View Full Version : camera choice

12-18-2009, 09:22
I am getting a Canon Powershot for Xmas as a gift.

I spec'ed what I wanted to include AA batteries for power, rather than the rechargeables to hold down weight while hiking by eliminating the charger.

My photographer daughter claims the AA batteries will go dead so frequently that it will be a major bother and expense. Statements like " going dead every five minutes" were made.

What are the thoughts of the collective on this matter?

le loupe
12-18-2009, 09:52
If you buy the appropriate batteries they will have appropriate battery life.

You have to look at additional numbers: the mAh. Pair the correct value to your camera equipment; 2100, 2500 etc. I bought a camera for my mother and found this to be true. Random AA drained in literally 5 pictures. Got the appropriate mAh and it has performed as it should.

According to someone else:
mAh stands for Milliamp Hour, a technical term for how much power a particular battery will hold. Digital camera batteries with higher mAh values theoretically last longer without requiring a recharge, allowing you to take more photographs before you have to replace your batteries.

It is recommended when placing batteries in a digital camera that their mAh values match. Otherwise, it is possible that one lesser mAh battery will drain before the others, causing extra strain on the remaining batteries or causing your digital camera to not work until all batteries are replaced.

12-18-2009, 10:05
My old Sony Cyber-Shot took two AA's. I used Lithiums and they seemed to go forever. After it died i bought a fancy Olympus SW (waterproof, shock-proof, freeze resistant) with a proprietary rechargable battery. It seemed like a good idea until I came to a few conclusions: The battery life is horrible, and it wont charge through a USB port. Few days away from a plug and the battery is dead. I ended up buying a spare battery for $65. Conclusion, get one that will take AA's, will recharge those AA's through a USB, and keep a couple spares in your pack.

12-18-2009, 10:13
I have an AA battery camera and use the ultimate Lithiums. I just changed them for the first time just because I was worrying about them last night. They have been in it since October and have taken around 4 or 5 hundred pictures with them so far. I didnt want to carry the extra batteries for my trip so I just changed them out to be sure.

12-18-2009, 10:18
I found that my Pentax Optio proprietary battery would last for about 150 shots, but I had to be careful about turning the camera on/off and zooming the lens as that eats up power. Bringing a second battery easily gets me through a week of shots, and the second battery weighs less than an ounce.

12-18-2009, 10:33
I wasn't sure about buying my Canon that took AAs because of all the bad reviews about the batteries dying so fast. I went ahead and bought it anyway and took the advice on here about using the ultimate Lithium batteries. It was some worthy advice. I went on a trip last month and took over 350 pics, and I'm still using the same batteries around the house and shooting videos with it too.

12-18-2009, 11:08
I used a Canon SD 880 on my PCT hike. Over 5 months, I charged the battery a grand total of 3 times. I took over 1700 pictures, so each charge was good for 500+ shots.

If you're concerned about weight (and you should be!), a compact camera with a built-in Li-ion battery plus the charger will probably weigh less than a larger camera that takes AAs. Alternatively, you can mail the charger ahead to yourself or borrow someone else's--lots of people are using canon compacts these days.

12-19-2009, 00:07
I used a Canon A590 on the PCT. Averaged over 600 photos per pair of lithium batteries (and usually only too 1-2 photos per power cycle). If you are paranoid about running about of power, carry a single extra lithium (weighs about 18g) and slot it into the camera if find the need.

12-19-2009, 16:55
Getting a camera that takes AAs is a good idea if you don't use a bounce box. However, using a camera with custom batteries isn't hard either as those batteries tend to last a lot longer so there is less need to carry spare batteries. And it isn't a big deal if you bounce your charger several weeks up the trail. Though if you choose to carry a charger, most canon battery chargers are ~2.5oz which isn't that bad.

12-19-2009, 17:20
Thanks guys!!
It sounds like I'll be okay whichever type of camera they get me, (considering the number of pictures I normally take). Not enough difference to fuss about.

I didn't realize the SD series were a bit lighter than the A series, although I did notice the bulge in one end of the A type.

I am hoping to take more pictures with a new and easier to use camera.

Thanks all!

12-19-2009, 17:37
My Kodak Easy Share C813 takes AA's and they last for 400 pics plus I can shoot video. I like to keep an extra san disc (video uses alot) I spend alot of time editing photos at camp. 4 AA's will keep me a few weeks

12-19-2009, 17:54
Lithiums are the lightest option but not the cheapest. If you are just shooting during the day and not reviewing and adjusting settings then Lithiums should get you 500 shots easily.

NMhi are good to and rechargeable and hold up pretty good (300 shots+++...). Not as light but cheaper.

12-19-2009, 18:01
Ultimate Lithium AAs. Not cheap, but they last much longer than the price difference. Carry a spare pair. They are so light it's not a big deal.

12-26-2009, 09:15
I received a sony cyber-shot W220 from the kids.

I'm keeping it. The discussion about battery life and total weight won me over from a wanting disposable battery type. I got an extra battery with it. and the two batteries will power thousands of pictures.

The thing sure takes clear pictures in the full idiot proof mode.

Thanks again for all the advice and guidance.