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Thread: New Camera Batteries

  1. #1
    David's Avatar
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    New Camera Batteries

    Hi All - The recent thread about carrying spare batteries prompts me to ask some more general questions. I've done a quick search of CiC but I don't think it's been addressed before. When I bought my Canon 40D nearly two years ago, it came with a Canon Brand BP-511A battery pack (aka E160814). This is a Lithium Ion 7.4V 1390 mAh system. I bought a second Canon Brand battery, but now no longer know which is which. For general purpose work I was getting about 200-300 shots per battery before having to recharge. Now, one of the batteries is giving only about 50-60 shots per charge.

    First question: is this normal battery behaviour? I assume that it is.
    Second question: is there anyway to rejuvenate batteries that are worked out?
    Third question: is there an easy method of testing the state of a battery other than by recharging and re-fitting in the camera? I'm thinking multimeter here.
    Fourth question: what are opinions on 3rd party batteries? Duracell and Energiser both market BP-511A replacements and Amazon and other reviews give high ratings.
    Fifth question: are there any good professional reviews of battery ratings?
    Sixth question: why oh why is there such a huge price difference between official Canon batteries (I've seen 90 quoted) and other brands (the Duracell version is about 15)?

    While I'm obviously interested in the BP-511A battery, I reckon the questions can be applied generally.

    Thanks for any help.

    Cheers

    David

  2. #2
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    Re: New Batteries

    http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/battery-life.htm
    http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/batteries.htm
    http://www.batteryuniversity.com/parttwo-34.htm

    I have both factory and after market batteries. I've not found any difference in them but price.

    This is a pretty general response, I know. It is what I am aware of without an extensive web search. This is the information I use teaching my students.

    Pops

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    Re: New Batteries

    Well first of all, I've just nipped out to my workshop (shed) to try a multimeter on one of my Canon 40D batteries. Yes it gives an indication of battery power/voltage when I used the 9v battery test setting.

    One of my Canon batteries came with a secondhand Powershot camera in 2002, one with a secondhand 10D and one third party battery I bought new from an internet battery supplier around 5 years ago. I don't now know which is which but they all still appear to give consistent results.

    I always fully charge my batteries after use, even slight use, and keep them fully charged for periods of non use. I have noticed that sometimes my charger indicates a full charge after a short period but reinstallation of the battery into the charger will give it a substantial period of extra charge.

    Some batteries work better if they are fully discharged and then receive an extra long charge, which might be worth trying; but I think these lithium batteries will accept short top up charges without any problems; that certainly works for me.

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    Re: New Batteries

    Hi David,

    I'm not generally a fan of 3rd party stuff, but Stirlingtek batteries are the exception - I doubt you'll find a dissatisfied customer anywhere.

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    Re: New Batteries

    David
    I go with Colin re Sterlingtek. Followed his advice on this some time back and haven't been disappointed. When shooting in Liveview, I get somewhere between 75 - 100 per battery.

    I welcome the advice re 'keep topping up the battery'. I thought best practice was to run them right down before re-charging. So, have learned a new lesson with this thread.

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    Re: New Batteries

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    I get somewhere between 75 - 100 per battery.
    For me, one of the joys of the 1Ds# is battery life; I can basically do whatever I life and seldom do I ever even make a dent in the battery life

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    Re: New Batteries

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Hi David,

    I'm not generally a fan of 3rd party stuff, but Stirlingtek batteries are the exception - I doubt you'll find a dissatisfied customer anywhere.
    After some of the answers on that other thread, I got two batteries from SterlingTek (LP-E5, so not directly applicable to your setup). As Donald says, the discussion here taught me to top them off, so I don't know about lifespan, but they work perfectly in my 500D.

    Another point about batteries in general: based on other discussions in this forum, I got a Maha battery charger, and some Eneloop AA batteries from Thomas Distributing. I'm doing a regular swap on my flash batteries now, too, and I'm getting much better cycle times on my Speedlite 580. The charger has a "recondition" capability, so if/when the batteries seem to be lagging, I'll be able to use that.

    Cheers,
    Rick

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    Re: New Batteries

    Running the battery down usually only works with laptops and cordless drills. With digital cameras, the only I ever run them down is by accident and when I really need them to function. Luckily, the only time I really drain the batteries are when I am photographing indoors and there is a power source nearby, that is assuming I brought my charger along with me. I have heard that near the end of their life rechargeable batteries have a tendency to hold a charge for a shorter period of time than when they are new.

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    Re: New Batteries

    Thanks for the replies everyone, particularly to Pops whose references have been very helpful. I also did not know that I should have been topping up the batteries as described, although in practice I probably have been doing that. I've checked out Colin's SteringTek source. Unfortunately, I can't find a supplier in the UK. Next time I'm in the States I'll try yo run them down. Meanwhile, I'm off to snowy Scotland for a few days.

    Thanks again.

    David

  10. #10
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: New Batteries

    Quote Originally Posted by David View Post
    I've checked out Colin's SteringTek source. Unfortunately, I can't find a supplier in the UK. Next time I'm in the States I'll try yo run them down. Meanwhile, I'm off to snowy Scotland for a few days.
    David

    The sun is shining gloriously in Dundee as I write. Look forward to you stepping over the border!

    I ordered directly from the States. The batteries were here within 6 days.

    Donald
    Last edited by Donald; 9th February 2010 at 12:23 PM.

  11. #11
    David's Avatar
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    Re: New Batteries

    Hey - Thanks Donald - I'll probably do that when I'm back from Auchencairn. I've a trip to NZ coming up in March/April and am getting myself organised for that.

    Cheers

    David

    PS I'm definitely going now.

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    Re: New Batteries

    try Phottix batteries. even better than the original canons

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