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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    36

    Best Ultra Compact Camera with AA batteries

    Looking for recommendations for a digital camera to carry around in the car glove compartment, shirt/trouser pocket, backpack...

    1. Should have greater than 2 megapixel resolution.
    2. The more compact it is the better.
    3. Should take reasonable indoor/outdoor pictures for printing in 4x6 size

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Formerly South Wales. Now South Carolina.
    Posts
    7,147
    Quote Originally Posted by mindrules
    Looking for recommendations for a digital camera to carry around in the car glove compartment, shirt/trouser pocket, backpack...

    1. Should have greater than 2 megapixel resolution.
    2. The more compact it is the better.
    3. Should take reasonable indoor/outdoor pictures for printing in 4x6 size
    Nikon 3100, 3200, Minolta Dimage 300?
    Last edited by Rhys; 02-07-2005 at 11:46 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Sunny California
    Posts
    455
    Also check out the new Canon A510 and A520. They're not ultracompacts and are probably too big for a shirt or trouser pocket, but they're pretty light and small, take 2 AA batteries. 3.2 and 4 MP, respectively.

    By the way, I've heard different views on leaving your camera in the glove compartment - some say this is bad for the camera.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Singapore
    Posts
    1,099
    Hi

    There are many, many cameras that suit your needs. My personal camera that fits these requirements is the Canon S500. It's a bit costly, but I absolutely love it.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    4,173
    Quote Originally Posted by gary_hendricks
    There are many, many cameras that suit your needs. My personal camera that fits these requirements is the Canon S500.
    Nope, doesn't take AAs. Few of the ultracompacts take AAs because they are, um, ultracompact. I like the idea of the Nikon 3100 or 3200, or even the 2200. They make a fine knockaround camera.

    While I can understand the desire for AA batteries, any particular reason that you want them for this camera?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    25

    Consider looking at the Pentax Optio S50

    The Pentax Optio S50 is a bargain priced 5 meg-pixel camera that is very small and takes AA batteries. The picture is nothing spectacular; it is just average. It is alittle bigger than the Cannon SD300 but about the same weight. I carry this camera everywhere and for me, it is a great secondary camera. Because of this camera's size, you have to make some compromises on functions and picture quality.

    The bad side of this camera is that battery consumption and shutter speed. I would advise you to get a rechargable CR-V3 battery and as an option, the thought of getting AA batteries anywhere is just for your peace of mind.

    The shutter delay will sometimes cause blurry photos. For the shutter delay, just keep your hand steady after pressing the shutter and this problem will appear less often. I learned about this after the first round of shots.

    For taking 4x5 photos, the picture quality is basically no different than any other point and shoot digital cameras out there. The big difference comes when you blow it up larger than 11x14.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    187

    Question Bye Bye AAs?

    When I 1st started shopping for a new compact digicam, I intended to get one that used AAs, but it seemed like most of the best small cameras are using Li-ion batts,now.
    Will we soon have to give up on using AA batts. in the near future? I gave up on the idea of finding a AA- powered camera that had the features I wanted. I didn't want to compromise just because of battery type & I thought we'll all be using Li-ions soon anyway, so why put it off?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Singapore
    Posts
    1,099
    Quote Originally Posted by mindrules
    Looking for recommendations for a digital camera to carry around in the car glove compartment, shirt/trouser pocket, backpack...

    1. Should have greater than 2 megapixel resolution.
    2. The more compact it is the better.
    3. Should take reasonable indoor/outdoor pictures for printing in 4x6 size

    Please ignore my earlier post - I didn't realize you wanted AAs. Thought I might share some tips on Canon compacts. It's from a reader on the Amazon.com website - I find the tips very useful so I thought I'd share them here:

    Canon has several lines of cameras:

    The G-series - Pros: fast lens, 4x optical zoom, all manual controls, flip-out LCD, hot shoe, optional converters, RAW mode, microdrive support, long battery life (despite of the lithium type!), professional feeling, great hand-grip
    Cons: weighty, big size, lithium batteries (from a point of view), pricey

    The Sxx-series - Pros: wider angle then average (28mm to S60/S70), portability, light, RAW mode, microdrive support, full manual controls, elegant look
    Cons: fixed LCD, slow lens, PF (CA), lithium battery

    The Sxxx-series - Pros: portability (small size), very light, sexy look
    Cons: fixed LCD, slow lens, PF (CA), lithium battery, lack of real manual controls

    The Axx-series - Pros: long battery life (due to AA's), flip-out LCD, great hand-grip, full manual controls, optional converters, many scene modes for beginners (on A70 and now on A95), cheap
    Cons: slow lens, PF (CA)

    The Axxx-series - Pros: cheap, uses AA's, portability
    Cons: slow lens, PF (CA), no real manual controls

    The NEW Sx-IS series - Pros: big zoom, best video, great hand-grip, long battery life (due to AA's), full manual controls
    Cons: weighty, slow lens, PF (CA), lack of AF-assist lamp, noisy images

    As you can see from the above
    - The G-series has the fastest lens and a hot shoe
    - The Sxx-series has the wider angle zoom (28mm to 100mm)
    - The Sxxx-series are the more portable ones
    - The Axx-series has the best value for it's price
    - The Axxx-series are the cheapest ones that are also very portable
    - The Sx-IS-series has the biggest zoom and the best video to date

    All of them - except for the G-series - suffer from purple fringing. The G-series has them also, but not much.

    All of them has more shutter lag, compared to competition (new Sony and Fuji models).

    Decide what are the things FOR YOU that are important when choosing a cam. The decision lies beneath your NEEDS:

    - Need big zoom or best video? Get an Sx-IS cam.
    - Need portability? Get an Sxxx-series cam.
    - Need fast lens, a hot shoe and RAW? Get a G-series.
    - Need wider angle zoom or RAW? Get an Sxx-series cam.
    - Do you want to print in big size? Get the highest MP one
    - You are on the budget? Get an Axxx-series cam.

    None of the above? Get an Axx-series camera then!

    The top of the A-line cameras now is the A95 that is a geat, but not perfect cam. There are no perfect ones. Every of them has it's flaws. Pls don't be a maximalist otherwise you won't enjoy the beauty of your own cam. Choose the right cam for you based on your needs. An IMPORTANT advie: don't let the megapixel drive you if you don't need big size prints. It's only marketing, more megapixels doesn't mean better image quality. Keep this in mind always!

    So I got the A95. I love the LCD, the battery life, full manual controls, shape, hand-grip and the optional converters of the A95. I miss the fast lens, the wider angle and the hot shoe. Weight could be less, but it's quite tolerable and the camera is portable enough for me, if there is a belt-case with you then you won't miss the IXUS. Bigger than the Sxxx-series but much smaller than the G-series. I had an IXUS before (S400) but missed the manual controls and the flip-out LCD, so I had to change.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    25
    You are a lucky person, Digideb, since you do not have to compromise between battery power and camera features. I travel a lot and I had to choose between best camera features or easily obtainable battery power. For me, if the camera battery goes dead, I have to wait a day to go recharge. AA batteries are cheap and plentiful all around the world. That is why I am happy with my Pentax Optio S50.

    Until every camera company agrees on one standard battery type, proprietary Li-ion batteries will always be more expensive than $1 AA four pack.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    187

    Smile You're right, Jack!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack C
    You are a lucky person, Digideb, since you do not have to compromise between battery power and camera features. I travel a lot and I had to choose between best camera features or easily obtainable battery power. For me, if the camera battery goes dead, I have to wait a day to go recharge. AA batteries are cheap and plentiful all around the world. That is why I am happy with my Pentax Optio S50.

    Until every camera company agrees on one standard battery type, proprietary Li-ion batteries will always be more expensive than $1 AA four pack.
    Yes, I'm lucky I live in a beautiful place & have little desire to travel, but it's very remote where I live & the only source I have for the Li-ion batts, my new camera takes, is online. Plus, they're pricey little numbers, but AAs are alot more expensive for me than the price you quoted. ($3-$4 a pkg.here!) I bought an extra Li-ion & at least it only takes about 2 hrs. to charge them.
    A quick scroll through the camera review list on this site revealed to me that alot of cameras are using the Li-ions now. I'm thinking this is how it's going to be, more & more, at least for the compacts.

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