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Old Aug 2, 2003, 8:25 PM   #1
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Default Lithium ion versus NiMH

Any battery experts out there?

I get all mixed up from the explanations in the stores (and I'm not sure the salespeople know what they're talking about half the time). My question is: what is the longest lasting type of battery? I have a Kodak DC4800 with a Li-ion battery now and I'm thinking of getting a new camera so the battery issue looms once again. I tend to use the LCD screen a lot (I'm a teacher and I use it in the classroom), which runs the battery down. Also, is it fine to plug in the AC adapter to recharge the camera overnight really reduce the battery's capacity? I've heard some people say it does (for example on my cordles phone) and others have said it doesn't (the cell phone salesman). So who knows. Hopefully, one of you will.

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Old Aug 3, 2003, 2:18 PM   #2
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Your Kodak 4800 takes a lithium ion battery, not AA nimh's. So you cannot use the AA nimh in your camera.
Lithium ion batteries last longer anyway. The plus side of AA nimh batteries is their ease of availability and low cost vs. lithium ion.
As for charging your lithium ion battery in your camera that will not hurt it one bit, that is the way Kodak DESIGNED for your particular battery and camera.

Go here and read more about it.

Good Day,
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Old Aug 3, 2003, 9:26 PM   #3
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Default Re: Lithium ion versus NiMH

Originally Posted by Nameeta
My question is: what is the longest lasting type of battery?

Also, is it fine to plug in the AC adapter to recharge the camera overnight really reduce the battery's capacity?

I've had a fair bit of experience with deep-cycle and cranking batteries that were used in a zero-margin-for-error application but am intrigued with what I've seen/read since starting to investigate power options and power management for my first digcam. The answer to your first question depends on your meaning. If you are talking about capacity to maximize exposures over a relatively short period of time, NIMH looks to me like the only way to go - especially if you are talking about a camera that uses four AA cells. Theoretically, a watt is a watt is a watt, and I suggest that milliwatt-hours might be the best criteria on which to base a battery technology choice. For all of the cameras I have considered, milliwatt-hour potential for those which are powered by four AA NiHMs CONSIDERABLY exceeds that which is available with Li-ions - in excess of 3x in most comparisons.

On the other hand, if you are talking about ability to hold charge (low self-discharge) over time, the Li-ion should rule. The problem I see here is that, at least theoretically, Lithiums are best stored at 30-50% charge in a cold environment. They are smaller and lighter, but even though touted for low self-discharge, may have a shorter shelf life, and will probably survive less discharge-charge cycles than NIMHs.

IMHO, trickle charging over significant periods of time is destructive for any battery, unless one is using a charger that is very very smart. It is hard to believe that any charger which is included with a camera or any aftermarket charger that is priced low enough to sell in the consumer market will not damage either type of battery if it constantly charges over time, and I suspect that Li-ions are more sensitive to both over and under charge than are NiMHs. Popping either type 'overnight' after it has been discharged significantly should be fine but I would not leave it on the charger just to be sure it stays full.

From the battery's standpoint, it might be best to use it regularly and simply not try to keep it fully charged all of the time regardless of what a camera manufacturer might recommend.

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Old Aug 3, 2003, 9:42 PM   #4
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Thanks for the battery opinions!
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Old Aug 4, 2003, 5:36 AM   #5
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The previous poster is right, especially for your type of use, where you don't extend the camera use over long period (ie daily), and not under cold environment either. NiMh should give you the most capacity @ the least cost (especially when the time come to buy spare batteries for your next camera):

4 rechargeable NiMh AA now available @ 2300mAh:
-> 4 x 1.2V x 2300mAh = 11040 mAVh or approximately ~11 Wh as compared to only ~4Wh for the Kodak or other proprietary Li-Ion's (... and you can figure them out too).
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Old Aug 10, 2003, 5:08 AM   #6
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For 3 years I've always left at least one set of 4 AA NiMh's in a trickle charger on 24Hrs and the batts still deliver full capacity. I even think they like this - compared to self discharging to zero over time.

The IC charger chips used in most chargers now are pretty intelligent, although some manufacturers don't use all the features. I'm just about to buy some to construct a 12 X2AA charger.
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