It’s the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen.
– John Wooden
This saying holds true in every aspect of our life, including photography and for those who make their living out of it, its one of the most aspect of their profession. Like the gear you use, post processing methods, posing techniques, marketing strategy, client interaction every single aspect matters and this may seem like a very minor issue but in longer run it may cost you a lot of trouble and money so it helps to plan ahead and adapt/improvise.
We all use AA/AAA batteries in our day to day life, most of the remote control devices require batteries be it mouse, TV remote, torch light, pacemaker and for photographers batteries can make or break their work schedule even it can mess up their career, don’t believe me? Suppose you’re at a dimly lit wedding and battery in your flash/Speedlight runs out and you’ve to take photos at higher ISO which will produce more noise/grain in your photos which will reduce your quality of photos which equals Unhappy Clients, Unhappy You. Also reducing overall expenditure on equipment’s is every photographer’s dream, so he/she can focus more on photography than calculating how much money left in bank.
So after looking into this matter, I researched a bit into this and how photographers can reduce risk and expenditure on batteries and the results vary from what kind of photography you do, what budget you have and even how much eco-friendly/eco-conscious you’re. If you have very low budget and searching for the best kind of battery for you, Eveready/Duracell (maybe) wins hands down in this situation.
But if you have the ‘moolah’ to spend batteries you might take some of these factors into consideration before buying.
- What kind of photography you do? Wedding, Portrait, Outdoor shoots.
- What budget you have.
- Are you willing to take the headache of charging batteries and wait for it to charge (approx. 3 hours prior use)?
- Are you Eco-Conscious?
- If you plan to buy Rechargeable batteries, how long you’re planning to use them?
- Would you block your investment and how much Return of Investment you want.
These are some of the factors you should look into before going out (or maybe order online) and buy batteries, even chargers (for rechargeable batteries).
Lets look at them one by one:
- Photography:What kind of photography do you do? Are you a wedding photographer? Are you a commercial photographer who shoots outdoor and primarily uses speedlights? Do you shoot indoor with speedlights?If you shoot indoor, or have a planned shoot, which (god forbid) goes wrong can be rescheduled or can be done later. Then I would prefer you to go with Rechargeable batteries cause they will be economical in longer run and reliable (maybe?).
But for once-in-lifetime events like weddings, annaprashan, concert (maybe) even if you have rechargeable batteries I would prefer you to carry some (which means many) Duracell batteries in case any of your rechargeable’s die out, at least you’ll have something to rely on. I, myself use a blend of rechargeable and Duracell batteries during any event, mainly because I shoot indoors too so its economically viable to use rechargeable.
- Money:Most of us aren’t Ambani’s who have crores of money as pocket change, so we have to spend our money wisely else we go broke.Cost of 4 AA Eneloop Batteries: Rs 720
Cost of a fast 4 AAA/AA battery charger (3 hours min): Rs 600~700
Cost of 1 AA Duracell Battery: Rs 20~24
You need minimum of 8 batteries (4 for transreceiver’s and 4 for Speedlight, learn more about How to create awesome Photos with one Speedlight)So if you buy rechargeable you have to spend at least Rs. 2140 (1440 for batteries and 700 for charger) for 8 batteries and a charger.
Whereas you can buy 8 Duracell’s for Rs 192 and that’s it, you don’t have to charge em and wait and you save like 1950 bucks and that’s quite an amount.Rechargeable batteries tend to lose their recharging capacity when they are bit old and used (8~9 months of regular usage) so even if batteries have a mah rating of 2700,over a period of time they will lose their capacity and may have a capacity of around 2000mah or even less and that’s a significant amount to lost mah.
Read more about it here.
- Time and Availability:If you travel a lot and don’t have time to recharge your batteries, then buy rechargeable, Simple!
But if you have ample time to recharge then go for rechargeable if you want to invest money into rechargeable system. Availability is another issue, as my friend Pablo pointed out, many vendors don’t keep Duracell with them as they don’t sell as well as other brands (Eveready etc.) which goes same with rechargeable batteries, Eneloop (which performs pretty well) and even some vendors who have never heard of Eneloop will be like “Aaaneeelooooop! yeh kya hai?”
Are you eco-conscious? Si? Buy rechargeable batteries and save planet earth.
- Investment and Return of Investment (ROI):
As I mentioned earlier, you have invest a lot of money (compared to Duracell) into rechargeable system which make sense when you have time and patience to charge them and you’re ready to replace them every 8~9 months of fair usage (they will start failing, charging capacity will fall) and ROI depends on your usage, if you heavily use AA/AAA batteries then it make sense to buy rechargeable batteries. ROI will be higher, else go for Duracell, or maybe use a blend of it, which I do myself.
I hope after reading this article, choosing between rechargeable and Duracell will be easier depending on your style, requirements and budget. You can follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest .
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