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View Full Version : Battery lifetimes in practice



MJP
08-15-2004, 01:48 PM
Iím considering buying a digital camera. I have no experience with battery-powered cameras (my current one is a completely manual Pentax K-1000).

My travels often (well, sometimes) take me away from mains power (or battery shops) for a couple of weeks at a time, during which I might take four or five rolls of film. With a digital camera, I would expect that to increase to, letís say, 500 pictures. How many spare batteries would I have to take? How reliable/meaningful are manufacturersí estimates of battery lifetimes?

This could constrain my purchasing decision. I quite fancy a Coolpix 5700 or comparable, but an extra $200 on spare batteries (which seem to cost 50% more here in the UK than the US) would blow them out of my price range.

By my calculations, proprietary Li batteries cost about 5 times as much as NiMH ones, for the same capacity (if Iíve converted mAh to Wh correctly). Should I just forget cameras which donít take AAs?

I know this is a rather vague question, but any advice would be appreciated.

Martin

Rhys
08-15-2004, 02:21 PM
Iím considering buying a digital camera. I have no experience with battery-powered cameras (my current one is a completely manual Pentax K-1000).

My travels often (well, sometimes) take me away from mains power (or battery shops) for a couple of weeks at a time, during which I might take four or five rolls of film. With a digital camera, I would expect that to increase to, letís say, 500 pictures. How many spare batteries would I have to take? How reliable/meaningful are manufacturersí estimates of battery lifetimes?

This could constrain my purchasing decision. I quite fancy a Coolpix 5700 or comparable, but an extra $200 on spare batteries (which seem to cost 50% more here in the UK than the US) would blow them out of my price range.

By my calculations, proprietary Li batteries cost about 5 times as much as NiMH ones, for the same capacity (if Iíve converted mAh to Wh correctly). Should I just forget cameras which donít take AAs?

I know this is a rather vague question, but any advice would be appreciated.

Martin

I use a Nikon 995 which takes the ENEL1 battery or a 2CR5 disposable battery. I also use The Canon S1 which takes AA batteries.

I like the flexibility offered by the AA batteries - I can buy alkalines in most places.

I also like the fact that 2CR5 batteries are so much smaller and lighter and more convenient.

In fact it was a toss-up as to whether I bought the S1 or the 5700. I went with the S1 pretty much because it was smaller and had a better video mode.

www.7dayshop.com sells disposable 2CR5 batteries a lot cheaper than Jessops does. When I last checked they were about 2 quid each. The Lion battery will hold a charge for a couple of weeks but I do recommend in your situation using 2CR5. It's possible to get lithium AA batteries or to use alkaline AA batteries but we're talking a large weight and bulk penalty over the 2CR5 for just about the same amount of oomph. 7dayshop also sells enel1 replacement batteries.

Bottom line... I like my S1 but for long trips where weight is at a premium and where I'll be well away from electricity then I'd definitely say the 5700 and 2CR5s have the edge. (plus you get more megapixels).

I think your estimate of 500 shots is way off the mark. I was away last summer for 7 weeks. I took 1,500 photos. I'd suggest you stock up from 7dayshop on compact flash cards. I'd suggest 256mb cards as being the best value at the moment.

MJP
08-17-2004, 11:18 AM
Thanks, Rhys. Clearly I'm going to have to factor this into my considerations carefully before splashing out, both in terms of cost and availability.