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07-19-2009, 07:31 AM   #1
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The old rechargeable batteries resurrected

Hi K200D users,
I've spoken to so many retailers on batteries in the last week. Though knowledge is one thing, experience is very much more important. I am finding that Lithium batteries are $20 for four, rechargeables are $69 for charger and 4 batteries, Enerloops are $35 for the charger and four batteries. Rechargeables in general are 2700 mah and Enerloops are 2000 mah. So wouldn't ordinary rechargeables be the way to go. Yet, so much is raved about Enerloops. Why is this? and Lithiums - ultra lithiums are sooooooo dear and also raved about.


Can anyone help here?

John

07-19-2009, 07:47 AM   #2
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Here are a few threads that really helped me when looking at batteries

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-dslr-discussion/13195-k100d-battery-peroblem.html

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-dslr-discussion/57415-experience-a...l-cameras.html

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/camera-studio-accessories/33635-battery-w...ease-read.html

So you have a thread on batteries, chargers and how to use the batteries. To sum up with what I know:

1. Lithiums have a long charge life, shelf life and are light weight. Lithiums also have a consistent power output. However they are very expensive per cell compared to the other solutions.

2. Low discharge NiMH or hybrid rechargeables have the same weight as normal AA rechargeables. However they have a longer sustainable charge and do not "bleed" power when in devices that are unused. Even though they are less expensive per cell than litiums they are still normally a little more expensive than regular rechargeables and are someimtes a little more difficult to find.

3. Regular rechargables are plentiful. however they some times have inconsistent power output especially if they are older. You cannot mix and match sets of these batteries as amount of held charge per cell can vary quite a bit. These are however the cheapest out of the three options.

For what its worth I have 4 sets of Hybrids that I use and keep them together as sets. 2 sets for my 360 flash and two sets for my K100DS. Battery life and shelf life is very good in my experience and I have no complaints with their performance.
07-19-2009, 09:31 AM   #3
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The quick answer is that if your usage pattern is prolonged shooting, then the "regular" NiMH may be the way to go since they have the higher capacity.

However, if your usage pattern is more sporatic, the fact that they self discharge while your camera is off means that effectively, you "lose" the extra capacity to self discharge. With the enerloops (aka hybrids), they lose much less to self-discharge, so their effective capacity may actually be higher if you leave your camera sitting unused for days at a time.

As to cost, I bought eneloops with charger at a good price on Amazon.com (also available as a kit from Costco). The best deal I've found in Canada (Ontario at any rate) is President's choice rechargeables from Loblaws/RCSS. Essentially the same as Eneloops (probably rebranded). The tipoff is that they are labelled as "precharged", with a capacity of 2000 mAh.

Cheers
07-19-2009, 09:41 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by johntam Quote
Hi K200D users,
I've spoken to so many retailers on batteries in the last week. Though knowledge is one thing, experience is very much more important. I am finding that Lithium batteries are $20 for four, rechargeables are $69 for charger and 4 batteries, Enerloops are $35 for the charger and four batteries. Rechargeables in general are 2700 mah and Enerloops are 2000 mah. So wouldn't ordinary rechargeables be the way to go. Yet, so much is raved about Enerloops. Why is this?
A search of this forum will yield lots of answers, but the short answer is, Eneloop-type cells quite simply last a lot longer than ordinary NiMH cells. Both because of differences in self-discharge and differences in voltage levels.

As for cost, there is no particular to factor in the charger cost as you are. After all, you buy one charger, period, and it works with all your AA batteries, whether Eneloop or not, whether for your camera or your flash or your portable CD player or electric razor. You can spend $5 for a cheap one or $40 for a high end one, but you pay it once and it works essentially forever with all your AA batteries for all your AA devices. And whether you get Eneloops or another type of NiMH, they are basically $10-$15 for a set that will last years. Hence either is much cheaper in the long run than lithiums, which would easily cost hundreds for the same amount of service. But the non-Eneloop types might not actually work well for years in your camera - they might have to be retired to razor-only use at some point.

07-19-2009, 09:44 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by arkav Quote
The quick answer is that if your usage pattern is prolonged shooting, then the "regular" NiMH may be the way to go since they have the higher capacity.
Except that this isn't true in practice. As has been noted here before, Pentax cameras give up on the batteries long before they are completely deplated. What matters is not the total capacit, but how long they can maintain a sufficiently high voltage under load. And while Eneloops don't have as high a total capacity as some cells, they maintain a high enough voltage under load for longer than most if not all other non-hybrid NiMH cells. So Eneloops tend to last longer even in situations where you are taking hundreds of shots per day and hence depleting the batteries in a matter of hours.
07-19-2009, 09:51 AM   #6
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Right now I am using Sanyo Eneloop 2000 mah for my Pentax K-m/K2000. I bought the 4 pack with charger and another 4 pack alone. I have taken about 400 shots with my first set of 4 Eneloops so far and the batteries are still running really good with more than half of its capacity left. I would say get Sanyo Eneloops over other batteries because they are rechargeable and have a slow self-discharge rate. Although it is 2000 MAH, it will last a good amount of time. My Energizer Lithium's only lasted less than 800 shots and it's non-reusable, I hear people praising of it going up to 1200 shots but to me it's not worth it. Get the Sanyo Eneloops because you save so much more money because they'll last a long time and can be re-used.

The charging rate for the Sanyo's are pretty slow, it'll take about 8 hours to fully charge the empty Eneloops. So make sure you buy another 4 pack alone so you have a total of 8 batteries. That way you can swap them out so you can use one set while another set is in the charger. Mark the first set of batteries with a permanent marker so you don't mix-match the sets.

Don't compare Eneloops to regular rechargeable batteries. Eneloops are known as LSD (Low Self-discharge) batteries. They are not like regular rechargeable. Although they have 2000 mah compared to other rechargeable with higher mah, the Eneloops tend to last longer due to it's LSD capability. You can tell which ones are LSD and which ones are not, check the package and make sure it says "PRE-CHARGED", meaning the rechargeable battery is ready-to-use right out of the package. Regular batteries don't say Pre-charged because they can't stay in the shelf long enough before dying, while LSD batteries like Eneloops will go on forever and even over a year and still keep charge.

I still prefer Sanyo Eneloops as the best LSD batteries to buy because Sanyo were the first ones to come out with it, and more K200D and K2000/K-m owners uses them than any other LSD batteries.

Last edited by LeDave; 07-19-2009 at 10:42 AM.
07-20-2009, 08:03 AM   #7
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Fair enough, I stand corrected. I've only used the eneloops (or rebranded equivalents) myself so far.
07-20-2009, 01:48 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by LeDave Quote
Right now I am using Sanyo Eneloop 2000 mah for my Pentax K-m/K2000. I bought the 4 pack with charger and another 4 pack alone. I have taken about 400 shots with my first set of 4 Eneloops so far and the batteries are still running really good with more than half of its capacity left.
Realistically, you don't know that. The battery meter in Pentax cameras isn't nearly that informative. It basically reads full until the batteries are a couple of dozen shots away from being depleted, at which point it switches to the "half depleted" icon. And then, before you know it, it reads fully depleted and you can't shoot any more (although often if you turn the camera off, wait a while, then turn it on again, you can get a few more shots).

I say this so you aren't surprised by when you find you probably only get another 100 shots or so...

QuoteQuote:
The charging rate for the Sanyo's are pretty slow, it'll take about 8 hours to fully charge the empty Eneloops.
That depends on the specific charger. Slow charging is supposedly better, but faster charger actually work just fine also - it's just that in the long run the batteries might last longer if you charge them slowly. Not in the sense of more shots per charge, but in the sense of more recharge cycles before the batteries finally can't be recharged any more.

QuoteQuote:
So make sure you buy another 4 pack alone so you have a total of 8 batteries. That way you can swap them out so you can use one set while another set is in the charger.
Yep, that's the best way to do it regardless of how fast you charge your batteries.

07-23-2009, 03:46 PM   #9
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Hi John,

I've got Sanyo Eneloops in various appliances around the house such as TV/DVD remotes, etc., but I currently have Powerex Imedion batteries in my K200D. The last set gave me more than 500 shots and were still working OK when I swapped them out for a fresh set.

It's worth getting a good charger that can recondition batteries as well as just charge them. Lots of info here High Powered rechargeable Batteries and Chargers | Servaas Products. I've bought stuff from them. They are based in Brisbane and give a good turnaround.
07-24-2009, 02:13 PM   #10
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..and the good thing about these Hybrids is you can charge them anytime even if they aren't fully drained or depleted with no memory ill-effects as compared to the older NiCad batteries.
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