Most modern cameras run on a lithium-ion battery, also referred to as a Li-ion battery. Theoretically, such batteries should work forever, but in practise all rechargeable batteries have a limited lifespan, usually stated in terms of recharge cycles. While it is not possible to increase the number of recharge cycles a battery is able to handle, it is possible to extend the usefulness of a camera battery by storing it in the correct manner, and charging it following the manufacturer's guidelines.
Battery Recharge Cycles
Most manufacturers clearly state the life expectancy of a rechargeable battery in terms of recharge cycles, with many batteries offering 400 to 500 recharges before a noticeable drop in performance. One full cycle involves the battery completely discharging and then recharging. It is important to be aware that it is not possible to increase the number of recharge cycles by recharging a battery before it completely discharges. Charging a battery that has only discharged 50 percent of its power counts as half a recharge cycle; so doing this twice is the same as letting the battery completely discharge and then recharging it.
Increasing the Life of a Camera Battery
While it is not possible to increase the number of recharge cycles, it is possible for users to improve the lifespan of a battery through proper care and use. Users should always read the manufacturer's instructions before charging or using a new battery to ensure they follow the proper procedures.
Conserving the Battery
The most obvious way to prolong the usefulness of a battery is to avoid draining the battery unnecessarily. It is not possible to increase the number of recharge cycles a battery has, so it is important that users do not waste any of those cycles. Making sure the camera is switched off when not in use reduces the drain on the battery.
Whether a user should allow a battery to completely discharge before recharging depends on the type of battery. Nickel-cadmium (NiCad) batteries have a charge memory, and that means users should let the battery drain completely before charging it again. In contrast, Li-ion batteries do not have a charge memory and it is generally better to charge them whenever the opportunity arises. However, every 30 charges or so, it is a good idea to let a Li-ion battery completely discharge to reset the power gauge for improved accuracy, according to TechRepublic, a leading online resource for I.T. professionals.
Users should not store batteries, particularly Li-ion batteries, when they are fully charged or completely drained. Most manufacturers suggest a 40 percent charge. Additionally, batteries should never be left in very hot locations, as this degrades the battery and shortens the lifespan.
Tips for Charging a Camera Battery
When charging any kind of battery it is important to check the manufacturer's charging instructions. There are also some general guidelines that users should adhere to where possible. For example, users should fully charge new batteries before use and avoid overcharging them. Where possible, users should always use the charger that came with the device. If a battery starts to smoke or blister, or feels very hot to the touch, the user should immediately disconnect the charger.
How to Buy Camera Batteries and Chargers on eBay
Reliable sellers on eBay have a wide selection of digital camera accessories. Whether shoppers are looking for a Li-ion battery, or a new charger, it is quick and easy to find the right product by using the search function that appears on every eBay page. They should start by entering a search term, such as 'digital camera battery ', and then use the eBay filters to refine the search. It is also possible to organise the search results according to price and closing time. Buyers should always read descriptions carefully to ensure the item is compatible with their digital camera.