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Old Oct 10, 2004, 4:49 PM   #1
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I'm in the process of looking for my third digital camera. Both my others are Olympus and use standard AA batteries. Many of the cameras I'm looking at now us proprietary designed batteries. Why is the trend going this way?

AA's and AAA's rechargeables are cheap and plentiful with larger capacities coming out everyday. there are a variety of chargers available depending on your needs. In the worse case is your batteries go dead you can always use a set of Alkalines for a short term solution.

The proprietary batteries are expensive to buy, take specialized charges and no readily available backup can be had. In most cases they do not have an advantage for capacity either and in some cases are lower powered.

I know the proprietary may offer an advantage for space but some of the smaller cameras do not use them. Is the real reason for them just another way for the camera maker to add a little profit or is there a real reason to have non-standard batteries?
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Old Oct 10, 2004, 11:10 PM   #2
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My impression is it's for size some of the time and for power the others. Smaller cameras still require the same voltage to run their electronics. The "best" way seems to be rechargeable lithium cells which deliver multiples of 3.7 volts (roughly, I think). Even three AAA's take up an enormous amount of space.

Some newer electronics require higher voltages. Lithium batteries can deliver the voltage, typically about 7.2 volts or so. This would require 6 AA's or AAA's. If you look around, people have made their own battery packs for cameras with a power jack. Some even adapt video camera packs for use since you can just buy them and their chargers.

In small complex cameras, it's almost a necessity for proprietary batteries. However, in the larger cameras, they should use AA's, though this leads to a slight weight problem.

My camera is KM Z3. It uses 4 AA batteries. I'm planning on making a pack containing 5 AA's since this works out to 6 volts which is what the AC adapter voltage rating. I'd need to find a charger that charges each battery individually or the whole pack at once. Now I'm not so sure since I don't use the camera that much at the moment. I have a spare set of batteries which is good enough.

Perhaps be sure how many pcitures you might take in a day or between recharging opportunities. You may not need to get a spare battery, though it's nice to have one.

But then again, I'm no expert.

Some battery information http://www.batteryuniversity.com

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Old Oct 11, 2004, 12:24 AM   #3
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To use an Olympus example, the C-7xx series in the past used 4-AAs...but the newer models are now too short to use AAs so they went to a more compact proprietary battery.

As for the reason why they didn't switch to AAAs, the largest capacity AAA only has 1/3 the capacity of the largest capacity AA (800mAh vs. 2400mAh).
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Old Oct 11, 2004, 10:29 AM   #4
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There is also another reason. There are many cameras that could use NiMH cells butare still engineered to use Li-ion battery packs. The manufacturers see this as a source of profit. Proprietary batteries are quite expensive, quite possibly with a higher profit margin than AAs. Many users will purchase a second battery from the camera manufacturer means more profit. I never liked proprietary Li-ion packs, true they may be smaller and lighter but they are expensive ( in some cases up to 20-25% of the price of the camera) and in most cases you cannot use single use batteries in a hurry. Furthermore, Li based rechargeables are prone to oxydation. No matter used or not they will start to deteriorate after about 2 years from the production date. If you buy slightly older camera, which battery was manufactured say a year ago, you get only a year of good service.
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Old Oct 14, 2004, 3:59 PM   #5
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Solution...if you don't mind the extra "pad" is to buy a DPS 9000 external battery pack.

When plugged in, it will be preferentially used so your cam battery is not used.

They will last for hours.

Go here to read about them:


Another very nice thing about them is that they are compatible with virtually digcams out there!!!

When I buy my next digcam, I will not bother with proprietary bats. I will go with 1-2 dps 9000 bats.

Oh yeah...you can recharge them in your car or overseas.
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