Pros and Cons of Battery Technologies Used in Cameras – Choose the Right One for You
By Ziv Haparnas
Like other portable consumer electronic devices digital cameras use batteries as their power source. In this article we will describe different battery technologies and their cons and pros. Armed with this knowledge you will be able to take into consideration the battery used when purchasing your next camera.
A camera usually supports just one type of battery either a disposable battery or a rechargeable one. The exception is cameras that are powered by standard AA, AAA or similar batteries. In most of these cases disposable and rechargeable batteries can be used interchangeably.
There are two battery types:
There are pros and cons to using disposable or rechargeable batteries. The main advantage to using a disposable battery is that you can always buy a few to have with you to replace the ones that are empty and you can always get one in a store close-by in case you are stuck with empty batteries. The disadvantages to using disposable batteries are the cost of buying new batteries every times your batteries are empty, the capacity (in most cases a disposable battery will not last as long as a good rechargeable battery). On the other hand rechargeable batteries require only one purchase. When the battery is empty you can simply place it in its charger and after an hour or so you will have a fully recharged battery. The disadvantage is that if you run out of batteries during a photo shooting session or somewhere away from home or a power supply you can not just buy another battery. The solution to that problem is to buy one extra battery and to always carry it with you fully charged.
If your camera uses standard size batteries such as AA or AAA you can have the advantages of both disposable and rechargeable batteries. You can always use disposable AA or AAA batteries with the camera but you can also get a rechargeable AA or AAA battery and use it when convenient.
Rechargeable batteries technologies:
Different technologies are used in building rechargeable batteries. Look at the battery itself to find out what technology was used in most cases it will be written on a small sticker on the battery or somewhere on its packaging. The following are the most common technologies and some of their pros and cons:
nickel cadium: one
of the oldest technologies. These batteries are inexpensive, they can be
recharged fast and many times before they lose their capacity. On the
downside they have a low capacity and have a “memory effect” – a “memory
effect” means that the battery can not be recharged to its full capacity
unless it is first fully discharged. This can be problem since in most
cases you will want to make sure your battery regardless of its current
state is fully charged before going on a photo shooting session. Some
charges solve this problem by first discharging the battery and only
then recharging it to its full capacity.
nickel metal hybrid:
this technology is an improvement of nickel cadium. These batteries
capacity is much higher up to 50% more. Although it still has a “memory
effect” it is less noticeable than in nickel cadium batteries. On the
downside these batteries can be charged less times before losing their
capacity and they also discharge faster when not in use.
lithium ion: A new
technology that solves many of the nickel technology problems. Lithium
ion batteries have a higher capacity than even nickel metal. They have
no “memory effect” at all (and thus regardless of their current state
they can always be recharged to their fullest capacity). The downside is
that they are more expensive than nickel batteries.
lithium polymer: the
latest technology. These batteries have all the advantages of lithium
ion and more. They have an even higher capacity and can also be easily
manufactured in any shape or form. This allows for much smaller and
lighter high capacity batteries and for batteries shaped to better fit
the camera design.
In conclusion when choosing a camera and considering what batteries it uses you should first make a choice between disposable and rechargeable batteries. If you choose to get a camera that uses rechargeable batteries you should try to choose a battery that uses the latest technologies like polymer or lithium unless you have some special considerations.
Ziv Haparnas is a technology veteran and writes about practical technology and science issues. This article can be reprinted and used as long as the resource box including the backlink is included. You can find more information about photo album printing and photography in general on http://www.printrates.com - a site dedicated to digital photo printing.
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