Monday, 19 July 2010

Battery chargers – Quick Shot Answer

Name:: Sats

Question:: I have Nikon D90 and SB-600. Please advise what kind of battery recharger I should use.

Answer:: Back in the “old days” when I shot film I can remember when I could go for a year or more before replacing the batteries in my camera. Today I rotate 4 batteries in my camera and countless AA batteries in my flash gun.

Sats, you don’t say what batteries you want to recharge but if it’s the big battery in my camera I’ve always used to recharger that came with the camera and I'm happy to continue with that.

The AA batteries that I use in my speedlites is another story. There's a wide choice of rechargers on the market. I’ve used several brands over the years but my current favourite is the GP PowerBank V800C. Sadly this model seems to be discontinued but here's a link to GP's website

The killer feature for an impatient person like me is its recharge speed. Four 2700mAh AA batteries will go from flat to charged in around 30 minutes. Of course that kind of recharging speed comes at a price and I’m not talking about how much the recharger cost.

The batteries get really, really hot during recharge even with the PowerBanks built in cooling fan. Putting hot batteries in the speedlite seems like a bad idea to me so I always let cool before use. I also find the rapid recharge causes the batteries fail faster then then I’d expect on a slower recharge. A failed battery will result in the PowerBank to flash red and stop charging.

Fortunatly AA’s are cheap to replace and represent amazing value compared to their non-rechargeable counter parts.


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