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Batteries don't hold a charge. What AA batts should I buy?

by noadaboa / June 20, 2009 6:35 AM PDT

About 10 months ago I got a Sanyo AA battery charger pack with 4 2700mAH NiMH batteries for my new camera. I charged them up and they kept the camera going for an entire week. But they started holding a charge worse and worse. Now I can charge them all the way and the camera will work for 10 minutes. What happened? Did I buy bad batteries? Bad charger? If so, how do I avoid such things in the future? Is there a way to get them back to where they were? If not, what batteries would you recommend that I can get relatively cheap? Do I need a new charger too?

Please be as specific as possible with exactly what batteries to buy. I don't need general tips like "more mAh is better."

I think this is what I bought before:


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What many expected was
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 20, 2009 6:46 AM PDT

For the batteries to last for years. No they don't. You didn't do anything wrong but the makers didn't tell you to expect at most 100 cycles from said batteries. Get the same or more mah batteries (yes I know you didn't want to hear that) and when the life runs out, replace them. In spite of a yearly replacement these can be cheaper than alkalines and from what I read still more eco-friendly than one time use batteries.

And no, you can't avoid this. Battery technology at this price does not give you a many year battery.

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NiMH Batteries
by snapshot2 Forum moderator / June 20, 2009 8:25 AM PDT

It is likely that only one of the batteries has gone bad.
If you have a volt meter, you can check the voltage and find the bad battery.
The voltage should be 1.2 volts per battery.
If you find that only one battery is bad, you can replace that one battery.
But try to replace it with one that is about 2700mAH.


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could be the charger

Did you buy one of the chargers that charge the battery in 15min? If so, they diminish the capacity of the batteries much faster than a 1 hour charger. Rechargables usually last me almost 2 years of regular use.

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Same here
by LucJs / June 20, 2009 9:47 PM PDT

I've been experiencing the same problems with different brands of NiMH batteries, 2500 and 2700 mAh and charging them in an intelligent Memorex charger. They worked fine for a few cycles, then I did'n use them for some time, now they hold charge for about 10 pictures.

I'm quite fed up myself with this type of batteries, but I'm not sure if there are better alternatives. I think that one of the issues is that they deliver 1.2V while equipment is often designed for the 1.5V that it would get from Alkaline batteries. That way, the battery indicator assumes quite fast that the battery charge is too low.

If your camera does'nt draw too much current, you can use Alkaline batteries in it. I've seen a charger that recharges regular Alkaline batteries too, keeping the cost down:

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Rechargeable battery experiences
by jcallas / June 22, 2009 10:16 AM PDT

I have used rechargeable AA batteries for years for my cordless mouse, flashlights and other household items with great success. I use a slow charger and the batteries, regardless of brand, last for years. The one place that they do not excel is in cameras. I find that using four titanium or lithium batteries in my Pentax DSLR is good for about a year whereas the rechargeables may or may not survive two weeks. Even in my daughter's small Canon that uses two AA batteries, the rechargeables do not last a week. It seems that the eco-friendly NIMH batteries have their place, but cameras is not one of them.

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by jb197 / June 22, 2009 11:38 AM PDT


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Charging batteries
by altima / June 22, 2009 2:08 PM PDT

I have 2 sets of 4 chargable betteries. One is 30 min. and the other is 8 hr. Both are Duracell and both work just fine in my Fuji 700, which takes 4 batteries. They are only 2000 NiMH and both sets seem to hold their own compared to some of the others. I'm very happy. Touch wood, LOL

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I have had good luch with Powerex

I have been using Powerex 2700 mAh NiMH AAs from Thomas Distributing for several years in my digital cameras and flash units. I have 5 sets of 4 batteries, each with its own charger. The chargers are Maha MH-C204W units, also from Thomas Distributing. Thomas usually has some kind of package deal with the charger and batteries and will throw in some cheap but useful plastic battery boxes and a simple battery tester with some combos. As someone else mentioned, it's not unusual for only one battery in a set to fail, so a tester is handy.
However, all my Powerex sets are still going strong. the 3 oldest sets were put in service in 2006. I generally charge all sets every month or two and the sets I plan to shoot with extensively get charged the night before the shoot. The Maha chargers do a programed charge; they complete a fast charge in about an hour, then continue at a low current rate. When the trickle charge is completely done, the batteries will be cool. Cheap chargers that charge at a steady rate until they are unplugged can cook batteries and are said to shorten their life.
My first digital camera, a Minolta Dimage 7, was very fussy about input voltage and would shut down with slightly aged NiMH batteries after a dozen or so shots. These same batteries still take an adequate charge for other uses 6 or 7 years later. My newer digital cameras seem to be much more forgiving and also use less power in general. I don't need to swap out a battery set until I have shot well over 100 pictures. (I don't use a camera's built-in flash but use a separate flash with its own set of 4 Powerex double As. The flash also rarely needs the back-up battery set.
I have had much poorer results from some other battery brands and ther Maha chargers won't work with some of these other batteries.

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Also not happy with rechargeables
by mclarke / July 16, 2009 10:15 PM PDT

I've been using rechargeables for quite a few years. At first they worked well, but lately, even the new ones go out quickly. The number of MAH keeps growing, up to 2900 with the last set, but I get few pictures on a full charge (long time charge). I have a tester and there isn't one in the current bunch that is worse than the others. I tested them all right after a charge and they are all at the lowest end of good, right on the border. When you have a new battery is it supposed to be right at the best end of good?

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Depends on camera model
by mjd420nova / July 17, 2009 12:30 PM PDT

Being that NiCad and NiMH batteries only charge up to a full charge voltage of about 1.25 to 1.3 volts, some camera will show LOW BATTERY warnings right away. I've used the Energizer Lithium AA cells with very good results, sometimes getting up to two humdred flash pictures from one pair over a two week period. The flash option will take the biggest charge out of the batteries regardless of type and will reduce the over all life of the cells.

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AA size batteries
by zepper / July 18, 2009 3:44 AM PDT

I bought a couple sets of Sanyo "Eneloop" batteries and have been very pleased with them. I don't do a lot of flash. They are a bit more expensive than most, but worth it, IMO. They come pre-charged and ready to go - that's the way most of the new tech AA batteries come now. I think Kodak rebrands some of these new tech AAs and they are supposed to equal the Eneloops.

Your description sound like "memory effect" which happens when some batteries are charged before being fully discharged. Some fancy chargers are supposed to be able to break memory effect and get your batts back to normal. Others discharge batts fully before recharging, thus avoiding the possibility of memory effect. Memory effect used to be a problem with the old Nickle Cadmium (NiCad) tech, but was supposed to be less of a factor with the Nickle Metal Hydride (NiMH) tech.


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so is there an answer ??
by eeee / July 19, 2009 10:36 PM PDT

None of these comments says anything that answers the issue.
**I think buying a camera that uses a proprietary lithium ion rechargeable battery supplied by the camera manufacturer together with the original camera manufacturer recharger is best.
I have the Canon NB-4L battery with my SD series Canon camera and bought a 2nd LenMar brand battery from Amazon (model DLC4L) and both work equally well and allow me to shoot about 400 shots combined (indoor with flash) before I have torecharge them (one at a time in the camera).
The Canon charger works fine with the LenMar battery also.
LenMar makes many batteries for pro photographer flash units.
They also have AA and AAA batteries. No experiencew with those sizes in cameras. My friends who have cameras who use those AA sizes dont take many pictures and dont want to buy them to see if they work better: they buy throwaway batteries and we never get to see their pictures anyway.

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by jb197 / July 26, 2009 4:30 PM PDT


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battery life
by nofret / August 6, 2009 7:41 AM PDT

First off; a fully charged AA bat. should read at least 1.45v 1.5v is ideal, but goes down bit by bit. I use only duracell or rayovac with a dual mode energiser charge station. My bat. life is about 15 months.

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This is what I would do
by / August 7, 2009 3:03 PM PDT

Rechargeable Batteries have life span, and once they go bad, there is nothing you can do about it. For best batteries, I would go with Energizer, and for Digital Cameras, I would use Lithium. Here is a link:

now I have used these batteries and they are exceptional and they do live up to their claims. Also try to have the flash setting on your camera off during daytime, to put less stress and demand on the batteries.

I hope this helps, and FYI Sanyo batteries are not really the best batteries, Sanyo itself is mid to low end name brand when it comes to consumer electronics as well, even though it is a Japanese make.

Take care.


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Rechargeable AA batteries are usually the wrong batteries
by Griff8631 / November 19, 2011 10:41 AM PST

Most rechargeable AA batteries are 1.2V. Fully charged may give you 1.3 to 1.4V for a short time. After 10-20 pictures the voltage is back to 1.2V. So 2 batteries is giving you 2.4V total. Most cameras are designed to run on 3 to 3.2V. My original battery (dual AA) for my Kodak camera is listed as 3.7V. So 2.4V is way below the threshold. It's not going to cause the camera to run poorly like an under-voltaged's going to cause the transistors to be in "cut-off" and not work at all. There is probably nothing wrong with the's just the wrong battery for the job.

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