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Canon A700 and alkaline batteries

 
 
Pawel Paron
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      08-24-2006

Hi everybody,

I'm looking for a replacement camera to my old A40, its primary use will be
long bicycle trips to various places, often with little access to any
services. So it has be a camera, that will operate reasonably well with
standard AA alkaline batteries, which my old A40 perfectly does. I can take
300-600 shots on a single set of 4xAA, with LCD on, lots of reviewing, and
plenty of panorama shots.

My question is if anybody has tried using a new Canon A700 with disposable
batteries, and could quote real numbers, how many typical "holiday" shots
one can expect from a set of two AA alkaline batteries, like Duracells for
example. Most (or nearly all) pictures I take do not use flash, and I use a
"program" mode, which I know does not recharge flash, if it's set to off
(thus conserving battery power), while "auto" mode always recharges flash,
no matter it will be required or not. I know that user's manual says about
100 pictures with LCD on, I don't remember what they quoted in the manual
for my A40, perharps about 200 pictures on single set of batteries, but in
reality it well outperforms that, so I wonder what the real numbers for A700
are. And I'm concerned about only 2xAA instead of 4xAA in older models. I'll
will appreciate any information.

Regards
Pawel
 
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GregS
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      08-24-2006
In article <(E-Mail Removed)>, http://www.velocityreviews.com/forums/(E-Mail Removed) wrote:
>
>Hi everybody,
>
>I'm looking for a replacement camera to my old A40, its primary use will be
>long bicycle trips to various places, often with little access to any
>services. So it has be a camera, that will operate reasonably well with
>standard AA alkaline batteries, which my old A40 perfectly does. I can take
>300-600 shots on a single set of 4xAA, with LCD on, lots of reviewing, and
>plenty of panorama shots.
>
>My question is if anybody has tried using a new Canon A700 with disposable
>batteries, and could quote real numbers, how many typical "holiday" shots
>one can expect from a set of two AA alkaline batteries, like Duracells for
>example. Most (or nearly all) pictures I take do not use flash, and I use a
>"program" mode, which I know does not recharge flash, if it's set to off
>(thus conserving battery power), while "auto" mode always recharges flash,
>no matter it will be required or not. I know that user's manual says about
>100 pictures with LCD on, I don't remember what they quoted in the manual
>for my A40, perharps about 200 pictures on single set of batteries, but in
>reality it well outperforms that, so I wonder what the real numbers for A700
>are. And I'm concerned about only 2xAA instead of 4xAA in older models. I'll
>will appreciate any information.


The lithium AA's cost more but last much longer with any camera. If
space and weight is premium, ??

greg

 
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Pawel Paron
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      08-24-2006
Dnia 24.08.2006 GregS <(E-Mail Removed)> napisał/a:

> The lithium AA's cost more but last much longer with any camera. If
> space and weight is premium, ??


Thanks for responding, but lithium AA's are hardly available anywhere in
"real world", and they are rather expensive (but availability is my primary
concern here)

Pawel
 
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Al, Cambridge, UK
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      08-24-2006

Pawel Paron wrote:
> Hi everybody,
>
> I'm looking for a replacement camera to my old A40, its primary use will be
> long bicycle trips to various places, often with little access to any
> services.
> :


It might be feasible to rig up a standard lighting dynamo to recharge a
couple of NiMH batteries - they tend to give a rather variable voltage
up to about 6V, so that would need to be regulated down to whatever
NiMH likes and then stop as your batteries reach charge.
Al

 
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ASAAR
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      08-24-2006
On Thu, 24 Aug 2006 12:29:52 +0000 (UTC), Pawel Paron wrote:

> My question is if anybody has tried using a new Canon A700 with disposable
> batteries, and could quote real numbers, how many typical "holiday" shots
> one can expect from a set of two AA alkaline batteries, like Duracells for
> example. Most (or nearly all) pictures I take do not use flash, and I use a
> "program" mode, which I know does not recharge flash, if it's set to off
> (thus conserving battery power), while "auto" mode always recharges flash,
> no matter it will be required or not. I know that user's manual says about
> 100 pictures with LCD on, I don't remember what they quoted in the manual
> for my A40, perharps about 200 pictures on single set of batteries, but in
> reality it well outperforms that, so I wonder what the real numbers for A700
> are. And I'm concerned about only 2xAA instead of 4xAA in older models. I'll
> will appreciate any information.


I haven't tried using the camera, but Canon's battery performance
data is pretty accurate. Auto mode, even if it keeps the flash
capacitor charged, won't consume too much battery energy, unless
your picture taking style averages a very small number of shots per
hour. The manual may provide more battery information than you
realized. The first column (LCD Monitor On) shows 100 shots as you
noticed. This is based on using CIPA testing and is described under
"Test Conditions - Shooting". The column that shows 600 shots with
the LCD Monitor Off may not make it clear, but the flash wasn't
used. So if you don't use the flash but keep the LCD on, you'll get
somewhere between 100 and 600 shots. The exact amount will depend
on how much time you average between shots, but the playback time
(with the LCD obviously On and the flash isn't used) of 7 hours can
provide a good clue. If battery life is important I'm not sure why
you'd not want to use the viewfinder instead of the LCD monitor, as
it would allow you to get up to 600 shots from two alkaline AAs.

If you're concerned about battery performance from cameras using
only 2 AA cells instead of 4, you could get Canon's A610 or A620
which provides more than double the performance of the A700 from
alkaline batteries.

CIPA (Flash & LCD) No Flash, LCD Off Playback Time
A700 100 shots 600 shots 7 hours
A6x0 350 shots 1200 shots 16 hours 40 min.


Even though the LCD monitor used by the A610 and A620 is slightly
smaller than the A700's LCD, it has the very nice ability to tilt
and rotate, making it much easier to take some types of shots that
cameras with fixed displays would find difficult to duplicate.

 
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Dave Cohen
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      08-24-2006
ASAAR wrote:
> On Thu, 24 Aug 2006 12:29:52 +0000 (UTC), Pawel Paron wrote:
>
>> My question is if anybody has tried using a new Canon A700 with disposable
>> batteries, and could quote real numbers, how many typical "holiday" shots
>> one can expect from a set of two AA alkaline batteries, like Duracells for
>> example. Most (or nearly all) pictures I take do not use flash, and I use a
>> "program" mode, which I know does not recharge flash, if it's set to off
>> (thus conserving battery power), while "auto" mode always recharges flash,
>> no matter it will be required or not. I know that user's manual says about
>> 100 pictures with LCD on, I don't remember what they quoted in the manual
>> for my A40, perharps about 200 pictures on single set of batteries, but in
>> reality it well outperforms that, so I wonder what the real numbers for A700
>> are. And I'm concerned about only 2xAA instead of 4xAA in older models. I'll
>> will appreciate any information.

>
> I haven't tried using the camera, but Canon's battery performance
> data is pretty accurate. Auto mode, even if it keeps the flash
> capacitor charged, won't consume too much battery energy, unless
> your picture taking style averages a very small number of shots per
> hour. The manual may provide more battery information than you
> realized. The first column (LCD Monitor On) shows 100 shots as you
> noticed. This is based on using CIPA testing and is described under
> "Test Conditions - Shooting". The column that shows 600 shots with
> the LCD Monitor Off may not make it clear, but the flash wasn't
> used. So if you don't use the flash but keep the LCD on, you'll get
> somewhere between 100 and 600 shots. The exact amount will depend
> on how much time you average between shots, but the playback time
> (with the LCD obviously On and the flash isn't used) of 7 hours can
> provide a good clue. If battery life is important I'm not sure why
> you'd not want to use the viewfinder instead of the LCD monitor, as
> it would allow you to get up to 600 shots from two alkaline AAs.
>
> If you're concerned about battery performance from cameras using
> only 2 AA cells instead of 4, you could get Canon's A610 or A620
> which provides more than double the performance of the A700 from
> alkaline batteries.
>
> CIPA (Flash & LCD) No Flash, LCD Off Playback Time
> A700 100 shots 600 shots 7 hours
> A6x0 350 shots 1200 shots 16 hours 40 min.
>
>
> Even though the LCD monitor used by the A610 and A620 is slightly
> smaller than the A700's LCD, it has the very nice ability to tilt
> and rotate, making it much easier to take some types of shots that
> cameras with fixed displays would find difficult to duplicate.
>

I had an A40 and now have the A95. I never used alkaline except for a
short time until the rechargeables were charged.
The camera is not used for long periods and it may be advantageous for
me to use alkaline. Are people here talking about regular alkaline or
the newer type sometimes called photo or similar and supposedly are for
high current devices. Life is supposed to be 2x normal alkaline. They
seem to go for a little under $5.00 for a pack of 4.
Dave Cohen
 
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ASAAR
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      08-24-2006
On Thu, 24 Aug 2006 18:41:15 GMT, Dave Cohen wrote:

> I had an A40 and now have the A95. I never used alkaline except for a
> short time until the rechargeables were charged.
> The camera is not used for long periods and it may be advantageous for
> me to use alkaline. Are people here talking about regular alkaline or
> the newer type sometimes called photo or similar and supposedly are for
> high current devices. Life is supposed to be 2x normal alkaline. They
> seem to go for a little under $5.00 for a pack of 4.


The alkaline performance I mentioned (and almost all cameras
report in their manuals) is for standard inexpensive alkaline
batteries. The high performance alkalines (oxy-alkaline) do last
longer, but I think that they show the greatest improvement over
standard alkalines when used at fairly high currents, such as in
CIPA tests that emphasize the use of flash, or in cameras that
aren't very efficient to begin with. For example, Kodak's manual
for their C643 and Canon's for their A540 and A700 shows for 2 AA
cells (use a fixed pitch font for better alignment):

Kodak C643 Canon A540 Canon A700
alkaline 80 - 100 shots 90 shots 100 shots
oxy-alkaline 125 - 220 shots ??? ???
NiMH 200 - 300 shots 360 shots 400 shots

So if you take a high percentage of shots using the flash,
oxy-alkaline batteries would be more convenient to use. Not
especially cost effective, but not bad. With more efficient
cameras, or the Canon cameras when not using the flash and the
optical viewfinder, alkaline performance improves tremendously,
increasing to 600 shots for the A540 and 1200 shots for the A700.
Oxy-alkaline batteries would last longer, but I doubt that they'd
show the 50% to 110% improvement compared to standard alkalines as
seen with Kodak's C643. I'd be surprised if the increase was more
than 25% or so.

BTW, Canon just announced new versions of several of their
A-series cameras. Higher resolution (what else is new?), larger LCD
monitors, and the A710 becomes the first A-series camera to use
image stabilization. The A630 has an 8mp sensor and the A640 has a
10mp sensor, and instead of the usual silver color, the A640 is
shown with a black finish.

 
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Pawel Paron
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      08-24-2006

Thanks Dave for a very thorough response. Although real numbers from a user
would be great too. Anyway, I reconsidered this battery issue and my typical
camera usage patterns, and now I think that it will not be that big problem.
For everyday use I have couple of sets of NiMH rechargeables, and don't use
disposable alkalines, and for my long holiday trips I can buy few sets of
lithium AAs in advance, just I would need to determine how many of them
would be required, as like I mentioned before, these batteries are hardly
available in a "wilderness". And if those 100 shots stated in the manual is
a true number, there are standard alkalines available at gas stations or so.

I know about those oxy-alkalines, and used them once in my A40. I noticed
hardly any difference, they lasted just like other alkalines, but that may
be due to the low current drain. Maybe in a camera powered with 2 AAs there
would be noticeable improvement, I don't know.

> BTW, Canon just announced new versions of several of their
> A-series cameras. Higher resolution (what else is new?), larger LCD
> monitors, and the A710 becomes the first A-series camera to use
> image stabilization. The A630 has an 8mp sensor and the A640 has a
> 10mp sensor, and instead of the usual silver color, the A640 is
> shown with a black finish.


Thanks for this info. I will certainly wait for this A710, as I don't
urgently need a new camera now.

Pawel
 
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ASAAR
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      08-24-2006
On Thu, 24 Aug 2006 20:19:44 +0000 (UTC), Pawel Paron wrote:

> Thanks Dave for a very thorough response. Although real numbers from a user
> would be great too. Anyway, I reconsidered this battery issue and my typical
> camera usage patterns, and now I think that it will not be that big problem.
> For everyday use I have couple of sets of NiMH rechargeables, and don't use
> disposable alkalines, and for my long holiday trips I can buy few sets of
> lithium AAs in advance, just I would need to determine how many of them
> would be required, as like I mentioned before, these batteries are hardly
> available in a "wilderness". And if those 100 shots stated in the manual is
> a true number, there are standard alkalines available at gas stations or so.


Dave? I resemble that remark. Er, I mean that I don't.
Remember, though, that the 100 shots means that 1/2, or 50 were
taken with the flash and another 50 without using the flash. At
that point the batteries probably aren't ready to be tossed unless
you need to continue using the flash. When testing my Fuji (it uses
4AA batteries) according to CIPA, I got a little more than the 200
shots that the manual indicated the alkalines would be good for.
The batteries didn't have enough left to keep the camera powered on
if I tried to use the flash. So I stopped using the flash, and with
those same "dead" batteries, was able to take more than 400
additional shots over then next several days.

As for real numbers from actual users, I haven't seen anyone
providing them, but several users have posted messages over the last
year stating that they have the A610 or A620 and used it for up to 6
months with the original set of alkaline batteries, and there was no
indication that the batteries were getting low.

 
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Pawel Paron
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      08-24-2006
Dnia 24.08.2006 ASAAR <(E-Mail Removed)> napisał/a:

> Dave? I resemble that remark. Er, I mean that I don't.


Sorry, I messed something. Thank you, and also thank Dave, and others

> Remember, though, that the 100 shots means that 1/2, or 50 were
> taken with the flash and another 50 without using the flash. At
> that point the batteries probably aren't ready to be tossed unless
> you need to continue using the flash. When testing my Fuji (it uses
> 4AA batteries) according to CIPA, I got a little more than the 200
> shots that the manual indicated the alkalines would be good for.
> The batteries didn't have enough left to keep the camera powered on
> if I tried to use the flash. So I stopped using the flash, and with
> those same "dead" batteries, was able to take more than 400
> additional shots over then next several days.


Yes, I know this feature of disposable batteries, and I know other discharge
characteristisc of these batteries, so I suspect in my case I should expect
more than 100 pictures, assuming that turning flash off in these new cameras
actually turns it off (no recharging on every startup). I know I could also
turn off the LCD, but this is a very inconvenient solution, I would do it
only as a last resort, in case of nearly dead batteries and no chance to get
new ones.

> As for real numbers from actual users, I haven't seen anyone
> providing them, but several users have posted messages over the last
> year stating that they have the A610 or A620 and used it for up to 6
> months with the original set of alkaline batteries, and there was no
> indication that the batteries were getting low.


Actually, few years ago I could find some reviews of A40, that included also
real measurement of current consumption, very detailed, I think that was on
Steves Digicams website, but I don't find similar information for present
models.

Pawel
 
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