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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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2 Answers 2

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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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  • \$\begingroup\$ 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. \$\endgroup\$
    – dpollitt
    Commented Dec 2, 2012 at 16:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ @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. \$\endgroup\$
    – Itai
    Commented Dec 2, 2012 at 16:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ @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: snopes.com/oldwives/battery.asp \$\endgroup\$
    – dpollitt
    Commented Dec 2, 2012 at 16:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ @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. \$\endgroup\$
    – Itai
    Commented Dec 2, 2012 at 16:55
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    \$\begingroup\$ 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. \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Commented Dec 2, 2012 at 16:59
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Actually, it is best to keep your battery between 57-77 degrees Fahrenheit. Fully charge your new battery before first use. After fully charging and discharging your new battery three (3) times, it will reach its' optimum charge capacity. This info come directly from Cameron Sino, one of the leading battery manufacturers with over 30,000 types of batteries.

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