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View Full Version : Li Ion vs. NiMH



Boot
01-25-2007, 10:40 AM
Is there a clear victor? I know the Li Ions win hands down in size and weight, and the NiMHs win hands down in price and availability. But what about actual performance? I'm looking at two different cameras with different options. Each also uses different power: One AAs and the other Li Ion. Should that be a selling point one way or the other as far as performance goes?

Chucko
01-25-2007, 11:48 AM
As our esteemed host frequently points out in the reviews, you can get AAs and AAAs anywhere in a pinch. There are lots of choices for AA/AAA rechargeables. But their bulk limits how small you can make the camera.

Li-ions tend to be more finicky about charging and cycling. My experience with 3rd party rechargeable Li-ion batteries has not been good. And the OEM batteries tend to be very expensive.

Both technologies work great when new, but Li-ions tend to die more suddenly towards the end of their lives. NiMH batteries tend to taper off more gracefully.

My P&S uses 4 AAs. My DSLRs use proprietary Li-ions.

SG Liu
01-27-2007, 10:05 AM
Is there a clear victor? I know the Li Ions win hands down in size and weight, and the NiMHs win hands down in price and availability. But what about actual performance? I'm looking at two different cameras with different options. Each also uses different power: One AAs and the other Li Ion. Should that be a selling point one way or the other as far as performance goes?

Lithium Ions Batteries:

1, longer lasting than NiMHs.

2, can display how many minutes left in some models.

3, lighter and smaller than NiMHs.

NiHM Batteries:

1, longer battery life than Lithium Ions batteries.

2, able to accept alkaline as a backup.

3, cheaper than Lithium Ions batteries.

bascom
01-29-2007, 10:53 AM
Lithium Ions Batteries:
1, longer lasting than NiMHs.

NiHM Batteries:
1, longer battery life than Lithium Ions batteries.

Contradiction?

Rhys
01-29-2007, 12:26 PM
Contradiction?

Not really. NiMh batteries can be reconditioned in reconditioning chargers. Lion batteries cannot be reconditioned. Thus while the Lion batteries last longer per charge, their overall lifespan is less. As an example my laptop uses a Lion battery and in 12 months is already on its second battery. My old laptop had 6 year old NiMh battery and still gave me 90 minutes per charge.

So - Lion - larger capacity but shorter lifespan.
NiMh - smaller capacity but longer lifespan.

Robert Besen
01-29-2007, 05:04 PM
I think he was talking about capacity (longer lasting) vs. cycle life (longer battery life).

reppans
01-29-2007, 06:48 PM
Been using Li-Ions for nearly 15 years now.... they are the main reason my #1 camera priority is now AAs :D

- Proprietary Li Ions are an exercise in planned obsolescence. I've got some some old laptops, video cameras and digital cameras with Li Ions and the equipment (not batts) work fine, but are no longer portable (tied to an A/C adapter) because they don't make the battery anywhere anymore.

- You should aways keep a fully charged back battery. But being fully charged, and not used, is bad for Li-Ions.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lithium_ion#Storage_temperature_and_charge

You can back-up AAs with simple alkalines which have huge self lives, and well, are cheap/disposable. And if your Li Ion back-up runs out/fails your dead in the water.

- I just tested a set of high capacity Sanyo 2700 AA Ni Mh in my Canon 710 and got over 3.5 hours of video recording (15 gigs) from 2 AAs... never seen that kind of performance from Li Ions. However I will be switching Eneloops for their longer shelf lives most of the time.

Li Ions are on the only choice, however, if you want the smallest ultracompacts.

Rhys
01-30-2007, 06:01 AM
Been using Li-Ions for nearly 15 years now.... they are the main reason my #1 camera priority is now AAs :D

- Proprietary Li Ions are an exercise in planned obsolescence. I've got some some old laptops, video cameras and digital cameras with Li Ions and the equipment (not batts) work fine, but are no longer portable (tied to an A/C adapter) because they don't make the battery anywhere anymore.

- You should aways keep a fully charged back battery. But being fully charged, and not used, is bad for Li-Ions.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lithium_ion#Storage_temperature_and_charge

You can back-up AAs with simple alkalines which have huge self lives, and well, are cheap/disposable. And if your Li Ion back-up runs out/fails your dead in the water.

- I just tested a set of high capacity Sanyo 2700 AA Ni Mh in my Canon 710 and got over 3.5 hours of video recording (15 gigs) from 2 AAs... never seen that kind of performance from Li Ions. However I will be switching Eneloops for their longer shelf lives most of the time.

Li Ions are on the only choice, however, if you want the smallest ultracompacts.


The problem with elderly laptops is that usually by the time the battery is unobtainable, the rest of the laptop is almost dead. I fell for the old gag of buying a secondhand laptop. It gave me good service for 6 months then nothing but trouble. By the time I'd spent about what I paid for it on replacement parts I thought everything that could fail had been fixed. Then it died again and I couldn't fix it. Rather than spending money on taking it to somebody who probably wouldn't have been able to fix it either, I tossed the whole thing onto a big bonfire in the back garden and tossed the metal bits in the dustbin later. I'd already rescued my data so I was happy.

The problem comes with Lions when they die too often. My Compaq laptop is on its second battery in just under a year of ownership and that's currently down to 97% or less already!

As to other devices, I'm certainly in favour of AAs. I bought the battery grip for my XT in order that I could use AAs. Given that my flash uses AAs and my GPS and lots of other things, it just makes sense to use AAs.