Update: I have switched from these cases to the PowerPax Storacell caddies. Read why I prefer the PowerPax Storacells in this post.
My latest piece of photo equipment cost me less than five bucks. It isn’t a lens, a flash or a custom filter. To tell the truth it isn’t exactly a piece of photo gear at all. Yet, my photography will be the better because of it.
You might not think a battery organizer is a very exciting item, but it eliminates the hassle of keeping AA batteries in order. Any time I can streamline my photography assignments, I get excited.
AA batteries are a photographic necessary if you shoot with electronic flash. I use rechargeable NIMH batteries and I always try to have several freshly charged sets in my camera bag. I’ve tried numerous methods to keep my AA batteries ready for use, but I’ve never been very satisfied with any of them. Until now.
I found some nice nylon plastic battery cases on ebay. These cases hold four AA cells, each battery separated from its neighbor by a nylon partition. I got six of them for under five dollars including shipping. That is sufficient storage for 24 batteries.
I like these cases for several reasons.
It is easy to tell charged and discharged batteries apart
Whenever I charge a set of batteries, I place them into a plastic case. Whenever the batteries in one of my flash units become exhausted, I drop them loose into a pocket on my camera bag. By maintaining this routine, I always know that the batteries in the plastic cases are charged and ready to use. And when I return from an assignment, I know that the loose batteries need to go on the charger. It is also easy to glance through my bag and determine how many charged battery sets IÂ have available.
Batteries in a case don’t get lost
When I am shooting an event, there are times when I need to change batteries quickly. Seconds count if the batteries the my flash start to fail during the middle of the action. If batteries are loose in the bag, I find myself wasting precious seconds rooting around trying to find enough fresh batteries to power the flash. Often I can only find three and have to dig through various filters, sync cords, tripod plates and cleaning brushes to unearth a fourth cell. This doesn’t happen with batteries in cases. The cases are much easier to locate in my my bag, and when I fish a case out I know there isÂ an entire set of four batteries inside.
I can quickly move spare batteries when I swap equipment between bags
I use several different camera bags, depending on how much equipment I need for a particular assignment. Moving lenses and camera bodies between bags is a simple matter, but I take extra care to make sure I don’t forget any important accessories. Storing batteries in cases simplifies the process of making sure that all the batteries get transferred between bags.
Don’t underestimate the little things. A battery case might seem insignificant. If, however, it makes the difference between capturing or missing an important shot, a simple cell case could be one of the most important things in your gadget bag.