If you were asked what was the most underrated accessory in the photographer’s camera bag what would you think of? Would it be filters? Would it be extra lenses? I don’t think so. There is one accessory that all of us use and if we didn’t have it we wouldn’t be able to use our digital cameras. Well what is it?
It is the humble digital camera battery. Humble possibly, but most definitely the digital camera battery is the most essential camera accessory. Of course traditional cameras have also used batteries for years, but there always were a few top of the range professional models that were completely mechanical.
Some digital cameras use power at an incredibly quick rate, whilst others use power at a much slower rate. To my mind a camera that uses power too quickly is not a lot of good to me.
The two types of battery that are in common use are the standard AA size battery and a rechargeable battery made especially for the make of camera that you are using. Although the AA batteries are more convenient in that they are available almost anywhere that you are likely to be photographing they become quite expensive because of their short life. There are Nickel Metal Hydride AA size digital camera batteries that are useful as they are rechargeable and last longer.
The batteries made by the camera manufacturer are more expensive than AA batteries, but hold their power a lot longer. It is recommended that you purchase more than the battery that came with the camera. Shop around for bargains. You will find battery makers selling a lot cheaper than the camera manufacturer.
What can you do to conserve your battery power? I rarely use the LCD screens on my digital cameras. The screen consumes so much power that you should try to use it only when necessary. A useful tip that I can pass on is, if you find that you are running out of battery and you haven’t a spare, turn the auto focus off on your lens. Use the manual focus setting. If you are on holiday or on a big shoot make sure that you have a spare backup set of batteries with you. If you are photographing an important event such as a wedding make sure that you have a backup set, and make sure that your batteries are fully charged.