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Old Mar 11, 2007, 6:26 AM   #1
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Do you prefer Li-ion or AA?

What are the advantages / disadvantages to using AA with your DSLR?
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Old Mar 11, 2007, 11:10 AM   #2
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I used to prefer AAs, because they were much easier to acquire and because of their low price.
Then I figured out off-brand lithium batteries on eBay cost a fraction of what they do in shops.
Coupled with their much lower self-discharge, better power management and higher energy density, I now tend to prefer lithiums.

Besides, a LiIon-powered digicam can almost always also be powered by ordinary NiMH AA cells in a holder...
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Old Mar 12, 2007, 9:22 PM   #3
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Li-ions are fine if it's the only battery powered device you use and tend always make it back to an outlet. If you have multiple battery powered devices, it's a different story.

I've recently converted from Li-ions to Ni-Mh AAs for as many of my portable electronics as I can and am so much happier. So far AA based: GPS, digicam, MP3, flashlight. Have AA back-up for a Blackberry and still seeking AA back-up for a Nintendo DS.

Just a few of the reasons:

- Premium AAs (Sanyo 2700s and Eneloops) will easily outlast Li-ion.... as a test, I got 3.5 hours, or 15 gigs, of video from my 2AA Canon A710IS.

- You should always keep a backup battery. With proprietary Li-ions, you need a different back-up batt for every device.

- It's bad for a Li-ion to keep it stored at 100% charge, but that's exactly what you want for the back-up battery.

- It's bad for Li-ion to drain it completely, so you end up having to plug it in much more often. Complete drains for NiMh are good.

- When Li-ions start to go bad, you have to suffer the Li-ion's poor performance until you finally order a new one, and then can only throw the old one away. With Ni-Mh AAs you can always cycle the weakening batts to lower demand devices (like any MP3 player) or less critical devices like kids toys.

- Rotating and cycling Ni-Mh AAs is easy as one queue feeds many devices. Li-ion back-ups sit idle much more (again bad for the battery) since it's always dedicated for only one device.

- Carrying 4 devices on AAs, I really only tend carry one set of back-ups. If 2 devices die on me then I have other back-up alternatives (eg, buy from a store, cannibalize from another device). If I want to play it safe I keep some Lithium AAs buried in my bag... they'll have a 20 year shelf life and last even longer than my 2700s.

- If you have multiple devices (like me), when you travel, you'll need to carry multiple chargers for Li-ion... with AAs, I carry only one charger.

- I camp with no access to an electrical outlet for days at a time.. I can cover myself with AAs, not Li-ions.

- I have a number of Li-ion devices which have far outlived their expected lives.... however they are now useless since you can't find a Li-ion batt on the market anymore.



AA downsides? they are larger/heavier, and you do have to open the batt cover to change them.
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Old Mar 13, 2007, 5:36 AM   #4
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reppans wrote:
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- I have a number of Li-ion devices which have far outlived their expected lives.... however they are now useless since you can't find a Li-ion batt on the market anymore.
Keep in mind that if you're somewhat handy with a soldering iron (and probably a Dremel too) you can hack standard-size LiIons in pretty much any device or in their battery packs.
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Old Apr 11, 2007, 9:11 AM   #5
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Li-ion

kudapoyti.com.ua
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Old Apr 11, 2007, 8:26 PM   #6
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A lot of good points for and against Li-Ion.

I must add: stock up on proprietary Li-Ion instead of AA for a long trip.
As was mentioned, Li-Ion models might not be sold in a few years.
I got 3 NP-20's and want to get 2 more, just in case. However, top mAh is 750.

3 Li-Ion stacked on top of each other are same size as 2 AA's.

Furthermore, you must keep in mind that Olympus & Fuji still use xD,
Sonythe Memory Stick, Canon CF, and all others(most wisely) SD.
And SLRs made by Olympus, Nikon, Canon, Pentaxcannot use
each other's lenses.


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Old Apr 11, 2007, 8:47 PM   #7
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romphotog wrote:
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....As was mentioned, Li-Ion models might not be sold in a few years.
I got 3 NP-20's and want to get 2 more, just in case....
Hope you know that Li-ions degrade with time, regardless of usage. So it is recommended not to stock pile Li-ions as their clocks all start ticking on manufacturing date.

Here's a full explanation... there are others, but this site is generally recognized to be an authority on the subject.

http://batteryuniversity.com/parttwo-34.htm

"Avoid purchasing spare lithium-ion batteries for later use. Observe manufacturing dates. Do not buy old stock, even if sold at clearance prices."
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Old Apr 11, 2007, 9:14 PM   #8
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romphotog wrote:
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.....* However, top mAh is 750.

3 Li-Ion stacked on top of each other are same size as 2 AA....
Not sure if I have my math right, or perhaps I'm confusing mA with mAh, but does that mean 3 Li-ion x 750 mAh =2250 mAh total vs 2 NiMh x 2700 mAh = 5400 mAh :?:
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Old Apr 12, 2007, 7:02 AM   #9
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Both NiMH and LiIon have their advantages and drawbacks. However, the greatest drawback (to AA's), is that if you decide to shun LiIon, then you severely limit your choice of digital cameras.

Personally, all my cameras (still and video) use LiIon. I buy one backup battery for each and constantly rotate the batteries. One battery in the camera and one spare that is charged and ready for use. When the battery in the camera is ready to be charged, the spare goes into the camera. This way, no battery sits unused.

But unless the life of a battery in the camera is short, I do not buy more than one spare.

One argument many use for going the AA route is that AA Alkaline batteries are available just about everywhere. True, but most digital cameras perform VERY poorly on Alkaline AA's.
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Old Apr 12, 2007, 9:00 AM   #10
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reppans wrote:
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romphotog wrote:
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.....? However, top mAh is 750.

3 Li-Ion stacked on top of each other are same size as 2 AA....
Not sure if I have my math right, or perhaps I'm confusing mA with mAh, but does that mean 3 Li-ion x 750 mAh =2250 mAh total vs 2 NiMh x 2700 mAh = 5400 mAh :?
You misunderstood me. I meant physical size, not mAh.
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