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Electric Fuel
Instant Power Batteries
by Rick Smith (November 24, 2001)


High-technology imaging products, like camcorders and digital cameras, need lots of battery power. When you run out of this power, you need to replace the battery or else stop your photo or video session. Since certain manufacturers use proprietary, non-standard batteries in their equipment, finding these special batteries can be difficult and time consuming. Fortunately, Electric Fuel has created a quick way to get power, on demand, whenever you run out.

When you run out of power, simply plug Electric Fuel's Instant Power battery into your digital camera or camcorder and keep shooting. No longer will you have to miss a critical shot when your camera runs out of battery power. Instant Power is a battery backup system -- similar to UPS, but for mobile devices.

If you're not convinced that you take critical shots in normal life, are you willing to risk running out of power during one of these occasions?

  • Your child's graduation
  • Family trip
  • Dream vacation to Europe
  • Birth of your child
  • Friend's wedding
  • Surprise visit by grandchildren

    To keep from missing an important shot, the Electric Fuel modules use the same zinc-air fuel cell technology as their batteries and chargers for cellphones and PDAs. These disposable, ready-to-use batteries have a 3.3 Ah capacity that generally provides up to 10 hours of continuous use. These modules activate upon exposure to oxygen in the air, so they are packaged in a hermetically sealed, reclosable aluminum pouch. This pouch can be reused again and again to preserve power between battery uses. When the Instant Power battery eventually runs out of energy, you can simply discard it in normal trash, because these zinc-air batteries are safe and environmentally friendly.

    These batteries connect directly to your digicam or camcorder through the same jack as an AC adapter. Now you don't have to wait for your device's own rechargeable batteries to completely charge before using your camera or camcorder.

    If your equipment uses AA or AAA batteries, using the Instant Power batteries can also be easier than using throw-away Alkaline batteries that last a far shorter time. (I once went through a DOZEN Alkaline batteries in a little over an hour, while shooting with a Nikon 900 digicam.) Not only did I need to carry enough AA batteries, I had to be constantly disposing of the used batteries or risk mixing identical looking "used" batteries with brand new ones.

    Unlike conventional rechargeable batteries that can lose charge while idle, Electric Fuel Instant Power batteries have a three-year shelf life and come fully charged, right out of the package. Other key features of these Instant Power batteries are:

  • Weigh only six ounces
  • Feature a built-in belt clip for easy carrying
  • Have a 36" cord
  • retail for $14.95 to $24.95, depending on the camera model

    Electric Fuel Instant Power batteries are currently available for the following camcorders and digital cameras:

  • Sony Hi8, Digital8 and mini DV camcorders
  • JVC camcorders
  • most Sony Mavica and Cybershot digicams
  • Nikon digital cameras

    New models will support both the Kodak and Olympus digicams.

    Copyright 2006 Rick Smith All rights reserved.

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