Can high mAh NiMH's damage older cameras?

Discussion in 'Digital Cameras' started by Paul D. Sullivan, Jan 30, 2007.

  1. My Oly C5050 came with 1700mAh batteries, so I have just used
    that level and not changed.

    But I'm kind of curious. I see 2700mAh NiMH batteries out there
    and wondering - If I purchase those and use them in the C5050,
    could the fact that they are so much more in terms of mAh mean
    that it might damage the electronics in the camera?

    Is it just safe and better for the camera to use the 1700mAh it
    was designed for? Or are 2700mAh batteries perfectly safe and ok
    to use?

    Paul D. Sullivan, Jan 30, 2007
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  2. Paul D. Sullivan

    Guest Guest

    no harm at all. the 2700mah cells will last noticably longer than the
    1700mah cells did (plus, those have probably aged a bit and their
    capacity is a little less).

    also, consider getting the sanyo eneloops which have a very low
    self-discharge rate.
    Guest, Jan 30, 2007
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  3. no harm at all. the 2700mah cells will last noticably longer

    I was worried that the 2700mAh would maybe put out a slightly
    higher voltage or something. But I guess all the mAh rating
    means is the charge capacity, not the voltages, eh?

    I'll take a look at the Eneloops (funny name, really) and see
    what up.

    Thank you much.
    Paul D. Sullivan, Jan 30, 2007
  4. Not only are the higher-rated batts safe, they'll last longer
    Cool. Know of a pretty good multi-channel charger that is
    reasonably priced? (maybe under $20 or under $30?)

    Paul D. Sullivan, Jan 30, 2007
  5. Paul D. Sullivan

    JohnR66 Guest

    Rayovac has a similar battery called "Hybrid" rated at 2100 mAh. These slow
    self discharge rate batteries may actually give you more capacity if you go
    over a month between chargings.
    JohnR66, Jan 30, 2007
  6. Paul D. Sullivan

    ASAAR Guest

    It's the voltage, not the capacity (mAh) that can cause problems
    for cameras. I don't know if alkaline batteries were allowed or
    prohibited by Olympus for the C5050, but most cameras that are
    designed for AA cells can take alkalines. When fresh, they provide
    about 1.5 volts per cell, which is several tenths of a volt higher
    than freshly charged NiCD and NiMH cells. Many can also use
    non-rechargeable lithium AA cell which provide a slightly higher
    voltage, about 1.6v. But some manufacturers prohibit the use of
    lithium cells in certain models, so if in doubt you'd have to check
    the manual or with the manufacturer's tech support.

    High capacity batteries are usually better, especially for older
    cameras that require so much current that they don't get too many
    shots per charge. But newer cameras get so many shots per charge
    that price becomes more important than capacity. If I have a choice
    between getting four 2,350 mAh NiMH cells for $10, that in my camera
    will allow (depending on conditions) up to 1,200 shots to be taken,
    or four 2,800 mAh NiMH cells for $16, that might allow about 1400
    shots, I'd get the 2,350 mAh batteries. They're significantly
    cheaper, and in a full day's shooting, either type would be able to
    take far more pictures than I'd ever shoot. The C5050 probably
    won't take nearly as many pictures per charge, so in this case the
    higher capacity batteries might be a better choice.

    There's another type of NiMH battery to consider. They only have
    capacities of about 2,000 mAh, but can retain most of their charge
    for well over a year, so depending on how the camera is used, they
    may be a much better choice for some photographers. They're more
    expensive than regular NiMH cells, ranging from about 40% more
    (Sanyo's "Eneloops") to 50% more (RayOVac's "Hybrids", which are
    advertised as having 2,100 mAh capacity) to 100% more (Radio Shack's
    "Precharged Rechargeables"). They all come precharged, by the way.
    ASAAR, Jan 30, 2007
  7. Rayovac has a similar battery called "Hybrid" rated at 2100
    Cool. I'll check those out too - thanks!
    Paul D. Sullivan, Jan 30, 2007
  8. There's another type of NiMH battery to consider. They only
    Thank you for all the helpful information and detail. I
    appreciate it much.
    Paul D. Sullivan, Jan 30, 2007
  9. Yep. mAh -- milliamp-hours. Not volts, amps.
    David Dyer-Bennet, Jan 30, 2007
  10. I have the MH-401FS for myself, and I've gifted same to others
    Thanks - I will give that model a look. :)
    Paul D. Sullivan, Jan 30, 2007
  11. Paul D. Sullivan

    SimonLW Guest

    Rayovac "Hybrid" low self discharge batteries actually cost less. At
    Wal-Mart, they cost under $9 for a 4 pack off AAs while the regular NiMh
    packs cost around $10. I suppose Rayovac's marketing assumes (smartly) that
    the average consumer can't see beyond the lower mAh rating (just like they
    can't see much beyond digital camera megapixel numbers) and set the lower
    price point. They are NOT a good deal if you recharge every two or three
    weeks. They are a godsend if you go longer.

    There is not much that is a good deal at Radio Shack unless it is on sale.
    It's no wonder they've been closing stores.
    SimonLW, Jan 30, 2007
  12. Paul D. Sullivan

    Dave Cohen Guest

    I paid $12 for a set of eneloop back in mid September at Ritz.
    Walmart sell 4 hybrids for less than $10, but they are rated to hold 85%
    charge for over 3 months whereas eneloop state same for 1 year.
    Be careful on-line, I've seen ridiculous price quotes plus postage. By
    the way, those eneloops are really good, they've only been in my charger
    once, charged at 652 shots!!
    Dave Cohen
    Dave Cohen, Jan 30, 2007
  13. I did have one die on my (LEDS don't light at all). But I immediately
    ordered another. I think it's a good charger in the 4-battery size.

    Has slow and fast charge, 4 individual charge circuits, and special
    circuitry to overcome battery memory. Goes to trickle charge when done.

    Don't close the lid when it's first charging, though; you want the heat
    to *escape*!
    David Dyer-Bennet, Jan 30, 2007
  14. I paid $30 at Circuit City (store, not online) for a 4-pack with
    charger, and the same for another 8-pack of Eneloop AAs. So far I've
    shot several hundred photos and haven't had to recharge them yet...

    Used in new K100D, mostly without flash.

    J. F. Cornwall, Jan 30, 2007
  15. Paul D. Sullivan

    ASAAR Guest

    Since the Hybrids are more expensive than most standard "name
    brand" NiMH cells, at least in the stores I've seen, that's probably
    due less to RayOVac's marketing than to Wal-Mart's ability to
    bludgeon their accounts down to the lowest possible price. They
    present a good deal, but for some (such as me) Wal-Mart can't be
    gotten to conveniently. The only time I've been in one of their
    stores was about 5 years ago and 900 miles away. It's unfortunate
    that most people don't realize that no one type of battery is best
    for everyone or purpose, as we do, but the information they'd need
    to understand how to select the most appropriate batteries for their
    purposes isn't readily available, and if they ask for advice from
    sales people . . .

    They've locked themselves into many bad policies, one being that
    local stores must follow company dictates even when they hurt the
    "brand". One example is that when models are discontinued, remnants
    are often put on sale, "as is", for a price that would be reasonable
    for items in good condition with all components included. One store
    had what was once a very nice portable radio that originally sold
    for multiples of its $60 yellow tag price. But this particular item
    had been destroyed. It was missing its antenna, battery cover,
    case, power supply, external antenna, box and manual as well as its
    critically important large LCD display. I can't see that it had any
    remaining salvageable parts worth more than $5 or so. Maybe its
    volume control or tuning knobs. Yet this skeleton of a radio sat on
    display for over a year and the store, at least from what they
    claimed, weren't allowed to lower the clearance price set by

    Another counterproductive bean counter rule they have is that once
    a model is discontinued, all formerly available spare parts and
    accessories immediately vanish even when the model is still in
    production. But because of slight design changes, such as changing
    the color of a radio's plastic case and replacing the manufacturer's
    name and model number with Radio Shack's own, few customers would be
    aware that they could get whatever they need from the actual
    manufacturers, such as Sangean, Eton (Grundig) and others, where
    spare parts will still be available for years, even after the models
    are out of production. I realize that RS can't keep spare parts for
    many of the items that they (prematurely) discontinue on hand
    forever, but they seemingly discard what stock they do have
    virtually on the day that they remove the items from their catalog.
    In other words, they really make themselves the worst possible
    source for almost any product that they re-badge.
    ASAAR, Jan 30, 2007
  16. Paul D. Sullivan

    ASAAR Guest

    I'd guess that the Hybrids are no different than the Eneloops,
    otherwise RayOVac wouldn't be able to sell them precharged. For
    that purpose they need to be able to hold most of their charge for
    well over a year. I agree about the Eneloops. I've got a set in a
    radio that I'm listening to now, and they're still almost fully
    charged. I put them in the radio last September and they have yet
    to be recharged. From past experience, standard NiMH cells would
    have been nearly dead by now.

    Where did you see that the Hybrids are rated to hold 85% of their
    charge after 3 months? In RayOVac literature, an article or
    someone's review? I don't see any retention rates listed on the
    packaging nor on RayOVac's website. The only thing mentioned is 4x
    longer life, that they'd provide as much service as 1,500 alkalines,
    and that they can be charged 500 times or more.

    FWIW, last night I put a set of 4 AAA Eneloops in my PDA and the
    battery gauge app. (set to NiMH, of course) indicated that 91% of
    the charge remained. Since I also have an unopened set of Hybrids,
    I just put them in the PDA and got an 89% reading. Both sets were
    purchased from on the same day from Circuit City last year. As that
    was nearly 4 months ago, if there's any difference in their self
    discharge rates it must be very small.
    ASAAR, Jan 30, 2007
  17. Paul D. Sullivan

    John Turco Guest

    Hello, Paul:

    The "mAh" rating only determines the capacity of the cell - that is,
    how long it will perform reliably, on a full charge - not its voltage
    or amperage. Therefore, your camera can't be harmed...yet, you still
    need to be careful to use the correct charger, to avoid damaging it,
    or the batteries (or both, possibly).

    John Turco <>
    John Turco, Jan 31, 2007
  18. The "mAh" rating only determines the capacity of the cell -
    Thanks much. It's good to know that there is no voltage
    variation at all, and that only the capacity changes. I was sort
    of concerned that all that power might flow at a higher rate that
    the camera was not designed for.

    I'm glad I have had it cleared up for me. Now I have no worries
    about changing over from the 1700mAh to 2500 or 2700, etc.

    Paul D. Sullivan, Jan 31, 2007
  19. Paul D. Sullivan

    ASAAR Guest

    Nah. Different gas, same price, same octane, same container.
    Stanley F. Contadina, one of Exxon's most talented engineers, while
    on assignment to their marketing department simply figured out an
    unanticipated method that used higher compression to squeeze eight
    great gallons into that little bitty four gallon can. :)
    ASAAR, Jan 31, 2007
  20. Interestingly enough, when I got my K100D on XMas morning, I put a set
    of fully charged GE AAs I have used with my previous cameras for the
    past 6 yrs or so, and it would not even power up. Did fine with your
    basic Energizer disposables (went thru them pretty quickly though) until
    I picked up the new Eneloops. The GE batteries still work fine and last
    a decent time in the old Canon A80, they just don't have enough 'oomph'
    for the K100D.

    J.F. Cornwall, Jan 31, 2007
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