What Can Happen to a Digital Camera if You Overcharge the Battery

If you’re looking into what can happen to a digital camera if you overcharge the battery, then this article is your last stop on your search. Preserving an optimal battery life should be a priority for any photographer. After all, dead batteries can force you to fall back on your mobile phone even with the best digital camera. That’s any photographer’s worst nightmare.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Large battery manufacturers and brands ensure that every battery has been rigorously tested for safety before it’s able to reach consumers.
  • It is extremely rare for a battery to explode or cause a fire, but it’s important to remember this is always a risk you’re taking when overcharging.
  • The worst thing that is likely to happen when you overcharge a battery is decreasing capacity over time.

What Can Happen to a Digital Camera if You Overcharge the Battery

So, what can happen to a digital camera if you overcharge the battery? Luckily, not a whole lot. Big brands have reputations to uphold, and nobody wants a messy lawsuit. Because of this, battery technology has evolved to the point where it is improbable a battery would explode. However, you should know a few things about overcharging and the adverse effects it still does have on your camera batteries.

Insider Tip

Preserving an optimal battery life should be a priority for any photographer.

Can You Overcharge a Battery?

You can overcharge a battery, even if it doesn’t end in flames. Keeping a rechargeable battery on charge for longer than recommended can degrade the battery over time. This strips batteries of power capacity. It may also be what causes black screen in digital cameras and how to fix it can have you reaching deeper into your pockets. There are a few things you can do to avoid this, however.

Explaining Lithium-Ion Batteries

Virtually all rechargeable batteries are Lithium-Ion, whereas disposable batteries are made only of lithium. A lithium battery lacks the power cell necessary to hold a charge. A rechargeable battery is also much lighter than its lithium battery counterparts. Lithium-ion is quickly becoming a popular choice for your mobile phone, your laptop batteries, and more. Of course, there are pros and cons to both battery types, but lithium-ion is steadily becoming popular.

Insider Tip

Virtually all rechargeable batteries are Lithium-Ion, whereas disposable batteries are made only of lithium.

Dangers of Overcharging

As mentioned, overcharging does come with a few dangers:

  • All types of batteries will lose capacity from overcharging
  • Although very rare, a battery could degrade to the point of exploding
  • Batteries can begin to overheat if left on charge for too long

You may wish to find out what your pictures are stored on for a digital camera. If they are stored externally then you do not risk losing them in case your camera stops working.

Tips for Better Battery Life

There are a few different ways you can extend the shelf life of your battery or even extend it while in use. Try looking into a few of the following methods:

  • Invest in a trickle charger to reduce overnight charging damage
  • Store extra batteries in a cool, dry place in their original packaging
  • Follow brand guidelines for maintaining their specific types of batteries

Warning

Keeping a rechargeable battery on charge for longer than recommended can degrade the battery over time.

F.A.Q.

How long should you charge rechargeable batteries?

That depends almost entirely on the type of battery that you have on hand. It will also vary from brand to brand, depending on the size of the camera’s battery.


What do you NEVER want to do with replaceable batteries?

You should never do any of the following with replacement batteries:

  • Mix and match batteries built by different manufacturers
  • Put together different chemical make-up (Lithium-Ion, NiCd, etc.)
  • Use batteries concurrently that have different power levels

How long do rechargeable batteries last?

When it comes to optimal battery life, everything hangs on how you care for them. For example, a trickle charger can help preserve accurate charging.


Can camera batteries be a fire hazard?

Most battery experts agree that the chance of a fire is marginal at best. All brands perform rigorous tests to ensure the safety of consumers.


STAT: A typical smart charger fast-charges a battery up to about 85% of its maximum capacity in less than an hour, then switches to trickle charging, which takes several hours to top off the battery to its full capacity. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battery_charger (source)

Christen Costa

Grew up back East, got sick of the cold and headed West. Since I was small I have been pushing buttons - both electronic and human. With an insatiable need for tech I thought "why not start a blog focusing on technology, and use my dislikes and likes to post on gadgets."

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