Many of today's digital cameras and other consumer electronic devices are designed to be powered by two or four AA type batteries. A good number of these devices can also be powered by one or two CR-V3 lithium batteries as well. These Li-ion batteries offer greater power output than NiMH rechargeables and can hold their charge for a much longer period of time and they're also lighter in weight. Until recently the only type of CR-V3 batteries were expensive (approx. $9-10 ea.), one-use disposables, but that is now changing.
Power Vision in Taiwan is the first company to begin marketing their rechargeable CR-V3 Li-ion batteries. This mini-review focuses on their RCR-V3 outfit that includes the rechargeable CR-V3 battery, charger and AC power supply. The U.S. distributor for these batteries is BatteryX.com, the outfit as shown above retails for $69, additional RCR-V3 batteries are $39 each.
Can your camera (or device) use the RCR-V3 battery? The answer is maybe. If it runs on two or four AA type batteries, the batteries are paired with the positive end in one direction and the negative in the other and the compartment that holds the batteries is either a perfect oval (see diagram above) or was designed to use both AA and CR-V3 type batteries.
Here is one example - the Kodak DX4530 can be powered by two AA type batteries or one CR-V3 battery. Most all of the Kodak DX and CX series cameras and Olympus digicams made in the last two years (that don't use a proprietary battery pack) can use a CR-V3. There are many other cameras that are able to use a CR-V3, check your owner's manual or our camera reviews - we always specify the batteries they use on page two of the review.
Compare RCR-V3, CR-V3, NiMH rechargeable, Alakline
|RCR-V3||CR-V3||NiMH AA x 2||Alkaline AA x 2|
|Life cycle||600-800 times||1 time||300-500 times||1 time|
|Charge time||150 min.||n/a||120-240 min.||n/a|
|Power left after 28 days||90%||n/a||65%||n/a|
|Photos per charge||420||650||250||50|
|Avg, cost per photo||$0.0002||$0.0154||$0.0005||$0.03|
(Test results based on Kodak DX4330, 3.1MP using flash and color LCD 100% of time)
Conclusion: The RCR-V3 is lighter and more powerful than two high-capacity NiMH AA batteries and holds its charge for a longer period of time when sitting idle. A one-use CR-V3 is more powerful but it's much more expensive and ends up in the landfill after only one use. There is no reasonable comparison of the RCR-V3 vs. alkaline batteries -- alkaline batteries make Eveready, Duracell and other companies millions of dollars a year and clog the landfills.
I think anyone can do the math here and come to the same conclusion that I did. The Power Vision RCR-V3 batteries may cost more initially but in the long term they will save you money and they'll also help save the environment. I just hope that more camera and consumer electronic makers design their products so they can use these CR-V3 type batteries.
One of the biggest complaints I hear from occassional digicam users is in regards to the NiMH batteries being dead or near-dead when they go to use the camera. NiMH type batteries are wonderful if freshly charged, when sitting idle however they are subject to a hefty air-discharge rate. Lithium battery technology also suffers from a certain amount of air-discharge but nowhere near as great as that of NiMH.