Rechargable batteries for a camera

Following the advice given here, I got a Canon A470 camera, which I love – but this puppy goes through batteries like Angelina Jolie goes through an orphanage. Or something.

Anyway, I want to get batteries and a charger for this, but have zero idea what I’m actually looking for. This was the Amazon search – is what I want on that page?


Yup, pretty much any of those. You want NiMH (nickel metal hydride) batteries with as high a mAh (milliampere hour - a measure of the total energy the battery stores) rating as you can find. 2700mAh is state of the art for AA’s I believe. The features you may be interested in to choose between chargers - some accept various input voltages so can be easily used in Europe etc. Some might also accept 12vdc in so they can be plugged into the lighter socket in your vehicle. Charging time is fairly variable, with some being designed to fully charge a set of batteries in well under an hour, some being just trickle chargers that need to run overnight, and anything in between. Other things being equal, charging slower is better for the batteries’ lifespan, but for the cost of an extra set of batteries now and then most people prefer the convenience of faster chargers.

The one thing to remember is that NiMH batteries discharge themselves over the course of about a month even if you don’t use the device they’re in.

Don’t buy standard NiMH batteries.
Get “Eneloops” or Radio Shack’s Precharged NiMH batteries. These have much lower self-discharge rates, and you won’t be stuck with dead batteries if you let the camera sit for a few weeks.

That would be these?

Those look like a no-name version. So, yes.

Thanks very much, you guys, for the helpful info!

I’m going to order the charger with attachments for car and Europe (#7 in original link) and 8 of the low-discharge batteries (#13 in original link).

Unless, of course, someone tells me something different.

I have rechargeable NiMH batteries, but IIRC they’re 2300 mAh: is this why my new camera won’t even recognize them?

I would guess that the batteries aren’t making good contact. Sometimes poorly designed battery holders won’t reliably touch the little “button” on the + side of certain brands of batteries.

Screw it – went for the eneloops.

Thanks for the info, beowulff, Gorsnak!

Huh. I’ll experiment a little more, then. The new camera likes “regular” (non-rechargeable) AA batteries just fine, but it went through the pair that came with it in under 20 pictures.

For me, the biggest battery drainer was the small color monitor on the back. Once I learned to trust the standard optical viewfinder to compose the pics, and turned off the monitor, my batteries lasted approx 5 times longer.

Alas, this camera has no optical viewfinder. I did, however, switch on the “power saver” option for the LCD, which turned its brightness down considerably.

get duracel AA rechargeable. they last about 8 hours and recharge in about 4. the best i have ever found. you can get them at wal mart in the photo department.

Doesn’t matter (much). 20 shots is about all you’ll get from non-rechargeables even without using an LCD. They’re not fully drained, but due to the differences in battery chemistry they can no longer provide juice at the right levels to make the camera work properly. Put them in a flashlight, or a TV remote, they’ll continue to work. Just not in a digital camera.

Battery brands really don’t make much difference. There are slightly better and slightly worse brands, but not enough to care. Battery chemistry makes a big difference. I’ll only use the Low Discharge (Enloop style) NiMH batteries from now on. They have less juice then regular NiMH batteries (around 2700 mAh versus 2000 mAh) but the fact that they don’t discharge so quickly more then makes up for that.

Since I’ve so thoroughly hijacked twickster’s thread I’ll just go ahead and ask the next question:

I have a battery charging station (I think it’s Energizer branded) that can recharge NiMH and NiCd as well. I can charge AAA, AA, C, D, and 9-volt. Do I need to worry about mAh ratings and that sort of thing, or can I stick pretty much any battery in there I want to recharge?