I have a Battery grip that will add an extra 1fps when used with AA batteries instead of the standard Nikon camera battery. This takes 8 bateries at once

I currently use AA Energizer rechargable batteries and these are now getting to a point where they do not hold much of a charge.

I find that non-rechargable batteries last longer but I have to buy new ones every time they run out.

So what is the optimum type of battery to use, are there any specfic reccomended DSLR/Flash batteries on the market?

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    \$\begingroup\$ A good starting point would be: photo.stackexchange.com/questions/570/… \$\endgroup\$
    – forsvarir
    Feb 3, 2012 at 10:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ @forsvarir thanks, I did see this and another one, they do help in the Flash dept and using Rechargables, what about non rechargables? and battery life when used in a battery grip? \$\endgroup\$ Feb 3, 2012 at 11:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ I could be wrong, but I don't think anyone really uses non-rechargeables - it's just too expensive to keep replacing them. Also, using rechargeables in a battery grip is much cheaper than buying brand-name camera batteries :-) \$\endgroup\$
    – AJ Finch
    Feb 3, 2012 at 13:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ @AJFinch I think you are right, however I attend a few media events which are sponsored by a battery maker and get given quite a few non-rechargables. This is why I have come to believe that these last longer, however as you say they are an expensive option, and cant be managable without a free supply (which no doubt will end sometime soon) \$\endgroup\$ Feb 3, 2012 at 13:53
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    \$\begingroup\$ @AJ Finch: I just posted a more complete response as an answer, but I regularly use disposable batteries while traveling. My Pentax K200D took AAs, and I had a single set of AA lithium batteries last me a 10-day trip through Europe (2000+ photos, mostly without flash). \$\endgroup\$
    – Hank
    Feb 6, 2012 at 2:20

2 Answers 2


There is a tradeoff between cost and performance.

The best-performing batteries are the disposable lithium batteries, e.g. the Energizer Lithium line. These have a higher capacity than regular AA batteries and, important for photography, better sustained performance as they wear down. Also, they're noticeably lighter, which is a nice perk for something you're going to be carrying. I also like to use disposable batteries when I'm traveling, since I'd rather spend a couple extra bucks on batteries than lug a charger. Also, if your rechargeable batteries die mid-day, are you just going to carry them around in your pocket?

Rechargeable batteries are obviously a better value in the long run, particularly if you get one of the newer brands like Eneloop that claim to have 1500 charge cycle lifetime. The Eneloop (and some other NiMH battieres) also have the benefit of being low-discharge, which means they still retain most of their capacity over time. Some rechargeable batteries are quite poor performers in this regard -- you can't just let the batteries sit in a drawer for a month and expect them to still be charged when you take them out.

The Stobist actually claims that NiHM rechargeable batteries have faster recharge time for strobes than alkaline AA, despite having a slightly lower voltage, although I haven't compared myself.

If you're going to get rechargeable, I definitely recommend the Eneloops. I had an old set of generic rechargeable, and I was constantly having to charge them because they had self-discharged. (Side note: I'm told that those 15-minute rapid chargers are not good for batteries, since they cause them to get very hot. The charger that comes with the Eneloops takes several hours.)


Personal Experience

Well, nobody seems to be giving an answer, so here is my own setup...

I use Eneloop NiMH batteries in the 3rd-party battery grip on my Canon 5D mkII.
It takes 6 batteries in a magazine or it can take 2 Canon batteries.

The eneloops seem to do a decent job, although I don't think they give me anywhere near the running time of a pair of proper Canon batteries.

I'm very happy with this arrangement because it means I don't have to spend a fortune on Canon-branded batteries, and I know that in an emergency I'm never far away from replacements because everywhere sells AA batteries of some kind.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Hi, also have good experience with Eneloops. I use them (4 pcs) in my Pentax K-x (uses them natively, no grip). I also had some GP with same capacity, but the Eneloops are MUCH better. I got my Pentax with Panasonic Oxyride (not rechargeable) and the Eneloops are comparable in my opinion. \$\endgroup\$
    – Juhele
    Feb 6, 2012 at 10:14

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