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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting
Thread started 28 Feb 2017 (Tuesday) 00:46
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AA RECHARGEABLE BATTERY TEST RESULTS: A SEQUEL TO “6,560 FLASH POPS LATER”

 
SYS
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Gilligan's Island
Post has been last edited 27 days ago by SYS. 16 edits done in total.
Feb 28, 2017 00:46 |  #1

INTRODUCTION

About 8 years ago, I posted the results of the battery tests that my then 4th Grade son and I conducted. It’s called, “6,560 Flash Pops Later: The Results of “AA” Rechargeable Battery Tests”: http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthre​ad.php?t=677074. As years went by, I’ve had numerous requests from POTN members to conduct update tests, but each time I declined. The reason for declining was that I basically knew that the results would be approximately the same as the original test results. The rechargeable battery technology doesn’t change fast. Basically, with the higher mAh, you get more flash pops AND faster recycle time, two most significant attributes that all photographers appreciate. You throw in a long shelf life and you’ve got yourself an ideal rechargeable battery. As the original tests showed, if you want the most number of flash pops and the fastest recycle time, you go with Powerex. If you want the longest shelf life, you go with Eneloop. It was the case of either/or. So, why update the tests now?

DISCLAIMER

A few months ago, out of the blue, I was contacted by the Powerex representative who asked me if I’m willing to update the 8-year-old tests if they provide all the necessary equipment. That was all he asked. No attached conditions – nada -- except to support the tests with the hardware. Still, that was not enough of a motivation for me to pop thousands of flashes all day long and for weeks and meticulously record the data during the Christmas holiday break. What ultimately triggered my motivation to update the tests, however, was that I became highly intrigued by Powerex’s development in the last few years of their batteries in Low Self-Discharge (LSD) production, such as Powerex “Precharged.” Back in 2009 when I did the original test, I distinctly remember looking forward to the day – years down the road -- that we can actually have both the highest mAh of Powerex and the most impressive low-self-discharge (LSD) of Eneloop all rolled into one cell.

To tantalize my excitement further, the Powerex representative broke the surprising news in the middle of my testing that they’re in the production stage of the brand new battery model that they’ve tentatively called “Powerex Pro.” Shortly after the announcement, I received a sample package of these batteries to include in my test. This new beast is 2700 mAh AND claims LSD with the retention up to 75% of charge after one year of storage. This new product officially debuted today in the market:

https://www.amazon.com ...keywords=powerex+27​00+pro (external link)

Do we now have the ideal rechargeable battery that combines the most power with the long shelf life of LSD in a single AA cell?

While the current test report exhibits the number of flash pops and the recycle time, I intend to leave the last section of the report to actually testing the LSD performance for the duration of one full year or until the battery completely drains.

The report presented here is strictly based on my test results and in no way represents any external influences. I’d encourage others to replicate any part of the tests to confirm the veracity of my reports. Just keep in mind that there is some degree of inevitable variations with each flash unit and each battery cell used even with identical brands.

TEST EQUIPMENT USED

For conducting the tests, Powerex supplied me with the following:

3 units of YongNuo Speedlite 600EX-RT; 1 unit of Canon 430EX III-RT
3 units of flash counting module
3 units of Powerex MH-C9000 WizardOne Charger-Analyzer
2 units of Powerex MH-C800S 8-Cell Smart Charger

And the following multiple sets of batteries, in alphabetic order (with the current, normal market cost per a set of four batteries on Amazon. Keep in mind that these prices are fluctuating):

1) Amazon Basics 2400 mAh ($8.99)
2) Duracell 2450 mAh ($14.99)
3) EBL 2800 mAh ($9.99)
4) Eneloop (original white, 4th generation - BK-3MCCA) min 1900 mAh ($13.99)
5) Eneloop Pro (2nd generation - BK-3HCCA) min 2450 mAh ($16.99)
6) Powerex Precharged 2600 mAh - min 2450 mAh ($14.16)
7) Powerex 2700 mAh - min 2500 mAh ($12.89)
8) Powerex 2700 Pro mAh - min 2550 mAh ($16.95)


For testing the % of battery power, I used my own ZTS Pulse Load Multi-Battery Tester.


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METHODOLOGY

All tests were conducted in the ambient indoor temperature fluctuating between 63F to 72F and that is the condition in which the LSD test will be conducted in one-year duration.

Initially, all 3 YN600EX-RT units were hooked up to the flash counting modules that were programmed to pop the flash as soon as pilot button turns red. The devices were further programmed for 20 consecutive flash pops, followed by 10 minutes of a cooling period. In spite of this non-strenuous procedure, one YN600-EX-RT unit burnt out on the first day of testing. Before the unit completely fried and became useless, I discovered that there existed a huge discrepancy among three YN units. With the same new battery brand, for example, all three units yielded a wide range of different results, as much as 90-/90+ flash pops from one another.

Once one of the YN units fried, I requested Powerex for a Canon flash, and I received one unit of Canon 430EX III-RT. In order to connect the counting module to this flash, I employed a flash hot shoe adapter with PC sync port. However, the combination of connecting these devices to the flash ended up a failure. Ultimately, I started the tests all over again with the remaining two YN flashes and averaging all results to maintain consistency.


TEST RESULTS

NUMBER OF FLASH POPS:

YN600EX-RT Flash “A” -- YN600EX-RT FLASH “B” -- Average

1) Powerex 2700 Pro: YN Flash "A": 351 YN Flash "B": 450 Average: 400.5

2) Eneloop 2450 Pro: YN Flash "A": 346 YN Flash "B": 427 Average: 386.5

3) Powerex 2600: YN Flash "A": 333 YN Flash "B": 428 Average: 380.5

4) Powerex 2700: YN Flash "A": 326 YN Flash "B": 417 Average: 371.5

5) Amazon Basics 2400: YN Flash "A": 322 YN Flash "B": 397 Average: 359.5

6) EBL 2800: YN Flash "A": 307 YN Flash "B": 356 Average: 331.5

7) Duracell 2450: YN Flash "A": 284 YN Flash "B": 311 Average: 297.5

8) Eneloop White 1900: YN Flash "A": 252 YN Flash "B": 337 Average: 294.5


RECYCLE TIME (each brand tested at 5th, 100th, 200th, 300th, and 400th pop):


@ 5th Pop

1) Powerex 2700 mAh Pro @ 1.48 sec

2) Amazon Basics 2400 mAh @ 1.58 sec

3) Eneloop 2450 mAh Pro @ 1.64 sec

4) Eneloop White 1900 mAh @ 1.68 sec

5) Powerex 2700 mAh @ 1.70 sec

6) Duracell 2450 mAh @ 1.78 sec

7) EBL 2800 mAh @ 1.81 sec

8) Powerex 2600 mah @ 1.84 sec

@ 100th Pop

1) Eneloop 2450 mAh Pro @ 1.92 sec

2) Powerex 2700 mAh Pro @ 2.02 sec

3) Amazon Basics 2400 mAh @ 2.03 sec

4) Eneloop White 1900 mAh @ 2.1 sec

5) Duracell 2450 mAh @ 2.178.8 sec

6) EBL 2800 mAh @ 2.178.9 sec

7) Powerex 2600 mAh @ 2.18 sec

8) Powerex 2700 mAh @ 2.2 sec

@ 200th Pop

1) Amazon Basics 2400 mAh @ 1.93 sec

2) Powerex 2700 mAh Pro @ 2.1 sec

3) Eneloop 2450 mAh Pro @ 2.2 sec

4) EBL 2800 mAh @ 2.25 sec

5) Powerex 2600 mAh @ 2.3 sec

6) Powerex 2700 mAh @ 2.33 sec

7) Duracell 2450 mAh @ 2.5 sec

8) Eneloop White 1900 mAh @ 3.5 sec

@ 300th Pop

1) Eneloop 2450 mAh Pro @ 2.5 sec

2) Powerex 2700 mAh Pro @ 2.7 sec

3) Powerex 2600 mAh @ 2.9 sec

4) Amazon Basics 2400 mAh @ 3.5 sec

5) Eneloop White 1900 mAh @ 3.6 sec

6) EBL 2800 mAh @ 4.2 sec

7) Powerex 2700 mAh @ 5.8 sec

8) Duracell 2450 mAh @ 10.2 sec

@ 400th Pop (Only those batteries that had 400 + flash pops from YN600EX-RT Flash “B” are ranked; no batteries had 400 + flash pops from Flash “A”)

1) Eneloop 2450 mAh Pro @ 3.2 sec

2) Powerex 2700 mAh Pro @ 3.6 sec

3) Powerex 2600 mAh @ 4.7 sec

4) Powerex 2700 mAh @ 6.2 sec

BATTERY LOW SELF-DISCHARGE (over 1 year duration):

8 batteries from each brand employed. All batteries fully charged on January 24, 2017. Monthly tested and updated. (Last Updated: July 24)

Eneloop Pro 2450 mAh:

Jan 24: 8 @ 100%
Feb 24: 8 @ 100%
Mar 24: 8 @ 100%
Apr 24: 8 @ 100%
May 24: 8 @ 100%
June 24: 6 @ 100% 2 @ 80%
July 24: 5 @ 100% 2 @ 80% 1 @ 60%

Eneloop White 1900 mAh:

Jan 24: 8 @ 100%
Feb 24: 8 @ 100%
Mar 24: 8 @ 100%
Apr 24: 8 @ 100%
May 24: 4 @ 100% 4 @ 80%
June 24: 4 @ 100% 4 @ 80%
July 24: 1 @ 100% 7 @ 80%

Amazon Basics 2400 mAh:

Jan 24: 8 @ 100%
Feb 24: 8 @ 100%
Mar 24: 8 @ 100%
Apr 24: 6 @ 100% 2 @ 80%
May 24: 8 @ 80%
June 24: 8 @ 80%
July 24: 8 @ 80%

Powerex Pro 2700 mAh:

Jan 24: 8 @ 100%
Feb 24: 8 @ 100%
Mar 24: 8 @ 100%
Apr 24: 5 @ 100% 3 @ 80%
May 24: 8 @ 80%
June 24: 8 @ 80%
July 24: 8 @ 80%

Powerex 2700 mAh:

Jan 24: 8 @ 100%
Feb 24: 8 @ 100%
Mar 24: 7 @ 100% 1 @ 80%
Apr 24: 8 @ 80%
May 24: 8 @ 80%
June 24: 8 @ 80%
July 24: 8 @ 80%

Powerex 2600 mAh “Precharged”:

Jan 24: 8 @ 100%
Feb 24: 7 @ 100% 1 @ 80%
Mar 24: 8 @ 80%
Apr 24: 8 @ 80%
May 24: 7 @ 80% 1 @ 60%
June 24: 6 @ 80% 2 @ 60%
July 24: 6 @ 80% 2 @ 60%

Duracell 2450 mAh:

Jan 24: 8 @ 100%
Feb 24: 2 @ 100% 6 @ 80%
Mar 24: 2 @ 100% 6 @ 80%
Apr 24: 1 @ 100% 5 @ 80% 2 @ 60%
May 24: 1 @ 100% 4 @ 80% 2 @ 60% 1 @ 40%
June 24: 5 @ 80% 2 @ 60% 1 @ 40%
July 24: 1 @ 80% 6 @ 60% 1 @ 40%

EBL 2800 mAh:

Jan 24: 8 @ 100%
Feb 24: 4 @ 80% 4 @ 60%
Mar 24: 3 @ 80% 3 @ 60% 2 @ 40%
Apr 24: 3 @ 60% 3 @ 40% 2 @ 0%
May 24: 2 @ 60% 3 @ 40% 3 @ 0%
June 24: 3 @ 40% 1 @ 20% 4 @ 0%
July 24: 3 @ 40% 5 @ 0%


CONCLUDING NOTES

In two categories of tests -- number of flash pops and recycle time -- both Powerex 2700 Pro and Eneloop Pro stand out above the rest of the pack. I'll leave it up to you decide whether the differences between these two are significant to you or not. It'd be interesting to see how their LSD performances unfold in the duration of a year. I will be updating the LSD performances on the 24th of each month. What truly constitutes an LSD performance is a bit unclear. Some brands specifically state, "Low Self-Discharge," while some others are vague about it. From my own personal experience, not all brands that claim anything approximate are true LSD batteries. Well, to sort out the real from the pretenders, only time will tell.

While both Eneloop Pro and the newly announced Powerex 2700 Pro are impressive and stand above the pack, I was surprised by how well Amazon Basics did overall and, on the other hand, how unimpressed I was with EBL with the claim of "2800 mAh."

We all love rankings, but be mindful of what the actual numbers tell you in terms of practical day-to-day, utility value and, most importantly, what kind of a photographer you are. If you're one of those photographers who obsessively recharge batteries before each use, then you don't need to pay attention to the LSD performance test results. Just purchase the battery that offers the most number of flash pops while yielding the fastest recycle time. On the other hand, if you're one of those photographers who need the LSD batteries for OCF flashes, transmitters/receivers​, remotes, and other electronic devices, then it'd be worth paying attention to how they perform over a period of time. They can make a significant difference in the way you work. The combined factors of battery performance in all categories, their cost, and the way you operate as a photographer need to be well considered in picking the right battery for you.


"Life is short, art is long..."
-Goethe
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FarmerTed1971
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Feb 28, 2017 01:04 |  #2

Nice work.


Getting better at this - Fuji Xt-2 - 18-55 - 35 f2 WR - 50-140 - 6D - 135L - 70-200 f4L IS - 600EX-RT x2 - ST-E3-RT - flickr (external link) - www.scottaticephoto.co​m (external link)

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rrblint
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Feb 28, 2017 01:34 |  #3

Great work.


Mark

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alex66
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Feb 28, 2017 01:53 |  #4

Superb thank you.


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Nick5
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Feb 28, 2017 07:32 |  #5

Bravo SYS!..........Bravo!


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Wilt
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Post has been edited 5 months ago by Wilt.
Feb 28, 2017 09:33 |  #6

Kudos for all the work!

SYS wrote:
Keep in mind that most of the brands tested are NOT claiming LSD, so it's unfair to keep them all in the race.

Which batteries are not claiming LSD, of those listed in the OP?


You need to give me OK to edit your image and repost! Keep POTN alive and well with member support http://photography-on-the.net/forum/donate.p​hp
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bpalermini
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Feb 28, 2017 09:51 |  #7

Great info. Thanks so much for doing and sharing this.


Bob Palermini
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SYS
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Feb 28, 2017 11:26 |  #8

Wilt wrote in post #18287742 (external link)
Kudos for all the work!

Which batteries are not claiming LSD, of those listed in the OP?

Good question Wilt. We know that Eneloop is truly an LSD battery because 1) it specifically states in their product description, and 2) it does deliver in LSD performance to match the description. If we use such criteria to define what constitutes LSD, then most of the batteries listed would fail to meet the definition. EBL, for example, states in their product description, "Low self-discharge batteries will remain 85% juice when you leaving it for no use 1 year." Yet, just within one month of sitting nicely on the shelf, 4 batteries lost 20% and the rest of 4 lost 40% of power. Duracell, on the other hand, states, "Last longer in storage with Duralock Power Preserve technology." It doesn't specifically state, "LSD," so it's more honest. Duracell lost 20% of power in 6 of their batteries in one month of sitting on the shelf.

Whether the battery brand claims LSD or anything close to it has a lot to do with the promotional and marketing pressure. What I aim to do is to sort out the real from the pretenders in the coming year of LSD test. I edited my words in the concluding notes in order to avoid any confusion. What I had meant was that most of the batteries tested are not true LSD in the strict sense that Eneloop is from my own experience. I think my LSD test throughout the coming year will attest to that. We'll see.



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RicoTudor
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Feb 28, 2017 18:18 |  #9

Epic testing!


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airbutchie
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Mar 01, 2017 12:26 |  #10

This is so AWESOME!!! Thanks SYS for the assessment of tests for all those batteries!!! Much appreciated, good sir!!!

:)


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agv8or
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Mar 02, 2017 14:20 |  #11

What I'd like to see is the results 4-6 years down the road. Get a little life on those batteries and see how they perform then; how many are still going and how many recharges you get out of each one. Appreciate all the work you have put into this thus far. You have a lot more patience than I have.


Rand

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SYS
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Mar 02, 2017 15:06 |  #12

agv8or wrote in post #18289964 (external link)
What I'd like to see is the results 4-6 years down the road. Get a little life on those batteries and see how they perform then; how many are still going and how many recharges you get out of each one. Appreciate all the work you have put into this thus far. You have a lot more patience than I have.

I can do that, as long as I'm still breathing at that point. ;-)a What you're proposing is a test of these batteries' longevity or mine. :-P



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agv8or
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Mar 04, 2017 01:01 |  #13

SYS wrote in post #18290003 (external link)
I can do that, as long as I'm still breathing at that point. ;-)a What you're proposing is a test of these batteries' longevity or mine. :-P

I'm not going to hold you to it and besides, I will probably forget by then anyway. :-)

I have already done a 5 year test of my own and Powerex did not fare to well. My Powerex 2700's started dying after just a couple of years worth of use plus they were always hot when in use. I retired what was left of the Powerex a little over a year ago for fear they would harm my Speedlites. By chance did you take any temp readings during your testing?

I bought some white Eneloop and Sanyo XXX batteries at the same time and they are all (yes all, every single last one) still working fine. Recycle times do not matter much to me since I have battery packs and larger flash units if I need faster recycle times. Also getting fewer pops per battery charge is not a big deal either as I carry plenty of extra batteries and automatically change them out long before I would be pushing their limit.

What does matter to me is how many years I can get out of a battery and have it still functioning at peak performance. With 5 years of use from the white Eneloops, they have proven their worth to me. I replaced all my Powerex with more white Eneloops and even added a few more for extra measure since I use them in all my devices that take AA and AAA battereies.


Rand

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Left ­ Handed ­ Brisket
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Mar 04, 2017 04:05 |  #14

Most anticipated post of the decade!

Thanks for sharing your work.


PSA: The above post may contain sarcasm, reply at your own risk | Formerly he's gone before apostrophe-gate | Not in gear database: Canon 70-210 3.5-4.5, Auto Sears 50mm 2.0 / 2x CL-360, Nikon SB-28, SunPak auto 322 D, Minolta 20

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OceanRipple*
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Mar 04, 2017 09:17 |  #15

Left Handed Brisket wrote in post #18291346 (external link)
Most anticipated post of the decade!

Thanks for sharing your work.

^^^ +1

Also, Sanyo Eneloops (White) have been very much more robust - counting in years - than other low discharge Hybrid NiMH types (eg Ansmann MaxE etc) that I've tried.

Thanks!




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AA RECHARGEABLE BATTERY TEST RESULTS: A SEQUEL TO “6,560 FLASH POPS LATER”
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