Is there any camera on earth meeting 4 simple requirements (AA,CF,7x)

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Susan (Graphic Artist), Jun 10, 2005.

    Can there not be a camera on earth that meets these 4 simple goals?
    - AA batteries
    - Good photo quality
    - 7x to 10x optical zoom
    - CF media

    I ask for your help in that I've only found ONE camera which comes
    close to meeting these 4 simple (and, I'd bet, pretty univerally held)
    - AA batteries (never again will I buy electronics with battery packs!)
    - Excellent picture quality (I trust in Consumer Reports measurements)
    - 7x - 10x optical zoom (equivalent to about 200 mm or more)
    - Compact Flash media (I already have many CF cards & PCMCIA readers)

    Searching endlessly, I can only find one camera coming close:
    - Canon Powershot S1 IS (3.2 MP)
    But I'd like a 5 megapixel or larger (for enlargements if needed).

    Also this digital camera doesn't have a macro capability.
    (Ad copy says it can focus at 4 inches so that seems like a built-in
    macro non-macro to me ... what do you think)?

    Is there any AA,CF,7x, camera with good photo quality on earth?

    Susan Henderson
    Susan (Graphic Artist), Jun 10, 2005
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  2. Susan (Graphic Artist) wrote:
    We had similar requirements, but could not find a camera with enough
    resolution. In the end I got a Panasonic FZ5 and my wife an FZ20,
    changing to SD cards (which are smaller and probably more reliable because
    of their better contact mechanism), and accepting the single-cell battery
    (which is a lot easier to change in the field than having multiple AA
    cells rolling about on the floor!). These cameras have an excellent Leica
    zoom lens (12X 36 - 432mm, f/2.8 throughout the range on the FZ20) and
    produce good quality 5MP images.

    David J Taylor, Jun 10, 2005
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  3. Susan (Graphic Artist)

    John Bean Guest

    Minolta A2 with optional grip meets your requirements.
    Without the grip it can only use supplied Li-Ion battery but
    with grip it can use one or two Li-Ions or six AA.
    John Bean, Jun 10, 2005
  4. Whoa! :) I'm confused.

    Do you mean the 8 MegaPixel $800 Konica Minolta DiMAGE A2?

    Consumer Reports, in its future July 2005 online ratings gave it a "NO"
    on the use of AA batteries (line 78 of the 79-line 7/2005 digital
    camera ratings report). But, wait. That's not all. When I froogle, I
    can see there is an optional BP-400 VERTICLE GRIP for the "Minolta A2"
    for about $100 additional.

    Am I wrong? Is Consumer Reports wrong?
    Or are there multiple Minolta A2 cameras (like there are multiple Nikon
    CoolPix cameras)?

    What further confuses me is that the $550 5MP Nikon CoolPix 5700 (line
    38 of the CR 7/2005 on-line ratings chart) is listed on Consumer
    Reports as accepting AA batteries - but I have one and I know that not
    to be the case without the optional Nikon MB-E5700 Battery Pack for
    about $150 additional.

    So, is this my new AA battery summary correct (if not, what is wrong)?
    - $350, 3MP, 10x zoom, Canon PowerShot S1IS I takes AA batteries native
    - $550, 5MP, 8x zoom, Nikon CoolPix 5700 is $150 more for AA batteries
    - $800, 8MP, 7x zoom, DiMAGE Minolta A2 is maybe $100 more for AA?

    Please help me as I am utterly amazed there are only three cameras
    which even come close to these pretty universal simple 4 features.
    - AA batteries
    - Excellent photo quality
    - 7x zoom
    - Compact Flash

    You will help others at the same time.
    Susan Henderson
    Susan (Graphic Artist), Jun 10, 2005
  5. Susan (Graphic Artist) wrote:
    Do you believe /everything/ you read in CR?

    The poster was suggesting an add-on to the camera which converted it from
    Li-ion battery to AAs. A number of cameras offer this.

    David J Taylor, Jun 10, 2005
  6. Susan (Graphic Artist)

    Rod Speed Guest

    Its terminally stupid to be limiting your choices with
    that silly requirement that it must use AA batterys.

    More fool you.
    Rod Speed, Jun 10, 2005
  7. I think I understand your point about AA batteries.
    One the one hand, the battery has nothing to do with the pictures.
    So, you are correct. I am an idiot for making AA a requirement.

    On the other hand, when I vacation, I carry with me:
    - a Nikon CoolPix 5700 (which needs at least 2 proprietary batteries)
    - a JVC video camera (which needs at least 2 proprietary batteries)
    - a Garmin GPS unit (which takes AA batteries)
    - a Maglight flashlight (which takes AA batteries)

    That means I have to carry additional batteries (one or two are never
    enough as you well know) and of course I need to carry separate
    additional battery chargers and I can't substitute one for the other
    and (much worse) I can't stop at the local A&P to pick up an emergency
    battery if I need to.

    Add the fact that battery packs (by their electrical nature of
    positive-minus butt-to-nose abutment) ALWAYS go bad (one cell reverse
    polarizes) and, therefore, need to be constantly replaced at an
    exhorbitant cost (NiMH cost about two bucks ... try to get a battery
    pack for a camera for two bucks).

    Add to that the waste to the earth's resources (personally I think the
    government should mandate single-cell batteries in all electronics in a
    save-the-landfill effort like they mandate the 5 cents per soda
    waste-return program).

    And the horrid cost!
    Recently I paid over $75 dollars retail for the JVC replacement battery
    (the only one in the store was the Everready Energizer ERC620 camcorder

    Now for paying $75 for a stinkin' battery, you _can_ call me a
    terminally stupid idiot! :)

    I could have purchased a fifty pound car battery for that much.

    End result:
    I am never again buying any electronics that does not take single-cell
    rechargable batteries! I'm sure I'm not the only one so please come to
    my defence if you agree, so we can get back to the photographic
    equipment question at hand.

    Are these really the only three digital cameras on earth that take
    single-cell batteries and have decent picture quality, zoom, and
    compact flash cards?

    - $350, 3MP, 10x zoom, Canon PowerShot S1IS I takes AA batteries native
    - $550, 5MP, 8x zoom, Nikon CoolPix 5700 is $150 more for AA batteries
    - $800, 8MP, 7x zoom, DiMAGE Minolta A2 is maybe $100 more for AA?

    Susan Henderson
    Susan (Graphic Artist), Jun 10, 2005
  8. I agree with you. Consumers Union is sometimes wrong.
    That's why I asked this newsgroup.
    Because I believe this newsgroup more than I believe Consumer Reports.

    In fact, I already pointed out where CR was wrong in the Nikon CoolPix
    5700 taking AA batteries (as published in the latest digital camera
    ratings dated 7/2005). :)

    All I was confirming was whether I understood the camera correctly
    (Minolta DiMAGE A2 ???) and whether or not it truly can take AA
    batteries because there was an obvious descrepancy (and I am not at all
    familiar with that digital camera like I am with the Nikon equivalent).

    Is it correct that these three and no other digital camera on earth
    - take AA batteries
    - snap excellent photos
    - at at least 7x zoom
    - saving onto compact flash media

    Susan Henderson
    Susan (Graphic Artist), Jun 10, 2005
  9. Susan (Graphic Artist)

    Ron Hunter Guest

    Those batteries may be easier to change, but they sure are EXPENSIVE!
    NOt much battery flexibility either. Give me a camera with AA
    batteries, and I will deal with the battery changes for the flexibility.
    Ron Hunter, Jun 10, 2005
  10. Susan (Graphic Artist)

    Ron Hunter Guest

    Many cameras have a jack for external power, and as long as polarity,
    voltage, and current specs match, the power source can be ANY battery
    that satisfies the requirements, from an old lantern battery, to a 3000
    kilowatt generator.
    Ron Hunter, Jun 10, 2005
  11. Susan (Graphic Artist)

    Ron Hunter Guest

    It would seem that way. Camera manufacturers are much more concerned
    with profits than user convenience. They see the lithium ion batteries
    as a profit opportunity, and a design convenience. CF cards aren't all
    that big, so I see little advantage to the other types of cards unless
    the camera is REALLY small, but the smaller components are another
    design convenience, and smaller usually means cheaper. It seems you
    will be forced to compromise, as I did, and buy something with AA
    batteries and SD cards... Lots of options when you make the CF/SD card
    Ron Hunter, Jun 10, 2005
  12. Susan (Graphic Artist) wrote:
    I think the part you're not clear on is that these features are by no
    means universal. If they were then every camera would have them. The
    most limiting factors on your list are the AA batteries and Compact
    Flash. I would focus more on the other features as it's easy enough
    to work around memory and batteries.

    For instance, CF memory isn't any less expensive, or more expensive,
    than any other digital camera memory. You might find it better to
    buy the kind of camera you really desire and switch to using whatever
    storage it takes. You can always sell the CF memory on ebay or the
    like. Memory card readers usually read all the popular types of cards
    anyhow so compatibility shouldn't be an issue.

    You can also get external battery packs for digital cameras. I'm sure
    one or more of these have the option to use AA batteries. The camera
    would need an external power jack but with the way these things eat
    batteries, I would be surprised if they didn't. Even so, I wouldn't
    count on disposable AA's for anything except emergency use.

    Anthony Matonak, Jun 10, 2005
  13. The Canon 20D w/ battery grip and a good zoom will fit all of your
    requirements and more. It will be expensive.

    Frankly I think you are too stuck in the past. CF media is fine, but I
    would not and did not choose a camera based on a specific media.

    AA batteries are fine, but don't knock other sizes. Batteries are just
    not that expensive and with a small charger and a few batteries your are

    As expensive as they are, I have to consider digital cameras of today as
    disposable, just as I consider my computer that way. Times change too fast.
    Joseph Meehan, Jun 10, 2005
  14. Susan (Graphic Artist)

    George Guest

    Actually extremely sensible. There is a lot to be said for standard form
    factor equipment. If the camera uses a standard form factor battery such
    as AA you can use NiMh rechargeables and if you should get in a
    situation where you deplete the rechargeables and charging is not
    available you can easily pop in a set of akaline batterys which even if
    you weren't carrying them as a spare can be purchased most anywhere.
    George, Jun 10, 2005
  15. Susan (Graphic Artist)

    ASAAR Guest

    Does the new Canon S2 IS not meet your requirements? If it
    doesn't, I imagine that it would be due to replacing CF with SD
    cards. It replaces the 3mp sensor in the S1 IS with a 5mp sensor.

    How about the Fuji S7000? It's zoom is a bit lower than you
    specified, only 6x, but it uses AA batteries, CF cards, and has the
    Super CCD 6mp sensor that's capable of being interpolated to a
    bloated 12mp, but you don't have to use that feature if you don't
    want to.
    ASAAR, Jun 10, 2005
  16. Susan (Graphic Artist)

    Ken Burns Guest

    That means that you will never again buy electronics.

    Ken Burns, Jun 10, 2005
  17. Susan (Graphic Artist)

    C. Massey Guest


    Check out . This guy has reviews and specs
    with sample pics from tons of cameras!
    C. Massey, Jun 10, 2005
  18. Susan (Graphic Artist)

    Roger Guest


    I hope you are able to find what you are looking for. Please let us
    know how your search comes out. When I was looking for my digital
    camera I had a similar set of requirements, but I had to relax them
    considerably. After careful consideration of each, I'm very pleased
    with my choice. The one major difference in our requirements was that
    I was looking for a lens that was at least 28mm (35mm FOV equivalent)
    at the wide end of the zoom but the tele extent was not a factor.

    I went with a Canon S60 but that comes no where near your zoom

    I actually like the Canon battery for the S60 much better than AA's,
    but I don't know the root of your requirement and I might just be
    blowing smoke with the rest of this. I find the s60 battery life to be
    entirely adequate for a day of touring (about 200 pictures), much
    easier to change and smaller than a set of "replacement AA's. It comes
    with a very compact charger that I can carry with me at all times (and
    do), fits discretely in the wall socket with no cords and can be used
    in hotel room "shaver" outlets throughout the world. I have three
    batteries and find that I really need only two. For my needs, these
    are really a better answer than AA's.

    I trust DPreview image quality evaluations
    much more than Consumer Reports. If you haven't used dpreview as a
    resource, it might be able to help you fill in some holes in your

    As you know most Canon's and Nikons take CF, however there cameras in
    each line that don't.

    I know the Nikon D70 does not take AA's, but with the 28-200 it does
    meet your other requirements. Battery life is excellent. A spare is a
    reasonable cost for the function.

    I kept track of my AA and rechargeable AA usage and I'm finding that
    the LiIon rechargeable proprietary batteries are generating, by
    volume, much less waste than all other batteries that I use. They are
    much more efficient and useable (charge wise) than NiMH batteries. My
    company provides a battery recycling service for everything so I'm
    somewhat assured that the environmental impact is less with the
    proprietary ones.

    I hope your search comes to a fruitful and timely end.

    Roger, Jun 10, 2005
  19. Susan (Graphic Artist) wrote:
    I would normally credit the information here:
    As I said before, although I tried a similar set of criteria, I ended up
    allowing SD rather than CF, and abandoning the clumsy multiple AA cells.
    So I can't directly answer yes or no to your question. Having a camera
    which worked well and was easily available was more important. I also
    feel that if you want 7X zomm, you should include image stabilisation in
    your criteria. I wish you luck in your search.

    David J Taylor, Jun 10, 2005
  20. Susan (Graphic Artist)

    Ron Guest

    I must say I was very devoted to AA's until getting Oly 5060 and E-300
    which take (the same) proprietary battery. It isn't just the added
    punch, but the ease with which I can exchange batteries, and the tiny
    charger which, with another I carry for flashlight AA's, would easily
    fit in a coat pocket or shaving kit. And, the propietary batteries I buy
    on e-Bay for about seven bucks each work just fine as backups. Where I
    do like AA's is with a small camera that takes two of them. My sense is
    that in this case one gets a lot more for one's money, particularly if
    the camera will take CRV3 rechargeables. As for CF, I'm among those who
    had pin problems and had to return a camera for repair. They strike me
    as overly delicate. I'm much more comfy with xD or even my old Smart Media.

    Just a couple more thoughts from someone who has been going around the
    block for a long time. Good luck! Let us know what you do.
    Ron, Jun 10, 2005
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