Rechargable NiMH batteries

After recharging my NiMH batteries in the charger, they only read about half charged or so on the electronics that have built in battery meters, and the charge really doesn’t seem to last very long in any of the devices they are used in. In my one camera, the charge is so short lived it is barely usable.

Any of you wise P-netters have any ideas on this? I have brand name batteries, and my two chargers are brand name units that allows charging any of three types of rechargeable batteries - NiMH, Alkaline, or NiCad.

NiMH in a camera? (09 edition)
You need to be using Li-ion batteries in a camera. NiMH is a great step up from NiCad (which I wouldn’t even consider in 2009).

All that said, NiMH batteries can be janked by total discharge. So it could be that happened, or maybe your charger isn’t all that, wonky enough not to work.

Depends on the gizmo
mine read half charged in my GPS until Garmin added NiMh batteries to the software. Now, I select them as my power source, and they last longer, and the battery meter is more accurate.

Another thing about NiMh’s – USE them. They last longer, and hold a bigger charge if they get used mnore than some of mine do. I actually have too many of them now that I bought a new VHF that has its own internal battery (The old one used 6 AA’s). Sometimes I cycle them in flashlights just to keep them in use.


– Last Updated: Sep-12-09 9:22 AM EST –

I've had good luck with them in my camera. I use a Maha charger designed specifically for NiMH.
I'd be a bit wary of a charger that claimed to be universal. Some "fast" chargers can overcook batteries.

The best "name brands" for rechargeables aren't necessarily the same as the big names in conventional batteries. Sanyo is one of the big names in NiMH.

The conventional NiMH batteries work OK when fresh off the charger, but the self-discharge is a pain in devices you only use occasionally. The Sanyo Eneloops are great for those applications. They have less capacity, but they don't lose their charge in storage.

NiMHs are the only way to go for good LED flashlights -- run times are double what you get with alkalines.

Serious battery geeks:

This seems to be the serious battery user's charger of choice:

are you saying the NiMh batteries read less than they used to or less than alkaline? The voltages are less so unless your electronic device corrects for that it makes sense for them to read less. The life for rechargables is finite. I’m not sure if rechargable NiMh suffer if they’re stored at high charge in high temps like Lithium Ion. Also there’s a range in battery capacity and variations in cells of the same capacity. I’ve got some 2450mah that are noticably shorter life than 2650mah ones.

thread from local club email list
Here is a pair of email that came across my local clubs email list:

We use AA batteries in underwater strobes and focusing lights for underwater photography, as well as GPS, wireless computer mouse, keyboard and more. After much research and conferring with my battery expert brother we purchased a large quantity of Powerex 2700 mAh AA NiMH batteries and a MAHA MH-C801D eight cell charger. It was emphasized to me that it’s really important that the charger addresses each cell independently, which I think yours does.

Maha says, “The MH-C801D provides user with the option to choose between a soft charge and a fast charge mode. The soft charge delivers the highest battery life and allows 100% compatibility with older, lower capacity batteries. The fast charge allows eight batteries to be fully charged to their maximum capacity in around one hour. The Eight Cell charger is embedded with a high-rate battery conditioner that will charge, deep-discharge and recharge batteries automatically for maximum rejuvenation.”

Battery shelf life (low self-discharge) was not as important to my usage. I periodically “soft-charge” all the batteries to keep them topped up and extend their life.

Regarding price… shop the web and enjoy.

In reply to:

It seems like I’ve been going through AA batteries like BASKers go

through chocolate and am thinking it’s time to make a move to

rechargeables only. Is this the economically and politically correct

thing to do? If so what kind? What brand? What mAh? What price?


I’ve got a set of Powerex 2300 mAh NiMH batteries that I’ve been

using with my Optio43, along with a Maha C204W charger. I see there

are now 2700 (and beyond) mAh versions but hear they don’t keep a

charge as well. There are also low-discharge cells (Sanyo Eneloop)

available, at a price. Similarly, the new generation chargers have a

slew of extra features, but is it worthwhile paying for an upgrade?

Here’s what’s happening
Ni bats are a lower voltage than alkiling bats. Your camera only reads voltage, so it shows low. You can’t change that although imediatly off the charger they will read a full 1.5 momentarly. Ni bats should hold up pretty good in a camera but only if they are, in fact, fully charged. You can purchase a meter that has a battery tester setting. It will measure the battery voltage under a load. I could be a bad charger, bad bats or the camera could have a high resistance short. Maybe you just don’t leave them on charge long enough.

thx for the info

been using
Sanyo Eneloop AA and Maha eight bay recharger…

I use these for Canon camera, remotes, flashlights, GPS.

In use about 8 total and 8 for backup…

Had these over a year and bought everyone in my family the same set up for Christmas.

The GPS battery meter is way off b/c of the voltage difference, but that’s not an issue for me because I know how long they last.

I go use them up all the time so I could probably get away with higher power batteries that self discharge.

Still, it’s nice to pick up the camera 4 months later and still have good battery life.