Could this be the better AA rechargeable we've been looking for?

Discussion in 'Casual Photo Conversations' started by steve_c.|5, Nov 10, 2009.

  1. These look interesting to me. Thought I'd pass them on.
  2. PowerEX are also fantastic batteries. Along with their charger , so a slow charge and a fast charge - the only ones I use.
  3. Not sure if im convinced after reading the reviews. Just not enough data or stats to make a compelling arguemnt IMO. I did see lots of reviews comparing these to Eneloops, which is worth a shot since a lot of comments where targeting how Eneloops batt do perform well and seems like out the same amount of power and results as these batt.
  4. doesn't look like that big a deal honestly once you take the special charger etc into account. If you're really banging on a Speedlight, you should be using 5 cell or SD8/9 or other external pack.
  5. Well, I had a feeling that I'd see some of the usual negativity from Pnet posters when I put this up. Everyone is so pessimistic and doubting, and unwilling to give anything new a chance. The concept of 1.6 volt cells in a rechargable is a great idea, and I think it at least deserves a look. Which I am planning to do for myself.
    I guess thinking anyone here would say, "thanks for sharing this with us" or "thanks for posting something that might improve our work" is just asking too much.
  6. Steve, interesting post. Definitely not going with some small, new brand (at least to me as I have never heard of them before), unless and until they gain a very good reputation and good prices. I am a big Panasonic battery fan and will be sticking with them as they serve my incredibly well and I have no reason at all to change right now.
  7. Steve, for the most part, people don't even post "thanks" here when you put effort into answering their questions. That got to me pretty badly a couple of weeks ago, so I started posting sarcastic little "you're welcome, glad you found it useful" or "I'm glad you liked it, knowing it's appreciated makes it all worthwhile" replies to threads where I'd helped someone.
    Thanks for an unsolicited post, not here, that's for sure. But I did enjoy your comments.
    You will find there's an awful lot of distrust of NiZn batteries out there. The first time they appeared on the market place, it was through an exclusive deal with Ritz, who did a multitude of "fishy" things.
    1. they were packaged with light blue lettering on a white background in a thin, geometric font reminiscint of "ITC Avante Garde", basically Ritz trying their dardest to convince people they were "eneloops". Like the K-Mart brand underwear next to the BVDs in the package with the same color scheme and lettering as BVDs, and more K-Mart underwear next to the Haynes in a package with the Haynes color scheme and lettering.
    2. Ritz made a big stink of the 30% higher voltage somehow equating to 30% higher capacity, when both the PowerGenix and eneloops were both 2.2-2.4 watt hour cells.
    3. The early field reports said that the PowerGenix were not delivering faster recycle times than low resistance NiMH cells like eleloops, indicating that the NiZn cells have higher internal resistance that negates the advantages of their higher voltage.
    So far, the only people I've found who are really happy with NiZn batteries are Pentax DSLR shooters. The models that run on 4 AA batteries put direct, unregulated battery voltage to the AF motor, so the NiZN batteries make your AF noticeably faster. For flashes, on the other hand, it appears to be a wash. Personally, I've not seen anything since the early reviews that said "go back and have a second look". Not a substantiall higher number of shots per charge, not better recycle times, not better operation in cold conditions...
  8. From the review: "One of the major concerns with traditional NiMh rechargeables is just how weak they are, and just how quickly their longevity declines. With few exceptions, most of these cells can't actually power a dedicated hotshoe flash for more than a few minutes (if at all)"
    I'm sorry, but the author lost a lot of credibility here. That statement is nonsense.
  9. First, please check the equipment you will be putting the batteries into. These new batteries can run as high as 1.9V. this can damage some equipment. Look at the spec for the SB600, it says 4 batteries of 1.5V or lower. This suggests that the SB600 can be damaged with the 1.6V battery. The SB800 says 4 0r 5 of the 1.5v or lower battery, so this could most like handle 4 of the 1.6v batteries. If you do a search on these new batteries, you'll find some articles where the SB600 has been damaged due to over voltage.
    There's a pretty good discussion here:
  10. I would be happy to give a new product a chance if there was enough evidence, both scientific and practical, that the batteries are indeed longer lasting or have other, prized attributes. The special charger is a deterrent to just trying them, for me. That would mean getting a number of chargers, since as it stands now--I charge 5 or 6 sets of AAs in two sweeps before each event in a charger that can do 12 at once.
    The article doesn't give any test results, particularly against Eneloops, and seems to be aimed at non professionals. Plus, as Rob says, the line claiming that regular NiMh AAs can't power a flash for more than a few minutes is questionable. I just got some Eneloops and some Powerex 2700 Mah traditional NiMh batteries, based on test results that seem to show that each is the best (longest lasting, consistent power) in their respective classes for use in flashes in demanding situations such as weddings. So far, I agree.
    I would be very interested in knowing what your results are for wedding use, though, if you intend to try them.
  11. I use Ray-O-Vac Hybrid AA and AAA NiMH batteries. They do hold their charge significantly longer than ordinary NiMH batteries and that is important to me. I tried the Eneloops also but I found that the Ray-O-Vacs held their charge longer.
    I always carry alkalines or lithiums as a back-up.
  12. A higher voltage doesn't mean much. As mentioned by others, a higher voltage can destroy some equipment. Batteries with a voltage of less that 1.5V will not cause damage on most electronics designed for AA batteries with a standard voltage of 1.5V.
    What you really should be looking for is a mAh or Watt hour (Wh) number for the batteries. These numbers tell you how much power the battery can supply before it dies. The mAh number indicates how much current the battery can supply for hr before it dies. The higher the number the longer the battery will last. Wh is a similar number. It is simply the amount of power the battery can supply for one hour. You can determine the Wh rating of the battery if you have the mAh number. If you have a battery rated at 1000mAh and its voltage is 1.5V it has a 1.5Wh rating (1000mAh is 1Ah X 1.5 = 1.5Wh).
    Another factor is how much current can it supply to a device like a flash when the flash is recharging. After a flash fires it pulls power out of the battery as fast as the battery can supply it. If the battery can not supply a large surge of current the flash will take longer to recharge between pictures. NiCad batteries can supply very large surge currents even though they typically have lower mAh number than lithium and NiMH batteries .
    Other issues that may be important are cold weather tolerance, self discharge, life, and weight. The voltage rating of the NiZn batties doesn't tall you what you need to know other than they might damage you camera or flash.
  13. Steve: Thank for posting! Really. I count myself as one of those who just hasn't spent the time considering power alternatives and what it all means. I hunt and peck at, but I'm still not very versed at the subject. I was pretty thrilled to find out how well ordinary 9v batteries work in my EL/M, in place of the expensive Hasselblad variety<g>.
  14. After my responce I had some time to look at the link and many of the comments on these batteries. The have a rating of 2500Wh or about 1560mAh. I have some NiMH 2400mAh (2880Wh) batteries. So in terms of capacity they are no better than modern quality NiMH batteries. I was also able to find a comment that one person had two SB600 flashes fail almost immediately after the batteries were installed. Others stated that the charger would only charge the batteries once before flashing a LED indicating the batteries had failed.
    Based on the comments on these batteries, don't buy them.
  15. Steve C and Steve F... Centigrade and Farenheit?
    (Sorry, couldn't resist).
    Bob, I noticed those comments in Darren Murph's NiZn review about how poorly NiMH batteries performed, and immediately thought "just another guy with a cheap charger, 2 batteries in series on each channel, screwing up set after set of NiMH cells". I charge my eneloops on Lacrosse BC-900 chargers. Some of the eneloops are just about "initial production", 4 or 5 years old, they've been cycled over 100 times, and they can still pop 14 full power flashes from a Nikon SB-800 with good recycle times. In "real shooting", when the flashes aren't hitting full power with every shot (Nikon D3! Yeah!) I typically plan on battery changes every 250 shots or so, and never hit the wall.
    Good chargers aren't that big an investment, inless you're planing on owning a very small "herd" of batteries (like 4 or 8 AA NiMH). I own about 200 eneloops, and the cost of the chargers (three Lacross BC-900, about $40 each) isn't even half the cost of that flock of batteries. Figure I'd have thrown away 640 alkaline AA in that time, and that's $320 (Costco brand) or $450 (Duracell). And the eneloops recycle the flashes faster than the Alkalines.
  16. On the subject of voltage, fresh AA alkaline batteries run 1.57-1.63 V. But their internal resistance is so high (typically 0.1 ohm for fresh cells) that they only deliver that high voltage into an essentially open circuit.

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