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I have a Nikon Coolpix L120 and looking for rechargeable batteries. The Nikon brand batteries have received only mediocre reviews.

What is important when looking for rechargeable batteries to ensure that

  1. they are decent and
  2. they will be compatible with the camera.

Is it important to ensure the mAH of the batteries are compatible with the camera or does it really matter what the mAH is as long as they are the correct type (AA)?

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3 Answers 3

up vote 4 down vote accepted

There are three aspects to batteries:

  • The size (AA, AAA, etc.)
  • The chemical composition of the battery (Ni-Mh, Ni-Cd,Alkaline, etc)
  • The rated capacity (measured in mAh)

Your device will only specify the size of the battery it needs (in this case AA). Technically you can use any AA battery (rechargeable or other wise) and it would work just fine. But based on the type of device, you can find the best match for your use.

For cameras you need the batteries to last long and be able to provide quick bursts of power to support the flash. Ni-MH (Nickel Metal Hydride) batteries work best. The higher the capacity (mAh), the more photos you can take on one charge. Sanyo Eneloops seem to be recommended by most pros. 2500 mAh and above should last pretty long.

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The batteries the Nikon makes are 2300mHZ. If I use 2500mHZ can I hurt anything? –  Lynda Dec 1 '11 at 22:12
    
Nope. A higher mAh rating will mean longer lasting batteries and more shots per charge. 2500 mAh will work just fine. (Also the measure of battery capacity is mAh - milliampere-hour; MHz is megahertz - a measure of frequency) –  Abhimanyu Dec 2 '11 at 5:44

Other items of possible interest and a useful link

Here's a useful link: http://batteryuniversity.com/

They have more information than I will ever be able to absorb about batteries of all sorts.

I would add that you may be interested in the rated voltage and maximum current of batteries. I'm not entirely sure of the physics, but if they can deliver a high current then they will, for example, recharge your flash more quickly.

Another item of possible interest may be how long the battery holds charge while not in use.

I use Eneloops because (I am told - and I have no reason to disbelieve it) that they do both of these well.

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1  
Note, though, that higher current (lower internal resistance) is not always a good thing. I personally burnt out a few flashes using NiCd batteries rather than alkalines in the Olde Dayes -- the recycling time was substatntially reduced (even given that NiCd batteries have a lower voltage) but the electronics were rather counting on the resistance/restriction of the alkalines to protect the circuit from burn-out. (Vivitar 283s, in case anyone was wondering, and one could replace them nearly as cheaply as batteries at one time. I may be the reason you can't find them used anymore.) –  user2719 Nov 30 '11 at 20:57
    
good point, @StanRogers. Thanks :) I'm using Vivitar 285s with eneloops, which is working well for me. I've never come across the 283. –  AJ Finch Dec 5 '11 at 12:04

If AA is the right type for your camera, I suggest to go with Sanyo Eneloop batteries. But get the charger which is more expensive, because the cheapest one charges batteries for ~13 hours... But the batteries itself are really awesome. Used 3 packs for 4 years with my dslr camera - enjoyed.

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