One of the features that I like best about my Olympus digital camera, beside
the fact that it takes such great photos, is that it can use regular AA
batteries instead of relying solely on a rechargeable battery pack.
Of course, this mainly comes in handy when I am on vacation and can’t charge
the batteries as easily as when I am at home. It’s convenient to be able to just
run in any store and pick up fresh cells.
On the other hand, when I am using my camera at home I prefer to use
rechargeable batteries because they are less expensive in the long run and
better for the environment. Up until last week, I was using this cheesy set of
rechargeable alkaline batteries that were way past their prime. When I would use
my digital camera with the color screen on in conjunction with the flash, which
is my preferred way to take pictures, I would only get maybe 15 or 20
snaps before I would get a low battery warning. Taking just one more picture
would shut my camera off.
I am the first to admit that my rechargeable batteries were not the best to
begin with, and they were getting old. I knew I was going to have to replace
them, it was just a matter of "with what?"
Well it looks like I have found the answer to my problem: the
Optima Smart Rapid Charger/Conditioner. I received the NC-20FC charger with
a set of eight 1800mAh NI-MH AA batteries, but there are other combinations that
you can purchase. This combo also came with an
Included in the box is the charger, which can hold up to four batteries of AA
or AAA size. You also will get a 100 – 240V AC input adapter that has a 12V
power outlet plug. This adapter is awesome because it can be used either here in
the United States, or overseas where voltages can vary. You just have to buy the
proper adapter depending on the foreign country’s plug configuration.
One of the cool features about this gadget is that is can charge either AA or
AAA batteries, or a combination of both.
I was surprised when I first plugged the NEXcell in – "It’s a small world,
after-all" started playing! It was only on for just a couple of seconds –
long enough to let me know that the charger was working and it was getting
started on the inserted batteries. Red lights came on under each set of
batteries, and they stayed on until approximately two hours later, when the
batteries were full and the lights turned green and the tune began to play
again. Pretty nifty!
I charged two sets of batteries, and both times the batteries felt warm in my
hand after they were done but the charger felt cool to the touch. I am assuming
that this is normal.
It is interesting to note that you do not have to worry about over-charging
batteries when using the NEXcell. While the lights are green, signifying a fully
charged battery, the LED will flash red every 30 seconds to indicate that the
battery is "charged completely and under trickle charging mode."
Just for fun, I decided to see how many pictures I could take before I got a
low battery warning with my new, fresh batteries. Remembering that I was only
able to get 15-20 before, I figured I would be able to get at 50 or so. In fact,
I got over 250 before I got tired of hitting the shutter button over and over.
Remember, this was with the LCD screen viewer on and the flash going off for
every picture – pretty impressive!
Obviously, the NEXcell batteries and their charger are a huge step up from
what I had before. I am actually looking forward to taking the entire kit with
me to Scotland on Spring Break! With this kind of battery life, you all will get
to enjoy a flood of pictures from the trip! ;0)
The NEXcell Optima Smart Rapid Charger/Conditioner and its accessories are
available from Sunn Battery Company
and other retailers.
Price: $32.55 (includes 8 AA batteries and car
Fast charging with protection against memory effect
Wall charger works internationally – either 110V or 240V
Has over-voltage protection to keep battery from over-charging
Can charge different size batteries in the same charger