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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    9
    Thanks for your comment, ksva!

    I found that my fast charger is indeed a 'smart charger' (microprocessor; temperature sensors against overheating and (IMHO) overcharging); charge rate 1500mA (so that's good); trickle charge rate 60mA). The only weakness may be that batteries can get hot while (or after, not sure) charging, and Battery University says that's not good for NiMH. Anyway, I'm going to assume this charger is good enough.

    (FYI, the slow charger is not a timed one, so no danger of overcharging here. The manual even suggests to permanently leave in any batteries. But thanks for warning me anyway )

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    9
    One last question:

    According to BatteryUniversity, recharging should happen while there's still 20% or so charge in the NiMH battery (except for the occasional full cycle maintenance). What I have been doing so far is recharge when the camera reports an empty battery - at that time the battery still holds some charge but not enough for the camera to use). Should I change my habit and recharge earlier? Or is the charge of the 'empty' battery sufficient?

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    2,132
    I wouldn't bother, personally. Most cameras don't even read the charge of AA's so you have no idea how much power you have left.
    Nikon D300 | Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 | Nikkor AF-S 70-300mm VR | Nikkor AF 35mm f/2 D | SB-600 | Lowepro Voyager C | Lowepro Slingshot 300 AW

    For Sale:
    Nikkor AF 35mm f/2 D - Like New (FX compatible)

    Wish List
    Nikkor AF-S 17-55 f/2.8
    Nikkor AF-S 70-200 f/4 VRII
    Tokina AF 11-16 f/2.8
    SB-900 (2)
    Umbrellas
    New Tripod

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Richmond, VA
    Posts
    9
    Quote Originally Posted by liekloo View Post
    One last question:

    According to BatteryUniversity, recharging should happen while there's still 20% or so charge in the NiMH battery (except for the occasional full cycle maintenance). What I have been doing so far is recharge when the camera reports an empty battery - at that time the battery still holds some charge but not enough for the camera to use). Should I change my habit and recharge earlier? Or is the charge of the 'empty' battery sufficient?
    As I understand it, the 20% is maximum discharge state before recharging. Recharging sooner with a quality charger is actually preferred.

    I can't answer your question about your camera because I don't know what camera it is or what its criteria is for cutoff. Most cameras now can sense and take advantage of NiMH chemistry. Older ones (6-7 years) didn't.

    Example - my first digital camera was an Olympus D-490 point and shoot and it was a power hog. So much of a power hog that it was recommended not to leave the display on when shooting. It was a 6v and set up for two CR-V3 cells which were expensive. Alkalines were almost worthless - good for maybe 30-40 shots, so now now came the search for alternative batteries. This camera used 4AA sized cells at 1.5v each, totaling 6v. The twin CR-V3s were 3v each, again totaling 6v. NiMH cell chemistry is 1.2v or 4.8v for the 4 cells. So, freshly charged cells started off at a severe disadvantage because this camera was sensing voltage based on 6v. The answer then was an external pack consisting of 5 cells (1.2 x 5 = 6) which was good for 150-250 shots. I eventually did find that I could get satisfactory results with 4AA cells in the camera if I used good cells (not crap cells) that hadn't developed a higher internal resistance. Back then, it was a battle from camera to camera how they were set up to sense voltage.

    Todays cameras are set up to take advantage of NiMH which is a good thing for shooting, but possibly bad for your cells. These cells do not like to be deep discharged and can be ruined if over discharged. Having several sets of cells and recharging or topping them off after use is much preferable to running them down. To qualify, this is only true if using a quality charger that can sense when the cells are charged and will then stop charging them.

    I can't state my preferences for Eneloops enough even though they have a lower capacity than traditional high capacity cells (2000mAH vs 2700mAH). Unless you are the anal obsessive type that will invest in the high quality charger/analyzer and do regular time consuming refresh and break in cycles on your higher capacity cells, you'll soon find that the lower capacity Eneloops will out perform the higher capacity cells in practical application.

    That said, I would encourage everyone who uses rechargeable cells to become anal obsessive about them because it really is necessary to get the best use out your cells.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    2,132
    Quote Originally Posted by ksva View Post
    you'll soon find that the lower capacity Eneloops will out perform the higher capacity cells in practical application.
    Which I have.

    Even fully discharged in one day, my 2000mAh Eneloops give me more power than my 2500mAh Energizers, both fully charged before use. I'd say about 10% more. The mAh numbers don't tell the whole story.

    Over the course of a week, or a month, obviously it's no competition, nothing will stand up to the Eneloops.
    Nikon D300 | Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 | Nikkor AF-S 70-300mm VR | Nikkor AF 35mm f/2 D | SB-600 | Lowepro Voyager C | Lowepro Slingshot 300 AW

    For Sale:
    Nikkor AF 35mm f/2 D - Like New (FX compatible)

    Wish List
    Nikkor AF-S 17-55 f/2.8
    Nikkor AF-S 70-200 f/4 VRII
    Tokina AF 11-16 f/2.8
    SB-900 (2)
    Umbrellas
    New Tripod

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    6,931
    Quote Originally Posted by Visual Reality View Post
    Over the course of a week, or a month, obviously it's no competition, nothing will stand up to the Eneloops.
    I agree totally. It's a case of paying a bit more up front to get a huge extra benefit over the life of the cells. Over their life the Eneloops will prove to be far more economical than standard rechargeable NiHM batteries.

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Richmond, VA
    Posts
    9
    Quote Originally Posted by Visual Reality View Post
    Which I have.

    Even fully discharged in one day, my 2000mAh Eneloops give me more power than my 2500mAh Energizers, both fully charged before use. I'd say about 10% more. The mAh numbers don't tell the whole story.

    Over the course of a week, or a month, obviously it's no competition, nothing will stand up to the Eneloops.
    In fairness to the standard higher capacity cells, the 2500mAH Energizers are known to be trash. Technically the anal retentive users of standard 2400-2700mAH cells who have good quality cells, properly care for them and charge them just prior to use, will get more mileage out of them, but it's too much work for most, even battery enthusiasts.

    The 2500 Energizers are known to be so bad, that I didn't even contact Energizer to replace mine, because I didn't want them again.

    For definitions sake the Eneloops and their hybrid cousins (or brothers and sisters) are known as LSD or low self discharge cells.

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