A Battery Warning query

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Larry, Aug 23, 2005.

  1. Larry

    Larry Guest

    I have recently purchased a vertical hold "grip" for my Canon Élan II
    camera. It also can hold AA batteries to replace the regular 6-V Lithium
    normal grip battery. It came with a warning to use Alkaline batteries only,
    NOT Lithium AA cells as camera damage might result. How/why?

    Thanks,
    Larry
    Larry, Aug 23, 2005
    #1
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  2. Larry wrote:
    >I have recently purchased a vertical hold "grip" for my Canon Élan II
    > camera. It also can hold AA batteries to replace the regular 6-V
    > Lithium normal grip battery. It came with a warning to use Alkaline
    > batteries only, NOT Lithium AA cells as camera damage might result.
    > How/why?
    > Thanks,
    > Larry


    I can only guess, but I would guess the lithium batteries may be able to
    deliver a higher voltage-amps and that could overheat a part in the camera.


    --
    Joseph Meehan

    Dia duit
    Joseph Meehan, Aug 23, 2005
    #2
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  3. Larry

    Dave Cohen Guest

    "Joseph Meehan" <> wrote in message
    news:laFOe.9535$...
    > Larry wrote:
    >>I have recently purchased a vertical hold "grip" for my Canon Élan II
    >> camera. It also can hold AA batteries to replace the regular 6-V
    >> Lithium normal grip battery. It came with a warning to use Alkaline
    >> batteries only, NOT Lithium AA cells as camera damage might result.
    >> How/why?
    >> Thanks,
    >> Larry

    >
    > I can only guess, but I would guess the lithium batteries may be able
    > to deliver a higher voltage-amps and that could overheat a part in the
    > camera.
    >
    >
    > --
    > Joseph Meehan
    >
    > Dia duit

    Same warning with my canon A40, but can't find anything in my A95 manual.
    Mute point since NiMH are the obvious choice. I agree must be a voltage
    thing.
    Dave Cohen
    Dave Cohen, Aug 23, 2005
    #3
  4. Larry

    Joel Dorfan Guest

    There is no reason why you should not be able to use Lithium cells. The
    voltage is the same as Alkalines just better extreme temp. performance,
    different discharge characteristics and a 15 year shelf life.

    The 2CR5 or 223 that you are replacing is already a Lithium pack made up of
    lithium cells.

    LiIon's if you could get them in that size would be bad as they are
    nominally 3.6v per cell.

    However as a previous poster said, the better choice would be to use NiMh
    rechargeables, four in the camera, four in the charger and 4 alkalines as
    backup.

    Joel

    "Larry" <> wrote in message
    news:430b194a$...
    > I have recently purchased a vertical hold "grip" for my Canon Élan II
    > camera. It also can hold AA batteries to replace the regular 6-V Lithium
    > normal grip battery. It came with a warning to use Alkaline batteries

    only,
    > NOT Lithium AA cells as camera damage might result. How/why?
    >
    > Thanks,
    > Larry
    >
    Joel Dorfan, Aug 23, 2005
    #4
  5. Joel Dorfan wrote:
    > There is no reason why you should not be able to use Lithium cells.
    > The voltage is the same as Alkalines


    Nominal or operating voltage. I suspect the Lithiums go out of spec
    when in use.

    > just better extreme temp.
    > performance, different discharge characteristics and a 15 year shelf
    > life.
    >
    > The 2CR5 or 223 that you are replacing is already a Lithium pack made
    > up of lithium cells.
    >
    > LiIon's if you could get them in that size would be bad as they are
    > nominally 3.6v per cell.
    >
    > However as a previous poster said, the better choice would be to use
    > NiMh rechargeables, four in the camera, four in the charger and 4
    > alkalines as backup.
    >
    > Joel
    >
    > "Larry" <> wrote in message
    > news:430b194a$...
    >> I have recently purchased a vertical hold "grip" for my Canon Élan II
    >> camera. It also can hold AA batteries to replace the regular 6-V
    >> Lithium normal grip battery. It came with a warning to use Alkaline
    >> batteries only, NOT Lithium AA cells as camera damage might result.
    >> How/why?
    >>
    >> Thanks,
    >> Larry


    --
    Joseph Meehan

    Dia duit
    Joseph Meehan, Aug 23, 2005
    #5
  6. Larry

    ASAAR Guest

    On Tue, 23 Aug 2005 22:24:02 GMT, Joseph Meehan wrote:

    >> There is no reason why you should not be able to use Lithium cells.
    >> The voltage is the same as Alkalines

    >
    > Nominal or operating voltage. I suspect the Lithiums go out of spec
    > when in use.


    Is the problem really with lithium AAs? I thought that there has
    long been a specially formulated high performance alkaline battery
    whose voltage was about 10% higher than standard alkalines. Maybe
    they're the ones with the "Titanium" description on the package.
    ASAAR, Aug 23, 2005
    #6
  7. Larry

    Dave Cohen Guest

    "ASAAR" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > On Tue, 23 Aug 2005 22:24:02 GMT, Joseph Meehan wrote:
    >
    >>> There is no reason why you should not be able to use Lithium cells.
    >>> The voltage is the same as Alkalines

    >>
    >> Nominal or operating voltage. I suspect the Lithiums go out of spec
    >> when in use.

    >
    > Is the problem really with lithium AAs? I thought that there has
    > long been a specially formulated high performance alkaline battery
    > whose voltage was about 10% higher than standard alkalines. Maybe
    > they're the ones with the "Titanium" description on the package.
    >

    Not quite true to say lithium and alkaline would display same working
    voltage. Open circuit voltage may be same, but higher internal resistance of
    the alkaline would present less than 6 volts to camera when drawing current.
    Dave Cohen
    Dave Cohen, Aug 24, 2005
    #7
  8. Larry

    ASAAR Guest

    On Tue, 23 Aug 2005 23:16:43 GMT, Dave Cohen wrote:

    >> Is the problem really with lithium AAs? I thought that there has
    >> long been a specially formulated high performance alkaline battery
    >> whose voltage was about 10% higher than standard alkalines. Maybe
    >> they're the ones with the "Titanium" description on the package.
    >>

    > Not quite true to say lithium and alkaline would display same working
    > voltage. Open circuit voltage may be same, but higher internal resistance of
    > the alkaline would present less than 6 volts to camera when drawing current.


    Where did you see me say that? What I said has nothing to do with
    a working voltage. It's true that in a digital camera the working
    voltage of alkalines will dip lower while the camera is busy,
    zooming the lens, capturing the image, recharging the flash, etc.
    Lithium's would also show a voltage drop under those conditions.
    But what might be bad for the camera occurs when the current draw is
    minimal, with the camera on, display off, etc. Then the "working
    voltage" of both battery types would be nearest to their "no load"
    voltages and differences would be minimal. But if batteries that
    have voltages measurably higher than the approx. 1.5v of standard
    alkalines are used, they could present problems. If they're used
    for a while in a radio or tape player so that their load under low
    current draws results in a voltage below 1.5v, they should then be
    safe to use in the camera. There have been some cameras (such as in
    one older model reported by a Kodak user) where the manual stated
    that only NiMH batteries should be used, as standard alkalines might
    cause damage.
    ASAAR, Aug 24, 2005
    #8
  9. Larry wrote:

    > I have recently purchased a vertical hold "grip" for my Canon Élan II
    > camera. It also can hold AA batteries to replace the regular 6-V Lithium
    > normal grip battery. It came with a warning to use Alkaline batteries
    > only, NOT Lithium AA cells as camera damage might result. How/why?
    >
    > Thanks,
    > Larry

    An earlier discussion of Lithium AA cells regarding film cameras a few
    years ago revealed that, due to lower internal resistance, Li cells can
    deliver a higher current flow (same voltage) which can heat up and
    destroy some sensitive electronic components.
    IMHO, Li AA cells have almost no place in photography; they are 10x more
    expensive than alkalines and give only 2-3x the number of pictures per cell.

    Morton
    Morton Linder, Aug 24, 2005
    #9
  10. Larry

    ASAAR Guest

    On Tue, 23 Aug 2005 19:57:27 -0400, Morton Linder wrote:

    > An earlier discussion of Lithium AA cells regarding film cameras a few
    > years ago revealed that, due to lower internal resistance, Li cells can
    > deliver a higher current flow (same voltage) which can heat up and
    > destroy some sensitive electronic components.


    Absolutely not true. At a given voltage (under load), the camera
    will draw the same current, whether the source is alkaline or
    lithium, whether they are AAA, AA, C or D cells. Under load, the
    voltage delivered by fresh alkaline batteries is not substantially
    higher than that of lithium batteries, but in any case the high
    current draw isn't continuous. The components that might get
    excessively warm or hot would be batteries, flash tubes and the
    power supply used to charge the flash's capacitors. Operating
    cameras in high temperatures would probably be worse, but except for
    the usual fine print disclaimers at the back of manuals where
    operating environment parameters are listed, manufacturers rarely go
    out of their way to warn about the effects of heat.


    > IMHO, Li AA cells have almost no place in photography; they are 10x more
    > expensive than alkalines and give only 2-3x the number of pictures per cell.


    They do have a place in photography. With modern cameras that
    don't consume huge currents, they might provide only 2 to 3 times
    longer operating life. But with older, power hungry cameras they
    can provide more than 10x the life of alkalines. They're also the
    only battery type available for cameras that don't suffer tremendous
    performance loss in very cold weather. They're also about 10x more
    expensive than alkalines only for those that shop carefully. With
    the prices most people pay for alkaline batteries, they're more like
    3 to 6 times more expensive, not 10x.

    Another advantage I haven't heard mentioned concerns battery
    leakage. I don't know if lithium batteries can leak, and if they do
    how corrosive it might be. What I do know is that any camera or
    other electrical device that uses alkalines is checked by me at
    least several times/year for leakage. But I have a very old, rarely
    used Stylus (film camera) that is powered by a lithium battery. It
    still provides lots of power and has been in the camera so long I no
    longer remember when it was last changed. At least 10 years ago.
    And I don't check the battery in that one more frequently than every
    4 or 5 years or so. :)
    ASAAR, Aug 24, 2005
    #10
  11. ASAAR wrote:
    > On Tue, 23 Aug 2005 19:57:27 -0400, Morton Linder wrote:
    >
    >> An earlier discussion of Lithium AA cells regarding film cameras a
    >> few years ago revealed that, due to lower internal resistance, Li
    >> cells can deliver a higher current flow (same voltage) which can
    >> heat up and
    >> destroy some sensitive electronic components.

    >
    > Absolutely not true. At a given voltage (under load), the camera
    > will draw the same current, whether the source is alkaline or
    > lithium, whether they are AAA, AA, C or D cells.


    But the issue is it appears that Lithium batteries deliver a higher
    voltage under load, and therefore have the potential to deliver more
    current.

    > Under load, the
    > voltage delivered by fresh alkaline batteries is not substantially
    > higher than that of lithium batteries, but in any case the high
    > current draw isn't continuous. The components that might get
    > excessively warm or hot would be batteries, flash tubes and the
    > power supply used to charge the flash's capacitors. Operating
    > cameras in high temperatures would probably be worse, but except for
    > the usual fine print disclaimers at the back of manuals where
    > operating environment parameters are listed, manufacturers rarely go
    > out of their way to warn about the effects of heat.


    In general I would agree but the OP was asking about a specific camera
    with a warning.

    >
    >
    >> IMHO, Li AA cells have almost no place in photography; they are 10x
    >> more expensive than alkalines and give only 2-3x the number of
    >> pictures per cell.

    >
    > They do have a place in photography. With modern cameras that
    > don't consume huge currents, they might provide only 2 to 3 times
    > longer operating life. But with older, power hungry cameras they
    > can provide more than 10x the life of alkalines. They're also the
    > only battery type available for cameras that don't suffer tremendous
    > performance loss in very cold weather. They're also about 10x more
    > expensive than alkalines only for those that shop carefully. With
    > the prices most people pay for alkaline batteries, they're more like
    > 3 to 6 times more expensive, not 10x.
    >
    > Another advantage I haven't heard mentioned concerns battery
    > leakage. I don't know if lithium batteries can leak, and if they do
    > how corrosive it might be. What I do know is that any camera or
    > other electrical device that uses alkalines is checked by me at
    > least several times/year for leakage. But I have a very old, rarely
    > used Stylus (film camera) that is powered by a lithium battery. It
    > still provides lots of power and has been in the camera so long I no
    > longer remember when it was last changed. At least 10 years ago.
    > And I don't check the battery in that one more frequently than every
    > 4 or 5 years or so. :)


    --
    Joseph Meehan

    Dia duit
    Joseph Meehan, Aug 24, 2005
    #11
  12. Larry

    Ken Hartlen Guest

    Hi Larry,

    My FinePix A203/A303 manual says "Do not to use AA-size manganese, lithium,
    or Ni-Cd batteries in your FinePix A203/A303 because the heat generated by
    the batteries could damage the camera or cause malfuctions."

    Ken

    "Larry" <> wrote in message
    news:430b194a$...
    > I have recently purchased a vertical hold "grip" for my Canon Élan II
    > camera. It also can hold AA batteries to replace the regular 6-V Lithium
    > normal grip battery. It came with a warning to use Alkaline batteries

    only,
    > NOT Lithium AA cells as camera damage might result. How/why?
    >
    > Thanks,
    > Larry
    >
    Ken Hartlen, Aug 24, 2005
    #12
  13. "Joel Dorfan" <> writes:
    >There is no reason why you should not be able to use Lithium cells. The
    >voltage is the same as Alkalines just better extreme temp. performance,
    >different discharge characteristics and a 15 year shelf life.


    No, the voltage is higher as well. It's something like 1.65 V when new.
    Alkalines are more like 1.5 V, and that drops under load. If a device
    is designed with "fresh alkalines" as its maximum voltage reference, it
    could conceivably be damaged by using lithium AAs.

    >The 2CR5 or 223 that you are replacing is already a Lithium pack made up of
    >lithium cells.


    Those are completely different lithium chemistry, with 3 V per cell.
    Two 3V cells give about 6 V, just like 4 AA alkalines, and less than 4
    AA lithiums at about 6.6 V.

    >LiIon's if you could get them in that size would be bad as they are
    >nominally 3.6v per cell.


    LiIon is a *third* different "lithium" chemistry, not related to the two
    previously mentioned. They're about 3.7 V nominal, but up to 4.2 V at
    end of a full charge.

    >However as a previous poster said, the better choice would be to use NiMh
    >rechargeables, four in the camera, four in the charger and 4 alkalines as
    >backup.


    Good suggestion.

    Dave
    Dave Martindale, Aug 24, 2005
    #13
  14. Larry

    Pete D Guest

    "Joseph Meehan" <> wrote in message
    news:IxPOe.43918$...
    > ASAAR wrote:
    >> On Tue, 23 Aug 2005 19:57:27 -0400, Morton Linder wrote:
    >>
    >>> An earlier discussion of Lithium AA cells regarding film cameras a
    >>> few years ago revealed that, due to lower internal resistance, Li
    >>> cells can deliver a higher current flow (same voltage) which can
    >>> heat up and
    >>> destroy some sensitive electronic components.

    >>
    >> Absolutely not true. At a given voltage (under load), the camera
    >> will draw the same current, whether the source is alkaline or
    >> lithium, whether they are AAA, AA, C or D cells.

    >
    > But the issue is it appears that Lithium batteries deliver a higher
    > voltage under load, and therefore have the potential to deliver more
    > current.


    And therefore the higher voltage should equate to lower current!
    Pete D, Aug 24, 2005
    #14
  15. Larry

    Prometheus Guest

    In article <IxPOe.43918$>, Joseph Meehan
    <> writes
    > But the issue is it appears that Lithium batteries deliver a higher
    >voltage under load, and therefore have the potential to deliver more
    >current.


    The camera will use a regulator(s) to supply the various circuits inside
    it with power. If it is a simple linear reg. then it will run warmer
    with a higher battery voltage because it has to drop more volts, the
    current is unaltered although it is taking higher power from the
    battery. If it is a switching reg. then for higher a battery voltage
    the input current will reduce thus maintaining a consistent power
    dissipation in the reg. and power consumption from the battery. Since
    switching regs are much more efficient and can operate where the input
    is less than the required output (or both +ve & -ve lines are required)
    they are preferentially used.
    --
    Ian G8ILZ
    Prometheus, Aug 24, 2005
    #15
  16. Pete D wrote:
    > "Joseph Meehan" <> wrote in message
    > news:IxPOe.43918$...
    >> ASAAR wrote:
    >>> On Tue, 23 Aug 2005 19:57:27 -0400, Morton Linder wrote:
    >>>
    >>>> An earlier discussion of Lithium AA cells regarding film cameras a
    >>>> few years ago revealed that, due to lower internal resistance, Li
    >>>> cells can deliver a higher current flow (same voltage) which can
    >>>> heat up and
    >>>> destroy some sensitive electronic components.
    >>>
    >>> Absolutely not true. At a given voltage (under load), the camera
    >>> will draw the same current, whether the source is alkaline or
    >>> lithium, whether they are AAA, AA, C or D cells.

    >>
    >> But the issue is it appears that Lithium batteries deliver a
    >> higher voltage under load, and therefore have the potential to
    >> deliver more current.

    >
    > And therefore the higher voltage should equate to lower current!


    It would IF there was something to limit it, but there may not be
    anything limiting it.


    --
    Joseph Meehan

    Dia duit
    Joseph Meehan, Aug 24, 2005
    #16
  17. Larry

    BJ in Texas Guest

    Ken Hartlen <> wrote:
    || Hi Larry,
    ||
    || My FinePix A203/A303 manual says "Do not to use AA-size
    || manganese, lithium, or Ni-Cd batteries in your FinePix
    || A203/A303 because the heat generated by the batteries could
    || damage the camera or cause malfuctions."
    ||

    Same statement is in the manual for my old FinePix 4700.

    --
    --
    "When you're arguing with a fool, make sure he isn't doing the
    same thing." -- Unknown
    BJ in Texas, Aug 24, 2005
    #17
  18. "Pete D" <> writes:

    >> But the issue is it appears that Lithium batteries deliver a higher
    >> voltage under load, and therefore have the potential to deliver more
    >> current.


    >And therefore the higher voltage should equate to lower current!


    Why? This depends entirely on the characteristics of the load.

    If the battery is feeding a switching voltage regulator, increasing the
    input voltage reduces the input current while the power remains
    approximately the same. This might be true for the power used to drive
    the electronics in the camera.

    If the battery is powering a constant-current load, then the current
    remains about the same while voltage rises.

    And if the battery is powering a constant-impedance load, higher voltage
    also produces higher current. The electronic flash circuitry in the
    camera probably behaves this way. Higher battery voltage probably gives
    faster flash recharging, but also puts more stress on the flash
    circuitry.

    In the past, when NiCd batteries were uncommon (and NiMH unheard of),
    some manufacturers built external flash units that were designed to use
    alkaline batteries, and the internal resistance of the batteries was
    what limited recharge current to a level the circuitry was designed for.
    If you used NiCd batteries in these flash units, they would overheat.

    I'd call that bad design, but it did happen.

    Dave
    Dave Martindale, Aug 24, 2005
    #18
  19. writes:

    >The camera will use a regulator(s) to supply the various circuits inside
    >it with power. If it is a simple linear reg. then it will run warmer
    >with a higher battery voltage because it has to drop more volts, the
    >current is unaltered although it is taking higher power from the
    >battery. If it is a switching reg. then for higher a battery voltage
    >the input current will reduce thus maintaining a consistent power
    >dissipation in the reg. and power consumption from the battery. Since
    >switching regs are much more efficient and can operate where the input
    >is less than the required output (or both +ve & -ve lines are required)
    >they are preferentially used.


    For the electronics power, you're probably right. But the electronic
    flash circuitry probably does not go through the regulator, because the
    current demand is so high and because the supply voltage doesn't need to
    be regulated. Similarly, motors may be powered directly from the supply
    voltage instead of regulated power.

    Dave
    Dave Martindale, Aug 24, 2005
    #19
  20. Larry

    Bob Salomon Guest

    In article <dei63m$apt$>,
    (Dave Martindale) wrote:

    > some manufacturers built external flash units that were designed to use
    > alkaline batteries, and the internal resistance of the batteries was
    > what limited recharge current to a level the circuitry was designed for.
    > If you used NiCd batteries in these flash units, they would overheat.
    >
    > I'd call that bad design, but it did happen.


    Or worse.

    Sea and Sea were selling electronic flash units for Scuba that were not
    vented properly for NiMh cells. If one used NiCd cells everything was
    fine. But some users of NiMh cells had their flash explode during use.

    Today their strobe are vented for NiMh cells but you should always check
    with the manufacturer of the item you want to use why they specifically
    tell you to use a specific type of cell.

    --
    To reply no_ HPMarketing Corp.
    Bob Salomon, Aug 24, 2005
    #20
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