Battery Equivalents and Replacements

Best AA Batteries For Trail Cameras

AA batteries are a very popular choice for powering trail, wildlife, and other similar outdoor cameras, which require reliable batteries with a wide temperature range being able to provide constant small currents for standby mode and short current pulses when actually taking pictures.

AA batteries come in several different chemistries, offering their users batteries with different features and at different prices.

Published: December 23, 2022.

trail camera 1 w600px

AA Batteries Features and Chemistries

AA batteries are small, cylindrical batteries featuring physical dimensions of (D x L) 14.5 x 50.5 mm (0.57 x 1.99 inches).

They are very common batteries, being used in various gadgets, toys, tools, remote controls, etc.

AA batteries are manufactured by practically all battery brands and are offered in various chemistries, differing in terms of voltage, capacity, drain current, and similar.

The following comparison chart lists some of the most popular AA battery chemistries:

Chemistry Common Name Rechargeable Typical Capacity (mAh) Voltage (V)
Zinc Carbon R6, 15D No 600 - 1600 1.5
Alkaline LR6, 15A No (Mostly No) 1800 - 2700 1.5
Li-FeS2 FR6, 15LF No 2700 - 3300 1.5 (1.8 max)
Li-ion 14500 Yes 600 - 2000+ 3.6 - 3.7
LiFePO4 IFR14500 Yes 500-750 3.2
Li-SOCl2 (14505) No 2400-2700 3.5-3.6
Li-MnO2 CR AA No ~2000 3.0
Lithium - Yes 1000-2000+ 1.5
NiCd KR6, 1.2K2 Yes 600 - 1200 1.2
NiMH HR6, 1.2H2 Yes 700 - 2800 1.2
NiOOH - No 2200 - 2700 1.5 (1.7 max)
NiZn ZR6 Yes 1500 - 1800 1.6 - 1.65

Trail cameras being powered by AA batteries accept, by default, 1.5V batteries, with some of the models also accepting:

  • 1.2V AA batteries: NiCd, NiMH,
  • 3.0-3.2V AA batteries: Li-MnO4, LiFePO4,
  • 3.6-3.7V AA batteries: Li-SOCl2, Li-Ion.

Note: Before placing 3.0-3.7V AA batteries into your trail camera, be sure that your model officially supports such batteries. Also, Li-SOCl2 batteries are not the best choices for high-drain devices, so if your trail camera uses flash for night photography, Lithium Thionyl Chloride (Li-SOCl2) AA batteries are not the best choice.

Non-Rechargeable 1.5V AA Trail Camera Batteries

Alkaline AA Batteries

The most popular AA trail camera batteries are high-quality alkaline AA batteries, especially when not used during cold/freezing weather.

They are easy to find, the price per battery is acceptable, and they don't leak electrolytes (at least they shouldn't!).

However, alkaline AA batteries do have a few cons, including:

  • not the best option during freezing days and especially nights,
  • as they get discharged, voltage drops fairly quickly, limiting flash range, trigger speed, recovery time, detection distance, and similar,
  • relatively short span - AA batteries feature larger capacity than older Zinc Carbon non-rechargeable batteries but lower capacity than lithium AA batteries, especially during winter.

But, high-quality AA batteries are commonly used in trail cameras, especially during moderate weather and in units that can be regularly checked.

Lithium Non-Rechargeable 1.5V AA Batteries

Lithium non-rechargeable 1.5V AA batteries are based on Lithium Iron Disulfide (Li-FeS2) chemistry, with batteries having an Open Circuit Voltage (OCV) of 1.8V, which drops down to 1.5-1.6V as soon as the load is applied.

These batteries feature excellent capacity, ultra-low self-discharge rate that ensures a storage life of up to 20(!) years, they are able to provide strong currents, they work well even in freezing temperatures, etc.

energizer lithium battery

Obviously, lithium Li-FeS2 AA batteries should be the preferred choice for non-rechargeable AA trail camera batteries, except for one thing - the initial price.

Lithium Li-FeS2 batteries cost more than alkaline AA batteries, but considering all their pros, the price difference is irrelevant.

Rechargeable 1.5V AA Trail Camera Batteries

NiMH AA Batteries

Nickel Metal Hydride batteries feature a nominal voltage of 1.2V and NOT 1.5V, and before using them, verify if your trail cameras support their use.

If they do, great.

NiMH batteries have good capacity, they are able to provide strong currents, they tolerate low temperatures very well, and they feature a large number of charging/discharging cycles.

Also, unlike Nickel Cadmium (NiCd) batteries, NiMH batteries are ecologically friendly (but must be recycled properly!), and they don't suffer from memory effect, at least not as NiCd batteries.

However, when compared with non-rechargeable chemistries, NiMH batteries also have a relatively large self-discharge rate - in order to keep them recharged, they have to be recharged every 3-6 months, depending on the model.

But, with plenty of trail cameras operating 24/7, rechargeable batteries can save plenty of money in the long run.

Lithium Rechargeable 1.5V AA Batteries

Lithium rechargeable 1.5V AA batteries are based on various 3.2-3.7V lithium-ion chemistries, but they also feature a built-in Battery Management System (BMS) that lowers the output voltage down to 1.5V.

These batteries feature very stable output voltage and generally can provide sufficiently strong currents.

But, their discharging currents are limited by the built-in BMS, requiring the user to verify the maximum currents required by their trail cameras.

Lithium rechargeable 1.5V AA batteries are recharged either by dedicated battery chargers or by using micro-USB or USB-C charging cables.

Long Story Short: As one can see, the number of AA battery chemistries can cause confusion when trying to find "the best" AA batteries for your trail camera.

trail camera 2 w600px

Personally, if You are unsure, go for Energizer Lithium AA 1.5V batteries - they feature good capacity, stable output voltage even when the flash is used often, tolerate low temperatures well, have a very low self-discharge rate, etc.

Amazon Search:

- Lithium AA Battery

- Lithium 3V AA Battery

- Rechargeable Lithium AA Battery

Note: Amazon links open in the new windows, feel free to check them for the most up-to-date offers and prices.