travel photo mistake

Being unaware of
battery problems


Click blue links for all top 10 travel photo mistakes


regarding your camera batteries

Spare battery is essential

A battery can conk out without warning, just before a marvelous travel photo opportunity appears before you. So always pack a spare, freshly charged battery in your camera bag. And bring a battery charger (if applicable).

Idle battery self-discharge

A camera battery can lose up to one half charge per month without even using it. Therefore, be sure your camera batteries are fully (or almost completely) charged before you travel.

Declining capacity

A camera battery's maximum power capacity decreases each time you recharge it. At some point, it will need to be replaced.


A battery could leak, corroding your camera, if left for numerous months inside your camera. The older or cheaper the battery, the sooner it will begin to leak.

To prevent the problem, remove the battery and store it separately as soon as you suspect that you probably won't be using the camera for a long period.

How to conserve battery power

Minimize the use of your flash, cut back on your LCD playbacks, and avoid keeping your camera on for extended periods.

Also if possible, don't use your camera's battery power to upload your pictures to your computer. Consider using an external memory card reader. Alternatively, supply the power with an external AC adapter plugged into your camera.


Most camera batteries are harmed if connected to a live battery charger for more than 24 hours. The time span is even shorter for older and inexpensive batteries.

Look for a battery charger that has an indicator light to tell you when the task is done. Some units even turn off the current automatically.

Cold weather

Batteries drain faster in cold weather. Hiking or cross-country skiing? Store your camera battery close to your warm body, either in a pocket (with an insulated exterior lining) or under your sweater or coat.

Electrical outlet plugs

Your battery charger's connector plug may not fit into the electrical outlet of your next foreign hotel. Plug configurations can vary by country and, sometimes, regions.

Camera stores sell a lightweight kit with a set of converters covering most major countries. The one I purchased has country names and regions printed on the corresponding converters.

Some major hotels stock plug converters for loaning to guests. Ask the housekeeping department or front desk.

Ruined battery

Just because you have the right plug converter doesn't mean everything's okay because voltage output varies around the globe. Voltage is usually 120 volts (as in the USA) or in the 220 to 240 range (as in most parts of the world).

Warning: Do not try to use a plug converter if your camera battery charger is designed for only 120 volts and the country you're visiting uses 220 to 240 volts. The current could toast your battery and charger.

Some new battery chargers accommodate both 120 and 220-240 volts (check the manual). And, some come with multiple plugs.

How battery types differ



Low storage capacity. In the long run, it's cheaper to switch to one of the rechargeable batteries listed below despite the higher cost and the possible need to buy a new charger.

NiCD (Nickl Cadmium)

High storage capacity. But the traditional NiCD battery suffers from memory effect (you have to let the battery completely drain before you can fully recharge it).

NiMH (Nickle Metal Hydride)

It has more storage capacity than an alkaline, but less than that of a NiCD battery of the same size. However, a NiMH does not have the memory-effect problem - and it can be recharged more times than a NiCd in its lifetime.


It is superior to NiCD and NiMH batteries for cameras because it holds its charge much longer, it can output several times as much voltage, and it is small (ideal for compact cameras). Unlike NiCDs, it has no memory effect. It costs more, though.

Battery storage rating

Capacity is measured in Milliamps (mAH) units. The higher the number, the more energy a battery can store.

Proprietary batteries

They cost more than regular rechargeable batteries and it's sometimes harder to find replacements when you are traveling.

However, proprietary batteries do have their advantages. They usually last longer between charges and have a longer overall lifetime. And, in most instances, they take up less space in a camera (desirable for compacts).

Removing & inserting

You could corrupt some of your camera settings and memory card contents if you remove or insert a battery while a camera is still on.

Also learn to avoid these
top 10 travel photo mistakes

1 - Photographing people
2 - Composing your shots
3 - Using flash
4 - Taking landscape shots
5 - After your trip
6 - Memory
7 - Camera features
8 - Batteries
9 - Lens
10-Other situations


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