Monday, January 08, 2007

Cheap Geek- Stupid Digital Camera tip O' the Day

Here's the deal, the cheap ass dollar store batteries are not going to cut it.
Put them back in the remote control. Buy some good rechargeable batteries. If you can take 300 pictures before you have to recharge them, good... That's a normal use cycle. So what if you have to recharge them. That's the point.. If your camera takes "AA" buy some 2400 milli amp hour, nickel metal hydride batteries. 2400 mah, NiMh as they are labeled. They last longer, don't get nearly as hot as others and they don't leak as much. Some batteries like lithium or Li ion get warm and can leak. That's not good for your camera. Or you. A $20.00 investment will pay for itself after about 4 charges.
Some batteries are $8.00 bucks a pop. Three sets and you have already bought the rechargeables.

I personally follow some guidelines and I have found my batteries last a long, long time.
Here's some tips to follow:
  1. Don't store the batteries in the camera- No worries about leaks. The batteries may discharge less. I look at it like this- if you have contact to the positive and negative ends the battery, even with no power draw, the battery may drain faster than not.
  2. Charge the batteries until the charger says the charging cycle is complete- remove from the charger. I know the batteries are supposed to stop receiving a charge when the cycle is complete. I do it as a practice any way. I don't like leaving things plugged in any way. Less fire hazards the better. And- what if it doesn't...
  3. Use the battery and then re charge- If you take 4 pictures you don't really need to charge them. If you took 4 pictures two weeks ago. charge them. They really don't need to be constantly charged.
  4. If the battery is swollen, cracked, split, or gets really, really hot, throw them away. If the batteries last for a very short time- it may be time for to replace them or the charger. You can buy replacement batteries. If the price for the replacement batteries are over 60% of the price of a battery charger and batteries, buy the kit. It's cheaper in the end.
  5. Use it or lose it. They need to be used. Periodic use will extend the battery life.
  6. Clean the contacts- periodic cleaning of the battery charger and the battery contacts should be considered maintenance. You can use a pencil eraser.