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Old Aug 20, 2006, 5:49 PM   #1
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Hello all,

I am looking to purchase a super zoom camera, so far my favorite is the Panasonic DMC FZ30.

I would definatley go for this camera if I can solve the following problem:

I am going on a widlife camping safari to Zambia next month for a period of two weeks and my main worry is batterys for the camera, I am unsure whether I will have sustained access to electricity.

The FZ30 only seems to use the panasonic CGR-S006E battery, can anybody confirm this for me or will I be able to purchase standard (non rechargable) batteries for the FZ30.

As I see me options at the moment:

Take FZ30 and some spare batteries and hope I can charge them. (too scary)

Take 14 pre-charged CGR-S006E (one for each day). (too expensive)

Take 14 standard (non rechargable) batteries which will fit the FZ30.

Take an external battery pack that takes AA batteries (if I can get one for the FZ30) and a solar charger.

Buy a different camera.

Any advice/help would be greatly appreciated!


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Old Aug 20, 2006, 11:58 PM   #2
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I'm a bit confused? Did you say your camera could take AA's? If so, you could either bring a whole bunch of those, still not cheap, but you could get 14 sets of good rechargeables for like $100 or so where I live. You could also just go buy those bulk boxes of non rechargeable AA's. The ones where you get like 50 batteries for $20... although those are pretty weak batteries, so you'll need lots (and to test it to make sure the camera runs for more than 10 minutes).

If it can't take AA's, 14 Lithium Ions just isn't practical, so I would say buy another camera.
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Old Aug 21, 2006, 12:35 AM   #3
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The FZ30 only use lithium ion battery packs. You can buy non-OEM (non-proprietary) battery packs for about 1/2 of the cost of Pana's own. An example sold by B&H (reputable store):


However this is 14 X $30 = $420 for a two week trip, you can buy a second point-&-shoot to keep in your pocket!! Compare with around $100 for Ni-MH AAs.

B&H also sell "universal" external battery packs, but information on compatibility is sketchy:


I did find some information on two of such power packs:

Xtreme Power:


Tekkeon MyPowerALL:


Problem is I can't find the FZ30 on their compatibility list - you need a suitable adaptor (plug) that fits the camera's DC in socket. You may email and make some enquiry yourself.

Again, these external power packs run in the order of $2-300+. And I don't fancy carrying them around all day long to power the camera.

I agree with Morag2 that you should go for a superzoom that uses AA batteries (rechargable Ni-MH obviously). Some choices:

Canon S3-IS is 6 MP and has a similar zoom lens than the FZ30 (432mm and 420 mm has negligable difference), and similar optical image stabilization (OIS) function - if you consider a teleconverter, OIS is a must. Uses SD memory card. ISO up to 800 but not as good as Fuji. No RAW format.

Sony DSC-H5 is 7 MP, zoom up to 432 mm (Zeiss lens), and has OIS. Plus ISO up to 1000 (and decent quality). Uses only 2 AA batteries! No RAW format. Uses proprietary MemoryStick.

Fuji S9000 is 9 MP but the zoom is much weaker (300 mm only), plus no OIS. The Fuji has decent high ISO (up to 1600) to boost shutter speed and reduce image blurring, but ISO 800/ 1600 are best avoided because of blurs on JPEG (noise reduction) and grains on RAW (noise). Manual zoom ring. Uses xD memory card (which is only used in Fuji and Olympus cameras).

Fuji S5600 is 5 MP. Zoom power is more comparable to the FZ30 (380 mm). No OIS. ISO up to 1600 but 800/1600 best avoided. Has RAW format. Uses xD memory cards. This is probably the cheapest of the five (including FZ30). I recently bought this off my friend and I really like it for good value for quality (ISO 800/ 1600 RAWs are actually not too bad after polishing with NR software - and definitely better than ISO 400 of my FZ5!).
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Old Aug 21, 2006, 5:03 AM   #4
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Thanks for the help!

It's a real shame, I love the FZ30 with the 12x optical and 8mp lens. Also the ergonomics are awesome with the manual zoom ring.

I am double checking with the tour company to see if electricity is available.

I may have to take my old film SLR at this rate!!!
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Old Aug 21, 2006, 12:36 PM   #5
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I know some folks on dpreview that use external battery pack with their FZ30. Look for John_Reed or Gil on panasonic forum.

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Old Aug 21, 2006, 2:06 PM   #6
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try to charge battery from car accu...
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Old Aug 21, 2006, 9:18 PM   #7
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Does it have to be the FZ30 ?

Canon's PowerShot S3 takes AA batteries, and has great image quality and longevity as well, not to mention 12X Stabilised Zoom ....

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Old Aug 22, 2006, 12:41 PM   #8
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There's an interesting comparison of the S3, H5, and the Panasonic FZ7 here:


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