Which AA Rechargeable Battery Is Best After One Year of Abuse?

Photographers need the best batteries in their gear to stay ahead when it comes to making killer work. It's for this reason that it's crucial you know the strengths and weaknesses of the many battery brands out there.

Without batteries, most photographers would quite literally be left in the dark when it came to taking pictures. Which brand you choose can be somewhat of a minefield, as there are so many to pick from. If that wasn't enough, having to wade through the many fabricated product reviews on places like Amazon and eBay can muddy the waters and add to the confusion even more so. This is why I love to see independent methodical tests done by third parties whose only goal is to find the best products out there. Thankfully for us, Project Farm over on YouTube is one of these testers who has just published his results on which rechargeable AA battery is best after one year of use.

Photographers' favorites like Duracell, Amazon Basics, Panasonic Eneloop, and IKEA LADDA all feature in the test, and a few more obscure brands are also thrown in for good measure. The video tests both batteries which have been used daily and some that have just been stored for a year. These same batteries were also tested for internal resistance, which is important for us photographers who usually rely more on spikes of power in things like our speedlights.

Todd over on Project Farm is very methodical with his approach, and each product he tests gets the same fair treatment. His videos are clear and concise, and it's great to see the results graphed out for easy comparison. I have to admit that I have stuck with the same brand of battery for many years, although after seeing the video, I am tempted to explore some of the other options out there. If you are in the market for some AA batteries or just want to check how well your particular go-to brand is stacking up, this video is for you.

Lead image by Денис Марчук used under Creative Commons.

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Paul Parker is a commercial and fine art photographer. On the rare occasion he's not doing photography he loves being outdoors, people watching, and writing awkward "About Me" statements on websites...

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Eneloop batteries.

Hands down best power, cycling, and best recharge. I won’t use anything else.

Did you watch the video? Apparently there are better batteries out there.

According to their video yes but that’s where personal experience comes into play and why I choose to use the eneloops.

sure, why not ... btw, Ikea is basically rebranded Eneloop Pro .. so should be slightly better for flashes. I`m using both Eneloop (not Pro) and LADDA and I due to irregular usage I cant really tell which is better but given the price and performance I think I go to Ikea when buying next couple of them .. they are certainly not worse ..

All I know is that my eneloop pros are amazing and I never question if my flashes will fire or recycle in time for a photo so I stick to them.

Most people on here haven’t used batteries in flashes at multiple weddings. If we’re talking about really testing performance of batteries, I don’t see any other place more fitting.

If that's what it takes, then I'd suggest trying out a set of IKEA Laddas and an open mind at your next wedding to see for yourself. A set of 4 Ladda AAs is only 6.99. As Nate mentioned the IKEA Ladda is literally the same battery as the Eneloop Pro. If you know that your "Eneloop Pros are amazing" then by extension you already know that the IKEA Laddas are amazing too. You don't have to take our word for it...

Not taking the bait of being pound foolish on something as big as a wedding to test the laddas. I tried the RAV power batteries for Sony as I wanted multiple sets of backups stashed in different places. On paper they looked great and were much cheaper than Sony. They worked well for about a month and had weird reactions to the chargers. Then a firmware update basically bricked them. I still have Eneloops I bought years ago that work well with Lacrosse charger.

Yin, no one's talking about RAV batteries. Have you tried the LADDA batteries (aka Eneloop Pro)?

As I said, I am not entrusting a valuable assignment on something that does not have a proven track record like eneloops. Used them since the 2008. I have about 70 Eneloop AA and AAA. I learned the hard/expensive way that every time I try to go cheap I pay double or miss a photo because the equipment somehow malfunctioned. I guess this article highlights an important point. You save $ because you get a 1/4 of the recharge cycles.

"Eneloops are rechargeable up to 2100 times while the new Ikea Ladda only accept up to 500 charges. This may explain the difference in price. Or it may not, as some people who tested the batteries say that they’re rebranded Eneloops Pro. Eneloop Pro batteries have a capacity of 2550mAh, are rechargeable up to 500 times and each pack of 4 costs $36.10."


I would never “test” batteries at a wedding. No respectable photographer would test equipment in that environment.

You're right, let me rephrase so the point isn't missed; LADDAs are every bit as good as Eneloop Pros. They would (and have) performed perfectly at weddings. If I could, I would buy you a set so that you to test freely yourself anywhere and as much you'd like. And just so you know, I'm an Eneloop user too!

If I hadn’t already invested in the pros I’d be looking around but I bought 24 of those damn things three years ago and haven’t even thought twice about it since.

I’m all about saving money on gear if I can (I shoot all Godox lighting just as an example).

"Eneloops are rechargeable up to 2100 times while the new Ikea Ladda only accept up to 500 charges. This may explain the difference in price. Or it may not, as some people who tested the batteries say that they’re rebranded Eneloops Pro. Eneloop Pro batteries have a capacity of 2550mAh, are rechargeable up to 500 times and each pack of 4 costs $36.10."


Panasonic Eneloop 2500 mAh - using them for years now, best there is. I have 36 sets for powering my Speedlights, sometimes set-up of 5. After intensive use they will die on you, but that takes years and I use them a lot. I check them regularly with the Ansmann energy checker. Just to cover every eventuality I always carry a few packs of Industrial Duracell alkaline batteries with me. Can't gve you better advice than this :-)

I used to use Eneloop and now I just use AmazonBasics. For most uses, I don't notice enough of a difference to warrant the extra money, but then again I'm not using them for a speedlight so there's that consideration...


"Eneloops are rechargeable up to 2100 times while the new Ikea Ladda only accept up to 500 charges. This may explain the difference in price. Or it may not, as some people who tested the batteries say that they’re rebranded Eneloops Pro. Eneloop Pro batteries have a capacity of 2550mAh, are rechargeable up to 500 times and each pack of 4 costs $36.10."


I used to use common Duracell or Sony batteries.

Then I found eneloop. It lasts a lot and circles super fast. Never going back, even though it costs like 4 times more.

I used to swear by Eneloop and Eneloop Pros. Then I discovered the IKEA Ladda.


/shout mode off

I love Project Farm, one of my favorites on youtube

AA's...what are they? All kidding aside, since Godox/Flashpoint and lithium-ion batteries, I almost never use AA's. Well I do use them in my TV remote.

If you use their triggers you'll always use AA's. :P

Yes, but I find those triggers work best with alkaline AA's. And I use not only the X2 triggers, but the flash itself (860ii on camera) as a trigger.

I use AAs in my Godox TT350s because the low power requirements when using them on-camera for fill or low-ceiling bounce balanced with ambient at high ISOs yields near-instantaneous recycle, so I don't really need the V350's li-ions. My off-camera speed lights (V860IIs), though, used closer to full power to light larger spaces or distant stages, benefit from the recycle and capacity of li-ion.

I was under the impression that the Eneloop 2500ma and the Ikea batteries were the same battery (out of the same factory) just packaged differently.

Rob, you are correct. The Eneloop PRO (which wasn't tested here), is the same as the IKEA LADDA battery. Which is why the IKEA rates so very, very well. The Eneloop Pro has a shorter number of lifetime recycles but was designed mainly for flash. It had far better flash recycle times (lower resistance, as shown by the IKEA win in that category). And, of course, it had the higher capacity, which meant that it was less likely to get hot under heavy flash loads.

My own tests on the Eneloop, Eneloop Pro, Amazon Basics, EBL and IKEA LADDA had very similar results as the (much more thorough) testing done in this video.

IKEA LADDA for flash use - identical results to my Eneloop Pro's over the years, it just that (locally) the IKEA LADDA were considerably less expensive. The regular Eneloops performed well, but couldn't compete with the Eneloop Pros. Amazon Basics were very good values, they just couldn't match my Eneloop Pros / IKEA LADDAs for flash use. My EBLs started off somewhat good (but not quite as strong as advertised), but deteriorated in every way, fairly quickly (matching the test results here).

Was surprised by Duracell, IKEA, and Black Amazon. Not really the brands that come to mind when thinking about rechargeable batteries.

The video and comments mention "Made in Japan"
Well - when I was researching batteries to use - I discovered that there is actually only 1 battery factory in Japan - so they're all made in the same place.
Whether they are the exact same item or seconds / previous year models of more expensive batteries (eneloops) is regularly discussed.

I tend not to abuse my material if I can help
IKEA cells here for me and a Powerex charger. I had a load of Sanyo Eneloop that lasted about 5 years before giving problems.

Been using the original white Eneloops for 6+ years. I don't think I've had a single failure in that time, and they're all still going strong. I've got about 50 of them now, mostly in my kids' toys. OTOH, I've had some drugstore NiMH AAs die after less than a year. I've got something that works, and I'm sticking with it. Not even looking at the Eneloop Pros.

I did my research a couple of years ago when building/outfitting my speedlight kit; purchased about 60% Duracell and the rest Eneloops. (If there were an Ikea within 30m I would have added some of theirs... there wasn't). I have been absolutely satisfied with their performance. Real-life experience thoroughly matches what the testing and reports had indicated.

I doubt that you'll notice a real world difference in service from any of the top rated batteries; just avoid the Made in China brands.
And, I wonder if the dude can speak a bit faster . . .


I am sorry Lee, but I did a fairly exhaustive online search and of the many, various tests, none that I could find back you up on that. There WAS a (mistaken) comparison between the LADDA and the Eneloop which ARE different batteries, but the tests comparing the LADDA and Eneloop Pros indicate it's the same battery.

The Gizmodo article (based on original research by Matthew Eargle) really broke the story. With the exhaustive comparison of groups of 8 batteries where the performance, discharge curves, etc, were all within .05% of each other. All the various measured curves were virtually indistinguishable from each other.

For the record, the LADDA group was the group that was technically 0.05% better, but that's obviously just the luck of the mix of the 8 batteries selected for each brand.

By the way, no one has ever disputed the fact they come from the same Fujitsu battery plant line, the question has always been whether they were made to exactly the same standard?

Don't forget to do 3 full cycles to get them up to full speed after you first buy them (true for all of the batteries on this list). These batteries don't have a "memory" but the battery chemicals do need to become fully activated. Using my tester, I found that 3 times seems to be the magic number to reach full capacity (the first time around is WAY less).

when did kermit started doing reviews?

Great article - I've been using Duracell's for a number of years and have been pleased with their performance. But I went to buy some more today and all the ones at the stores I visited are now made in China so these test results may not be accurate. Will be trying the Eneloop pro's.

They seem to all have comparable recycle times, from my experience. I shoot a bit differently. Every weekend I do nightclub work, with very low light conditions as you'd imagine. And the walls are black. Every weekend I depend on these batteries to power my SB-910 for the night. A single set of 4 Eneloops, Eneloop Pros, or IKEA Ladda AAs lasts me an entire evening, getting hundreds of frames. I have my ISO at about 400, with my flash set to rear-curtain. I'm selective with my shots (helps to streamline my culling process) and I don't often shoot 3 frames/sec. However, I have noticed that with any of the batteries, I sometimes have to wait a moment for the flash to recycle if I try to bang out consecutive frames.

Lovely. Looking forward to your results!

Interesting findings Lee! I was surprised to learn about size differences between batteries. I'm having trouble looking up the MaHa C960 charger. Could you post a link?

Do Canon SPeedlights have the little attachment that allows you to add a 5th battery ?
I've heard this can really help recycle time.
[Nikon Speedlights used to come with it]

...posted incorrectly

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