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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    10

    Smile Camera batteries

    Ok. So I went out and bought a digital camera that does what I want but then oh dear I discovered it has it's own purpose made battery which costs 30+ to replace. What are peoples opinion of these things? Should I take it back and change it for one that uses standard AA batteries? I have little use for a digital (I still like film. They are 'proper' cameras ) and at least I could use those batteries for something else will the digital isnt in use which will be often. What do you think?

    Roger

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    So Calif
    Posts
    3,226
    Hi Roger:

    Why buy a digital camera if you don't like them? And, if you don't use it much, then you probably won't deplete the battery in one day, so what's the issue?

    The majority of cameras have semi-proprietary batteries. The Canon A series uses AA's for the most part, however.

    I'd return the camera if the seller accepts ussed merchandise, and get a brick of film :-)
    Pentax K20D/K5/15/21/40/70/10-17/12-24, Sigma 17-70 2.8-4.5/150-500, Tamron 90 Macro/70-200 2.8, Canon SX20 IS/Elph 500HS
    (formerly Pentax 50 1.4/50-200/55-300/K100D, Sigma 18-50 2.8/70-300 APO, Tamron 28-75, Viv 800, Tele-Tokina 800, Canon S3 IS, Samsung L210)
    http://s133.photobucket.com/albums/q78/KylePix/

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    10
    Hi SpecialK. So I can use it for eBay. That's about it. Plus using 35mm for getting in close, about 1cm, means buying a very expensive lens. Thanks for your reply.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    756
    In general, I think the proprietary lithium batteries are preferable to AAs. They're smaller and lighter for the same amount of stored power.

    Worse, because of voltage characteristics, Alkaline AA batteries will only get you a few dozen shots per charge, so you'll need to buy NiMH rechargeables and a charger separately. (Still cheaper than a second proprietary lithium battery, but you don't really need a second one anyway.)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    10
    See now I didnt know that. Which is why I asked the question rather than rush back to the shop. If I take the batt out when not in use will that lengthen the batt life? Thanks for your reply.


    Quote Originally Posted by mattdm View Post
    In general, I think the proprietary lithium batteries are preferable to AAs. They're smaller and lighter for the same amount of stored power.

    Worse, because of voltage characteristics, Alkaline AA batteries will only get you a few dozen shots per charge, so you'll need to buy NiMH rechargeables and a charger separately. (Still cheaper than a second proprietary lithium battery, but you don't really need a second one anyway.)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    756
    Quote Originally Posted by ukdodger View Post
    See now I didnt know that. Which is why I asked the question rather than rush back to the shop. If I take the batt out when not in use will that lengthen the batt life? Thanks for your reply.
    It shouldn't matter too much. Lithium batteries do a pretty good job of holding the charge. If you're not using the camera for a long time, it's actually better for it to store it at around 40% charge -- but this isn't a significant deal. It should last a really long time and be able to be recharged many many times. Really, the only reason you'd need to buy a second one is if you're out shooting for an extended period of time, and sounds like you won't be doing that.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    10
    Excellent I'm nearly convinced it wasnt a bad deal after all. One more question. Is there a way of telling what 40% of charge is?

    If I remember my college days right. The difference between a fully charged (I cant recall if it was a wet or dry cell) was only about 0.2v. 40% would therefore be difficult to measure using a meter.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    756
    Quote Originally Posted by ukdodger View Post
    Excellent I'm nearly convinced it wasnt a bad deal after all. One more question. Is there a way of telling what 40% of charge is?

    If I remember my college days right. The difference between a fully charged (I cant recall if it was a wet or dry cell) was only about 0.2v. 40% would therefore be difficult to measure using a meter.
    Yeah, I have no idea how you'd practically tell. I'd generally interpret it as "not all charged up, but not dead either". Personally, I store my batteries all charged and haven't had a problem. (But they're only stored for a week or so at most between rotations.)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    181

    Just another perspective

    If you upgrade your equipment every 2 years or so, Li-ions are great for the reasons mentioned above. If you hold stuff for much longer, they may be come the reason you throw your equipment away.

    Li-ions degrade, like any other rechargeable, but because they are so expensive to replace, you just suffer the increasingly poor performance (starting around the 2-3 yr mark) for longer, until performance is really bad. Then the cost of replacing a Li-ion can actually exceed the worth of the 3yr old equipment, so you might as well just upgrade your equipment. And if you keep stuff even longer, you may not even be able to find a replacement battery. I've got lots of fully working and functional (but older), Li-ion toys around my house that are no longer portable (can only run on A/C adapter, no available batts).

    Then of course, there's the issue of running out juice while away from a plug, or you just forgot to charge. No drugstore back-up, the equipment's dead in the water. You can, of course, get a 2nd Li-ion as a back-up, but that costs $ and it is not good to leave the 2nd battery unused. NiMh AAs you can always use in other items and when they degrade, use for kids toys or lower drain equipment.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    756
    Quote Originally Posted by reppans View Post
    Li-ions degrade, like any other rechargeable, but because they are so expensive to replace, you just suffer the increasingly poor performance (starting around the 2-3 yr mark) for longer, until performance is really bad.
    I've seen the 2-3 year figure quoted before, but in practical use, I've had a lot better experience than that. I've got a laptop from 1998 which still keeps a good charge. Time will tell with the camera, I guess -- my current batteries are over the two year mark and still seem fine.

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