Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digicam Help > What Camera Should I Buy?

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Feb 25, 2006, 10:05 AM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 2
Default


I workfor a conference/events company and am looking for a suitable digital camera withreplaceable batteries (such as AA type). Many times during our eventsweran out of juice at criitical moments!, evenafter a full charge. We take between 300-400 photos per day for some of the large events, like exhibitions.

Anyhow I only know of a few cameras that take AA batteries (Canon A series for example) Any recommendations out there?. Secondly if I buy off-the-shelf non rechargeable AA batteries, like Duracells,how long would these last?

Thanks in advance.

(We already have a Dslr with a great battery life but no one wants to carry one of these around for the full day!!!)
bobthecamera is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Feb 25, 2006, 10:14 AM   #2
Administrator
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
Posts: 22,378
Default

If you go to our menus for reviews and select a specific resolution desired, the list that comes up will show you the type of battery a given camera model uses.

http://www.steves-digicams.com/hardware_reviews.html

For example, this list of 5 Megapixel models:

http://www.steves-digicams.com/cameras_dig5.html

If you read the Conclusion Section for models reviewed here (last page in each review before it's sample images), you'll also see a brief discussion of the battery life observed for a model.

As for using non-rechargeable AA batteries, that depends on the model. Some models may not last more than about 10 images using them. But, some newer models do OK because of decreased power draw due to improved electronics.

Here is a quote from our page on rechargeable batteries:

Quote:
The first thing a new digicam owner quickly realizes is that those AA alkaline batteries included with their camera are next to worthless. I've gotten many emails from folks who wondered if their cameras were defective because they only got 20 or so shots before the batteries crapped out.

Today's digital cameras are extremely high-drain devices. The batteries must power a color LCD, a motorized zoom lens, an autofocus system, the multi-megapixel imager and the associated processing hardware.

The answer is simple ... use high power NiMH or Li-ion rechargeable batteries.
You may want to read more information concerning batteries here:

http://www.steves-digicams.com/nimh_batteries.html




JimC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 25, 2006, 10:18 AM   #3
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 2
Default

thanks, the listing was useful.




bobthecamera is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 26, 2006, 11:08 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Indian Rocks Beach, FL
Posts: 4,036
Default

There are advantages to both types of batteries. You can get aftermarket lithium batteries online for $20 that seem to perform as well as the factory batteries. You can charge your lithium spare and throw it someplace handy. If you pull it out 3 months later it still has around 90% of its charge. They are more compact and lighter for their power and it is a lot easier to keep track of a single spare.

Many smaller AA cameras come with marginally useful alkaline batteries with no charger or rechargeable batteries to keep the price down. You can get NiMH batteries and a charger for a reasonable price. And once you have the charger additional spares are very reasonable. NiMH have a high self-discharge and you can't just throw a charged spare set in your bag and expect them to have sufficient charge whenever you might need them. You have to cycle them through the charger fairly regularly. Alkalines aren't a practical option IMO. They get very pricey after a while and you don't get enough shots from a set.

DCRP has a chart like this for every camera they test. It appears the A620 would last you a day with a single set if you made sure the batteries were topped off. The camera is medium size and heavy with the 4 batteries installed. In warm weather when you don't have a jacket pocket to put it in I would personally just carry the DSLR.


You might consider something like the Casio Z120 if you want AA batteries. It carries only two batteries and a spare set in your pocket would be less bulky. It is a very competent little camera with manual everything. Steve often has a chart like this, but it is not from testing but reflects the manufacturer's claimed shots per battery:


I just grabbed a recent Sony T9 review. The Casio Z750 is the highest on this chart, but there are a couple that do better. A $20 aftermarket spare in a camera with a 300 shot capacity would be a better option than fooling with NiMH – at least I have found that to be the case. I have both types and prefer the lithium. And lithium battery cameras tend to be more compact.



slipe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 26, 2006, 11:53 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 448
Default

NiMH batteries have the highest inner resistance value of all rechargable battery types. That does not bode well for digicams, which have a high peak power demand, when an image is processed. To lower the inner resistance, one therefore uses several NiMH cells simultaneously. Whence a 4 cell design like in the old Canon Powershot A series cameras is much more than two times efficient as the two battery design of other manufacturers. Actually in vertical grips of DSLR even 6 cells are used. I would guess that a camera with 4 cells yields at least three times as many pictures as a 2 battery camera, if they are the same otherwise. I had a Powershot A70 (with 4 batteries) and in the summer I easily got 800 shots out of one set of 1700 mAh batteries. I think that the A610/620 cameras are equally efficient if you primarily use the OVF and not the LCD. Unfortunately Canon has abandoned the 4 battery design in their new A series. They also replaced the fine 1/1.8" CCDs by crappy 1/2.5" CCDs. Thus buy the old A610/620. They have much longer battery life and much better image quality than the A700.
kassandro is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 26, 2006, 5:31 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Indian Rocks Beach, FL
Posts: 4,036
Default

kassandro wrote:
Quote:
NiMH batteries have the highest inner resistance value of all rechargable battery types. That does not bode well for digicams, which have a high peak power demand, when an image is processed. To lower the inner resistance, one therefore uses several NiMH cells simultaneously. Whence a 4 cell design like in the old Canon Powershot A series cameras is much more than two times efficient as the two battery design of other manufacturers. Actually in vertical grips of DSLR even 6 cells are used. I would guess that a camera with 4 cells yields at least three times as many pictures as a 2 battery camera, if they are the same otherwise. I had a Powershot A70 (with 4 batteries) and in the summer I easily got 800 shots out of one set of 1700 mAh batteries. I think that the A610/620 cameras are equally efficient if you primarily use the OVF and not the LCD. Unfortunately Canon has abandoned the 4 battery design in their new A series. They also replaced the fine 1/1.8" CCDs by crappy 1/2.5" CCDs. Thus buy the old A610/620. They have much longer battery life and much better image quality than the A700.
I agree with you on the sensor to some degree. The 1/1.8 sensor in the A620 is an especially good one. The same sensor is in the Z120 and the even smaller Z750, so they don't have to make a large camera to house it.

But the 1/2.5 sensor has given some pretty good results and allows for a smaller camera with more optical zoom. The A700 has a 6X optical zoom in a small package. We will have to wait for results, but the Sony T9 with the same sensor is getting much better than average noise at ISO400. Better than any camera I know of with the 1/1.8 5 or 7Mp sensors. A good deal of that is probably in-camera noise reduction like the Fujis, but they are evidently doing a good job with it as it isn't softening the images. The A700 goes to ISO800 and they are claiming better noise at ISO400 than previous models.

But there is no reason to carry around a large camera with 4 heavy NiMH batteries if they aren't necessary. Canon is claiming the processor in the A700 has a 35% lower power requirement. Maybe you regularly take 800 shots every outing, but I don't think most of us do. I'll take a smaller camera I can always have with me and carry an extra set of batteries for that odd time when I need a thousand shots without downloading. I'm guessing battery life is going to be pretty good on the A700. I would have preferred a smaller and lighter version with a lithium battery, but Canon seems to have reserved AAs for the A series.

If I were going to lug an A620 around just for when I was planning on taking photos I would opt for something a little larger with more capability. It is too large for a carry everywhere camera. Maybe the A700 is also a little large for a carry everywhere camera as well, but it is going to be the smallest 6X optical zoom with a real viewfinder and might be small enough to always have with you.

slipe is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 6:10 AM.