Tips to Gain More Rechargeable Batteries Lifespan

Learn to Troubleshoot Your Camera's Battery

gain camera battery longevity
To gain the most from your camera's rechargeable battery, try following the tips listed here. Thanatham Piriyakarnjanakul / EyeEm / Getty Images

If the rechargeable battery for your camera isn't meeting your needs, running out of power well before you think it should, it doesn't necessarily mean you have to replace the battery. It's possible you can improve your rechargeable battery lifespan by making a few simple changes to the way you're using your camera. Here are a few tricks and tips you can follow to gain more rechargeable batteries lifespan!

  • Check the brand. It sounds simple, but make sure the battery matches the camera. Many of today's camera batteries are of a similar size and shape, and, if you have multiple cameras, you might inadvertently swap the batteries, leaving the camera inoperable or leaving the battery not working as efficiently as it should.
  • Stick with the correct charger. By the same token, only use the battery in a battery charger for which it is approved. Do not try to charge the battery in another model's charger. Make sure the battery and the charger are of the same brand and are compatible with each other. It's easy to use the wrong battery, especially if you have multiple chargers in your house from older cameras.
  • Avoid heat. Do not expose the battery to excessive heat or an open flame. Such items can permanently damage the battery, cause the battery to fail, or cause an explosion. Even exposure to heat for a short amount of time can lead the battery's chemicals to break down, reducing its ability to hold a full charge.The battery might be warm to the touch after a recharge or after a long photography session, but this does not indicate a problem.
  • Avoid touching metal. Avoid touching the battery's metal contacts with other metal objects, such as keys. The battery could short out and become inoperable or have its lifespan shortened.
  • Avoid leaks. If you will not be using the camera for a couple of weeks or more, remove the battery from the camera and store it in a safe place. The battery could leak if left in the camera unused for an extended period of time, making contact with the metal contracts inside the battery compartment of the camera.
  • Discharge before storing. If the camera will be placed in storage for a long time, more than a few months, it's best to discharge the battery before storing it -- in other words, let the battery drain down to the last bar on the power guide, which will be about 10% to 20% power, depending on the battery and the camera. You’ll also want to remove the battery from the camera before storing them. Then, once you're ready to use the battery again, fully charge it.
  • Use it regularly. Try to charge and discharge the battery at least once every few months to keep it in working order. If you're a heavy photographer, it's probable that you may naturally drain the battery even more often than that by just using the camera in a few long photography sessions. But if you're someone who only shoots a handful of photos at a time, you may need to make a note of draining the battery fully every few months.
  • Keep it clean. Finally, if the battery simply doesn't seem to charge or hold a charge, you may have a few different problems. First, make sure the battery's metal contact areas are free of grime. You can clean the contacts with a pencil eraser or a clean, dry cloth. Make sure no stray particles are interfering with the ability of the battery's metal contacts to connect with the charger's contacts or the camera's contacts. Make sure the battery is not physically damaged in any way.

Keep in mind that if the battery is old, it's possible that the battery has simply reached the end of its lifespan. Rechargeable batteries gradually lose the ability to hold a full charge as they age because of the chemicals used in the battery. So if your battery is simply not holding as much charge as you need to use the camera in a normal manner, it may be time to purchase a replacement battery.