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Old 9th of June 2013 (Sun)   #1
mrmarks
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Default Best battery for speedlight in fast continuous shots

Is there any good AA battery or battery pack (preferably rechargeable) that will allow fast recharge times for fast continuous shots? I have tested sanyo eneloops and the recharge rate is too slow. Thanks for the inputs.
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Old 9th of June 2013 (Sun)   #2
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Default Re: Best battery for speedlight in fast continuous shots

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Is there any good AA battery or battery pack (preferably rechargeable) that will allow fast recharge times for fast continuous shots? I have tested sanyo eneloops and the recharge rate is too slow. Thanks for the inputs.
You need an external battery pack in order to decrease the flash recycling time. Also, the lower the flash output, the faster the recycling will be. Just be warned that continuous shooting without letting the flash cool down can lead to a flash malfunction. The newer Speedlites, though, do have thermal shutdown circuits to protect the flash from a thermal meltdown.
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Old 9th of June 2013 (Sun)   #3
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Default Re: Best battery for speedlight in fast continuous shots

I am currently using the 600ex-rt. I think this has the thermal shutdown protection? Which external battery pack would you recommend? Hope this is not heavy. Thanks!
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Old 9th of June 2013 (Sun)   #4
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Default Re: Best battery for speedlight in fast continuous shots

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I am currently using the 600ex-rt. I think this has the thermal shutdown protection? Which external battery pack would you recommend? Hope this is not heavy. Thanks!
I use the Canon CP-E4 and the Quantum Turbo 2x2 for my Speedlites. However, there are other 3rd party options available although I don't have any experience with any of those.

Take a read through the following thread for more suggestions:

http://photography-on-the.net/forum/....php?t=1304652
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Old 9th of June 2013 (Sun)   #5
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Default Re: Best battery for speedlight in fast continuous shots

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I am currently using the 600ex-rt. I think this has the thermal shutdown protection? Which external battery pack would you recommend? Hope this is not heavy. Thanks!
Cheetah Stand has a nice Lithium battery with ports for two speedlites. And it will last forever. (Well at least for a large number or flashes.)

As mentioned, when the speedlite reaches a thermal threshold, the screen goes orange and the recycle time goes way up. If you want rapid recycle for continous burst keep it below 1/4 power and keep the burst to about 5. Then wait a bit before next burst.

1/4 to 1/8th power seem to deliver near instantaneous recycle. If you plan ETTL high ISO, wide aperture and close to subject.
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Old 9th of June 2013 (Sun)   #6
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Default Re: Best battery for speedlight in fast continuous shots

As per David Ward's post - the Cheetah L4500 (link) / Godox PB960 (different link) (depending on where you are - you seem to be keeping it secret) is currently hugely popular.

If you look in your Canon destruction book for your flash unit, you will see warnings about overheating. They generally run along the lines of "no more than 15 full power flashes". The thermal cut-out slows things down by lengthening the recycle time but it's still, I am told, possible to overheat things to the point where it stops playing altogether for a while till it has cooled down.

The Pixel TD381 is my favourite among the AA battery packs (as per original request). Seemingly the same as all the others, it benefits from using 2 seperate banks of 4 AAs. That way, if a single cell fails, you still have a functioning battery pack albeit at a marginally slower rate of recycle. TD-381_battery_tray.jpg

No matter what batteries or rechargeables you put into the flash unit battery compartment, you cannot speed up recycling that way. The only way to do that is with an external power pack delivering circa 330 volts. It's a matter of voltage and the circuitry attached to the battery compartment limits output to roughly 6 volts no matter what you cram in there. DON'T be tempted to put the higher voltage Lithium AAs into the battery compartment unless you like expensive burning smells.
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Old 9th of June 2013 (Sun)   #7
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Default Re: Best battery for speedlight in fast continuous shots

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1/4 to 1/8th power seem to deliver near instantaneous recycle. If you plan ETTL high ISO, wide aperture and close to subject.
Does the 600ex-rt record or display the emitted flash power level in ETTL mode?
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Old 9th of June 2013 (Sun)   #8
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Default Re: Best battery for speedlight in fast continuous shots

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I am currently using the 600ex-rt. I think this has the thermal shutdown protection?
The 600EX-RT does indeed have hair-trigger thermal protection; it's much faster than on any other Canon speedlight I've used. Even with the Canon BP-E4 battery pack or the Quantum Turbo 3 battery pack (for Canon), I've still had the 600EX-RT enter the 'shutdown' mode after only 3 or 4 shots when firing at full power (but this has only ever happened when I'm using an on-camera 600EX-RT to fire a couple remote 600EX-RTs in bright sunlight--and I'm using a 5D3, so everything should be compatible).
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Old 9th of June 2013 (Sun)   #9
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Default Re: Best battery for speedlight in fast continuous shots

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DON'T be tempted to put the higher voltage Lithium AAs into the battery compartment unless you like expensive burning smells.
This is all I ever used until I got the 600EX-RT (I put the lithiums into my flash and into my Canon battery pack). I never had any thermal shutdown issues with my 550, 580 or 580EXII flashes while using Energizer lithiums. I did have an issue with thermal shutdown on the 600EX-RT almost immediately so I invested in 36 Eneloop batteries and a fast MAHA 8-cell charger...but still encountered the thermal shutdown on the 600EX-RT. If I attach my Quantum Turbo 3 to my on-camera flash, the issue seems to go away, no matter what batteries I have in the flash itself.
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Old 10th of June 2013 (Mon)   #10
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Default Re: Best battery for speedlight in fast continuous shots

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This is all I ever used until I got the 600EX-RT (I put the lithiums into my flash and into my Canon battery pack). I never had any thermal shutdown issues with my 550, 580 or 580EXII flashes while using Energizer lithiums. I did have an issue with thermal shutdown on the 600EX-RT almost immediately so I invested in 36 Eneloop batteries and a fast MAHA 8-cell charger...but still encountered the thermal shutdown on the 600EX-RT. If I attach my Quantum Turbo 3 to my on-camera flash, the issue seems to go away, no matter what batteries I have in the flash itself.
I was perhaps rather too sweeping in my assertion to not use Lithiums - APOLOGIES for the lack of clarity. I guess that's what you get with over-generalisations . In mitigation, though, at least what I suggested was safe for your gear. Perhaps instead of "don't be tempted to use the higher-voltage Lithium AAs...", I should have stressed the HIGHER VOLTAGE aspect and explained sizing - especially with folks now wanting to make their own battery packs.

There are certain AA-sized Lithiums which are truly 1.5v output - the Energizer Lithiums are one example - and these are safe of course. This type, the Lithium-Iron disulphide chemistry - LiFeS2 - produces a single use primary battery which IS safe to use - so long as you actually READ the specifications and are aware of the requirements. Unfortunately, there are identical sized Lithium ION (notice the differentiation between ION and IRON) secondary batteries (what we call rechargeables) which use Lithium Iron Phosphate - LiFePO4 - with a nominal voltage of circa 3.7v and they can go up to 4+v. These are USUALLY built-up as battery packs and include a voltage regulator circuit, either in the pack itself or in the appliance circuitry.

They are, unfortunately for the unwary, also found as loose single AA sized cells and it's this size similarity which can catch folks out. "Oh, wow. really high powered AA cells, rechargeable too - they'll be great. BANG."

It's at least partly our fault as, lazy blighters that we are, we tend to lump all cells of this type together as "Lithiums". That name is really a FAMILY of battery-types and not just a single chemistry - it's a bit like saying a Wright bi-plane is the same as a Boeing 787 is the same as an F-16 because they're all aircraft! We're familiar with Lithium rechargeable (ie 'secondary') batteries for our cameras - 2 x 3.7v LiFePO4 cells = 7.4v as per the (eg) Canon LP-E6 - so anything 'Lithium' must be OK. It may be OK, and it may not - we have to rub both our remaining brain cells together and check voltage as well.

So, let's try this one. Don't be tempted to use the HIGHER VOLTAGE Lithium rechargeables which you may come across. The oft-quoted invocation to READ THE INSTRUCTIONS (and specification) definitely applies.

'Thermal shut-down' is a designed-in function of the flash and the way it's used. Firing the flash sends a pulse of energy through the tube. This generates light (the bit we want) and HEAT (unwanted by-product). It's the secondary function, this generation of heat, which causes the thermal protection to come into play. Another sweeping generalisation for you - it's not the batteries you put in the flash which causes thermal cut-out/shutdown/protection, it's the itchy finger you put on the shutter release.

Which now leaves scope for a myriad of "Ah, well, I've always ..........." replies.
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Old 10th of June 2013 (Mon)   #11
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Default Re: Best battery for speedlight in fast continuous shots

What are you trying to shoot? Since you mention eTTL, what is your shooting apertures, ISO etc.
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Old 10th of June 2013 (Mon)   #12
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Default Re: Best battery for speedlight in fast continuous shots

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Originally Posted by mrmarks View Post
Does the 600ex-rt record or display the emitted flash power level in ETTL mode?
No, the power range reference is from testing. I use manual speedlite settings to test output in an environment and to get an idea of recycle times. ETTL is going to determine the power output on a shot by shot basis.

I also use manual 1/1 as a quick check on battery state in my external AA packs. i.e. switch speedlite to M 1/1 and press the test fire button. If it takes longer than normal for the ready light to come on, its time to replace the batteries.
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