Lithium-Ion rechargeable batteries are responsible for running just about every piece of powered kit in a photographer’s arsenal, and let’s face it, most of us have at least a couple of spare batteries with our cameras.
Li-ion batteries don’t suffer the same memory problems as the old NiCad versions used to, but they still need a certain degree of maintenance to ensure they keep running as long as possible.
Brand new batteries
- These will often carry a small charge straight out of the box, but should be fully charged before using and will often take 3 or 4 charges before they reach maximum capacity.
- If you’re not using your camera for an extended period of time, it’s a good idea to remove the battery from your camera, fully charge the battery and store it separately. Left installed in the camera, minute amounts of current flow will discharge a battery over time.
- Remember the little plastic cover that shipped with your battery? It’s there to keep any dirt from fouling the connectors and reduces the chances of anything touching the contacts and potentially shorting the battery.
- Tempting though it is, try and avoid charging a battery that already shows a full charge; you will shorten its life unnecessarily.
- In cold conditions, the battery may require frequent recharging even when fully charged. It’s a good idea to keep a fully-charged spare battery in a warm place and exchange as necessary when taking pictures in cold weather.