AA batteries are becoming less common amongst photographers as they once were as more flash systems switch to lithium-ion power solutions, but they haven’t disappeared altogether. Many devices do still require them, though, and so photographers and filmmakers still use them.
Some photographers opt for something like regular Duracell Alkalines because they’re just less hassle, but a lot go for rechargeables. How good are rechargeables over the long term, though? YouTube channel Project Farm has been abusing a bunch of different brands of AA battery over the last year, and now they’re taking a look to see which ones have withstood the test of time.
In the video, batteries are tested from brands including Panasonic Eneloop, Amazon Basics Black and Silver, EBL, Rayovac, PowerEx, Harbor Freight Thunderbolt, IKEA LADDA, Duracell and Energizer. They’ve been placed in outdoor solar lights so they get charged up every day and discharged every night.
They also had spares just sitting on the shelf for almost a year to see how they compare with regard to both how long they can hold a charge without being used as well as how much their life degrades over time with a lot of regular charge and discharge cycles.
Out of those used, Eneloops probably have the best reputation amongst photographers. But is that reputation justified? In short, yes. They’re very good, according to this test, but other brands aren’t anywhere near as bad as some would have you believe, especially when you factor in the cost. Amazon Basics Black, for example, performed almost identically to Eneloop 1900s,
One thing the test does show, though, is that batteries made in Japan do tend to perform noticeably better than those made in China.
While you might not need AA batteries as much as you once did, if you’re looking for some rechargeables for your flash trigger and want something that won’t lose a lot of charge over several months, or whether you need them for speedlights that are going to be used and recharged daily, this video should present you with a few good options.