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Kodak announces "Premium Plus" battery for pro digicams  
Friday, February 4, 2000 | by
Kodak today announced the release of the Premium Plus battery pack for the DCS 5xx and 6xx cameras, including the DCS 520, 620 and Canon D2000. The Premium Plus version of the removable battery stick for Kodak/Canon pro digicams contains 1700 mAh NiMH cells in place of the 1100 mAh NiCad cells in current packs. I've used a Premium Plus prototype for six weeks and it's great. Expect battery life to be a minimum of double that of the NiCad version. The NiMH Premium Plus will be sold at the same price as the NiCad version is selling for now. Both versions will continue to be sold until all inventory of the NiCad version is gone.

Users of the Ault-branded version of Kodak's dual slot charger will be able to charge the new batteries without a hitch (the Ault charger has a sloping top and the word Ault in the product description on the charger bottom). The flat-topped Span charger is not fully compatible, however. Specifically, the green fully-charged light will never illuminate and the charger will only be capable of topping up the battery to 95-98% capacity. Kodak's Jay Kelbley indicates that no harm should come to a Premium Plus pack if it's left in the Span charger for extended periods, despite the fact that the charging circuit never completely shuts off in the Span.

If you're more comfortable turfing the Span charger in favour of the Ault version, Kodak is apparently offering the Ault charger to dealers at a lowered price, to make the charger switch a little easier to swallow. The Ault version can also charge and/or condition packs in each of its two slots simultaneously, unlike the Span's one-slot-at-a-time approach.

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