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Author Topic: Batteries to speedlites  (Read 3003 times)

Hobby Shooter

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Batteries to speedlites
« on: February 08, 2013, 07:40:34 PM »
Why is there that flash manufacturers don't make purpose built batteries for speedlites as you have in the camera bodies? Using those AA or AAA whatever batteries seems to me to be a waste. Maybe this is is a again from me a stupid question where I have completely missed the point.

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Batteries to speedlites
« on: February 08, 2013, 07:40:34 PM »

Drizzt321

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Re: Batteries to speedlites
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2013, 07:49:45 PM »
Well, AA's are extremely common, yet fairly compact and a very mature form-factor/technology. Also that's what people were used to, and since you are more likely to burn through batteries faster with a speedlite than with your camera (especially back in the film days when you manually wound, and the battery was only for the light-meter), so you need to replace them a lot more often.

If you need significantly larger amount of storage and/or faster recharge times, then you can get external battery packs with higher amp-hour ratings, and can sustain faster recharge rates. A lot more expensive of course.
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bseitz234

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Re: Batteries to speedlites
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2013, 07:50:15 PM »
I don't know why they use custom power packs for cameras and not for speedlites. But using alkaline AA or AAAs is a waste- use rechargeable NiMHs! They give better performance anyway (less internal resistance = faster recycle time) and they're rechargeable!
I use eneloop XXs in my flash, and have no complaints. Nothing to compare them to, but they work just great!
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Hobby Shooter

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Re: Batteries to speedlites
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2013, 08:19:40 PM »
Thanks guys, I understand better now. I'll probably switch over to rechargeable batteries sooner or later. I just thought that if they made those custom battery packs they could be more powerful and last longer. You could still carry one or two extra batteries like you do for the body.

Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: Batteries to speedlites
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2013, 08:21:09 PM »
A $100 rechargable battery for a speed light when you can buy four eneloops for under $10 and have 2 or three backup sets, all for about $30?
Usually, the question, and its a reasonable one, is why not use the same battery in my camera and speedlite?
 
 Aside from the fact that different cameras use different batteries, its a issue of current draw.  Camera batteries are optimized for low current draw and high shutter count.  A high current LI-ON battery will not last long in a camera.

bycostello

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Re: Batteries to speedlites
« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2013, 04:55:18 AM »
AAs are so cheap i'd imagine....   

Menace

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Re: Batteries to speedlites
« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2013, 01:19:14 AM »
I use an external battery pack to get quicker recharge / longer useable duration on my EX580 II. Battery pack takes 8 AA batteries plus 4 in the speedlite - allows me good 800+ shots. Pretty economical :)
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Re: Batteries to speedlites
« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2013, 01:19:14 AM »

Marsu42

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Re: Batteries to speedlites
« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2013, 04:06:46 AM »
I use an external battery pack to get quicker recharge / longer useable duration on my EX580 II. Battery pack takes 8 AA batteries plus 4 in the speedlite - allows me good 800+ shots. Pretty economical :)

+1, though "cheaper" Speedlites don't have an external battery connector (Thanks Canon!) - you can add it yourself though, there are instructions on the net. But I very seldom use the external battery pack, the weight & cord is a hassle, and the 600rt has a very good recycle time on it's own - so it's only for situations when I'm shooting tons of flash shots in quick succession.

Zv

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Re: Batteries to speedlites
« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2013, 05:18:46 AM »
I use eneloop, like almost every speedliter. If you need longer battery life just up your ISO a few stops. Them batteries will last all day at ISO 800. I've taken hundreds of shots without the need to change batteries. I have spare but never had to use them. Thought about the external packs but since I have three soeedlites, if the batteries run out on one I just grab the other and I'm good to go. Unless you're doing some kind of speedlite marathon I reckon a few spare eneloop in your pocket is all you need on a job.
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tgara

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Re: Batteries to speedlites
« Reply #9 on: February 17, 2013, 07:55:35 AM »
Well known Canon Speedliter Syl Arena had a post on this subject on his blog recently:

http://pixsylated.com/blog/what-i-feed-my-speedlites/

Like others have said, you can use conventional AA batteries, or, if it makes you feel better, use rechargeable Eneloops.  I've been using Eneloops in my 600EX and like them a lot.  Will be switching to Eneloops on my 270EXII very soon.

RMC33

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Re: Batteries to speedlites
« Reply #10 on: February 17, 2013, 11:09:08 AM »
Eneloops. The Canon external battery with 8 ene's is awesome too.

viggen61

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Re: Batteries to speedlites
« Reply #11 on: February 17, 2013, 11:45:57 AM »
Quote
Typical flash batteries, e.g. Eneloop can hold their charge on the shelf for a year. This would seem to make them suited for cameras as well. So does not Canon use AAs for their cameras as well? Then we would have only one charger, one kind of battery that we could freely spend on camera and/or flash.


The Eneloop-style batteries (called low self-discharge nickel-metal hydride battery, LSD NiMH) are a fairly new item. They've only been around since 2005. They are based on NiMh technology.

One issue is current capacity and current draw. With AAs, you have a defined package that must always be designed for. A custom battery allows the engineer to remove more than half of the packaging, and for the same current capacity, make a significantly smaller battery. OR, they can make a much higher capacity battery fit in the same space.

For example, it would take 4 AA cells to make up the 7.2v that my 7D runs on. 4 AA cells would take up more space than the LP-E6 cell, meaning the grip would have to be larger, or they would have to package things differently.

Another issue is how fast can the battery pump out the current. This is what makes the difference between Alkalines and NiMh batteries in point & shoot digital cameras. My old Olympus P&S would eat up Alkaline AAs, but using Lithiums or NiMh let it shoot for much, much longer before the batteries needed to be changed.
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Re: Batteries to speedlites
« Reply #12 on: February 17, 2013, 01:00:06 PM »
For example, it would take 4 AA cells to make up the 7.2v that my 7D runs on. 4 AA cells would take up more space than the LP-E6 cell, meaning the grip would have to be larger, or they would have to package things differently.

can you explain that math?

4 * 1.5 V = 6V

the third party battery grips for canon cameras take 6 AA batterys for this reason, i think.
so they reach 6 * 1.2 V = 7.2 V with rechargable batterys.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2013, 01:11:01 PM by Canon-F1 »
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Re: Batteries to speedlites
« Reply #12 on: February 17, 2013, 01:00:06 PM »

brad goda

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Re: Batteries to speedlites
« Reply #13 on: February 18, 2013, 01:26:00 AM »
Use Quantum Turbo3 or SC.
quick recycle times & many flashes per charge. reduces time and expense purchasing AAs for packs and needing to recharge 36AAs..

ive heard many using goodard and calumet too..,

Marsu42

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Re: Batteries to speedlites
« Reply #14 on: February 18, 2013, 01:36:30 AM »
ive heard many using goodard and calumet too..,


I've got the calumet powerblock 900, got it for only €100 when they had a rebate, way cheaper than quantum and so on and does what I'd expect it to do: http://www.calumetphoto.co.uk/eng/product/calumet_speedlight_powerblock_900/cf0192

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Re: Batteries to speedlites
« Reply #14 on: February 18, 2013, 01:36:30 AM »