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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Eugene, OR
    Posts
    30
    Quote Originally Posted by TheNetwerk2020 View Post
    Lately, however, every-single-fu*king-time I go into my camera bag to grab the S3 to take some pictures, all the batteries are dead. That is, the batteries in the camera as well as the batteries NOT in the camera.

    The camera uses 4 AA batteries.

    Any ideas on what the problem could be? Recommendations on batteries to try?
    Several potential problems:

    1. Memory effect. You may not be getting the charge you think you are, especially if you only partially discharge the batteries before charging them. NiMH batteries have a memory effect. About the only ones easily available that don't are Lithium-ion, but those are very expensive and generally used only in proprietary batteries.

    2. High charging current causes the batteries to heat up. One of the better things you could do with that "15-minute" charger would be to put it on the pavement and smash it with a hammer. Then, get a decent charger. Those things are good only for "emergencies," e.g., when you realize that you didn't charge the batteries overnight and you have to leave in an hour or less. Otherwise, don't use them.

    3. All rechargeables self-discharge, some faster than others. This is the most likely problem you're experiencing. The Sanyo Eneloop batteries are supposed to self-discharge much more slowly than most NiMH batteries. Another brand, the Uniross Hybrio batteries, make a similar claim.

    If you want to get the most out of your rechargeable batteries:

    1. Buy decent batteries to start with. Just because it's an American brand name like "Energizer" or "Ray-O-Vac" doesn't mean that it's good. I've read that Sanyo and Maha/Powerex are among the best brands. It could be worth spending a bit more.

    2. Store your batteries OUTSIDE the camera. That will avoid any "leaks" that occur within the camera circuitry.

    3. Store the batteries at room temperature, not in hot or cold locations. Keep them dry, of course. Don't carry them loose in your pocket (especially if you have any metal stuff in your pocket. I nearly burned myself with a AAA battery that way--stuff in my pocket shorted it out.) There are nice battery cases from InAnyCase that do a nice job and are convenient to carry. The "Batuca" (Battery Tube Case) is very nice. I also got a Digital Photo Battery Case that holds 4 AA batteries and a memory card. It should be great for carrying in my pocket.

    4. Get a good charger. I have a La Crosse BC-900 charger, which has a lot of nice features. (It better have--it's almost $50!) One thing it can do is to "refresh" batteries: that puts them through repeated discharge/charge cycles until the "full" charge doesn't change. That can recover some "bad" batteries that are really just suffering from the memory effect. (It's also a good idea to do that with new batteries.) It allows me to set the charging current, reads out the mAh when the battery is full, does a discharge-charge cycle that prevents the memory effect (that's the one you should use, if possible) It also comes with a set of really cool adapters that allow you to use a AA rechargeable battery in a device that is designed for C or D batteries. (Obviously, that will have limitations--the device uses C or D batteries because they store more energy, but it can really help in a pinch.) My major "complaint" is that it doesn't have an auto power plug. (I can use it with an inverter, of course.) It's also a little bulky (not much--it's 3x5.1x1.5, plus the transformer) and heavy for a camera bag. I have a Power2000 XP-375 charger that is about as minimal as one can get. It has fold-up prongs and an auto adapter. It weighs only about 3 oz without the batteries.
    Canon S3 IS; G2; Rebel 2000 (35mm)
    Canon Optura 50 (Mini-DV)
    iMac G4, PowerBook G4

    My .Mac page

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Aiken, SC
    Posts
    11
    From what I have read from the experts on the Internet, you hit the nail on the head.

    I have used a MaHa charger and their batteries for several years and they are still working. The only thing that slows them down is forgetting to refresh (discharge completely before charging after a few charges). Storing in a cold envirement slows the loss of charge.

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