The Best Rechargeable Batteries For Your Camera Flashes

If you’re an avid photographer who is looking to use rechargeable batteries for your flashes, you might be surprised which kinds are the best.

Cool flash photo courtesy of digital-photography-school.com

Whether you take photos as a hobby or as a professional for weddings, newspapers, or some other form of media, then you know that professional camera flashes suck battery power fast. Very few professional photographers use disposable AA and AAA batteries for their camera flashes, since they know that one photo session can easily drain 4 to 8 batteries. For people who are just beginning to take their passion for photography seriously, using rechargeable batteries for your camera flashes are the way to go.

Much has been made lately about the new Li-Ion disposable batteries on the market today, such as the Energizer Advance  series, that give you extra-long performance with electronic devices at a very good price. However, even if it doesn’t bother your conscience that Li-Ion disposable batteries are bad for the environment, then you should still avoid using them for your camera flashes because it has been widely reported that they take too long to charge flashes between shots. In the long run, Li-Ion batteries are not the solution for a serious photographer.

So what’s left?

While some camera flashes feature Li-Ion battery packs that can be recharged using a charger, most photographers use either NiMH or NiCd rechargeable batteries. Believe it or not, many photographers actually prefer older NiCd rechargeable batteries over NiMH rechargeable batteries, due to the fact that they tend to recharge the flashes faster than NiMH varieties.

The problems with NiCd rechargeables, however, outweigh this one perk.

It is widely accepted that NiCd rechargeable batteries are destructive to the environment, are highly susceptible to the dreaded “memory effect,” and will lose their ability to be fully recharged much more quickly than NiMH rechargeable batteries. NiMHs’ longevity, quality, and affordability make them a perfect choice for photographers with external flashes.

But before you go out and buy any NiMH rechargeable batteries, it’s important to follow one critical performance factor: mAh ratings. Most camera flashes perform best when NiMH rechargeable batteries have a minimum of 2000 mAh. This is the minimum amount of juice that you’ll need to ensure that your camera flashes charge up at a reasonable speed while still maintaining the longevity that you’ll need for long camera shoots.

For a powerful flash such as a 580EX flash, many photographers seek out even higher mAh ratings, ranging between 2400 and 2900 mAh. The Powerex 2300 mAh line of NiMH rechargeable batteries are a particularly popular brand for camera flashes, as are Enegizer’s NiMH line, which run at 2500 mAh.

The best performer for camera flashes, however, also tends to be a rather obscure brand. Vapex makes a 2900 mAh NiMH rechargeable battery that outclasses Powerex, Sanyo Eneloop, and Energizers. These Vapex rechargeable batteries are not the “instant” variety, and do not come already changed. But once you put a full charge on them, you’ll get the best performance and longevity of any other NiMH rechargeable battery on the market today.

If you plan on using external camera flashes, now is the time to invest in a good set of NiMH rechargeable batteries, as well as a good battery charger. Remembering to get as close to 2900 mAh with whatever brand you choose will ensure that you get the performance out of your rechargeable batteries that you need in order to do your best work behind the camera.

Thanks for reading our article! If you’re ready to purchase some rechargeable batteries, battery chargers, or any other electronics accessory, then visit the Electronics Warehouse website and use promo code EWBLOG at checkout for 10% off your entire order, plus FREE shippingAustralia wide!

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