Digital SLR Batteries

Digital SLR BatteriesIf you’ve had your DSLR for very long, you may have noticed that digital cameras burn through digital SLR batteries much faster than the old SLR cameras did.

If you are just buying a new camera, it’s a good idea to pick up one or more spare batteries so you can be shooting instead of sitting around waiting for your single battery to recharge (…or worse yet, when you realize that you don’t have your charger or an outlet).

If you are ready to buy a new battery check out our DSLR Battery Guide now.

Types of Digital SLR Batteries

Most digital SLR cameras use Lithium Ion (Li-on) batteris which are rechargeable and have very little to no “memory” which means you don’t have to run them completely empty before recharging them.

DSLR batteries often have a mAh or milli-Ampere-hours rating and the higher the rating, the more photographs you’ll be able to squeeze out of the batteries (I covered this in the EN-EL9 vs EN-EL9a review).

Should You Buy Extra Digital SLR Batteries?

Two words – “Hell Yes”.

When I was photographing the Grand Canyon at sunrise, I learned the hard way that cold weather sucks the juice out of batteries like nobody’s business. Two batteries went dead… in the middle of the shoot.

I had to drive several hours to Flagstaff to buy several aftermarket replacement batteries (Energizer) and a Power Inverter that I could plug into my cigarette lighter. The replacement batteries, which weren’t cheap, lasted about half as long as my Canon batteries before dying completely (as in “time to toss those babies in the trash”)…

I learned two lessons:

1. Carry spare batteries
2. Buy batteries from the manufacturer of your camera

Digital SLR Batteries & Battery Grips

Some DSLR cameras can handle a digital SLR battery grip. These grips usually store two batteries and have extra controls on the grip itself (like a shutter release and some control dials to set your aperture and shutter speed).

In addition to being able to go longer between battery swaps, a battery grip is great if you are photographing models or doing portraits because the additional controls make it more ergonomic to reach the shutter release when you’re holding the camera vertically.

I recommend them if you want to avoid straining your wrists and joints if you do portrait or model photography.

Table of Digital SLR Batteries by Camera

Manufacturer Model Battery Battery Grip
Canon Rebel XT NB-2LH BG-E3
Rebel xTi NB-2LH n/a
Rebel XSi LP-E5 BG-E5
20D BP511A BG-E2N
30D BP511A BG-E2N
40D BP511A BG-E2N
5D BP511A BG-E4
Nikon D40 EN-EL9 n/a
D40x EN-EL9 n/a
D50 EN-EL9 n/a
D60 EN-EL9 n/a
D70 EN-EL9 n/a
D70s EN-EL9 n/a
D80 EN-EL3e MB-D80
D200 EN-EL3e MB-D200
D300 EN-EL3e MB-D10
Olympus E-330 BLM-01 n/a
E-410 PS-BLS1 n/a
E-420 PS-BLS1 n/a
E-500 BLM-01 n/a
E-510 BLM-01 n/a
E-520 BLM-01 n/a
E-3 BLM-01 HLD-4
Pentax K100D 4 AA n/a
K200D 4 AA n/a
K110D 4 AA n/a
K10D D-LI50 BG2
K20D D-LI50 BG2
Sony A100 NP-FM55H n/a
A200 NPFM500H VG-B30AM
A300 NPFM500H VG-B30AM
A350 NPFM500H VG-B30AM
A700 NPFM500H n/a

I hope that helps you find the right Digital SLR batteries for your camera.

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