SLR Lounge had done a thorough investigation into what they considered the best AA battery for Flash Photography use, due to low availability of practical real world use for results. This is their testing of Eneloop brand against the top available alkaline batteries currently available.
Per SLR Lounge, this is the criteria that they adhered to:
“We used the exact same Vivitar 285HV flash for all batteries tested. After each battery was tested, we allowed the flash unit at least one hour to completely cool down before testing the next set.
We selected the most common sets of Alkaline batteries for our testing including Duracell Coppertop (standard Duracell), Duracell Ultra Advanced, Energizer Max (standard Energizer), Energizer Lithium and finally Costco Kirkland batteries since they are so wonderfully inexpensive… and because everyone loves Costco. We selected the Eneloops as the rechargeables to use for the test because based on our experience, they have held up better than all other rechargeable batteries that we have used.
For all alkaline batteries, we purchased new batteries in their retail packages and pulled them directly from the retail package and placed them into the Vivitar flash test unit. For the rechargeable Eneloops, we purchased new batteries in retail packages and charged them to full power prior to placing them into the Vivitar flash. All batteries were brand new, and the test results were based on their first time use.”
Testing consisted of utilizing a flash unit at full 1/1 power connected to a timer unit, with each battery being tested for a total of 75 full power flashes.
After all testing was completed, here were the top 3 contenders for best battery:
#3 Duracell (Standard) – It had an exceptionally quick 1st flash recycle time of 7.3 seconds and a 75th flash recycle time of 14.1 seconds giving it a average flash recycle length of time of 11.68 seconds. They were just sizzling hot to the touch upon removal. This was the best Alkaline toss-away disposable for photography and flash.
#2 Standard Eneloop – The Eneloop posted the speediest beginning recycle time of 6.8 seconds and a 75th flash recycle time of just 10.5 seconds! This gave it a average for the flash recycle time of 8.94 seconds. Also, the batteries was just warm to the touch upon removal.
#1 Eneloop XX – The XX’s were just a cut above the standard Eneloop. It had a slower 1st flash time of 7.1 seconds, yet a slightly snappier 75th flash recycle time of 9.9 seconds giving it an average recycle time of 8.75 seconds. At around the 25th flash the standard Eneloop started to lose power more quickly than the Eneloop XX which brought about a decently noteworthy contrast of .6 seconds on the 75th flash.
Both Eneloop types are fantastic batteries, easily beating out the standard alkaline cell single-use types. It’s a good idea to have a set on hand in emergencies, but for power to depend on, you should get yourself a set ( or several sets) of Eneloops!
Get your Eneloops right here at Electronics warehouse!
By Michael Nace