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Battery types
Taking care of batteries

SONY DSR500 CAMERAPART 5: BATTERIES

by Christina Fox

 

There are two types of battery for the camera:

  • LITHIUM BATTERY CR2032 - The tiny lithium battery powers the camera's memory backup of time code data . It is located inside the camera body casing, beside the audio selector switches. These batteries last around two years.
  • RECHARGEABLE BATTERIES - These batteries power the camera and the recorder. You will need a MINIMUM of three hours of battery power. Anything less is pushing your luck. The main names are PAG, Anton-Bauer, Frezzi and IDX. If you buy your charger from one manufacturer you don't necessarily have to buy all your batteries from them, most chargers now work with other batteries, but check first. The main battery technologies are Nickel-Metal Hydride (Ni-MH), Nickel Cadmium referred to as ni-cads (NiCd) and Lithium-Ion (Li-ion). If you want to know more about the types of battery available there is an article on this site about battery types: their pros and cons.

Ni-MH benefit from high headline capacity and an energy density up to twice that of the old NiCd batteries, but suffer from poor low temperature performance (you'll have difficulty charging in sub-zero temperatures) most cannot deliver high load (not suitable with lights - although this is changing), they are fairly heavy, have a low cycle life, and require full discharge before recharging).

With Li-ion there is no full discharge required (they can be recharged in any condition, with no memory effect), they deliver almost 40% more power and are 50% lighter than standard NP NiCd, and they are more environmentally friendly. However, they are expensive and because their internal resistance is about double equivalent NiCd, they can offer poor performance with high current applications (such as a digital camera with light).

TAKING CARE OF YOUR BATTERIES

  • Batteries work best between 0C and +40C so try to keep them in a warm place when working in cold conditions.
  • Keep batteries away from intense heat (+ 60° C).
  • Protect from vibration, do not drop them.
  • Do not immerse in water, expose them to heavy rain, steam or high humidity. If they do get wet remove any excess water and allow to dry naturally.
  • Label your batteries A, B, C (etc) and use them in strict rotation. This way they will all get equal use (and abuse).
  • Do not put batteries in a pocket or bag with your keys, coins or any other metal objects. Keys touching the metal contacts of the battery can get hot and you may set your pants on fire!

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Move on to ...
Part 6: TAPES
To find out more about batteries read through battery types: their pros and cons
...or go back to
Part 4: THE SHUTTER
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Christina Fox