thoughts on new Canon compacts?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Paul Rubin, Mar 11, 2006.

  1. Paul Rubin

    Paul Rubin Guest

    I have a tax refund coming and had been thinking of buying an A610,
    but suddenly there's a flock of new models in that series. Any
    thoughts about whether the A610 is still a good choice? It's a bit
    larger than I'd really like, but it has a 1/1.8" sensor and very long
    battery life. On the other hand the new A700 has image stabilization,
    though I'll reserve judgement about that til I see some test reports.
    The new models use two AA cells instead of four, so they have less
    power available, but on the other hand they're smaller. Unless
    there's a big loss in handling speed I guess I prefer small size.

    Things I care about to varying degrees
    - good clean images, preferably at high ISO
    - fast handling
    - use AA batteries
    - wideangle coverage
    - compact size
    - external (bounce) flash capability, doesn't seem to exist in
    compacts any more.
    - CF memory is preferable but not that big a deal.

    Things I don't care about (much):
    - high megapixels
    - long telephoto
    Paul Rubin, Mar 11, 2006
    #1
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  2. Paul Rubin

    mrsgator88 Guest

    "Paul Rubin" <http://> wrote in message
    news:...
    >
    > Things I care about to varying degrees
    > - good clean images, preferably at high ISO
    > - fast handling
    > - use AA batteries
    > - wideangle coverage
    > - compact size
    > - external (bounce) flash capability, doesn't seem to exist in
    > compacts any more.
    > - CF memory is preferable but not that big a deal.
    >
    > Things I don't care about (much):
    > - high megapixels
    > - long telephoto


    I think you're asking too much, but someone will correct me if I'm wrong.
    The Nikon 8400 I think has most of what you're looking for, a little larger
    in size though. It doesn't use AA batteries, but it has very long battery
    life. Has a hotshoe and uses CF also. Very wideangle lens. Good luck in
    your search!

    Steve
    mrsgator88, Mar 11, 2006
    #2
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  3. Paul Rubin

    Mike Henley Guest

    Paul Rubin wrote:
    > I have a tax refund coming and had been thinking of buying an A610,
    > but suddenly there's a flock of new models in that series. Any
    > thoughts about whether the A610 is still a good choice? It's a bit
    > larger than I'd really like, but it has a 1/1.8" sensor and very long
    > battery life. On the other hand the new A700 has image stabilization,
    > though I'll reserve judgement about that til I see some test reports.
    > The new models use two AA cells instead of four, so they have less
    > power available, but on the other hand they're smaller. Unless
    > there's a big loss in handling speed I guess I prefer small size.
    >
    > Things I care about to varying degrees
    > - good clean images, preferably at high ISO
    > - fast handling
    > - use AA batteries
    > - wideangle coverage
    > - compact size
    > - external (bounce) flash capability, doesn't seem to exist in
    > compacts any more.
    > - CF memory is preferable but not that big a deal.
    >
    > Things I don't care about (much):
    > - high megapixels
    > - long telephoto


    Memory card type should no longer be an issue considering how cheap
    they are now (see other thread). As for batteries you can get a bunch
    of cheap compatible from ebay sellers if it doesn't use AA.

    If you want high iso images from a compact Fuji is the way to go.
    Mike Henley, Mar 11, 2006
    #3
  4. Paul Rubin

    Paul Rubin Guest

    "Mike Henley" <> writes:
    > Memory card type should no longer be an issue considering how cheap
    > they are now (see other thread). As for batteries you can get a bunch
    > of cheap compatible from ebay sellers if it doesn't use AA.


    I mostly agree about memory card type. The "list of things I care
    about to some extent" implies that I didn't expect to get everything
    on the list. As for AA's though, that's a relatively firm
    requirement. I don't want to mess around with buying batteries on
    Ebay and I don't want to have to mess around with multiple chargers
    for different devices. I'm trying to use AA's in as many of my
    battery powered devices as possible, so if I go on a trip with them I
    only have to bring one charger.

    > If you want high iso images from a compact Fuji is the way to go.


    I've heard this before, so I should check into it. I've been a bit
    put off by XD memory but as you say, it's cheap enough now to not
    matter. Do you know if they have any AA-powered models?
    Paul Rubin, Mar 11, 2006
    #4
  5. Paul Rubin

    Paul Rubin Guest

    "mrsgator88" <> writes:
    > > - good clean images, preferably at high ISO
    > > - fast handling
    > > - use AA batteries
    > > - wideangle coverage
    > > - compact size
    > > - external (bounce) flash capability, doesn't seem to exist in
    > > compacts any more.
    > > - CF memory is preferable but not that big a deal.
    > >
    > > Things I don't care about (much):
    > > - high megapixels
    > > - long telephoto

    >
    > I think you're asking too much, but someone will correct me if I'm wrong.


    Well, I don't expect to get everything on the list. The Canon A610 in
    fact has everything I asked for except for CF and bounce flash, though
    it's not that compact.

    > The Nikon 8400 I think has most of what you're looking for, a little
    > larger in size though. It doesn't use AA batteries, but it has very
    > long battery life. Has a hotshoe and uses CF also. Very wideangle
    > lens. Good luck in your search!


    I should look into this, though Nikon compacts I've tried have handled
    rather slowly and had trouble with low-light AF (no illuminator).
    Compact flash is not that big a deal--I do have some other devices
    that use CF, but flash memory is cheap enough that I don't mind using
    SD or whatever in a compact camera and having to buy another card for it.

    I think of the 8400 as being somewhat large but I may be thinking of
    another model. Ideally I want something shirt pocket sized. I have a
    Nikon 3100 right now whose size is ok, but it's slower than molasses
    to operate. The Canon A610 is much faster but considerably larger and
    is probably at about the upper limit of the size range that I want.
    Paul Rubin, Mar 11, 2006
    #5
  6. Paul Rubin

    Mike Henley Guest

    Paul Rubin wrote:

    > "Mike Henley" <> writes:
    > > Memory card type should no longer be an issue considering how cheap
    > > they are now (see other thread). As for batteries you can get a bunch
    > > of cheap compatible from ebay sellers if it doesn't use AA.

    >
    > I mostly agree about memory card type. The "list of things I care
    > about to some extent" implies that I didn't expect to get everything
    > on the list. As for AA's though, that's a relatively firm
    > requirement. I don't want to mess around with buying batteries on
    > Ebay and I don't want to have to mess around with multiple chargers
    > for different devices. I'm trying to use AA's in as many of my
    > battery powered devices as possible, so if I go on a trip with them I
    > only have to bring one charger.
    >


    I empathise because I had the same requirement. I must say now, though,
    it's not worth it. The reasons are:
    - It's easier to carry and handle two or three spare
    designed-for-camera batteries than to carry, say, 8 or 12 AA batteries.

    - Batteries designed-for-camera are usually lithium ion ones, those
    hold their charge when you're not using them for longer, unlike the AA
    batteries, which are at best NIMH Nickel Metal Hydride, and discharge
    faster. You'd need to keep a tighter recharging routine with AA
    batteries than you would for designed-for-camera ones, even recharging
    batteries that you'd not used.
    - I'll insist on AA with most of my devices, but with a camera I'll
    compromise, and here's why: Much later on when you look at the pictures
    you took it won't matter what type of batteries the camera used, the
    only thing that will matter will be photographic quality, and this is
    what you should focus on most. This is not the case for other devices,
    they don't produce results that, in some cases, should last for life.

    This also reminds me of another requirement I had for my devices, that
    they had to be pocketable. Eventually I got fed up of this, having
    tried it, because it's just not worth it either. Devices tended to be
    expensive and compromised in features or durability. Also, soon enough
    you may have to carry more than one pocketable device and your pocket
    fills up, which if you're like me it would make you feel like an idiot.
    I eventually learnt, through experience, that the best way would be to
    carry nothing in my pockets and instead use a shoulder bag or a
    rucksack. You get used to carrying one, even if you hate the idea to
    begin with, and soon enough you'll adore it, especially if you keep it
    tidy and light, because you can actually put more than a camera, such
    as some essential personal kit of most often used items. Your shoulder
    bag or rucksack becomes like a little second home. If you're an
    technophile you can carry a mobile phone, a pda, a pda's keyboard, a
    camera, and so on. If you don't like tech devices you can carry a
    clipboard, a few pens and pencils, a book that you're reading, and so
    on.

    I would not buy shoulder bags or rucksacks that are padded and designed
    for laptops or cameras. Those are way too geeky-looking and
    clusmy-in-use, they also make you a target for crime. Instead I buy
    small cases or bags for each device (each no bigger than the device -
    if you go to the lowepro website you'll see a chart that'll help you
    choose the best fitting small bag for your camera) and carry the whole
    lot in a 'fashion'-type bag, no one would know what's in there by
    seeing me with it. Perhaps something like this one
    http://store.andrewchristian.com/catalog/images/rtc9128.jpg. It's also
    more flexible in case I want to just take the camera and nothing else,
    which if I'd taken a big laptop-like bag it wouldn't have been as easy.
    Get a nice bag, get used to it, it's just a matter of habit, and you'll
    eventually love the freedom and flexibility it gives you.


    > > If you want high iso images from a compact Fuji is the way to go.

    >
    > I've heard this before, so I should check into it. I've been a bit
    > put off by XD memory but as you say, it's cheap enough now to not
    > matter. Do you know if they have any AA-powered models?


    Fuji makes both conventional ccd and superccd cameras. You want the
    superccd cameras if you care about pictures with high iso. So keep that
    in mind and check it. Fuji makes plenty of cameras with AA batteries
    http://tinyurl.com/hr5my

    Keep in mind though, other than the superccd preference above, that if
    you're going to shoot pictures in high iso then it would make a lot of
    sense to get a camera with low-light AF-assist. The AA cameras Fuji
    makes, in the A and E series, tend not to have low-light AF-assist. At
    least some models in S series do have low-light AF-Assist, but these
    are big zoom SLR-like models.

    If you're willing to compromise on the AA batteries requirement you'll
    find some ideal fuji cameras for low-light shooting, in the F series.
    http://tinyurl.com/k9z6j In particular, the F10 had some great reviews
    about their pictures in high ISO. The F10 too has great battery life,
    perhaps up to 500 shots. See this quote from the DCRP review's
    conclusion on the F10
    "# Excellent photo quality
    # Great high ISO performance for a non-SLR camera
    # Large 2.5" LCD display; visible in bright outdoor light and dim
    indoor light
    # Robust performance (save for continuous shooting mode)
    # Fairly compact metal body
    # Powerful flash
    # AF-assist lamp
    # Excellent movie mode
    # Awesome battery life"

    I would imagine the F11 and F30 to have similar features, being higher
    and newer models.

    I personally have the F810, which is more of a 'professional's compact'
    camera. When the BBC did program recently in which it hired some very
    reputable professionals to photograph the UK sights, they supplied them
    with either a Canon EOS-1Ds Mk II (at the time the best and perhaps
    most expensive digital SLR) or a Fuji f810 compact. The F810 though has
    a short battery life, but that's no issue for me, I carry two spare
    batteries which fit discretely into the small lowepro case and
    considering that the battery lasts for a 100 shots I rarely had to use
    them, as I usually shoot less. Besides, memory is a more limiting
    factor than batteries. If i shoot RAW I can only fit 39 images on a
    512mb card, and I do shoot RAW.

    For battery life and memory size, don't try to solve a problem you're
    not encountering, that would be my advice. A few days ago I got that
    buying-itch and wanted to swap my F810 for an AA-batteries one. When I
    sat down and thought about it, I realised that with my current capacity
    of well over 300 shots for the camera I have (2 spare batteries) I
    don't really have a problem there. Get a camera, use it, and then
    monitor your usage, this way you'll know your exact needs and won't go
    for any higher. I would suggest you get an F10 or its F11/F30 (check
    them, I'm not familiar with them), and a couple of spare batteries. I
    have a hard time imagining that you'd need more than a 1000 shots
    between your recharges.
    Mike Henley, Mar 12, 2006
    #6
  7. Paul Rubin

    Mike Henley Guest

    Mike Henley wrote:

    > Paul Rubin wrote:
    >
    > > "Mike Henley" <> writes:
    > > > Memory card type should no longer be an issue considering how cheap
    > > > they are now (see other thread). As for batteries you can get a bunch
    > > > of cheap compatible from ebay sellers if it doesn't use AA.

    > >
    > > I mostly agree about memory card type. The "list of things I care
    > > about to some extent" implies that I didn't expect to get everything
    > > on the list. As for AA's though, that's a relatively firm
    > > requirement. I don't want to mess around with buying batteries on
    > > Ebay and I don't want to have to mess around with multiple chargers
    > > for different devices. I'm trying to use AA's in as many of my
    > > battery powered devices as possible, so if I go on a trip with them I
    > > only have to bring one charger.
    > >

    >
    > I empathise because I had the same requirement. I must say now, though,
    > it's not worth it. The reasons are:
    > - It's easier to carry and handle two or three spare
    > designed-for-camera batteries than to carry, say, 8 or 12 AA batteries.
    >
    > - Batteries designed-for-camera are usually lithium ion ones, those
    > hold their charge when you're not using them for longer, unlike the AA
    > batteries, which are at best NIMH Nickel Metal Hydride, and discharge
    > faster. You'd need to keep a tighter recharging routine with AA
    > batteries than you would for designed-for-camera ones, even recharging
    > batteries that you'd not used.
    > - I'll insist on AA with most of my devices, but with a camera I'll
    > compromise, and here's why: Much later on when you look at the pictures
    > you took it won't matter what type of batteries the camera used, the
    > only thing that will matter will be photographic quality, and this is
    > what you should focus on most. This is not the case for other devices,
    > they don't produce results that, in some cases, should last for life.
    >
    > This also reminds me of another requirement I had for my devices, that
    > they had to be pocketable. Eventually I got fed up of this, having
    > tried it, because it's just not worth it either. Devices tended to be
    > expensive and compromised in features or durability. Also, soon enough
    > you may have to carry more than one pocketable device and your pocket
    > fills up, which if you're like me it would make you feel like an idiot.
    > I eventually learnt, through experience, that the best way would be to
    > carry nothing in my pockets and instead use a shoulder bag or a
    > rucksack. You get used to carrying one, even if you hate the idea to
    > begin with, and soon enough you'll adore it, especially if you keep it
    > tidy and light, because you can actually put more than a camera, such
    > as some essential personal kit of most often used items. Your shoulder
    > bag or rucksack becomes like a little second home. If you're an
    > technophile you can carry a mobile phone, a pda, a pda's keyboard, a
    > camera, and so on. If you don't like tech devices you can carry a
    > clipboard, a few pens and pencils, a book that you're reading, and so
    > on.
    >
    > I would not buy shoulder bags or rucksacks that are padded and designed
    > for laptops or cameras. Those are way too geeky-looking and
    > clusmy-in-use, they also make you a target for crime. Instead I buy
    > small cases or bags for each device (each no bigger than the device -
    > if you go to the lowepro website you'll see a chart that'll help you
    > choose the best fitting small bag for your camera) and carry the whole
    > lot in a 'fashion'-type bag, no one would know what's in there by
    > seeing me with it. Perhaps something like this one
    > http://store.andrewchristian.com/catalog/images/rtc9128.jpg. It's also
    > more flexible in case I want to just take the camera and nothing else,
    > which if I'd taken a big laptop-like bag it wouldn't have been as easy.
    > Get a nice bag, get used to it, it's just a matter of habit, and you'll
    > eventually love the freedom and flexibility it gives you.
    >
    >
    > > > If you want high iso images from a compact Fuji is the way to go.

    > >
    > > I've heard this before, so I should check into it. I've been a bit
    > > put off by XD memory but as you say, it's cheap enough now to not
    > > matter. Do you know if they have any AA-powered models?

    >
    > Fuji makes both conventional ccd and superccd cameras. You want the
    > superccd cameras if you care about pictures with high iso. So keep that
    > in mind and check it. Fuji makes plenty of cameras with AA batteries
    > http://tinyurl.com/hr5my
    >
    > Keep in mind though, other than the superccd preference above, that if
    > you're going to shoot pictures in high iso then it would make a lot of
    > sense to get a camera with low-light AF-assist. The AA cameras Fuji
    > makes, in the A and E series, tend not to have low-light AF-assist. At
    > least some models in S series do have low-light AF-Assist, but these
    > are big zoom SLR-like models.
    >
    > If you're willing to compromise on the AA batteries requirement you'll
    > find some ideal fuji cameras for low-light shooting, in the F series.
    > http://tinyurl.com/k9z6j In particular, the F10 had some great reviews
    > about their pictures in high ISO. The F10 too has great battery life,
    > perhaps up to 500 shots. See this quote from the DCRP review's
    > conclusion on the F10
    > "# Excellent photo quality
    > # Great high ISO performance for a non-SLR camera
    > # Large 2.5" LCD display; visible in bright outdoor light and dim
    > indoor light
    > # Robust performance (save for continuous shooting mode)
    > # Fairly compact metal body
    > # Powerful flash
    > # AF-assist lamp
    > # Excellent movie mode
    > # Awesome battery life"
    >
    > I would imagine the F11 and F30 to have similar features, being higher
    > and newer models.
    >
    > I personally have the F810, which is more of a 'professional's compact'
    > camera. When the BBC did program recently in which it hired some very
    > reputable professionals to photograph the UK sights, they supplied them
    > with either a Canon EOS-1Ds Mk II (at the time the best and perhaps
    > most expensive digital SLR) or a Fuji f810 compact. The F810 though has
    > a short battery life, but that's no issue for me, I carry two spare
    > batteries which fit discretely into the small lowepro case and
    > considering that the battery lasts for a 100 shots I rarely had to use
    > them, as I usually shoot less. Besides, memory is a more limiting
    > factor than batteries. If i shoot RAW I can only fit 39 images on a
    > 512mb card, and I do shoot RAW.
    >
    > For battery life and memory size, don't try to solve a problem you're
    > not encountering, that would be my advice. A few days ago I got that
    > buying-itch and wanted to swap my F810 for an AA-batteries one. When I
    > sat down and thought about it, I realised that with my current capacity
    > of well over 300 shots for the camera I have (2 spare batteries) I
    > don't really have a problem there. Get a camera, use it, and then
    > monitor your usage, this way you'll know your exact needs and won't go
    > for any higher. I would suggest you get an F10 or its F11/F30 (check
    > them, I'm not familiar with them), and a couple of spare batteries. I
    > have a hard time imagining that you'd need more than a 1000 shots
    > between your recharges.


    F30 looks very interesting; ISO 3200 at full resolution. Knowing
    fujifilm, I'd buy it without waiting for the reviews. My only question
    is whether I'd want it instead of my F810. Higher ISO and longer
    battery life (F30) or full manual controls and RAW format (F810). I'll
    be thinking about this over the coming few days.
    Mike Henley, Mar 12, 2006
    #7
  8. Paul Rubin

    SMS Guest

    Mike Henley wrote:

    > - Batteries designed-for-camera are usually lithium ion ones, those
    > hold their charge when you're not using them for longer, unlike the AA
    > batteries, which are at best NIMH Nickel Metal Hydride, and discharge
    > faster. You'd need to keep a tighter recharging routine with AA
    > batteries than you would for designed-for-camera ones, even recharging
    > batteries that you'd not used.


    All true. And fortunately, Li-Ion chargers aren't the huge devices they
    once were, they are very slim, often with built in folding AC plug, and
    no wall wart.

    Li-Ion rechargeable batteries have the following advantages over NiMH
    rechargeable batteries:

    1. Much lower self-discharge rate
    2. Higher maximum number of charge/discharge cycles
    3. Higher energy density in terms of both weight and volume
    4. Far better low-temperature performance
    5. Lower cost, when you factor in the higher energy density, and the
    maximum number of charge/discharge cycles
    6. Universal Li-Ion chargers eliminate the need to carry multiple
    chargers with you when traveling.
    7. Protection circuitry integral to the battery pack
    8. Low maintenance.
    9. Less hassle in changing batteries and keeping track of charged
    versus discharged cells

    NiMH rechargeable batteries have the following advantages over Li-Ion
    rechargeable batteries:

    1. Faster charging with high rate chargers
    2. Ability to use disposable AA batteries if NiMH AA batteries are
    discharged and no charger is available
    3. Longer shelf life, as long as they are kept charged

    See "http://batterydata.com" for extensive information on the trade-offs
    between AA and Li-Ion batteries.

    <snip>

    > I eventually learnt, through experience, that the best way would be to
    > carry nothing in my pockets and instead use a shoulder bag or a
    > rucksack. You get used to carrying one, even if you hate the idea to
    > begin with, and soon enough you'll adore it, especially if you keep it
    > tidy and light, because you can actually put more than a camera, such
    > as some essential personal kit of most often used items.


    Another option is something like an eVest (or other vest or jacket), at
    least in places with mild weather.
    SMS, Mar 12, 2006
    #8
  9. Paul Rubin

    ASAAR Guest

    On 11 Mar 2006 14:42:37 -0800, Paul Rubin
    <http://> wrote:

    > I've heard this before, so I should check into it. I've been a bit
    > put off by XD memory but as you say, it's cheap enough now to not
    > matter. Do you know if they have any AA-powered models?


    Of their new models, the F10 and F30, which are fairly small and
    lack manual controls use Li-Ion. The E900 (9mp) is also fairly
    small and uses 2 AA cells. The S series cameras look like DSLRs and
    use 4 AAs. The S5200 (5mp) is larger than the E900 but still small
    and lightweight, but there's no way it would fit in a shirt pocket.
    I've carried my similar S5100 in a small jacket pocket. The S9000
    is quite a bit larger, comparable in size to most of the smaller
    sized DSLRs, fairly lightweight, adds a hotshoe and very usable
    manual focusing. All of these cameras use Fuji's newest sensors
    that are supposedly more noise free at higher ISOs than older
    models, but I don't think that they're quite a good for low light
    uses as the F10 and F30. They also (fortunately) don't offer Fuji's
    old pixel interpolation mode where the pixels and file sizes can be
    doubled to try to increase the apparent resolution by 3% to 5%. I
    don't know about the other models, but the S5200 has excellent
    battery life, 500 shots per charge (half using full powered flash)
    and if the flash isn't used, probably a little less than 1000 if
    alkalines are used, and well over 1000 with NiMH.
    ASAAR, Mar 12, 2006
    #9
  10. Paul Rubin

    SMS Guest

    Mike Henley wrote:

    > Keep in mind though, other than the superccd preference above, that if
    > you're going to shoot pictures in high iso then it would make a lot of
    > sense to get a camera with low-light AF-assist. The AA cameras Fuji
    > makes, in the A and E series, tend not to have low-light AF-assist. At
    > least some models in S series do have low-light AF-Assist, but these
    > are big zoom SLR-like models.


    The Canon A series (except for the A620) are excellent choices despite
    the AA batteries. Canon wisely backed off in terms of resolution on the
    new A700, after the A620 was criticized for noise issues.

    AF assist should be a non-compromise requirement, and Canon has been
    putting this on the A series for a long time (even the $100 2 megapixel
    A60 I bought a couple of years ago has an AF assist lamp).

    Some of the search engines for camera selection include AF assist as a
    check box, but DPReview hasn't done this, even though it is listed in
    their database, it's not search-able.

    Except in certain circumstances (like the guy who was looking for
    cameras for elementary school use), the AA batteries, while not optimal,
    are not the deciding factor. Since power consumption is less than on
    early digital cameras, the issues of AA batteries are not as critical.
    For occasional use, you can stick in some Lithium AA cells, though 4 of
    them cost more than what I pay for a Li-Ion rechargeable pack. For more
    frequent use you're stuck with NiMH, but you're not going to find Li-Ion
    batteries on the low cost cameras anytime soon.
    SMS, Mar 12, 2006
    #10
  11. Paul Rubin

    Paul Rubin Guest

    "Mike Henley" <> writes:
    > I empathise because I had the same requirement. I must say now, though,
    > it's not worth it. The reasons are:
    > - It's easier to carry and handle two or three spare
    > designed-for-camera batteries than to carry, say, 8 or 12 AA batteries.


    Thanks for the kind thoughts, but I'm not a newbie and I'm not really
    interested in advice like that. I've had AA cameras and I've had
    lithium cameras, and I know the good and bad points of both well
    enough to make up my own mind without further advice on the topic, and
    I want an AA camera. But just to answer you:

    1. The comparable lithium camera to the A610 would be something like
    the SD550. It uses a lithium battery which is about 3.6v 800 mAH or
    something like that, which is the same amount of energy as *one* AA
    cell (2500 mAH 1.2v NiMH), not four. So you should compare carrying
    two or three spare designed-for-camera batteries to carrying two or
    three spare AA's, not 8 or 12.

    2. In fact you're already carrying an AA charger because of your other
    devices that use AA's, but for a lithium camera, you need a separate
    charger. So you have to compare carrying two or three more AA's
    ($2.50 each and interoperable with your other gear) with carrying two
    or three much more expensive proprietary batteries ($10 or so each if
    you are willing to deal with buying them on ebay, $20+ otherwise) that
    are incompatible with everything else, AND carrying another yet charger.

    Conclusion: I want to stick with AA. Not lithium. Thanks.
    Paul Rubin, Mar 12, 2006
    #11
  12. Paul Rubin

    Paul Rubin Guest

    "Mike Henley" <> writes:
    > - I'll insist on AA with most of my devices, but with a camera I'll
    > compromise, and here's why: Much later on when you look at the pictures
    > you took it won't matter what type of batteries the camera used, the
    > only thing that will matter will be photographic quality, and this is
    > what you should focus on most.


    No the thing that will matter most is whether you get the picture or
    not. If you leave the camera at home, you won't get the picture, so
    it doesn't matter what quality the camera is capable of.

    > This also reminds me of another requirement I had for my devices, that
    > they had to be pocketable....
    > I eventually learnt, through experience, that the best way would be to
    > carry nothing in my pockets and instead use a shoulder bag or a
    > rucksack. You get used to carrying one, even if you hate the idea to
    > begin with, and soon enough you'll adore it,


    Thanks again but I'm not a child and I've had experience carrying
    shoulder bags and not carrying them and I'm familiar with my own
    preferences in the matter. I have several larger cameras by now that
    work very well on the occasions when I'm willing to schlep them
    around. I'm looking for something smaller that I don't mind carrying
    more of the time. My Nikon 3100 works very well for this purpose
    size-wise and the pictures it takes are more than good enough for my
    purposes. The thing that I hate about it is its slow handling speed,
    which is why I'm looking to replace it.
    Paul Rubin, Mar 12, 2006
    #12
  13. Paul Rubin

    Paul Rubin Guest

    ASAAR <> writes:
    > Of their new models, the F10 and F30, which are fairly small and
    > lack manual controls use Li-Ion.


    Hmm, I don't need manual controls but I really prefer to avoid li ion.

    > The E900 (9mp) is also fairly small and uses 2 AA cells.


    9mp? Yowch!!! Not noise city?

    > The S series cameras look like DSLRs and use 4 AAs. The S5200 (5mp)
    > is larger than the E900 but still small and lightweight, but there's
    > no way it would fit in a shirt pocket. I've carried my similar
    > S5100 in a small jacket pocket.


    I'll look into that one.

    > The S9000 is quite a bit larger, comparable in size to most of the
    > smaller sized DSLRs, fairly lightweight, adds a hotshoe and very
    > usable manual focusing.


    That's way too large, I'd rather use a DSLR if I'm willing to
    schlep a camera that size.

    Thanks!
    Paul Rubin, Mar 12, 2006
    #13
  14. Paul Rubin

    Frank ess Guest

    Paul Rubin wrote:
    > "Mike Henley" <> writes:
    >> I empathise because I had the same requirement. I must say now,
    >> though, it's not worth it. The reasons are:
    >> - It's easier to carry and handle two or three spare
    >> designed-for-camera batteries than to carry, say, 8 or 12 AA
    >> batteries.

    >
    > Thanks for the kind thoughts, but I'm not a newbie and I'm not
    > really
    > interested in advice like that. I've had AA cameras and I've had
    > lithium cameras, and I know the good and bad points of both well
    > enough to make up my own mind without further advice on the topic,
    > and
    > I want an AA camera. But just to answer you:
    >
    > 1. The comparable lithium camera to the A610 would be something like
    > the SD550. It uses a lithium battery which is about 3.6v 800 mAH or
    > something like that, which is the same amount of energy as *one* AA
    > cell (2500 mAH 1.2v NiMH), not four. So you should compare carrying
    > two or three spare designed-for-camera batteries to carrying two or
    > three spare AA's, not 8 or 12.
    >
    > 2. In fact you're already carrying an AA charger because of your
    > other
    > devices that use AA's, but for a lithium camera, you need a separate
    > charger. So you have to compare carrying two or three more AA's
    > ($2.50 each and interoperable with your other gear) with carrying
    > two
    > or three much more expensive proprietary batteries ($10 or so each
    > if
    > you are willing to deal with buying them on ebay, $20+ otherwise)
    > that
    > are incompatible with everything else, AND carrying another yet
    > charger.
    >
    > Conclusion: I want to stick with AA. Not lithium. Thanks.


    Plus which, if you carry three or four camera-specific battery packs,
    and use them up in a day, you'll be serial-charging for a while, just
    to get ready for the next day's activity. That takes time and
    attention better spent in other activities. If your supply of AAs
    works for a similar period, and they'll all fit in one charger at the
    same time, you're ahead of the game. I suppose you could carry several
    chargers for your proprietary power units.

    --
    Frank ess
    Frank ess, Mar 13, 2006
    #14
  15. Paul Rubin

    Paul Rubin Guest

    "Frank ess" <> writes:
    > Plus which, if you carry three or four camera-specific battery packs,
    > and use them up in a day, you'll be serial-charging for a while, just
    > to get ready for the next day's activity. That takes time and
    > attention better spent in other activities. If your supply of AAs
    > works for a similar period, and they'll all fit in one charger at the
    > same time, you're ahead of the game. I suppose you could carry several
    > chargers for your proprietary power units.


    I do have to serial-charge AA's sometimes, but with the Energizer 15
    minute NiMH charger, it doesn't take too long. Most dedicated lithium
    chargers take several hours.
    Paul Rubin, Mar 13, 2006
    #15
  16. Paul Rubin

    ASAAR Guest

    On 12 Mar 2006 15:51:33 -0800, Paul Rubin
    <http://> wrote:

    >> The E900 (9mp) is also fairly small and uses 2 AA cells.

    >
    > 9mp? Yowch!!! Not noise city?


    I mentioned that (9mp) knowing that you prefer low noise. Unlike
    Fuji's other new sensors, this one is probably a compromise, giving
    more resolution than the similar E550, possibly with comparable
    noise. I think Fuji should have gone for the higher ISO of the F10
    and F30, as 9mp with such a small sensor shouldn't do that
    resolution justice. I'm waiting for reviews of the S5200, not
    really expecting dramatic improvements in noise with higher ISOs.
    If I'm wrong, I'll consider replacing my 4mp S5100 with the 5mp
    S5200, and not because of the extra 1mp, as the S5100's resolution
    is more than adequate for me. If not I don't mind waiting to see
    what 2007 brings.


    > Thanks!


    You're welcome.
    ASAAR, Mar 13, 2006
    #16
  17. Paul Rubin

    Paul Rubin Guest

    ASAAR <> writes:
    > I'm waiting for reviews of the S5200, not
    > really expecting dramatic improvements in noise with higher ISOs.
    > If I'm wrong, I'll consider replacing my 4mp S5100 with the 5mp
    > S5200, and not because of the extra 1mp, as the S5100's resolution
    > is more than adequate for me.


    I guess I should try to find some of these in a store and try them
    out. Low noise is nice (I actually don't care so much about ultra-low
    noise since I never make prints--what I want is noise levels that are
    merely non-horrible, but at high ISO) but handling speed is also
    important. The A610 is bigger than I'd like but its responsiveness
    makes it attractive anyway.
    Paul Rubin, Mar 13, 2006
    #17
  18. Paul Rubin

    Mike Henley Guest

    Paul Rubin wrote:

    > "Mike Henley" <> writes:
    > > I empathise because I had the same requirement. I must say now, though,
    > > it's not worth it. The reasons are:
    > > - It's easier to carry and handle two or three spare
    > > designed-for-camera batteries than to carry, say, 8 or 12 AA batteries.

    >
    > Thanks for the kind thoughts, but I'm not a newbie and I'm not really
    > interested in advice like that. I've had AA cameras and I've had
    > lithium cameras, and I know the good and bad points of both well
    > enough to make up my own mind without further advice on the topic, and
    > I want an AA camera. But just to answer you:
    >
    > 1. The comparable lithium camera to the A610 would be something like
    > the SD550. It uses a lithium battery which is about 3.6v 800 mAH or
    > something like that, which is the same amount of energy as *one* AA
    > cell (2500 mAH 1.2v NiMH), not four. So you should compare carrying
    > two or three spare designed-for-camera batteries to carrying two or
    > three spare AA's, not 8 or 12.


    I'll be blunt; that's not how it works. What matters is how many shots
    you can take on a full charge. With something like the fuji f10 you can
    take up to 500 per charged battery. How many shots can you take with a
    camera that takes AA batteries and uses 4 of them for a single charge?
    It won't be multiples of that; it won't be in the thousands; in my
    experience if a camera that uses 4 AA batteries can take over 350 shots
    then it's said to have an excellent battery life.


    >
    > 2. In fact you're already carrying an AA charger because of your other
    > devices that use AA's, but for a lithium camera, you need a separate
    > charger. So you have to compare carrying two or three more AA's
    > ($2.50 each and interoperable with your other gear) with carrying two
    > or three much more expensive proprietary batteries ($10 or so each if
    > you are willing to deal with buying them on ebay, $20+ otherwise) that
    > are incompatible with everything else, AND carrying another yet charger.
    >
    > Conclusion: I want to stick with AA. Not lithium. Thanks.


    I don't think you've been nice enough in your reply considering the
    time I took and considering that your replies above don't suggest
    you're talking out of experience. You have to compare carrying 2 or 3
    proprietary batteries with carrying the amount of AA batteries that
    would give you the equivalent 2 or 3 charges, which would be 8 or 12 as
    is usually the case in cameras with good battery life, and most
    important of all that would give you the equivalent amount of shots.
    Here's how it works in real experience, you can fantacise all you want
    about how many shots you can take with your umpteen AA batteries and
    your 15-minute charger, but the reality is that I doubt you'll be
    shooting more than 500 per day, day after day, or wanting to sift
    through that many on your comptuer screen that often, unless you're a
    sports photographer using an unattended camera setup or some other
    niche, in which case you probably won't be wanting this camera. If you
    don't have a niche requirement and you have to shoot that many to get
    your shots, then there is something seriously wrong with your skills
    and you need to revise your basics. And if you do shoot that many then
    your concern will be about more critical costs such personal time,
    storage - memory cards, etc - rather than the batteries, which are an
    insignifcant cost in comparison. I know what I'm talking about far too
    well; I have a drawer upstairs littered with tens and tens of AA
    batteries and chargers, even those 15min chargers.

    Rest assured, I have no intention of forcing you to use proprietary
    batteries; I did link you to AA-using cameras as well. I do suggest you
    be nicer to people who take their time to reply to you; I feel mine had
    been somewhat wasted. There's no shame in being informed by others;
    many in this newsgroup and elsewhere had informed me.
    Mike Henley, Mar 13, 2006
    #18
  19. Paul Rubin

    Mike Henley Guest

    Paul Rubin wrote:

    > "Mike Henley" <> writes:
    > > - I'll insist on AA with most of my devices, but with a camera I'll
    > > compromise, and here's why: Much later on when you look at the pictures
    > > you took it won't matter what type of batteries the camera used, the
    > > only thing that will matter will be photographic quality, and this is
    > > what you should focus on most.

    >
    > No the thing that will matter most is whether you get the picture or
    > not. If you leave the camera at home, you won't get the picture, so
    > it doesn't matter what quality the camera is capable of.


    Did I really need to spell this one out for you?!

    >
    > > This also reminds me of another requirement I had for my devices, that
    > > they had to be pocketable....
    > > I eventually learnt, through experience, that the best way would be to
    > > carry nothing in my pockets and instead use a shoulder bag or a
    > > rucksack. You get used to carrying one, even if you hate the idea to
    > > begin with, and soon enough you'll adore it,

    >
    > Thanks again but I'm not a child and I've had experience carrying
    > shoulder bags and not carrying them and I'm familiar with my own
    > preferences in the matter. I have several larger cameras by now that
    > work very well on the occasions when I'm willing to schlep them
    > around. I'm looking for something smaller that I don't mind carrying
    > more of the time. My Nikon 3100 works very well for this purpose
    > size-wise and the pictures it takes are more than good enough for my
    > purposes. The thing that I hate about it is its slow handling speed,
    > which is why I'm looking to replace it.


    Did I say you were a child?! Why are you behaving like one, or at least
    like you're being suspected of being one anyway?

    I think I better abandon this thread. Regards.
    Mike Henley, Mar 13, 2006
    #19
  20. Paul Rubin

    ASAAR Guest

    On 12 Mar 2006 18:09:07 -0800, Mike Henley wrote:

    >> 1. The comparable lithium camera to the A610 would be something like
    >> the SD550. It uses a lithium battery which is about 3.6v 800 mAH or
    >> something like that, which is the same amount of energy as *one* AA
    >> cell (2500 mAH 1.2v NiMH), not four. So you should compare carrying
    >> two or three spare designed-for-camera batteries to carrying two or
    >> three spare AA's, not 8 or 12.

    >
    > I'll be blunt; that's not how it works. What matters is how many shots
    > you can take on a full charge. With something like the fuji f10 you can
    > take up to 500 per charged battery. How many shots can you take with a
    > camera that takes AA batteries and uses 4 of them for a single charge?
    > It won't be multiples of that; it won't be in the thousands; in my
    > experience if a camera that uses 4 AA batteries can take over 350 shots
    > then it's said to have an excellent battery life.


    Being blunt is not the same as being right. When manufacturers
    now rate cameras, most tend to use the CIPA testing procedure which
    requires 1/2 of the shots to use the flash at full power and that
    the lens be zoomed from one extreme to the other, among other
    things. If I recall correctly, Canon's A610 can get about 1500
    shots per charge if the optical viewfinder is used instead of the
    LCD display for composing shots. Fuji's S5200 can get 500 shots per
    charge even though it has no optical display, requiring that either
    the LCD display or the EVF is used. And if the flash isn't used,
    the number of shots can indeed go up into the thousands. When I
    tested alkaline batteries in my Fuji (which have 1/2 the life of
    NiMH AA batteries in the camera) they lasted for slightly more than
    a couple hundred shots, at which point they were so low that the
    camera couldn't remain powered on if the flash continued to be used.
    So I stopped using the flash, and the same alkaline batteries lasted
    for more than another 400 shots. They didn't really die at that
    point, but I replaced them as I didn't care to waste more time
    testing the batteries, and they greatly exceeded my expectations.
    NiMH batteries would have doubled that number. Newer Fujis get 25%
    greater battery life, and Canon A610/A620 cameras do even better.

    I agree with your experience that cameras getting over 350 shots
    from 4 AA batteries is excellent, but with one minor quibble. That
    would have been excellent several years ago. Today that's decent
    battery performance, but nothing to really brag about. Cameras have
    really improved, and these are not inflated manufacturer's figures.
    They've been confirmed by dpreview, and be several other camera
    owners in this newsgroup besides myself. Battery life has gotten so
    good, that some users are finding no real need use rechargeable
    batteries instead of cheap alkalines. The only reason I continue to
    use NiMH batteries is because I not only already have them, but I
    have so many sets that there's always at least one fully charged set
    available as a backup.
    ASAAR, Mar 13, 2006
    #20
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