Action Sports Photography Tip Number 13....Carry Extra Batteries For Camera and Flash
Tip #13) Carry Extra Fully Charged Batteries.... You should always carry extra batteries with you when you are out taking sports photography. Nothing is worse than having a great photo opportunity and your camera or flash battery goes dead. It doesn't cost that much to have a backup, and it will save you a lot of trouble.
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Most external flashes/strobes use AA batteries and I think it is best to have rechargeables. I use Energizer Nickel Metal Hydrid, but there are a lot of other good rechargeable batteries out there. Also make sure the charger can charge them back up fairly quickly like, a few hours or less, and not 16 hours like one charger I have. Very quick chargers like Energizers 15 minute charger are great, but I heard the batteries don't last as long using them. I have some batteries from 2005 and I think they are about done, they don't hold a charge anymore.
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Also it is smart to have a voltage inverter in your car, that inverts your cars 12 volt DC voltage into 110 volts AC, so you can charge your batteries while you are driving. Or you can probably buy a charger made to plug into your cars 12 volt DC outlet.
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If you have a fast camera, like one that can take 5 FPS or more, you can take so many photos in such a short time, and if you are shooting for a few hours, your battery will start to drain and slow down your camera, so its best to change it before it gets too low and affects the cameras performance. Probably about 3 batteries is enough for most situations, one in your camera to start and then two to use later when the batteries get weaker.
You can usually find good aftermarket batteries for most cameras, I have one for my Canon 20D and it seems just as good as the Canon brand battery, plus they are like half the price, so its stupid not to have one or two backup batteries.
It's good to store the extra batteries in the cases/covers that they come in, so they don't get dirty or wet. If you just leave your batteries laying around without its cover, the battery contacts could short together while touching something and cause a spark and some damage to itself and surrounding items.