Lithium Batteries for Digital Cameras

Angela McCainby:

Technology

If you have a digital camera, then you know that you can choose between three different types of batteries. Those three types are Lithium-ion, nickel-metal hydride, and disposable batteries (alkaline batteries). There are also subtypes to some of these batteries which will be mentioned in more detail later on.

  • Alkaline Batteries

Advantages

  • Because of their high energy density alkaline batteries can last longer than other batteries while still producing the same energy.
     
  • Rechargeable alkaline batteries, also called RAM, can be used hundreds of times and they won’t have an environmental impact like disposable cells do.
  • They don’t require special disposal techniques like some other batteries do.
  • Compared to batteries that contain nickel and cadmium, alkaline batteries are a lot cheaper.
  • Even if you left them stored somewhere for two years, they would still be able to keep at least 90% of their original capacities.

Disadvantages

  • If you use a faulty charger it can cause the battery to explode.
  • Another problem is leaving the batteries inside of a device for a longer period since they can leak and destroy your device in the process. Which happens because of the destructive nature of the leaked material.
     
  • Even though alkaline batteries don’t give as high energy as lithium batteries, they’re still bulkier.
  • Due to their high internal resistance, alkaline batteries have a lower current output ability.
  • They usually don’t have a long life in digital cameras.

Health concerns

  • Alkaline batteries contain a chemical compound potassium hydroxide (KOH) within their cells. If this chemical compound came into contact with your skin or eyes, because it was damaged in any way and it leaked, it would cause severe chemical burns.
  • Higher concentrations of zinc and manganese dioxide (MnO2) in alkaline batteries can be toxic.
  • Nickel-metal Hydride Batteries (NimH)

Advantages

  • Compared to lithium-ion batteries, NimH batteries are the cheaper choice.
  • These batteries are bulkier and heavier than lithium-ion batteries.
  • These two types of batteries can hold a very similar amount of power, although li-ion batteries aren’t believed to have any “memory effect”, for the difference of nickel-metal hydride battery. Which is why lithium-ion batteries are charged and discharged quicker than NimH ones.
  • When we’re talking about durability, we can safely say that NimH batteries have an advantage, although both battery types are very durable and have been in use for quite some time.
  • Nickel-metal hydride batteries have a lifespan of around 5 years, which means that you can recharge your batteries hundreds of times before you need to start thinking about buying new ones.

Disadvantages

  • They have a very high self-discharge
  • Due to the “memory effect,” you have to watch out when to put your battery to fully charge.
  • Lithium-ion Batteries

Advantages

  • One of the biggest advantages of lithium-ion batteries is their high energy density. If you remember what old-fashioned cylindrical batteries looked like, then you can understand why lithium-ion batteries are favoured. Their small size holds a lot of power which makes storing them inside your camera so easy.
  • Compared to other rechargeable batteries, Li-ion batteries take a lead when it comes to self-discharge. You can recharge them hundreds of times without it affecting their strength.
  • Lithium-ion batteries don’t require any special maintenance to guarantee their performance.
  • Li-ion batteries provide an almost constant of 3.6 volts per cell.
  • There is no need for priming, they are supplied operational and ready to be used whenever.
  • They handle colder weather better than other types of batteries.

Disadvantages

  • They require safeguards built into a charger so that they’re kept within their safe operating limits.

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