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ONE BATTERY TO RULE THEM ALL:  Sanyo's Eneloop

I was asked recently at a shoot what I use for battery power when I’m on location.  In today’s modern photography world strobe lighting is all important and when it comes to travel, you have to be smart about the kit you pack for long days without charging facilities or power sources.  I love using my strobes off and on-camera and I eat through roughly 45 batteries per week (lots of money!) so it’s an expensive business.  Well it was……until I came across Sanyo’s Eneloop. Sanyo have revolutionised the rechargeable battery industry with this little fella.  I can pop off twice as much flash now without worrying about changing up – more time in the golden hour when everyone’s warmed up – Battery changes in the middle of shoots are like condoms, they can really kill a mood!  Sanyo boast that for 1 sanyo eneloop you effectively replace 1000 batteries…..BIG WORDS!  My experience tells me that so far, this is not far off the mark.

They have taken the best of both worlds (alkaline and rechargeable) and combined them in one battery.  The Eneloop also has a very low self discharge for example, your common convention rechargeable battery when charged and used regularly for a year will have self discharged completely (0% – dead) whereas an Eneloop will have only lost 15% of its strength – Impressive eh?  If that’s not enough to convince you then here’s one final fact: they are charged and ready to use out of the packet.  This is a god send when you are on a long 3 strobe shoot late into the evening and you’re getting misfires from your lights.  I bought mine here:  Sanyo Eneloop at Amazon

Like all NIMH batteries they need a little TLC when charging so get yourself a maha charger to maintain your batteries to ensure a long and happy life (I sing to mine – they don’t complain :D ).  The folks over at maha energy shipped mine in 2 days and didn’t have the charger I had asked for in stock but the service was excellent and I ended up getting a better deal!  RESULT!  If you’re unsure about what to buy drop me a message and I’ll help you as best as I can.

Rick.



  1. Stray Taoist on Tuesday 15, 2009

    Unsure of what to buy after that? I am in no doubt. Nice post, I must get some of these. Although I actually (to my undying shame) need a flashgun as well. So some pointers there would be good, and indeed pointers on how to light the scenes you so eloquently capture.

    Glad you pointed your weblog out, I would have missed this excellence otherwise!

  2. redskyni on Tuesday 15, 2009

    Hey Stray Toaster how’s tricks? The secret to my success is off-camera flash mostly. Depending on the make of your camera and flash (you shoot mostly with the D50 right?) you want something that you can throw on the camera from time to time and take off when the moment takes you. I’d recommend the SB-28 for you. I have one even though I’m canon but it’s still my goto speedlight. I just love how it performs off-camera for me and recently I used it with a friend’s D90 on-camera as an experiment and it didn’t let me down. Off-camera soft directional light is easy……the real challenge is achieving this on-camera which I do successfully for weddings and I will be posting an article soon. In the meantime, grab yourself the SB-28 or SB-600 and a pt-04 wireless trigger off ebay for nikon and you’re ready to go.

    Must give À la recherche du temps perdu a go…….sounds like a good read!

    Hope this helps.
    Rick.

  3. Stray Taoist on Tuesday 15, 2009

    Nice one, I shall peruse ebay presently! Exactly the info/advice I wanted. It sure does help. I await the next article with relish!

    *Mostly* with the D50? :) Only with the D50. My old and trusted camera. Until I can afford a full frame, which I know is probably pointless, but appeals to me.

    Oh, Proust is a good read, though if you are more used to Dan Brown, it might be a bit of a shock! (Though I amn’t presuming, just saying…)

  4. Matthew Furtado on Tuesday 15, 2009

    I’ve been using a variety that’s quite common here in Porto, and so far they’ve been good to me as they have 2700mAh (though I did manage to kill one accidentally but mis-aligning it in the charger. Shame!) I’ve been considering getting some new batts as, much like CF cards, I’m finding I need more and more of them these days. Thanks for the heads-up! I managed to find a distributor here in Porto and shall have a look-see.

    On the topic of full-frame, I wouldn’t call it pointless. If nothing else, you get yourself some nice improvements to DOF and low-light performance. On the other hand, you may have to buy new and expensive lenses… :)

  5. redskyni on Tuesday 15, 2009

    Hey Matthew good to hear from you! Hope all is well in Porto. I have 32 of these now so like you, I’m always stocking up for a big shoot…..they also work great in the BG-E6 MkII Battery Grip so for longer shoots you have backup power for your camera too!

    Couldn’t agree with you more on the benefits of Full Frame. It’s also essential for landscapes.

    Stray Taoist – Dan Brown….Bleurgh!

  6. toxicpixel on Tuesday 15, 2009

    Hi,
    I’ve recently been bitten by the strobist bug and have been gathering myself some flashes,umbrellas,triggers etc..and have bought a few sets of the eneloops.I have charged them so far with a charger I already had but not sure if its suited to ni-mh batteries,and if it does them any harm to them..
    What charger would you recommend from the maha energy site?
    regards,
    toxicpixel

  7. redskyni on Tuesday 15, 2009

    Hi Toxic,

    I bought the Maha C800S-U 8-Cell Smart Charger for AA you really don’t need anything else. It has battery reconditioning and quick charge modes and in my opinion its the best out there for £49.95. Here is a link to the C800S-U http://www.mahaenergy.co.uk/products/battery-chargers/006-maha-c800s-u-8-cell-smart-charger Hope this helps and good luck with your strobist endeavours. Any questions just ask.

    Rick.

  8. Chris on Tuesday 15, 2009

    Hi Rick,
    thanks for the swift response,I think I’ll order one.
    btw,great blog and photos!keep up the good work :)
    regards,
    toxicpixel

  9. [...] 2 stops of power so you will eat through batteries quicker so I recommend getting yourself some Sanyo Eneloops and a Maha charger to give you more power and less pain.  Read about them here.  Secondly, the [...]