What type of battery is best for my camera?
Choosing the right type of battery can make your digital camera experience a good one or a bad one. If your camera takes a proprietary Lithium rechargeable battery pack, then you don't have a lot of choice. You will likely have to purchase the battery that is made by the manufacturer. There are some replacement Lithium batteries that are made by other companies but you should check a couple of things.
First of all make certain that the replacement battery is the same power rating as the original. This doesn't have anything to do with the voltage. Voltage has to be correct or you don't have the right battery at all. It has more to do with the amount of power the battery provides. Battery power capacity is measured in milli-amp/hours which is often shown on the battery as "mAh". For example, your original battery may have a rating of 1100 mAh where the replacement might have only 700 mAh. This rating tells you how long the battery will run at a certain amount of power output. The higher the rating, the longer the battery will last per charge. It will also affect the time it takes to charge it up again, and it will also affect the price you pay for the battery.
Secondly you should check that the manufacturer is a reliable brand. Different brands and different price points will have different quality standards. A very inexpensive battery make work for a time but will lose it's ability to hold a charge after a very short time. You will have to rely on your retailer for his experience in this area.
Also, don't be surprised if your retailer hands you a Pentax battery for your Nikon camera or a Kodak battery for your Olympus camera. There is quite a bit of crossover in battery design from manufacturer to manufacturer. A good camera store should have this information at their fingertips.
If your digital camera takes AA penlight batteries, you have several choices. There are several formulations of AA batteries on the market today and each have advantages and disadvantages.
- AA alkaline (not rechargeable - least expensive - least amount of pictures - use in an emergency)
- AA NiMH ( rechargeable - more expensive - average amount of pictures - must be used regularly)
- AA Lithium ( NOT rechargeable - most expensive - most amount of pictures - ok to use very intermittantly)
If you are going to use your digital camera on a regular basis (at least once a week) then rechargeable AA batteries make good sense. The important thing to remember about rechargeable batteries is that they need regular use. With intermittant use they will lose their ability to hold a charge. If your typical use of the camera is only once every month or so, or you leave you camera sitting without use for several months at a time, the Lithium AA battery is your best bet. Even though they are disposable, non-rechargeable batteries, they will hold their remaining capacity for up to 10 years. This is great for the intermittant user. You can also keep a set of these in your camera case as emergency batteries when your rechargeables are out of juice.
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