Battery Facts

Camcorder batteries

A battery in a camcorder has a tough life. It needs to provide a high voltage for all of the clever electronics that ensure great pictures no matter where you point the camera, and also provide a strong current to drive the tape motor. This has made for pretty large camcorder batteries.

There are currently three generations of camcorder battery, all of which are still being manufactured, sold and used:

• Nickel-Cadmium (NiCd) is the best established, most common, and least expensive technology.

• Nickel-Metal Hydride (NiMH) is a significant improvement over NiCd, with faster recharge times, and good performance for a much larger number recharge cycles. An NiMH battery pack will typically have a capacity 30%-50% over that of an NiCd battery pack of the same size. The NiCd memory effect, which reduces the efficiency of the battery pack with each charge/discharge cycle, has also been overcome in NiMH camcorder batteries. When the battery pack does eventually expire, NiMH is a lot friendlier to the environment, because it removes the Cadmium in NiCd battery packs from household waste.

• Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion) technology is the most recent. It outperforms the other technologies, but does so at a price. Li-Ion camcorder battery packs are also 'intelligent', in that they have on-device electronics that record usage information, and allow the battery pack to be utilized more effectively than without this information.

Have you ever attempted to buy a replacement camcorder battery? You'll be surprised at the price of some original brand battery packs. It is unfortunate (for the consumer) that so many camcorders each require a special battery pack which isn't compatible with any other camera or battery pack. This of course means that the maker of the camcorder is in a good position to dominate the supply, and dictate the price. When you are looking for a camcorder, you have a wide choice, and manufacturers need to price the camcorders aggressively to compete with each other. Once you have your brand XXX camcorder, you'll also have to get their battery packs, so your ability to shop around has been dramatically reduced.

Fortunately a number of third party providers have stepped in, in support of the cost-aware consumer. Uniross and Fameart are amongst the firms offering replacement camcorder battery packs for a wide variety of camcorders. Uniross is one of the leaders in rechargeable battery technology, and makes very high quality battery packs. In fact, because some of these third-party providers specialize in rechargeable batteries, their products can sometimes exceed the performance of the original battery packs, while still being less expensive.

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