Zinc-air Battery Packs

Instant Power Batteries

The Electric Fuel Corporation offers a line of batteries for use with many of the Nikon and Sony digital cameras. (Batteries for Kodak, Olympus and Polaroid cameras in December 2001). These are not rechargeable batteries, they're zinc-air batteries with a 3 year shelf life. They cost $19.95 which is a fraction of the cost of the standard rechargeable battery pack.

I wouldn't run my camera on one of these all the time but I would recommend buying one and sticking it in your camera bag. No matter how many sets of batteries you have there's always that one time when you really need it and all of them are dead. That's when you tear open the aluminum bag and pull out your Instant Power battery, plug it in and you're good to go for up to 10 hours ... vacation saved! 

Instant Power Batteries

Each Instant Power Battery comes hermetically sealed in one of these aluminum bags. These 3300mAH Zinc-air batteries will deliver 3 to 5 times the power that you get from a set of rechargeable batteries. The pack measures 3.1 x 2 x 2.2 inches and weighs only 6 ounces.

These batteries are activated when exposed to the air so when you're not using it, you put it back in the resealable aluminum pouch. The shelf life is 3 years in an unopened pouch. The service life is up to 3 months when kept in the pouch after being exposed to air. Outside of the bag they will last about 3 days at room temperature or about 2 days if in a high humidity environment.

The operating temperature is 0°C to 50°C, storage temperature is -15°C to +60°C. 

Instant Power Batteries

Each Instant Power Battery has a builtin belt clip and is supplied with a 36-inch power cord and has a connector to match your camera's DC INput jack. At the time of this review there are battery packs for the following digital cameras:

SONY Mavica models: any floppy disc (FD) or compact disc (CD) model with DC jack (does not support FD7x models), Cyber-Shot models: S30, S50, S70, S75, S85 and F707

Nikon Coolpix for models 775, 880, 885 and 995 only.

The Instant Power battery packs will be available for Kodak, Olympus and Polaroid cameras in December 2001.

They also make Instant Power batteries for the following camcorders: SONY for all Hi8, Digital8 and mini-DV models (except DCR-PC4/5, JVC for all compact VHS and Digital CyberCam models 

Instant Power Batteries

There's also an extensive line of 2- in-One charger kits for cellphone and PDA users for $19.95. These include a Powercartridge, a SmartCord for specific devices and a regular 12 VDC cigarette lighter power plug. If you don't need the cigarette lighter power plug, the price is just $14.95. These batteries will run your phone and charge its rechargeable battery up to three times. You can buy replacement Powercartridges for $9.95. 

Steve's Conclusion

I'd say this may just be the best $20 you ever spent on your digicam. You may never need it but if you do it will instantly pay for itself. These would make the perfect power source for someone who has to spend an extended amount of time in the "outback" away from conventional AC power sources. It's also handy for those times when you vacation in a land that uses a different power standard, one of these batteries is probably cheaper than the power converter for your charger.

They're easy to use, just open the foil bag, take it out and plug it in!!

Zinc-air technology batteries are environmentally safe.

Enough said, just go buy one and never worry about being caught with a dead battery again.