I never use rechargeable battery's for one reason 1.2 volts vs 1.5 volts, the flash gets more power faster from regular 1.5 volt batteries. Try one then the other and I bet you see a heck of a difference!
Syl Arena did an extensive series of tests on AA batteries for his book, The Speedliters Handbook, he found Lithiums to be totally unsuited for average, and above average flash use.
I am surprised at the number of Speedliters I’ve met who use lithium batteries in their Speedlites. Based on the torture test, lithiums are very hesitant to give up their electrons- —which is why lithium are touted for their 5–10 year shelf life (which I admit is a plus).
In the torture test, the lithiums averaged a mere 52 pops before a misfire. However, when I tested a set of lithiums at a three-minute interval, instead of the 20-second interval, they gave up 218 pops before failure. So, it’s not that they don’t have the capacity. It’s just that they don’t want to deliver the juice at the rate the Speedlite wants it.
Interestingly, they are much lighter in weight than other types of batteries—an advantage perhaps if you are outfitting for a long journey and must take only precharged batteries.
My thought is that lithiums should not be used for day-to-day Speedliting. However, I think that there is a place in every Speedliter’s bag for a set or two as an emergency backup. Throw them in and forget about them for sev- eral years. Then, when you are desperate, dig them out and start your Speedlite up again.
Whereas his results for the Eneloops provided over 4 times more flashes than Lithiums when done at the shorter recharge interval.
A few years ago, “precharged, rechargeable” batteries became widely available. If you look at the really small print on the battery, you will see that they are NiMH.
The great benefit of these batteries is that they will hold 75–80% of their charge for up to a year. This is great news for Speedliters who are not diligent about recharging their batteries before every shoot—which is essentially all of us. So consider LD-NiMh to be the best battery choice for Speedliting.
In the torture test, all the brands provided 150–200 pops right out of the package, which puts them on par with alkalines. Then, in the recharge tests, they averaged 235 pops. That’s about 20% less than regular NiMH—but for the long-term stability, this is a good trade-off.
Sanyo Eneloop, Powerex Imedion, and Kodak Digital Camera Battery are the three leading LD-NiMH. Eneloops are available at many Cost- cos. The Kodak version is stocked at Walmart and many other big-box stores.
All in all I believe it was his tests that cemented the Eneloop name into the small flash communities brains.