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Old Dec 6, 2010, 1:21 PM   #1
jmb
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Default Looking for a new camera. Disposable batteries are a must have.

I am looking for suggestions for camera that uses AA or similar batteries. I have been using a Sony DSC-S600, that I have been generally happy with. But it is time for something better. I would like to have a camera with at least 8 or 10X zoom. And hopefully one that takes better low light pictures without a flash. But for most situations if I can zoom in close enough the supplied light should be enough. Like school plays and concerts. My current Sony does well enough when I can get close enough, Which is getting tougher to do. I would prefer something fairly portable, But with a budget of around $200, portability is the first thing I would give up. Especially since the Sony is portable and works except for the grinding noise when the lens opens. Disposable batteries are a must. I have been on trips without electricity for days, Left the camera in the case for months, and in general forget to charge things. Being a beginner, I have taken 95% of my pics on the auto setting and that is usually good enough. I did enjoy playing with the settings to get a great picture of Mt Rushmore at the night lighting, So a few manual adjustments would be nice also.
I have been considering the Cannon SX130 and a Fuji S1800 but I'm open to all suggestions.
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Old Dec 6, 2010, 2:19 PM   #2
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I am looking for suggestions for camera that uses AA or similar batteries. I have been using a Sony DSC-S600, that I have been generally happy with. But it is time for something better. I would like to have a camera with at least 8 or 10X zoom. And hopefully one that takes better low light pictures without a flash. But for most situations if I can zoom in close enough the supplied light should be enough. Like school plays and concerts. My current Sony does well enough when I can get close enough, Which is getting tougher to do. I would prefer something fairly portable, But with a budget of around $200, portability is the first thing I would give up. Especially since the Sony is portable and works except for the grinding noise when the lens opens. Disposable batteries are a must. I have been on trips without electricity for days, Left the camera in the case for months, and in general forget to charge things. Being a beginner, I have taken 95% of my pics on the auto setting and that is usually good enough. I did enjoy playing with the settings to get a great picture of Mt Rushmore at the night lighting, So a few manual adjustments would be nice also.
I have been considering the Cannon SX130 and a Fuji S1800 but I'm open to all suggestions.
I have the SX130, with low light and on auto mode on, images are
not that good, my Panasonic FZ35 and older Kodak Z1085 have it
beat, The SX130 also needs rechargeable batteries, Alkaline
batteries dont last but a hand full of shots, I do like the camera
but its not perfect - BTW the rechargeable batteries I use are
Sanyo Eneloop and are said to keep most of their charge for
up to a year
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Old Dec 6, 2010, 2:40 PM   #3
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will-

I use Sanyo Eneloop batteriesd in my Canon SX-130 and have very good battery life.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Dec 7, 2010, 2:49 AM   #4
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Please don't be under the misapprehension that you can use Alkaline batteries in a camera just because they are AA format. You get an incredibly low number of shots (possibly as few as 20-30) and the power delivery envelope is poor for at least half of those shots, meaning that you can actually get significant image degradation.

If you buy disposables you will need something Lithium-based, and of course they are not easy to find at all, and can be insanely expensive.

So even if you choose the AA format for your batteries, you are still going to need rechargeables, like Eneloop. They don't run flat if left unused, retaining 80%+ charge a year after charging.

Digital cameras need power unfortunately. You could go back to film if you really need to have a camera that can work when you are away from power sockets for extended periods.
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Old Dec 7, 2010, 6:12 AM   #5
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Craig is 100% correct!

In AA battery powered cameras you cannot realistically use alkaline batteries. You must use Lithium based batteries to get any reasonable battery life and performance.

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Old Dec 7, 2010, 8:43 AM   #6
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Quote:
But for most situations if I can zoom in close enough the supplied light should be enough. Like school plays and concerts.
Actually as you zoom in you will lose light, as point and shoots don't have constant apertures, meaning as you zoom your aperture gets smaller letting in less light. This increases your chances of underexposure, motion blur or camera shake. At the very least you'll have to raise ISO resulting in lower image quality.

I also agree with Craigs comments about AA batteries. Regular alkalines just don't work in digital cameras, and replacing disposable lithiums gets expensive quick. Unless you never or rarely use the camera, disposable batteries just aren't sensible. AA's also result in a larger form factor and slower flash recycle times. At the very least, you'll want good, slow discharge rechargeables, but they need to be plugged in a charged too, and spares take up more space in your bag. Proprietary lithiums are smaller, more powerful and discharge slowly too. Pick up a spare and you'll likely be able to go several days or even longer. I have had several small cameras that took AA's and several that took proprietary batteries. Without a doubt, the proprietary lithiums outperform and outlast AA's (even rechargeable ones).
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Old Dec 7, 2010, 10:04 AM   #7
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I have rechargeable batteries that I would say last half as long as lithiums, and more than twice as long as alkalines. I try to use them most of the time, but my biggest problem is I always forget to charge them. If I thought I would remember, I would certainly go for a better option.

For the kids plays and concerts my Sony can get a somewhat ok picture without a flash when they are on a stage with overhead lighting as long as I stay out of digital zoom.

By the way I will be looking to get a new camera soon. The Sony finally gave up last night.
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Old Dec 7, 2010, 11:12 AM   #8
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I have rechargeable batteries that I would say last half as long as lithiums, and more than twice as long as alkalines. I try to use them most of the time, but my biggest problem is I always forget to charge them. If I thought I would remember, I would certainly go for a better option.
That's easy then. Just get Eneloops or similar. They don't go flat after you charge them, and they give you 500-1000 recharges.

But I really do see AA as a major negative rather than a positive in choice of camera.
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