Posted 29 October 2007 - 04:29 AM
No, NiCd is not outdated - it's probably exactly what you want for an electromechanical device like a film camera; video people are more likely to look at NiMH where the drawdown is constant but lower level.
Be careful when saying things like "...will charge anything." Lithium-Ion batteries in standard cell sizes are now common and it would take a particularly spectacular charger to charge NiCd, NiMH and Li-Ion (or Lithium polymer) without blinking. Most lithium chemistries are about 3.6V nominal per cell, meaning a 4-cell pack is 14.4V. This, along with a completely different charging strategy, makes Li-Ion chargers extremely different from NiCd and NiMH, which are more smiliar (not that many old NiCd chargers will safely charge NiMH, though). Mischarging Li-Ion can cause the battery to plate out metallic lithium onto the electrodes; metallic lithium is almost explosively flammable, and is the cause of all those volcanic youtube videos.
Unfortunately, the capacity can drop off hugely from the point of manufacture even if they're not used - they're useless in a few years. This is the reason behind the "My iPod battery didn't last two years" screeching, but when young lithium ion has by far the most attractive energy/size/weight/discharge rate relationship of any battery technology, at about 150Wh/kilo.
Gas, petrol, or whatever else you put in your car has, by way of comparison, an energy density of about 13KWh/kilo, which is why electric cars are tricky.