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Chapter 2. Buy Your Camera Gear > Comparing Battery Types

Comparing Battery Types

Batteries are the lifeblood of a digital camera. And you'll be using lots of them. Digital cameras offer two choices for batteries: rechargeable lithium and either standard or rechargeable AA.


  • Lithium

    Lithium batteries have the longest life between charges. The type that recharges in the camera is handiest, since you don't need an external charger. But if you're going to be away from a source of AC for long periods, you'll need to carry extra batteries. Lithium batteries are harder to find outside of camera stores than AA batteries, and they're considerably more expensive (usually $30 and up).

    If your camera uses AA batteries, you have more options.

  • Alkaline

    Alkaline batteries are the most common and least expensive type of standard batteries. However, they are not rechargeable, so when they are played out, you have to buy more.

  • NiCad

    NiCad (nickel cadmium) batteries are more expensive than alkalines, but they can be recharged. The disadvantage of NiCads is that they don't last as long between charges as alkalines do before needing replacement. NiCads can only be recharged 50 times or so, and they should be run down completely before recharging to avoid shortening the life of the battery.

  • NiMH

    NiMH (nickel–metal hydride) batteries offer the best of both worlds: They last as long as alkalines but are rechargeable. The one drawback is price. They cost as much as $3 per battery and require a special type of charger. Since they can be recharged hundreds of times, though, they are a worthwhile investment (Figure 2.3).

    Figure 2.3. NiMH batteries are a significant investment, but they pay off in the long run and are environmentally responsible.



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