alkaline cells.

One more rung up the ladder again is the Lithium (Energizer e2 Lithium) and Nickel Alkaline (Panasonic Oxyride) batteries. These batteries provide longer lasting power and higher power density meaning more shooting time and less weight. It is claimed Lithium cells will last up to seven times longer than alkaline batteries, while Nickel Alkaline will last twice as long as standard alkaline cells. The downside is that these types of batteries tend to be the most expensive on the shelf!

Lastly, make sure to buy only enough single use batteries to tie you over until you can get your hands on a set of rechargeable cells. For Digital camera’s rechargeable batteries are really the only way to go. See my guide to choosing the right type of rechargeable batteries if you take this path.
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