Point & Shoot that runs on AAs?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Phil Stripling, Jan 13, 2006.

  1. I'm looking for a decent, shirt-pocket sized P&S that runs on AAs. Two or
    three megapixels is sufficient and the ability to do short QT videos would
    be nice. I have a CoolPix 990, and it's the right size in picture quality
    but it's too big to have on me all the time.

    Nikon has 4 cameras that run on 2 AAs, and they get bad reviews at
    Steve's. Two batteries doesn't seem to offer enough power (my 990 uses
    4). Anybody know of other brands that have P&Ses that run on AAs?

    (I'm in areas for a week or for two weeks where there is no electricity and
    I can't recharge batteries. I can bring all the AAs I need.)

    (I mistakenly posted this in another newsgroup, and I'm bringing it here
    where it's on topic.)
    Phil Stripling, Jan 13, 2006
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  2. Phil Stripling

    Steve Guest

    Not sure which camera to reccommend, but you might want to look into NIMHs
    using a solar recharger. Would probably save a lot of weight.

    Steve, Jan 13, 2006
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  3. Phil Stripling

    Kinon O'cann Guest

    Canon A610/620
    Sony W7
    Fuji E900

    Three for starters, but I'm not sure if they fit your definition of "shirt
    pocket." To me, cameras like the Sony T9 are shirt pocket, and I don't know
    of any cams that size that use AAs.
    Kinon O'cann, Jan 13, 2006
  4. Phil Stripling

    Malcolm Guest

    I'm looking for a decent, shirt-pocket sized P&S that runs on AAs. Two or
    Fuji A345

    Malcolm, Jan 13, 2006
  5. Phil Stripling

    SMS Guest

    Shirt pocket size with AA batteries is very tough. Sony has two models,
    the W5 and W7, but they are not great.

    Panasonic recently announced the LZ3 and LZ5 (at CES) which run on two
    AA batteries. No reviews yet.


    Two AA batteries shorten the time between battery swaps, and probably
    lengthen the flash recycle time, but other than that, it's a trade-off
    for smaller size. You're really not going to find a 4 AA battery shirt
    pocket camera.

    If you can bring all the batteries that you need, then bring them to
    charge Li-Ion batteries! You won't have to relegate yourself to the
    lower end cameras.
    SMS, Jan 13, 2006
  6. Phil Stripling

    jimbok Guest

    Canon A510 and A520 each use 2 AA's. A510 is 3mp, 4x optical zoom and
    A520 is 4mp with 4x optical zoom. I carry my A520 in my shirt pocket.
    I get about 250 pics out of NiMh 2500mah batteries, approximately half
    with flash.
    jimbok, Jan 13, 2006
  7. But, it is kind of hard to recharge over-night. :)
    Allodoxaphobia, Jan 13, 2006
  8. Phil Stripling

    mrsgator88 Guest

    I have a Kodak cx6445, and a Sony dsc-s90 (same as the dsc-s60 but larger
    screen). Both are 4mp with German lenses and take nice pictures, and are
    small enough to fit in my pockets. I'm partial to the Kodak, it has a wider
    angle lens and it can use Energizer AA lithiums, and I've taken hundreds of
    pictures before changing the batteries.

    I think the problem you'll have with a 2 or 3 mp camera is that they are
    older designs and may go through batteries faster than more current designs.

    mrsgator88, Jan 13, 2006
  9. Phil Stripling

    Paul Rubin Guest

    There are more and more of them as buyers increasingly recognize that
    the claims of lithium ion pitchmen like Steven M. Scharf are
    self-serving hot air. You might look at the Canon A510/A520, the
    Canon A410, the Pentax Optio series (I don't remember precisely which
    models), some similar cameras from Fuji, etc. There are also a few
    very small cameras like the Sony DSC-U30 which use AAA's instead of AA's.
    Paul Rubin, Jan 14, 2006
  10. Phil Stripling

    SMS Guest

    I don't think weight is a concern, since Li-Ion have a much better
    energy/weight ratio than NiMH. I think that he just wants to bring a
    load of disposable alkaline batteries along, which will be cheaper than
    buying a load of Li-Ion batteries.

    The problem with AA powered cameras is that almost all of the higher end
    compact and sub-compact cameras are all Li-Ion.

    He is clear on what he wants, but it may not exist. The new Panasonic
    cameras look good, at least on paper.

    The Canon A520 may be the best choice, but it's a little bigger than
    what he wants.

    SMS, Jan 14, 2006
  11. Phil Stripling

    JohnR66 Guest

    3mp is getting hard to come by in a new camera. The new Fuji A400 and A500
    is something to consider. Just announced though. I have the A330 which is an
    older version. I can use Alkaline AAs and get around 120 shots with the
    flash and LCD used. We have the Nikon 990 at work, the A330 delivers sharper
    pictures and its lens shows less abberation. It also is more consistant in
    exposure and doesn't blow out the flesh tones when photographing faces with
    the flash on. The 990 is showing its age but it does have more control. The
    A330 is really entry level.

    I just got the Canon A610 in November. It may be a tad large for a pocket
    cam, but will get 500 shots on alkaline batteries!
    JohnR66, Jan 14, 2006
  12. The 510/520 have caught my attention. I fear AAAs won't have the oomph, and
    I'd have to bring along another battery size -- all my gear (flashlights,
    radios, etc.) runs on AAs.
    Phil Stripling, Jan 14, 2006
  13. I think the important question to ask you is how many pictures will you
    take in a two week period or how much flash memory will you have at your
    disposal. I have a Sony P200 and the battery life of this camera is
    fantastic. It can take close to 300 photos on one battery charge and it
    doesn't loose its charge over time like rechargeable AA's. If you carry
    two of it's proprietary lithium batteries it will last for around 600
    photos and way more video than you could ever shoot due to memory
    limitations. My recommendation is to forget about AA batteries unless
    you will need to take more than 300-600 photos in the two week period
    you mention.
    Michael Johnson, PE, Jan 14, 2006
  14. Phil Stripling

    SMS Guest

    The original poster made it clear that AA batteries is the key feature
    that he is looking for, and that everything else is secondary.

    Personally, if I were off in the boonies for two weeks, and wanted
    something small, I'd take a Canon SD450. The review I read said that the
    tester got 726 pictures from a single charge. I'd take a couple of spare
    batteries--at $12 each it's a heck of a lot easier than lugging around
    30 or 40 AA batteries.
    SMS, Jan 14, 2006
  15. It never hurts to ask a question. Maybe he hasn't thought about the
    long battery life of the newer ultra-compact cameras.
    I agree completely. Also, it seems that cameras quickly use up alkaline
    batteries and NiMHs loose too much of their charge in a short time.
    Lithium has the advantage of light weight, small form, long lasting
    charge that degrades much less quickly than NiMHs and is less affected
    by temperature.
    Michael Johnson, PE, Jan 14, 2006
  16. I just looked at my iView catalog of our last 2-week trip: about 900

    As you may also expect, we have no way to replace any failures. So if a
    battery fails or is lost or damaged, we have to have our own backup. We do
    start out with rechargeable AAs, but we always end up dipping into our
    consumables. Having all our gear standardized on AAs makes life simpler
    than having to worry about what proprietary battery goes with what piece of
    equipment; labels help, of course, but keeping track of items can be time
    A: "Where did I put the battery for this camera?"
    B: "Which one?"
    A: "_This_ one."
    B: "Not camera, battery -- which _battery_?"
    A: "The battery for this camera!"
    Phil Stripling, Jan 14, 2006
  17. I see your point but considering the benefits of carrying a smaller
    camera, I might choose differently. Four lithium batteries for the Sony
    P200 I have would weigh less and take up less space than four AAs and
    take 1,200+ photos. If I used the optical viewfinder and turned off the
    LCD display it would probably take 500 photos per battery.
    Michael Johnson, PE, Jan 14, 2006
  18. Phil Stripling

    Tony Cooper Guest

    The Canon Powershot A70 3.2 Megapixels (and some other models) uses 4
    AA batteries. Standard AAs work, and rechargeable also work. I have
    better luck with non-rechargables than I do with rechargeable. They
    seem to last longer.

    I've had Nikon 2 AA battery, and it was fine. I prefer the 4 battery
    set-up, though. Can't beat Nikon for macro work no matter what Steve

    I don't know what a 990 is, so I can't compare sizes.
    Tony Cooper, Jan 14, 2006
  19. Phil Stripling

    SteveB Guest

    Are you able to get to a car during the 2 weeks? Some AA chargers like my
    Uniross smart charger have a 12 volt cigarette lighter plug. Trouble is my
    car's socket isn't live unless the key is turned on, which is a bit daft, so
    check first.
    SteveB, Jan 14, 2006
  20. Phil Stripling

    ASAAR Guest

    Thanks for remembering that significant point. But then as usual
    .. . .

    You seem to have a problem remembering that there are cameras that
    use AAs that can take just as many shots. Far more than that if
    disposable lithiums are used, and with either there'd be no need to
    have to be "lugging around" multiple lithium rechargeable batteries.
    My camera is a little larger, too large to fit in a shirt pocket (it
    uses 4 AAs). But it fits in a small jacket pocket, weighs very
    little, and using only the batteries contained in the camera can
    take about 1,500 shots under similar conditions. Much more if
    lithium disposables are used, but I can't see ever having a need for
    them unless I need to take many pictures in temperatures far below

    That you try to make a comparison implying that cameras using AAs
    would need to use 30 or 40 AA batteries to match your SD450 with a
    couple of spares is borderline pathetic. With that many of even the
    cheapest alkaline AAs I'd be able to take far more than 10,000 shots
    (you weren't assuming flash shots, were you?) which would probably
    be enough to keep the camera operational for well beyond 10 years (a
    far cry from two weeks), by which time your lithium rechargeables
    would almost certainly have been replaced at least a couple of
    times. The alkalines would have cost far less, but I'll spare you
    the details unless you want to dispute my calculation.
    ASAAR, Jan 14, 2006
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