Common Battery Types for Strobes
Skip Navigation Links.
Collapse underwater Photo Courseunderwater Photo Course
Intro
How to use
Collapse (1) The Basics(1) The Basics
Where to Start?
Exposure Basics
Shutter Speed Basics
Aperture Basics
Exposure Values
Quick Quiz
Light Underwater
Light Meter Basics
Film Speeds Primer
Optic Basics
Depth of Field Introduction
What makes a good picture?
Your first dive!
O-Ring Fundamentals
What Next?
Collapse (2) Equipment Guide(2) Equipment Guide
Collapse Underwater Camera HousingsUnderwater Camera Housings
Camera Housings
Collapse Digital Underwater CamerasDigital Underwater Cameras
Housing Types
Design
Build Quality
Camera Housing Viewfinders
Viewfinder Optics
Housing Features
Metering
D-SLR Lens Gears
D-SLR Ports
Leak Detectors
Collapse Lenses and opticsLenses and optics
Lens Types
Autofocus
Wide Angle Lenses
Macro Lenses
Zoom Lenses
Collapse Underwater StrobesUnderwater Strobes
Choice of underwater Strobe
underwater Strobe Power Rating
Strobe Firing Modes
underwater Strobe Compatibility
underwater Strobe Construction
underwater Strobe Connectors
underwater Strobe Coverage
underwater Flash Housings
Power Supplies
underwater Strobe Arms
Underwater Camera Maintenance
Underwater camera Floods
Underwater camera O-rings
Collapse (3) Diving with a Camera(3) Diving with a Camera
Collapse StrategyStrategy
What lens - which camera?
Autofocus or manual?
Check Lists
Camera Preparation (film)
Pre-Dive Checks
Entering the Water
Checking for Leaks
On reaching the bottom
Holding your camera underwater
Strategy on the dive
Collapse Dive TypesDive Types
Wall Diving
Night Diving
Shore Diving
Boat Diving
Snorkel Photography
Collapse Safety And Dive GearSafety And Dive Gear
Solo Diving
Diving Equipment
Drysuits
Collapse (4) Light Underwater(4) Light Underwater
Predicting your results
What is Light?
What is Color?
Color Temperature
Effects of Depth
The Inverse Square Law
Collapse ExposureExposure
Bracketing
Collapse Light Metering UnderwaterLight Metering Underwater
Types of Metering Systems
Types of Light Measurement
Metering Zones
Metering Modes
Which metering system to choose
Metering Problems
Metering Limitations
Collapse Natural LightNatural Light
Time Of Day
Against The Light
Silhouettes Underwater
Sunbursts Underwater
Filters Underwater
Collapse Artificial LightArtificial Light
Automatic Flash Exposure
Strobe Angle
Backscatter
Collapse Balanced LightBalanced Light
Balanced Light Exposure
Fill-In
Collapse (5) Travel(5) Travel
Why Travel?
Where to Go?
Location Strategy
Ten Questions
Air Travel
How best to dive it?
Preparation
Diving Medicine
Colds
Collapse Temperate WatersTemperate Waters
Temperate Tips
Freshwater
Collapse Camera MaintenanceCamera Maintenance
Toolkits
Maintenance Tips
Maintenance Mistakes to avoid
10 things to do with a flooded camera!
Collapse FloodsFloods
Flood Repair
Flood Prevention
Flood Emergency Actions
Collapse (6) Composition(6) Composition
What is Composition?
Rule of Thirds
The Golden Mean
The Horizon
Shapes
Lines
Placement
Frames
Negative Space
Lighting
Viewpoint
Cropping
Conclusions
Collapse (7) Advanced Techniques(7) Advanced Techniques
Maintaining Motivation
Collapse Mastering EquipmentMastering Equipment
Collapse Using Underwater StrobesUsing Underwater Strobes
Flash to Subject Distance
Practical Strobe Techniques
Multiple Strobes
Strobe Lighting Accessories
Advanced Flash Bracketing
Manual Flash Exposure
Manual fill-in Exposure
Strobe Tips
Collapse StrategyStrategy
Percentage Photography
Batch Shooting
The Decisive Moment
FACET
Classic Shots
Education
Attitude
Idea Development
Making Ideas Work
Tourist Mentality
Planned Shots
Collapse Avoiding MistakesAvoiding Mistakes
Operator Error
Picture Problems
Compositional Faults
Camera Problems
Strobe Problems
Collapse (8) underwater Photo Subjects(8) underwater Photo Subjects
Collapse FishFish
Shoaling Fish
Sharks
Dolphins
Bait
Collapse Natural History SubjectsNatural History Subjects
Corals
Large Subjects
Planktonic Life
Moving Subjects
Other Subjects
Collapse WrecksWrecks
Wreck Strategy
Photographing Wrecks
Wreck Composition
Collapse Wide Angle SubjectsWide Angle Subjects
Wide Angle Lenses
Fisheye lenses Underwater
Wide Zooms Underwater
Lens Angle Underwater
Wide Angle Flash
Collapse Macro and Close-UpMacro and Close-Up
Lenses for Macro
Flash for Macro
Finding Macro Subjects
Super Macro
Collapse (9) The Creative Approach(9) The Creative Approach
Close Focus Wide Angle
Double Exposures
Collapse The SurfaceThe Surface
Surface Reflections
Over-Under
Under-Over
On the Suface
Surf Photography
Collapse Models and PropsModels and Props
Masks
Dive Gear
Posing
Signals
Timing
Props
Collapse Long ExposuresLong Exposures
Flash-Blur
Aquarium Photography
Humor
Collapse FantasyFantasy
underwater Fantasy
Special Effects Filters
Filters on Flash
Collapse (10) Promoting Your Work(10) Promoting Your Work
Collapse PortfoliosPortfolios
Collapse PresentationsPresentations
Planning a Presentation
Presentation Software
Shooting for Presentations
Making Presentations Flow
Collapse Careers in Underwater PhotographyCareers in Underwater Photography
Picture Libraries
Advertising Work
Getting Published
Collapse Underwater Photo ContestsUnderwater Photo Contests
Contest Types
underwater Photo Festivals
underwater Photo Shoot-outs
Collapse (11) Digital Imaging(11) Digital Imaging
Collapse Digital BasicsDigital Basics
How To Email images
Computer Hardware
Storing images
Connecting to a computer
Transferring Images
Collapse Color ManagementColor Management
Colour Space
ICC profiles
Histograms
Monitor Calibration
Collapse Image FilesImage Files
Image File Resolution
Image Problems
Collapse Digital WorkflowDigital Workflow
Digital Capture
Cleaning your CCD
Image File Management
Assessing Images
Rotate Images
Captions and Keywording
Digital Workflow Checklist
Quiz
Skip Navigation Linksunderwater Photo Course :: (2) Equipment Guide :: Underwater Camera Housings :: Underwater Strobes :: Power Supplies

Common Battery Types for Strobes

U/W Photo Course

Learn u/w photography the easy way!


Underwater photography requires a lot of light and strobes must keep up with fast recycle times, which dictates efficient power supplies. It is not necessary to know exactly how the electronics work in a strobe in order to use one, but it is useful to understand the idiosyncrasies of the batteries you put in it!

It is especially true when buying a strobe that the number, and size, of battery cells a particular strobe takes will determine its performance. The ideal battery should allow the unit to be able to deliver many firings and recycle quickly. The main types of battery used in strobes are (1) alkalinestandard non-rechargeable batteries (2) Nickel-Cadmium (Ni-Cad) (3) Nickel Metal Hydride (Ni-MhNickel Metal Hydride batteries are very efficient and offer about 40% more capacity than NiCD plus they dont suffer from memory effect. However they only last 500 charge and discharge cycles. NiMH batteries lose about 3% of their charge daily.) (4) Lithium Ion.

  • Alkalines are extremely efficient in that they give many firings and do not fail abruptly, but have the disadvantage of their limited life-span, which makes them costly. The travelling underwater photographer needs a power source that will shoot a roll of film (at least) twice a day for every day of a two week vacation. You would need to carry 14 packs of Alkalines for such a trip (one for every day of your holiday with most strobes). Apart from the inconvenience of carrying that little lot about with you, just think also of the effect on the environment of producing those 14 packs of Alkalines!
  • Nickel Cadmium (Ni-cads) can be recharged hundreds of times and are therefore the most cost effective power supply. They are ideal for the travelling photographer, as you only need to take two sets with you (one in use and one to keep on charge). Ni-Cads offer faster recycling times, but less firings than alkalines and fail more abruptly (usually without warning and usually in mid dive!). They normally require 14 hour charging times and can develop a 'memory'. You must discharge them fully before recharging otherwise they 'remember' and will only take a part charge next time.
  • Nickel Metal Hydride (Ni-Mh) batteries were originally devised as power sources for laptop computers. They deliver more power, quicker, and with no memory problems. They are also re-chargeable and can accept a charge in an hour!
  • Lithium Ion are rechargeable batteries with negligible memory effectNi-Cd (NickelCadmium) cells had a reputation for losing capacity if they were not discharged fully during each cycle of use. This was dubbed the memory effect i.e. the cell remembered that you didnt use it to the full and changed accordingly. and offer about twice the capacity of Ni-MH batteries. They require dedicated chargers.

Rechargeable batteries only survive limited charge and discharge cycles. However this may amount to many 1,000's of cycles so are the most cost effective

Most strobes have removable batteries and can use either Alkaline, Ni-Mh, or Ni-Cads. Some strobes however, incorporate integral Ni-cads which cannot be removed but which usually are industrial grade and of high capacity. Some models boast sealed battery compartments, this is a useful feature in the event of a flood as the internal electronics are protected.

Problems to avoid Do not use rechargeable batteries in your camera. Use standard, Alkaline (or lithium) only. The voltage is lower, and this can throw off your meter!


Next >> underwater Strobe Arms