Digital cameras are electrical energy consuming devices. They will typically require the use of batteries to power them. Digital camera batteries can come in many varieties which may be designed specifically for a manufacturer or brand.
There are different kinds of digital camera batteries which are available for purchase. Several are designed to be rechargeable and can last hundreds of charge cycles before they are not useable again. Special charging docks for the camera may be available or a specialty charger which the battery is inserted into and plugged into an outlet. Some digital cameras will require other standard batteries such as AA or AAA to operate efficiently.
Limitations of Common Digital Camera Batteries
Digital camera batteries will usually have limitations for various aspects of their use. For them to work at optimal quality, most digital camera batteries must follow these limitation guidelines:
For Digital Camera Battery Storage – Batteries must be discharged to at least 40% of their total charge capacity if to be stored for periods of over a month. They must be kept in a cool and dry location to reduce the risk of damaging the contacts as well as internal structure. Recharging the battery before use will help to restore its charge capacity. Many digital camera batteries come with a case which can be used to keep the battery clean.
For Discharging a Digital Camera Battery – It is recommended that prevention of complete discharges be done to reduce battery wear and allow for a longer battery life. When discharged often, batteries may be hot within the digital camera and should be removed to cool between frequent periods of usage. Repeated complete discharges over time can reduce battery life and capacity.
For Charging a Digital Camera Battery – New batteries must be charged fully before use. The batteries should be charged close to room temperature and preventative measures should be taken to not overcharge the battery if the charging device does not have overcharge protection capabilities. Overcharging can reduce the life and capacity of digital camera batteries and can cause battery leakage or component explosions.
Cleaning Digital Camera Batteries – Proper cleaning should be done with a soft dry cloth. If connections become dirty, use of a small amount of mild soda water to dampen and wipe contacts clean is recommended. Never completely submerge digital camera batteries in water or other liquids, as it could easily damage the battery and can become potentially hazardous in many ways.
The Difference between Generic and OEM Batteries
It is not uncommon for digital camera owners to have multiple batteries. There are many generic manufacturers which could produce similar batteries that are comparable to OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturers) Batteries. There are a few differences between the two which can really alter the decision to use either:
Build Quality – OEM digital camera battery producers usually design the batteries to fit the cameras without problems. Generic options or non-OEM produced batteries may have lower quality materials used in them and may also be produced slightly different so they may not fit properly within the cameras.
Charge Capacity – Charge capacity for OEM produced digital camera batteries are designed to meet specific requirements for the consumption of energy needed. They must pass quality assurance testing standards before they get to the customers. Generic and non-OEM batteries may have higher, lower or similar charge capacities to the OEM options. Batteries from sources other than the OEM producer may not hold a charge properly or run out of energy faster and can even cause malfunctions with the digital cameras they are used in.
Price – The OEM batteries are usually much more expensive because of the quality of the batteries. Generic options can be as expensive as OEM options but they are generally much lower in cost. Some manufacturers make different versions of the same battery which are designed to last longer or work better under higher frequency of discharging which may also affect the cost.
Compatibility – Even though a digital camera battery may fit into a camera, it may not be designed for that camera. As a result, the batteries may discharge faster or the camera may not function properly. This is usually not a problem with OEM batteries which are designed for specific cameras and their purposed function of providing adequate power to the digital camera.
Repair and Disposal of Digital Camera Batteries
Repairing a battery is very difficult and must be left to professionals if it is possible to repair the battery. Dismantling or opening a battery can cause exposure to the materials inside which can be toxic. Shorting the connections of the battery can cause damage to the battery as well as cause it to overheat, spark, cause a fire or explode.
Digital camera batteries may also be made in a manner that they cannot be opened without completely damaging the battery. Troubleshooting the battery may be possible by testing charge with another charger or in a similar digital camera to ensure that the battery is really the problem. Sometimes the contacts within the digital camera may become dirty and prevent the proper battery to camera interactions.
Disposal of digital camera batteries must be done through a recycling center. The batteries should never be disposed of in normal garbage because they can leak toxins, cause a fire, explode and pollute water or ground materials. Disposal should be carried out with care to prevent hazards such as these. Usually a battery will need to be disposed of when it can no longer keep a charge or does not function properly or is damaged. If the battery has a warranty, the producer of the battery may be able to replace the battery and dispose of the other properly once it is sent back.
Finding a repair or disposal facility for digital camera batteries nearby can be done with the local phone directory. If access to a phone directory or service listing is not available, contacting a local electronics retailer, the local landfill or recycling center can provide information on where repair or disposal services are available.