Best Batteries for your Flash cam
Flash Photography today is an area within Photography that has never been easier to enter. Having a vast array of flashes, from leading brands that cost hundreds of dollars to Chinese knockoffs which are very inexpensive, the alternatives are great to say the least.
What I wanted to check for this article is which rechargeable batteries performed the very best in a speedlight flash. There are even more batteries options available to us than you will find speedlights brands. How can we know what’s best? What will provide the best performance? The best cost? Or both?
In this evaluation we Concentrated mainly on the AA nickel–metal hydride (Ni Mh) batteries along with the regular Alkaline batteries that all of us are knowledgeable about. We also included a set of Duracell Quantum AA batteries to represent the alkaline side. These batteries are certainly less costly than the rechargeable Ni Mh batteries concerning initial cost, but in the long run, the cost is far more. Are the Alkaline batteries better than the rechargeable batteries when it comes down to actual shooting? They must be better — right?
To assure authentic and fair benefits, the identical flash was used to check every set of batteries. The test flash in this experiment was the inexpensive but very capable YN-560 iii from Yongnuo. Many readers and podcast listeners of the Improve Photography network know that these are the chosen flash heads for lots of the hosts and a whole slew of fans also. At the new Improve Photography Retreat in Phoenix, AZ, (March 9-11, 2017) it became quickly apparent that this was the overwhelming choice of the majority of everyone there!
The test camera was a The intervalometer was set to fire up to 300 shots at full 1/1 power with a 30 second delay between each shot. This would avoid thermal overload which would negate any results that were being recorded. When shooting at full power continuously, the batteries and flash can get EXTREMELY hot — so hot that you cannot touch the batteries for long! I wanted to make sure that the flash also wasn’t burned out as well.
Employing this method Allowed me to record flash recycle times throughout the duration of the testing And also to gather information on just how many total flashes were possible Testing to failure was the goal and it worked very well.
The batteries used
- The Newest version of the Eneloop Panasonic AA NiMH Batteries (1900mAh)
- Panasonic BK-3HCCA4BA Eneloop Pro AA High Capacity Ni-MH Batteries (2500mAh)
On the market, there have been some pretty advanced scientific break thru moments that have occurred over the past couple of years in the rechargeable battery world. For many decades, rechargeable batteries had a bad reputation because they weren’t very powerful and they lost their charge very quickly. As a matter of fact, just within the past five decades there have been some wonderful strides made in the rechargeable battery world. We’ll get to that and more below but let’s get to the testing!
Employing the Intervalometer to trigger the flash in a really mechanical, exacting way, I used an electronic stopwatch to record the recycle times. This was very tedious indeed but I can assure you I sampled each shot around the predetermined intervals (10, 20, 50th, etc) to make sure I was getting very specific results. The recycle time is of utmost importance because when shooting an event where your flash speed is critical, we cannot be standing and awaiting our flashes to be ready for that second shot. We need speed! It is extremely easy to toss the retired batteries into a bag and pop new ones in but to wait every shot with seconds between each one is simply not acceptable.
#6 — DURACELL QUANTUM (ALKALINE BATTERY 1.5V)
Number of Full Power Flash Pops: 137
Recycle Time: Horrible
DURACELL Quantum Alkaline Batteries by far were the worst of the group. Alkaline batteries have 1.5 volts versus the lesser 1.2 volts that the Ni Mh batteries have. You may wonder how these batteries with lesser power not only beat their alkaline cousins but that they work at all in devices that call for FOUR 1.5v batteries.
The truth of it is most modern devices will work with the Ni Mh batteries despite the decrease voltage. Infect, about 95% of all products today accept Ni Mh batteries in place of the alkaline type.
The Quantum Recycle Time went up — and stayed up as the testing went on. If which weren’t bad enough, they also expired much sooner that the rechargeable types tested. Toward the end of their testing, the recycle times were extremely slow and pretty much not useable in most shooting scenarios.
#5 — AMAZON BASICS 1900MAH (1.2V)
Number of Full Power Flash Pops: 157
Recycle Time: Fair
Next up on the list were the Amazon Basics batteries. They did not perform especially well in terms of recycle time or total number of flash pops, however they’re also the least expensive batteries we analyzed.
Although these Batteries did get 16 more flash pops compared to the Panasonic Eneloop batteries, so they can not be billed as many times and so ranked lower in my test. They’re rated at 1900mAh and 1,000 recycle fees.
#4 — PANASONIC ENELOOP — NEW EDITION 1900MAH (1.2V)
Amount of Full Power Flash Pops: 141
Recycle Time: Fair
These New Eneloop Batteries (not the pro version) have with them an impressive claim they can be used and recharged an impressive 2,100 times before the battery stops holding a charge. When you add that up together with their great performance, they are an outstanding price.
The amount of charges these batteries (Any Ni Mh battery) can accept or be given is greatly dependent on how the batteries are cared for — meaning how they are charged.
#3- AMAZON BASIC HIGH CAPACITY 2400MAH (1.2V)
Number of Full Power Flash Pops: 213
Recycle Time: Good
The price of the Amazon Basic Standard per 4 pack is $8.99 at the time of this writing and $10.78 for the High Capacity version listed here at #3. It’s important to keep in mind when attempting to decide on value which is most effective for you.
The lower capacity Batteries can accept MANY more charges than the higher performance types. Since the lower capacity batteries here also fared very well in overall performance, it wouldn’t be a bad idea at all to make them your go to batteries.
#2 – ENELOOP PRO 2550MAH
Number of Full Power Flash Pops: 218
Recycle Time: Excellent
For years now they are currently called “Eneloop Pro” and they arrive in a 2550mAh capacity.
The final results were So very close that you might easily choose these batteries and be more than fine. They’ve a very smooth design and they seemed to be the coolest to the touch of the bunch.
Did not quite get as many flash pops as the Duracell, and they cost quite a little more.
WINNER- DURACELL RECHARGEABLE 2500MAH
Number of flash pops: 228
Recycle time: A+
It was extremely Steady through the whole shootout from the very first frames straight up until the bitter end at which like all the other batteries analyzed, it was put to sleep from the energy hungry Speed Light. The remarkable thing about this battery is how it performed up until that very last flash. I had the audible alert on the YN560 iii therefore I would be alerted while the ending was close because it’s possible to hear the recycle start to take a little longer than the previous shots.
It moved from shooting pretty much generally right to being expired and out of juice. It took a whopping 228 SHOTS AT FULL POWER to kill these super cells!!
That is really they pretty much have an on off switch; they are either working or they aren’t unlike conventional alkaline batteries.
MORE ON NI MH BATTERIES
Ni Mh batteries are The very clear choice for high drain devices and a Speed Light is the epitome of just that. Alkaline batteries suffer from High Internal Resistance and this makes them a bad choice for this use case scenario.
The best part about The rechargeable Ni Mh batteries is how even they stay in terms of power output right through until they are depleted of their power. In spite of a flashlight, conventional alkaline batteries will reduce in power output and you’ll realize this as the light becomes more dim with use. Nh Mh batteries? They’ll work and work and then die — quickly. It is why you can fire off 150 full power blasts of light from a speed light and see virtually no change in recycle time but at 160 the batteries will be entirely drained. This is good because when they are tired, you know it AND YOU REPLACE THEM!
All of these batteries Became VERY hot whilst performing these tests. The Alkaline Duracell’s became so hot that the label on the battery became blistered and cracked. The others were extremely hot to the touch and I would suggest NOT touching them after excessive us
NEW TECHNOLOGY IN NI MH BATTERIES TODAY
For Many years, rechargeable batteries got a bad rap from many users because their power output seemed to be quite inconsistent. This thinking wasn’t without reason. Broadly , Ni Mh batteries would lose 20-30% of their power after just 24 hours of lying dormant and unused in a drawer. Each consecutive day would drain these batteries even more. That has all changed.
L.S.D. — LOW SELF DISCHARGE
Technology progresses In all facets of life today and batteries aren’t immune to these advancements! Low Self Discharge batteries are exactly what you’d think them to be — batteries with low self discharge!! A few of the batteries tested here claim they will hold up to 85% of their whole charge even after being stored in a drawer for an entire year!! Temperature is a big factor here and if stored, making certain they are kept at around room temperature is a really good practice.
THE MOST IMPORTANT THING
It doesn’t matter what Recyclable battery you are using if you’re using a poorly made and designed charger. There are many “QUICK” charges available on the marketplace. Avoid them at all costs. They will ruin your batteries — plain and simple! A slow, constant and controlled charge is what works best. This needs to be done by a capable charger. The EBL Charger is a Fantastic example of a very good charger that incorporates 5 various levels of protection for your batteries. Try to get this type of charger for your battery protection.