If you ever shot your sets with the help of some external speedlight (like this one) I’m pretty sure you have also experienced problems with your batteries up to some degree. Damn batteries! Every speedlight needs at least 4 AA, even if lately everybody’s using AAA and more than often you’ll find yourself without the correct cells, which is a PITA.
Every couple of years I usually stoke batteries from the usual websites, but you surely have noticed that rechargeable cells JUST HAVEN’T been created equals. Let’s look at this example, whenever I charge a cell, how long will it mantain its charge? Have you ever discovered in horror that batteries you just charged were depleted just after a week!?
This is a TOTAL WASTE of money, if you think about it… we use energy to recharge our batteries and that energy just goes nowhere!
Thank to the heavens, not all cells are so awful, there are some high quality batteries that will hold a charge for a long time, weeks, months, even years, but where do you find them?
The most famous and probably best QUALITY rechargeable cells come under the ENELOOP brand.
Sanyo produces Eneloops, and this consumer electronics giant also has a kind place in my memory because they made my first cassette player ;)
Eneloops are different than your average cell because they will hold a charge for years… but wait, there’s more to like! Personally I’m a big fan of their minimal white look, in stark contrast to the average battery which is full of claims and similar nonsense:
But Eneloops have entirely another problem, they’re DAMN EXPENSIVE! Have you checked’em out?
14 € for 4 AA cells? That’s a lot!
To make matters even worse, you must take into account there have been different generations of Eneloops, since 2005, to choose from. The most current gen (4th gen, actually) Are not even produced by Sanyo since the company was acquired by Panasonic, they have been rebranded as Eneloop Pro:
Damn, they’re even MORE EXPENSIVE about 20 € for a 4 cell pack? That’s outrageous!
But, since we have the internet, at least we can look around for some alternatives, shall we?
So, if you do your homework by now you’ll have noticed there are some great batteries with good performance and a crazy low price, where did they came from?
If you pay attention there’s a bunsh of stuff on amazon branded as AmazonBasics, therefore we have generic products that have been branded by Amazon directly, but that are produced by someone else.
The Basic in AmazonBasics indicates we are speaking about cheap products and to keep our expectations fairly low and generally speaking in the “good bang for the buck” category, and I’m happy to say this is so true for our batteries!
Some crazy engineer guy even went further and started comparing Amazon batteries with the Eneloops!
This is what Amazon claims about Amazon batteries:
Which is kind of impressive! These cells will be able to hold 70% of their charge after 3 years! ME WANT.
What’s even more interesting, as I already said, is this comparison between AmazonBasics and Eneloops which you can read here. Here’s the good news:
I just finished testing one set of those AmazonBasics AA NiMH Pre-Charged Rechargeable Batteries, using my old La Crosse BC-900 Charger/Analyzer. Here are my findings:
– Right out of the box, their average remaining charge is 1946mAh. The spread is very small, ranging from 1933 to 1959mAh. Note that the date code on those cells says ‘MAR2011’, so they probably left factory just two months ago. Still, those numbers are really impressive.
– After just one recharge/discharge cycle (done at 700/350mA), the average capacity improved to 2217mAh. That is about 11% higher than the rated capacity of ‘2000mAh’. Again the spread is small, varying from 2200 to 2250mAh. Those numbers remain unchanged in subsequent recharge/discharge cycles.
Just for comparison, the NEW Sanyo eneloop AA cells are also rated for 2000mAh typical, but the average capacity I measured is around 2130mAh, or ‘only’ 6% higher than rated. On the other hand, Sanyo claims the second-generation eneloop cells can be recharged up to 1500 cycles, whereas GP and AmazonBaisc NiMH batteries are rated for ‘only’ 1000 cycles. In real life, most people will probably never notice the difference.
In summary, all three brands I mentioned above (Sanyo, GP and AmazonBasics) are excellent products. They all live up to the claim of “pre-charged and ready to use right out of the pack”, and offer even higher capacities than rated. So just go by which brand is on sale, and you can’t go wrong.
So, practically speaking we have a massive deal where you can bring home some nice Eneloop equivalent for half the price:
14 € for a 8 pack !!!
I made this comparison table which shows the price per cell for each product we spoke about in this article. I’d say the deal here is more than self evident:
|nome||capacità dichiarata||capacità reale||cicli di ricarica garantiti||costo a singola cella|
|AA Sanyo Eneloop (2nda / 3za gen.)||2000||2100 circa||1500||3.5 €|
|AA Sanyo Eneloop (4rta gen.)||2550||2550||500||4.72 €|
|AA Amazon AmazonBasics (bianche)||2000||2200||1000||1.75 €|
IMPORTANT NOTE: Amazon make different kinds of AmazonBasics rechargeable cells. You wanna look at the white ones since that’s what we’ve been talking about here. Please leave alone the black rechargeable cells they’re different AND worse. Please buy the white ones!
So, if you work or just play a lot with rechargeable batteries (you’re a photographer, aren’t you? ;)) if you haven’t switched to Amazon Basics or Eneloops, you are plain crazy! :)
I warned you, don’t throw your (hard earned) money away! If you have any comments or anything to add please do so in the comments below, Thank You guys!
Wish you a great light as always! Bye!
ATTENZIONE: Acquistando i prodotti che propongo all'interno dei miei articoli sul sito Amazon.it contribuirete a mantenere vivo questo blog, facendomi diventare ricco sfondato, giusto perché si sappia eh.