This is part two of my four part blog posting about creating my Canon based off camera flash system. I recommend that you go and read part one first if you haven’t already, part one can be found here.
The next accessory I looked into to add to my lighting “kit” was a suitable power source. The Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT and the ST-E3-RT both use AA battery cells.
Selecting a suitable set of AA batteries is a veritable minefield as there are so many options and opinions around what is good and what is not. Whilst I have a large number of Duracell batteries that I can use for now they are going to be very expensive to keep using and will have to be thrown away when exhausted which isn’t very eco-friendly.
The main consensus out there is that for anyone who is going to use Speedlites for more than a few shots here and there you should invest in rechargeable AA batteries. The most popular brand that is being recommended are Sanyo’s Enloop batteries. This is where it gets a bit murky again, the amount of power and which generation seems to be vary wildly as well as which ones to get.
Just searching through the Enloop batteries on the UK Amazon site presents a bewildering number of options. More research on the various sites suggest that you always want the latest generation available and want something that has a large number of charging cycles (the life of the battery).
So after a lot of looking around I have settled on the some 4TH generation 1900mAh Sanyo Enloop batteries:
These can be recharged 2100 times and take a long time to discharge which means they won’t be flat weeks after they were charged. The quick discharge problem was the issue that I have had with my previous experimentation with rechargeable AA batteries so it was refreshing to hear that this was a problem that has now been overcome.