# battery power

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Wm Watt, Oct 18, 2007.

1. ### Wm WattGuest

Anybody know anything about typical internal power circuits on digital
cameras? An alkaline battery only lasts 4 days or about 20 photos on
the el-cheapo keychain digital camera I carry on my belt for an
impromtu daily photo jounal. I've checked the problem batteries with a
volt meter. As soon as the power drops a shade below 1.5 volts the
camera starts to act up. There's still power left in the battery. If
you connect two batteries in parallel the output voltage of the
combination is the sum of the voltages of the two batteries. So taping
two batteries which are just below 1.5 volts together will give just
under 3 volts. Question is, will that damage the camera circuitry?
When the camera is plugged into a USB port on the computer to download
the photos it gets 5 volts at half an amp from the computer (that's
the USB standard). It would be nice if this camera will take up to 5
volts from the battery terminals also. Anybody got any ideas about
what is the safe battery voltage for a digital camera like this? I'd
like to tape batteries together to extend their life.

I have another digital camera which takes 4 batteries in parallel, ie.
6 volts. It also has a socket for a 6 volt AC/DC transformer. It also
uses a USB cable to download photos at 5 volts. On that camera 6 volts
seems to be the limit.

Thanks.

Wm Watt, Oct 18, 2007

2. ### irwellGuest

On Thu, 18 Oct 2007 08:06:49 -0700, Wm Watt <>
wrote:

>Anybody know anything about typical internal power circuits on digital
>cameras? An alkaline battery only lasts 4 days or about 20 photos on
>the el-cheapo keychain digital camera I carry on my belt for an
>impromtu daily photo jounal. I've checked the problem batteries with a
>volt meter. As soon as the power drops a shade below 1.5 volts the
>camera starts to act up. There's still power left in the battery. If
>you connect two batteries in parallel the output voltage of the
>combination is the sum of the voltages of the two batteries. So taping
>two batteries which are just below 1.5 volts together will give just
>under 3 volts. Question is, will that damage the camera circuitry?
>When the camera is plugged into a USB port on the computer to download
>the photos it gets 5 volts at half an amp from the computer (that's
>the USB standard). It would be nice if this camera will take up to 5
>volts from the battery terminals also. Anybody got any ideas about
>what is the safe battery voltage for a digital camera like this? I'd
>like to tape batteries together to extend their life.
>
>I have another digital camera which takes 4 batteries in parallel, ie.
>6 volts. It also has a socket for a 6 volt AC/DC transformer. It also
>uses a USB cable to download photos at 5 volts. On that camera 6 volts
>seems to be the limit.
>
>Thanks.

I think you have the series/parallel backwards,
four 1.5 volt batteries in parallel is still 1.5 volts
but with more current amperage.

irwell, Oct 18, 2007

3. ### Bob SGuest

Wm Watt wrote:
> A
>
> I have another digital camera which takes 4 batteries in parallel, ie.
> 6 volts. It also has a socket for a 6 volt AC/DC transformer. It also
> uses a USB cable to download photos at 5 volts. On that camera 6 volts
> seems to be the limit.

You don't have 4 cells in parallel if each cell is 1.5 volts and you are
getting 6 volts. You still have 1.5V but at a higher current capacity.

Another point, you don't have an AC/DC transformer. Transformers are AC
devices. Are you talking about a "wallwart" (not wal*mart) power supply?

Now. if you put 4 1.5V cells in SERIES, you have 6V......

As for the main question, older digicams were power hungry. Even the
P&S versions. How old is the camera

Bob

Bob S, Oct 18, 2007
4. ### Dave CohenGuest

On Thu, 18 Oct 2007 08:06:49 -0700, Wm Watt wrote:

> Anybody know anything about typical internal power circuits on digital
> cameras? An alkaline battery only lasts 4 days or about 20 photos on
> the el-cheapo keychain digital camera I carry on my belt for an
> impromtu daily photo jounal. I've checked the problem batteries with a
> volt meter. As soon as the power drops a shade below 1.5 volts the
> camera starts to act up. There's still power left in the battery. If
> you connect two batteries in parallel the output voltage of the
> combination is the sum of the voltages of the two batteries. So taping
> two batteries which are just below 1.5 volts together will give just
> under 3 volts. Question is, will that damage the camera circuitry?
> When the camera is plugged into a USB port on the computer to download
> the photos it gets 5 volts at half an amp from the computer (that's
> the USB standard). It would be nice if this camera will take up to 5
> volts from the battery terminals also. Anybody got any ideas about
> what is the safe battery voltage for a digital camera like this? I'd
> like to tape batteries together to extend their life.
>
> I have another digital camera which takes 4 batteries in parallel, ie.
> 6 volts. It also has a socket for a 6 volt AC/DC transformer. It also
> uses a USB cable to download photos at 5 volts. On that camera 6 volts
> seems to be the limit.
>
> Thanks.

If you local education system offers electricity 101, take it.
Dave Cohen

Dave Cohen, Oct 19, 2007
5. ### RaoulGuest

On Thu, 18 Oct 2007 08:06:49 -0700, Wm Watt <>
wrote:

>Anybody know anything about typical internal power circuits on digital
>cameras? An alkaline battery only lasts 4 days or about 20 photos on
>the el-cheapo keychain digital camera I carry on my belt for an
>impromtu daily photo jounal. I've checked the problem batteries with a
>volt meter. As soon as the power drops a shade below 1.5 volts the
>camera starts to act up. There's still power left in the battery. If
>you connect two batteries in parallel the output voltage of the
>combination is the sum of the voltages of the two batteries. So taping
>two batteries which are just below 1.5 volts together will give just
>under 3 volts. Question is, will that damage the camera circuitry?
>When the camera is plugged into a USB port on the computer to download
>the photos it gets 5 volts at half an amp from the computer (that's
>the USB standard). It would be nice if this camera will take up to 5
>volts from the battery terminals also. Anybody got any ideas about
>what is the safe battery voltage for a digital camera like this? I'd
>like to tape batteries together to extend their life.
>
>I have another digital camera which takes 4 batteries in parallel, ie.
>6 volts. It also has a socket for a 6 volt AC/DC transformer. It also
>uses a USB cable to download photos at 5 volts. On that camera 6 volts
>seems to be the limit.

As noted, you have series & parallel reversed. If the batteries in
question are AA, then get some nickel metal hydride (NiMH) ones. Much
better than alkalines. If you can use 2 batteries, connecting them in
parallel (+ to +. - to -) may help. The battery voltage will not drop
as much under the load from the camera. Unless this camera is not
worth much, i wouldn't screw with it.

Raoul, Oct 19, 2007
6. ### Ron HunterGuest

Wm Watt wrote:
> Anybody know anything about typical internal power circuits on digital
> cameras? An alkaline battery only lasts 4 days or about 20 photos on
> the el-cheapo keychain digital camera I carry on my belt for an
> impromtu daily photo jounal. I've checked the problem batteries with a
> volt meter. As soon as the power drops a shade below 1.5 volts the
> camera starts to act up. There's still power left in the battery. If
> you connect two batteries in parallel the output voltage of the
> combination is the sum of the voltages of the two batteries. So taping
> two batteries which are just below 1.5 volts together will give just
> under 3 volts. Question is, will that damage the camera circuitry?
> When the camera is plugged into a USB port on the computer to download
> the photos it gets 5 volts at half an amp from the computer (that's
> the USB standard). It would be nice if this camera will take up to 5
> volts from the battery terminals also. Anybody got any ideas about
> what is the safe battery voltage for a digital camera like this? I'd
> like to tape batteries together to extend their life.
>
> I have another digital camera which takes 4 batteries in parallel, ie.
> 6 volts. It also has a socket for a 6 volt AC/DC transformer. It also
> uses a USB cable to download photos at 5 volts. On that camera 6 volts
> seems to be the limit.
>
> Thanks.
>

First, batteries in parallel don't increase the voltage, that is a
'series' connection.
Second, cheap cameras like the one you mention drain batteries when they
aren't in use. If you will read the instructions, they usually warn to
remove the batteries between uses... Presumably, the camera has some
regulation ability and you could run it on more than two 1.5 volt cells,
but wouldn't that defeat the benefit of its small size?

Ron Hunter, Oct 19, 2007
7. ### Wm WattGuest

Thanks for the correction. I did check my old college physics book
and it looked to me from the diagrams like parallel increased the
voltage. That was over 30 years ago.
The camera was purchased for a low price, \$4.99. It's a VuPoint, not a
good one.
Buying rechargable batteries would be a last resort for this camera.
I'd like to try to use up the ones I have first, if possible. Depends
on the voltage tolerance.

For anyone interested, photos can be seen at www.facebook.com/photos.php?id=641641209
and click on "Journal" album.

Wm Watt, Oct 19, 2007
8. ### AllenGuest

Wm Watt wrote:
> Thanks for the correction. I did check my old college physics book
> and it looked to me from the diagrams like parallel increased the
> voltage. That was over 30 years ago.
> The camera was purchased for a low price, \$4.99. It's a VuPoint, not a
> good one.
> Buying rechargable batteries would be a last resort for this camera.
> I'd like to try to use up the ones I have first, if possible. Depends
> on the voltage tolerance.
>
> For anyone interested, photos can be seen at www.facebook.com/photos.php?id=641641209
> and click on "Journal" album.
>

Rechargeable NiMH batteries put out less 1.5 v (about 1.2, as I recall)
so you probably going to have to stick with conventional AAs. I'm sure
at least a dozen people will correct me if I am wrong, and some will
correct me even if I'm right.
Allen

Allen, Oct 19, 2007
9. ### Mark B.Guest

"Allen" <> wrote in message
news:47191732\$0\$20580\$...
> Wm Watt wrote:
>> Thanks for the correction. I did check my old college physics book
>> and it looked to me from the diagrams like parallel increased the
>> voltage. That was over 30 years ago.
>> The camera was purchased for a low price, \$4.99. It's a VuPoint, not a
>> good one.
>> Buying rechargable batteries would be a last resort for this camera.
>> I'd like to try to use up the ones I have first, if possible. Depends
>> on the voltage tolerance.
>>
>> For anyone interested, photos can be seen at
>> and click on "Journal" album.
>>

> Rechargeable NiMH batteries put out less 1.5 v (about 1.2, as I recall) so
> you probably going to have to stick with conventional AAs. I'm sure at
> least a dozen people will correct me if I am wrong, and some will correct
> me even if I'm right.
> Allen

Someone else can tell you why, but 1.5v vs. 1.2v isn't important with
digital cameras. The fact is that rechargeable NiMH handle the power
requirements of digital cameras far better than alkalines. Dump the
alkalines, spend 10 bucks on a set of batteries. A very good charger will
set you back about \$50, but even a \$20 charger and the batteries would be
better than continuing to dump money into alkalines.

Mark

Mark B., Oct 20, 2007
10. ### AllenGuest

Mark B. wrote:
> "Allen" <> wrote in message
> news:47191732\$0\$20580\$...
>> Wm Watt wrote:
>>> Thanks for the correction. I did check my old college physics book
>>> and it looked to me from the diagrams like parallel increased the
>>> voltage. That was over 30 years ago.
>>> The camera was purchased for a low price, \$4.99. It's a VuPoint, not a
>>> good one.
>>> Buying rechargable batteries would be a last resort for this camera.
>>> I'd like to try to use up the ones I have first, if possible. Depends
>>> on the voltage tolerance.
>>>
>>> For anyone interested, photos can be seen at
>>> and click on "Journal" album.
>>>

>> Rechargeable NiMH batteries put out less 1.5 v (about 1.2, as I recall) so
>> you probably going to have to stick with conventional AAs. I'm sure at
>> least a dozen people will correct me if I am wrong, and some will correct
>> me even if I'm right.
>> Allen

>
> Someone else can tell you why, but 1.5v vs. 1.2v isn't important with
> digital cameras. The fact is that rechargeable NiMH handle the power
> requirements of digital cameras far better than alkalines. Dump the
> alkalines, spend 10 bucks on a set of batteries. A very good charger will
> set you back about \$50, but even a \$20 charger and the batteries would be
> better than continuing to dump money into alkalines.
>
> Mark
>
>

But the OP stated "As soon as the power drops a shade below 1.5 volts he
camera starts to act up." If the camera won't function at 1.45 volts, I
doubt that it would function at 1.2 volts, regardless of the battery
type. He also said that the camera cost him \$4.99, which will give you
an idea of is sophistication. Perhaps he could rig some kind of switch
so that he could turn the power off and on.
Allen

Allen, Oct 20, 2007
11. ### Daniel PrinceGuest

Allen <> wrote:

>But the OP stated "As soon as the power drops a shade below 1.5 volts he
>camera starts to act up." If the camera won't function at 1.45 volts, I
>doubt that it would function at 1.2 volts, regardless of the battery
>type.

I doubt very much that the OP is measuring the voltage while the
cell is under load in the camera. The 1.5 volts is probably what
the partially depleted battery puts out when connected to a
ten-mega-ohm digital meter. Under the load of the camera, that
cell's voltage may be dropping to less than one volt.

Newly charged NiMh cells have a voltage of around 1.4 volts and they
have much less internal resistance than alkaline cells so the
voltage drops much less.

The OP needs to measure the voltage of the alkaline cell while it is
under load by the camera or just try some NiMh cells. Many Walmarts
are now selling packages of four pre-charged Kodak NiMh cells for
\$7.99.

--
I don't understand why they make gourmet cat foods. I have
known many cats in my life and none of them were gourmets.
They were all gourmands!

Daniel Prince, Oct 20, 2007
12. ### Wm WattGuest

> The OP needs to measure the voltage of the alkaline cell while it is
> under load by the camera or just try some NiMh cells. Many Walmarts
> are now selling packages of four pre-charged Kodak NiMh cells for
> \$7.99.

The recommendatios I've seen online are for rechargable batteries for
high volume photography. If I keep taking photos every day with the
camera that may be best economically. I'll look into prices locally.
Thanks. In the meantime I'm tempted to try wiring up two weak
batteries in series just to see if it kills the camera, but will
probably resist temptation.

Wm Watt, Oct 20, 2007
13. ### irwellGuest

On Sat, 20 Oct 2007 09:43:38 -0700, Wm Watt <>
wrote:

>
>> The OP needs to measure the voltage of the alkaline cell while it is
>> under load by the camera or just try some NiMh cells. Many Walmarts
>> are now selling packages of four pre-charged Kodak NiMh cells for
>> \$7.99.

>
>The recommendatios I've seen online are for rechargable batteries for
>high volume photography. If I keep taking photos every day with the
>camera that may be best economically. I'll look into prices locally.
>Thanks. In the meantime I'm tempted to try wiring up two weak
>batteries in series just to see if it kills the camera, but will
>probably resist temptation.
>

It will, don't do it.
Wire them in parallel to get longer current
life.

irwell, Oct 20, 2007