Request From Strobe Makers – We Want Better Batteries!
If you are using hot shoe strobes (like I am) you’ve probably noticed the exponential growth of AA batteries living in your drawers.
And it is not just the number of batteries that can drive you crazy it is the fact that you have to tag them all, keep an eye on them all, use them in the same batches that you bought them in and in general managing those huge lots of rechargeable AA batteries can be quite a headache.
I was wondering why don’t strobes get the same treatment as cameras – using their own dedicated batteries. I know that there are some hurdles down the road on implementing those, but I know what I’d like to see.
While AA batteries have been with us for as long as I can remember, and have served us (me) well, they are a hell to manage. If you wanna do it right, you have to keep track of which ones were bought together, and make sure you charge/discharge them together.
You have to manage x4 batteries per strobe per load and those can accumulate pretty fast. Using 4 strobes at an event assuming you will need two sets per strobe is 32 batteries.
My vision suggests fine tuning batteries for strobes. That means that each strobe gets one battery. It could be smaller. It could be better tuned for high recycling times It could be tuned to charging time that fits a session so you can use one/charge the other as you shoot. It will last longer!
And most importantly it will remove clutter. All those batteries that roll in your drawer. All those batteries that you keep finding in your bag long after a shoot is done.
But AAs Are Awesome
Yes they are. here is why:
AAs are probably the most commonly used battery in the world, it means that it gets heavy research from big budget companies that we can enjoy in our strobes.
AA are always available. does not matter if you are shooting down town or far away in a desolated island. chances are the kiosk will have a set of AAs. (right next to a Coka cola can) Maybe not the most fancy ones, but something to get you going.
(BTW, the camera market clearly made the moveover. Almost all the point and shoot cameras started with AAs. Still…)
This is why I suggest a
Two Phased Solution
Here is the “genius” idea I came up with. Make a new battery that is strobe optimized. but put it in a retractable case that looks like 4 AA batteries combined. It will probably look something like those cheapo battery containers, only it will be tighter to resemble 4 batteries and have electrical contacts.
The inside of the strobe does not change. this is really the fun and clever part.
Now you can really enjoy both worlds.
Want a super dedicated and tuned battery for your strobe? got it! Use the new battery and place it in the case. Place the case in the strobe, TADA! you have dedicated power with only one fine tuned, kickass battery.
Wanna keep using AAs? Can do. remove the case and use old AAs instead.
Best of all, if any new amazing double A technology comes to life, it can still be used in the strobe.
I am really not a batteries engineer, so I wonder if such a dream can come to life. By finishing the post, I also realized that I was not actually pitching for a new strobe, and it does not take new amazing technology to make this happen, just a good battery and a clever battery case.
Udi Tirosh is an entrepreneur, photography inventor, journalist, educator, and writer based in Israel. With over 25 years of experience in the photo-video industry, Udi has built and sold several photography-related brands. Udi has a double degree in mass media communications and computer science.