Over the days leading up to the 25th of December I’d like to give something to everyone who stops by my blog. These tips cover camera settings, flash, lighting, software and gear. I’ll be providing a pair of tips each day until 25th December.

#27 – Best rechargeable batteries for your Speedlite

eneloop rechargeable batteries

Regular readers know I love to use Speedlite flashes, and regardless of the model I use Eneloop rechargeable AA batteries. Eneloop batteries have two attributes that make them ideal, they retain their charge for months when left in your camera bag, and they have the most conservative power ratings.

There’s two main Eneloop batteries, the white standard Eneloop 1,900 mAh cells (Amazon), and the black Eneloop Pro 2,500 mAh cells (Amazon). While you might naturally think the black ones are the best bet, you also need to know that the white ones can be recharged up to 2,100 times, yet the black ones are limited to round 500 recharges. Some of my white Eneloops have been in use for more than five years!

eneloop rechargeable batteries

Batteries themselves are important, but so is how you care for and feed/charge them. It’s absolutely essential that your chosen battery charger can not only charge quickly, but that it has an individual circuit for each battery. If the charger can charge just a single battery in any slot, it’s got individual charging circuits. The one I have used for several years is the MAHA/Powerex C800s (Amazon). On the bottom of the unit it has the Maha label, and on the end you can see the Powerex brand. The C801D is a later model of the same unit.


#28 – The simple way to sync your camera clock

Your EOS camera clock is used to timestamp each image, so it’s a good idea to keep the clock in sync with the real time.

The simplest way is to use EOS Utility and automatically sync the time in the camera with the time on your computer. This works well as most computers get their time from an internet time clock. To set this up, start EOS Utility – connecting the camera to the computer is enough – and then set the EOS utility preferences to sync the camera time with the computer.

This also helps if you live in a country that has daylight saving time, or summer time, as you’ll get a prompt that the computer timezone and camera don’t match at that time.

For cameras with built-in GPS, or a GP-E2 receiver you might choose to sync the camera clock to the GPS signal. Personally I use EOS Utility as I am more likely to plug the camera in to the computer than use GPS. As I use several different camera models it means that all are kept in sync automatically, which is helpful when multiple cameras are used on the same shoot.

Here’s a few more festive fifty tips

Festive fifty – day #25
Festive fifty – day #21
ISO safety shift and Image Stabilizer
Festive fifty – day #14

About the author

Full-time photo tutor and photographer. I love to share my knowledge and skills to make photos, videos and teach others. I write books and articles for photo magazines and I always have at least one Speedlite flash in my camera bag