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About those low-discharge batteries

“Low-discharge” is the latest craze in rechargeable batteries: old-fashioned rechargeables would discharge over time without even using them. Low-discharge batteries — many of which come pre-charged in the package — hold a charge far longer: weeks, months, up to a year perhaps.

They do this at a price: rechargeables are rated by how much juice they store, rated in mAh: 2,900 is the highest number I’ve seen. Low-discharge batteries are rated at around 2,000 mAh, which means they store about a third less power, but they store that power a lot longer. If you use your digital camera every day and always keep a bunch of high-powered batteries charged, low-discharge probably won’t matter and you’ll be able to take a lot more pictures.

But if your camera, like mine, sits on the shelf all week and you take it out on weekends, you’ll get sick of “low battery” messages resulting from your batteries losing their charge.
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Tom posted at 11:50 am August 27th, 2008

Prevent AA batteries from exploding in your pocket

This almost happened to me: I had coins in my pocket and a couple of rechargeable batteries. I noticed a very hot sensation in my pocket, pulled out the batteries and noticed they were super hot. Apparently the coins touched the poles and created a closed circuit: eventually they could have exploded.

Easiest hack: put tape over the battery poles to keep this from happening. But better yet: avoid carrying batteries in your pocket (stow ‘em with your camera case if possible). Some brands of rechargeable batteries come with carrying cases, which are way handy and will prevent this too.

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Tom posted at 10:28 am August 12th, 2008