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Has anyone ever had their Canon flash overheat during heavy shooting? I am using lithium batteries.


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?



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.

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.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA


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.


Tim Campbell
5D III, 5D IV, 60Da

I agree with the others above. Eneloop pro and Canon CP-E4 (if your flash supports it).

@Peter wrote:

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.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA

Easier than charging 8 AA I suppose?

@Peter wrote:
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.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA

Canon put out an advisory on the use of lithium batteries.


John Hoffman
Conway, NH

1D X Mark III, Many lenses, Pixma PRO-100, Pixma TR8620a, LR Classic

@jrhoffman75 wrote:

Canon put out an advisory on the use of lithium batteries.


I didn't even realize that they make lithium AA batteries. I'm pretty sure I've never seen one.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA
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