If you live in the US and are used to selling cameras to overseas customers — or if you live overseas and like to buy your cameras from US retailers — your shipping choices just got a bit slimmer. In a statement released earlier, the US Postal Service (USPS) said that they will no longer be shipping any items with li-ion batteries in them internationally starting May 16th, declaring the batteries a “fire hazard”. Lithium batteries power many personal electronic devices and have been found to be volatile in certain situations (e.g. improper storage) — they destroy an estimated one US cargo jet every other year. Of course, not everybody trusts USPS to ship their international packages as it is, and this latest development should lead to increased business for private companies like UPS and Fedex.
(via Fast Company via 1001 Noisy Cameras)
Image credit: Hmmm… by Zach Welty
Lithium-Ion batteries are awesome. A few of them jammed into a battery grip can keep your DSLR going through a long day of shooting without needing to recharge a thing. But before you can to do that you need to buy the extra batteries, and they don’t come cheap. A new EN-EL18 battery for a Nikon D4 will run you $184 on Amazon right now, and even for cheaper battery units you’re still looking at $50 on up per battery regardless of your DSLR.
Fortunately, this may be changing in the semi-near future: researchers in Japan have developed a new kind of electrode that could one day lead to rechargeable batteries made using sodium — an element that’s much more abundant than lithium. Their initial prototype began to hold less charge after 30 cycles, but once the kinks are worked out the abundance of sodium could lead to some significantly cheaper batteries. Who knows, maybe someday we’ll be walking into WalMart trying to find the Na-ion DSLR battery 5-pack for $50 in the ad… fingers crossed.
(via Nature via The Verge)
Image credit: Dnn87 via Wikipedia