I saw an announcement yesterday about a new strobe that uses a Lithium-Ion battery pack. This, in itself, isn’t ground-breaking: I know there are at least a couple other strobes like this out there. As I read the announcement, though, the benefits of Li-On technology included (1) longer-lasting charges (great), and (2) no more need to lug around AA batteries.
As I got to thinking about this, though, it occurred to me that I wouldn’t actually benefit all that much from one of these because I’m not sure this would really lighten my battery load. I’d still actually need AA’s, as my flash triggers use them, and I’d now have one more kind of proprietary (expensive) custom battery pack to buy and carry. As it is, I typically carry four or so AAA’s for my Yongnuo 603C triggers and timer / intervolometer, a boatload of AA’s for flashes and my Yongnuo 622C triggers, and about three spare Li-On packs for my 7D. If I bring my old 40D, that’s got its own type of pack. Throw in chargers for all these different types of batteries, and I could almost use a sherpa to follow me around all over just to haul power.
So, what would actually help?
How about a standard battery pack? I know it sounds crazy — dogs and cats lying down with one another and all — but think about it: a standard pack that you could pop into your camera, flashes, triggers, and everything else. You’d buy a bunch of these, obviously, but once you’ve got a half-dozen or so, you can use them for any of the devices you’re carrying interchangeably. Oh, and you only have to pack one charger. Sold yet?
By the way, if you want me to buy a battery grip for my camera, make it so it’ll power anything I attach — strobe, triggers, etc. — I’d even be ok with connecting a cord if that means my triggers and strobes get that much smaller.
I can really only see one downside to this approach — since I’m the only one I know who ever leaves the house with a bag full of charged batteries, once everyone is using the same sized battery, I’m sure I’d wind up loaning out packs to people. I can live with that, though — give me standardization!