With the onset of winter in the UK the temperatures drop which causes many photgraphers to seek solace and warmth inside, for the few that venture out photography becomes a game of battery switchovers. Keeping a ‘warm’ set of batteries in an inside pocket and switching it for the ones in the camera every few minutes is not uncommon in extreme cold. This year I have yet again proved to myself that there are two types of batteries that work in this weather; for cameras the LP-E4 in an EOS-1D Mark III, EOS-1D Mark IV and EOS-1Ds Mark III, and for flashes that take AA batteries the Energizer Lithium Alkalines.
LP-E4 cold weather camera battery king
Canon’s EOS-1D cameras have been designed for the working professionals, and professionals often need to work when the weather is not shorts and t-shirt friendly. If you check the specifications on Canon’s websites, you’ll find the EOS-1D models are the only ones that have an operating temperature range down to 0°C, other models are only specificed to 10°C. In fact the LP-E4 batteries were especially designed to work in cold temperatures by Canon, afterall many photographers can’t often choose when or where to shoot.
In my case I was asked to shoot pictures of the switch on of the traditional Christmas lights in a local small town. Many of the local business people and the Mayor plus the local MP John Bercow were to be present. The fact that it takes place in December in the evening of one of the coldest nights in the month and there’s a snow making machine covering people and the main street in snow is an example of cold. I took a spare battery for my camera, but the one I started the evening with had 14% remaining capacity and was still happily taking pictures some two and a half hours later. A fellow photographer with an EOS 5D was doing the ‘hot pocket battery swap dance’ about every twenty minutes just to keep shooting.
Energizer Lithium Alkalines for Speedlite super power
Since there was a requirement for some group shots of the dignitaries and business folks I also took my Canon Speedlites with me. I’d been told we could possibly use an area in one of the towns shops to shoot these, so also took some brollies and light stands. Having the flash kit with me I needed batteries that shoot in the cold like my camera ones. The choice was the Energizer Lthium batteries, and they perform just great. In fact after I got back from the shoot I realised the same set of batteries in the flashes had done four shoots in December alone, firing the flash some five hundred or more times, and are still going strong. The fact that they make flashes recharge like no other battery I have tried, and weigh less than other AA size batteries makes them my default choice for flash batteries on many shoots. The best secret of these batteries is that in terms of number of flashes per pound spent on them they offer great value, so don’t put the apparently high price put you off.