Digital camera enthusiasts are all too familiar with the “replace batteries” sign that pops out on the screen at the most inopportune moments. Many point and shoot cameras such as my Canon Powershot A 610 and Wuan’s Canon A95 uses four AA batteries. We opted for the rechargeable AA batteries. Nickel-metal hydride rechargeable batteries or more commonly known by it abbreviation NiMH are not exactly cheap but are cost efficient in the long run as they can be recharged up to 500 times. We have been using Sanyo NiMH because it is one of the more reliable brand of rechargeable batteries available.
Although NiMH is said to last 500 recharging cycles, that is usually not the case. Ours would usually die out at around 300 cycles. The one thing I dislike about NiMH is that it self discharges over a period of time. A single charge will last between three to seven days. We have to remember to charge the batteries one day before we need to use it. Most times we forget. That is one of the reasons why I have a spare set of alkaline batteries in my knapsack at all times.
A set of four fully-charged 2700 mAh NiMH will provide enough power to shoot 200 to 300 shots with 50% flash usage and zoom. The 2700 mAh batteries are supposed to hold the charge longer. I have progressively used 1800 mAh, 2100 mAh, 2300 mAh and 2700 mAh since I first stared using a digital camera in 2003. All have been Sanyo NiMH.
When I was in Tokyo, I first saw the Sanyo Eneloop batteries. The sales staff in his broken English told me that these batteries will last up to 1000 recharging cycles.The best thing was that they came fully charged. Normal NiMH batteries have to be charged first before they can be used. I was skeptical but bought a set anyway for Wuan and bought the Sanyo NC-MR58 refresh charger that came with four 2700 mAh NiMH betteries and another set of four 2700 mAh NiMH batteries.
The refresh function of the Sanyo NC-MR58 is supposedly to keep the lifespan of the batteries longer. This is achieved by the discharging the batteries first with the press of a button on the charger and then it will automatically recharge the batteries to full to prevent the memory effect that is prevalent with NiMH batteries. The memory effect prevents NiMH batteries from being fully charged.
The performance of the Eneloop batteries was tested to the full when Wuan and I went to Kota Kinabalu. I filled up my 512 Mb SD and a quarter of my 2 Gb micro SD over a period of four days without having to recharge the batteries. And it still had enough power for me to shoot occasionally over the next few weeks. Having been convrted to Eneloop, will never use the normal NiMH batteries again. The low self-discharge ability and the fast that it can last 1000 recharging cycles justifies its cost.
A set of four Eneloop batteries is currently selling for around RM67. Eneloop batteries are rated at 2000 mAh. I have seen them displayed at IT Hypermarket in Low Yat Plaza and Best Denki at 1-Utama. AAA size are avalable too. There is also a Eneloop charger set with two batteries. According to the sales staff I spoke to in Japan, the Eneloop batteries can be charged using the normal chargers. I have three of those already. Besides the Eneloop charger can only hold two batteries.
I have no qualms in recommending the Sanyo Eneloop batteries to digital camera enthusiasts and people who are looking for AA sized NiMH rechargeable batteries. It is reliable, gives the best bang for the buck and comes pre-charged. GP has also come out with its pre-charged NiMH batteries called the Recyko+. I do not know how good they are. I have never used that brand as I am happy with Sanyo. Perhaps when it is time to get another set of rechageable batteries, I will consider getting the GP Recyko+ just to see if it measures up to the Eneloop.
Sanyo Chargers And Ni-MH Rechargeable Batteries