01-09-2017 08:43 AM
While shooting a wedding and reception, everything needed flash. I use lithium batteries in my flash, but they overheat and I must change them out with fresh ones. Is there another kind of battery that works better or is this just a fact of life that I must be prepared for?
01-09-2017 09:35 AM
Lithium batteries (the non re-chargeable kind) would not be a good choice. They are designed to last a long time with low current draw. What you want are straight alkilines or rechargeables.
01-09-2017 11:32 AM - edited 01-09-2017 11:29 PM
I use Eneloop Pros. They're nickel metal hydride rechargeables; but unlike some cheaper brands of that battery type, they don't heat up, even while being charged.
If I'm shooting a long event with a lot of flash usage, I use a lithium battery pack that clips to my belt. This gives faster recycle times, and it takes a load off of the Eneloops in the flash unit, making them go longer between charges.
01-09-2017 11:42 AM - edited 01-09-2017 11:44 AM
If you're doing very heavy shooting then get the Canon CP-E4 external battery pack.
ALSO... when using this pack you still need the 4 internal batteries in the flash. The external pack holds 8. But you get a chocie of puttting it in a mode where all 12 batteries (4 internal + 8 external) work together OR a mode where the internal batteries run the electroncis, communication, etc. and the externals only power the capacitors to do the firing. This is the better mode to use because it means the internal batteries will never get hot. But it also means your distributing the load across 8 batteries instead of 4.... so you're halving the load on each battery.
When Lithium batteries are being rapidly drained, they will heat up. This is "normal" for that type of battery. I typically use the Panasonic Eneloop rechargeables which are "low self discharge" batteries. A normal rechargeable will lose power just sitting unused (self discharge) and can lose as much as 20% of it's capacity just in a day or two. They really need to be charged up just before they are used. The low-self-discharge are much slower... they "claim" that after sitting unused for a year they only lose about 10% of their stored power (I'm not sure how much of that is marketing vs. reality but I do know they hold a charge much better.)
I *think* eneloop batteries are actually NiMH (Nickel Metal Hydride).
If you use ordinary single-use alkaline batteries, then I've learned to be obsessive about removing the batteries when not using them. Alkaline batteries can leak if they are allowed to be run completely dead ... and they can slow-drain to completely dead just sitting in an used device.
01-09-2017 12:18 PM - edited 01-09-2017 12:25 PM
I agree with the others above. Eneloop pro and Canon CP-E4 (if your flash supports it).
01-09-2017 12:28 PM - edited 01-09-2017 12:33 PM
I agree with the others above. Eneloop pro and Canon CP-E4 (if your camera support it).
I'm not a fan of the CP-E4. I have two of them (with several extra cartridges) and was unimpressed. The Brand-X lithium battery pack that I use now is much more powerful, convenient, cost effective, and durable. The one possible advantage of the Canon unit is that because it uses NiMH batteries instead of lithium, the authorities may be more likely to let you carry it on an aeroplane. But since I rarely fly, that hasn't made a difference to me.
01-09-2017 12:32 PM
01-09-2017 12:46 PM - edited 01-09-2017 12:51 PM
I agree that you should try using alkaline or NiMH batteries (rechargeable, if possible). The lithium you're using might be part of the problem.
But, even alkaline or NiMH will get warm or hot with heavy use.
I think most Canon flash have an automatic shut-down if the flash itself overheats, after which it will need to cool down for a while before it will work again.
Depending upon which flash you're using, an external battery pack might help. 500EX and 600EX series have a socket that allow them to be used with Canon CP-E4, CP-E3, etc. "compact battery packs". Those hold six or eight additional batteries, in addition to the four that are in the camera. Having all the extra batteries give a lot more shots, of course... but also seem less prone to heat up.However, even the CP-Ex battery packs will get quite warm with extended use.
There are third party external, rechargeable batteries, too. Many of those come with assorted power connectors, including a plug like that used by the 500EX and 600EX series flashes. Some of those might be usable with 400EX and 300EX series flashes, too... Although with all those that I've seen you have to modify the flash to be able to connect the battery pack (It connects via sort of a "dummy battery" that fits into the flash's battery compartment... but you have to cut a hole in the battery cover for the power cord to pass through).
01-09-2017 01:09 PM
Easier than charging 8 AA I suppose?
Yes, and the battery portion of the unit slides on and latches in place much more simply and quickly than the battery cartridge on a CP-E. And a CP-E's cartridge holds its AA cells in place by thin, brittle plastic tabs that invariably break off.
01-10-2017 04:58 PM
Canon put out an advisory on the use of lithium batteries.