We’ve all been there I am sure, having headed out to shoot only to find the battery is just about flat. No problem, there’s another in the bag – which also turns out to be flat. Grrrr.

Why? Well if you are using a traditional nickel-metal hydride battery (NiMH), these do discharge over time if not used. So even if you charge them after a big day out, they won’t hold a full charge if you don’t use them for a while. Luckily there’s now an improved variant, the low self-discharge nickel-metal hydride battery (LSD NiMH) which holds its charge a lot better when not in use. You may have heard of the Sanyo Eneloop, these are the LSD NiMH and yes, they are a marked improvement over regular NiMH batteries.

Even though 1000 recharges sounds like a lot, all batteries do have a limited life so I suggest that you mark the purchase date on them so you can tell how old they are. The older they are the quicker they will discharge so it pays to do this so you aren’t surprised when an apparently full battery doesn’t do the job. If you have numerous sets, this willl help keep them together as well because you don’t want to be mixing batteries which may happen when you put them out to recharge.

My tips:

  • Mark batteries with the purchase dates so you know how old they are
  • Replace them immediately when performance deteriorates
  • Recharge before you head out to avoid surprises (a good job for the night before an outing)
  • Replace your NiMH batteries with LSD NiMH like Eneloops (there are other brands)

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