When you buy rechargeable batteries, or get some with your
camera, make sure you read the instructions that came with them. The
most critical issue is whether there is some conditioning you should
do when you first get your npf550. For example, we've seen instructions to
charge your batteries before you use them the first time, give them
a chance to cool down, then charge them again, give them a chance to
cool down again, and then charge them again.
More common is the instruction to charge them and then run them
completely into the ground before recharging at least the first two
times, and in some cases the first three times, that you charge
them. Whatever the directions for conditioning, if you follow them,
the batteries will perform better and live longer. If you didn't get
any directions with the batteries, but they have a recognizable
manufacturer name and model, you can try looking for the battery
model on the manufacturer's website, and see if there are
conditioning instructions there.
There are also things you can do after the initial conditioning
to maximize the battery life. For NiCad and NiMH batteries, it's a good
idea to run them down completely at least once a month to avoid
problems with the memory effect. Your battery recharger may include
a run-down option. If not, you can find products that will fully
discharge the battery for you. It's also a good idea to avoid
recharging until you need to.
When you recharge your np-f550, you're using up a recharge cycle, and coming
one cycle closer to not being able to recharge anymore. Lithium ion
and lithium polymer batteries need very different treatment, and
often come with instructions to charge the battery every chance you
get. With no memory effect, there's no need to run the batteries
down, ever. Keep in mind, however, that the best way to maximize
battery life varies even from one battery model to another. The rule
remains: read the directions that came with the batteries.