Before the rush

Before the rush
by evan-pak

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I'm waiting for my Panasonic GH3 to arrive from B&H. When it does, is it better to charge up the battery first before using?

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It won't hurt, but it'll also be okay to just use it. Lithium batteries (like that used by this camera) last longest when stored at around 40% charge, so hopefully that's what they do before they put them in the box. So, it's probably fine to take it out and play right away for a while, but you won't get as long of a first trial period as if you charge it fully first.

Many people find it valuable to have a second battery. I recommend buying one right with your new camera purchase. Then, you can start using one while you charge up the other.

If you're intending to do a firmware upgrade, do the full charge before starting that.

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A bit off topic, but are you saying that it is best to actually discharge my batteries to approx 40% before I store them for example over my less busy winter months? In the past I've always topped them all off as much as possible before a long period where I know I won't use them. – dpollitt Dec 2 '12 at 16:21
@dpollitt - It does not hurt to have more than 40%.... they stay charged for years. What is best is to keep them cold but above freezing, leave them in the fridge and they will last much longer. – Itai Dec 2 '12 at 16:26
@Itai - Really? I've read multiple places that the refridgerator doesn't actually help batteries last. I know nothing about engineering or chemistry but just have tried to look into it before: – dpollitt Dec 2 '12 at 16:32
@dpollitt - DO NOT FREEZE. The battery will die as expansion will burst inside. Lithium-Ion batteries degrade faster at higher temps and cooling them down will help their lifespan. I have read no such thing about NiMh batteries which I assume that is what Energizer's reply is about. I have to admit that my information is dated and I was told this about laptop batteries from the manufacturer. – Itai Dec 2 '12 at 16:55
This isn't a matter of staying charged, but of the life of the battery itself. Both temperature and amount of charge have an impact. See more info and a chart here. Personally, I keep my batteries charged up and ready to go, because that's more important than shelf life to me. – mattdm Dec 2 '12 at 16:59

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