Digital Camera Battery Tips:
How to Care for Your Battery!

Digital camera battery tips... Your camcorder or digital camera battery is one of the most important components of your device... Here are some tips that will help you get long-lasting, reliable and trouble-free operation from your camera battery!

Here are some helpful digital camera battery tips!

Battery Tip #1:
Two Important Specs…

 When buying a new battery ... There are two important terms to consider in reading and understanding a battery pack’s specifications. They are...

 #1. The voltage (V) of the camera battery packThe voltage is how much power the battery will generate. The voltage rating of the new battery pack should always match the voltage of the original battery or your camera can be damaged.

 #2. The battery capacity rating in terms of Ampere-hours (Ah) or, more commonly, milliamp-hours (mAh). This is a measure of how long the battery will power your device.

The higher the Ah or mAh capacity rating of the battery pack means longer camera runtime and does not mean there will be any incompatibilities with your model camera as long as you using a battery with the recommended voltage rating.

Most new battery packs for your camera will normally have higher Ah or mAh readings than the original, and will be manufactured up to original equipment manufacturer (OEM) standards.

Battery Tip #2:
Battery Conditioning

 "Conditioning" (The process of fully discharging the battery and then fully charging it again) is necessary so as to maintain the optimum performance of a battery pack, and is recommended at least once a month particularly for NiCad and NiMH batteries.

Failure to do so could result in reduced charge capacity and can significantly shorten the battery pack’s useful life.

Note: Lithium Ion batteries do not normally require such conditioning.

Battery Tip #3:
Charging Batteries before Use

 A new camcorder or digital camera battery normally comes in a partially discharged condition and must be charged before use.

Most types of new camcorder or digital camera batteries need to be fully charged and discharged (cycled) a few times before they are “conditioned” to always charge to full capacity.

Doing this with a new battery will ensure that you get the most runtime for your digital device per charge.

Refer to the user manual of your portable electronic equipment for charging instructions.  

Battery Tip #4:
Battery Self-Discharging

 An important digital camera battery tip is ... Almost all camera batteries will undergo a degree of self-discharging when left unused.

When you're putting them back in your camera to get it ready for use be sure to check the state of charge of your batteries.

You don't want to take your camera out on a shoot to be surprised when the battery light comes on after shooting just a very short time.

Battery Tip #5:
Proper Battery Storage

Don't store your camera batteries with other metal parts that may touch the terminals and cause a short circuit of the battery.

At the very least this can discharge your battery, and the worst case is that it could possibly destroy it. If for some reason you do need to store them around metal parts…

Put them in their original packaging or, even better, place a strip of insulating tape across the contacts so there can be no electrical discharge if touched by other metal.

Battery Tip #6:
Using Your Camcorder As the Battery Charger

When charging the battery using your camcorder as the charger...

Don’t continually connect and disconnect the camcorder. An irregular charging of the battery may occur which may lead to a much shorter battery life.

Battery #7:
Batteries and Heat

 Camera batteries tend to self-discharge quicker when it’s hot.

One of the most basic of digital camera battery tips is: Don’t leave a camcorder or digital camera in a hot car or in direct sunlight.

If your camcorder or digital camera will not be in use for a month or longer, it is recommended that the batteries be removed from the device and stored in a cool, dry, clean place.

Just remember, the refrigerator is cool, but not dry... :-).

Battery Tip #8:
Battery Storage... Charge Percentage

 Another one of the most basic of digital camera battery tips is always store rechargeable nickel and lithium based batteries at approximately 40% charge.

Camera Battery Tip #9:
Stand-Alone Battery Chargers

 Invest in a good stand-alone battery charger for your camera so you can charge your spare batteries while you are using your camcorder or digital camera.

Make sure that the battery charger you get has good reviews, is well-made and most importantly, is compatible with the type of batteries you're using.

Chargers with micro-controller chips that ensure that you don't overcharge your battery are usually the best choice.

Battery Tip #10:
Discharging Your Battery too Deeply

 Be careful not to discharge your camera battery too deeply (to less than 1v), as discharging to absolute zero is stressful for a battery to recover from and can quickly make your batteries useless.

Battery Tip #11:
Using the Right Type of Battery Charger

 NiMH batteries should not be charged in a NiCad charger, unless the charger is specifically made for both types of batteries.

Using the wrong type of charger can result in battery damage such as overheating and destruction of battery cells.

Battery Tip #12:
Non-Rechargeable Batteries

One of the digital camera battery tips for your safety.

Never attempt to charge non-rechargeable batteries.They can explode.

Battery Tip #13:
Be Sure to Read the Instructions That Come with the Product

Here is an important digital camera battery tip that sometimes is overlooked ...

Be sure to read the instructions that come with the camera, charger and battery.

The manufacturer instructions will give you the correct way to handle and use your equipment.

Always take the time to read the instructions ...

your equipment usually costs a bundle of money and you don't want to damage it or void any warranties through misuse.

Battery Tip #14:
When to Replace Your Battery

 Camera battery manufacturers generally consider a rechargeable battery to have reached its useful life when it can provide only about half of its original power output.

For instance, if your battery could originally provide an hour's worth of power, you should replace it when it can now only provide a half-hour's worth of power.

Battery Tip #15:
Charging Your New Battery for the First Time

 When charging your new camera battery for the first time - your equipment may report a fully charged condition in as short as 10 to 15 minutes.

This is a phenomenon that happens occasionally when you are newly charging a camera battery, especially for Nickel Cadmium (Ni-Cad) and Nickel Metal Hydride (Ni-MH) batteries due to fluctuations in heat.

An important camera battery tip is: if this happens, remove the battery pack and let it cool down for about fifteen minutes then continue the charging procedure to charge the battery fully.

Battery Tip #16: 
Using Battery Storage Cases

 A good method for storing camera batteries is using storage cases that are specifically designed to help preserve their charge by keeping the batteries cool and dry.

These types of battery cases are especially handy when you're traveling and want a good way to keep your camera batteries from being damaged.

There are also some portable battery chargers that double as storage cases.

I hope these digital camera battery tips will be helpful to you the next time you buy a battery or when you're out on a shoot in need all the camera battery power you can get!

Have fun...!  Dan (Editor)

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