What is the smallest digital camera I can buy that uses AA batteries?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Susan Roger, Jun 15, 2006.

  1. Susan Roger

    ASAAR Guest

    To a roach and other vermin, exterminators may also be considered
    to be obnoxious pests. Not all may share your perspective. Thank
    you for sharing an honest opinion, difficult as it may have been. :)

    There really are some good companies that don't engage in
    producing shoddy products or setting ridiculous prices. A year ago
    I bought a Nokia cell phone for $50 and considered getting a second
    battery for it. I didn't, because the battery alone cost $50.
    During the Christmas season, time of annual cell phone sales, the
    identical cell phone kit, complete with battery, charger, and all
    other parts was on sale in most stores for $19.95, but I found one
    (in FYE) that had it for less. So I got my backup battery for only
    $15, and while I don't use the phone it came with, it works nicely
    as a second, no extra cost battery charger.
    ASAAR, Jun 19, 2006
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  2. Susan Roger

    Bob Salomon Guest

    Bob Salomon, Jun 19, 2006
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  3. Susan Roger

    ASAAR Guest

    The documentation is fairly good but doesn't provide all I wanted
    to know. All of the information really should be contained in the
    product manuals, but what there is is spread out amongst the
    manuals, the html "Description" and "Technical Details" web pages
    and the PDF overview document used to compare chargers and power
    supplies. I only looked at a few products, skipping the ones that
    appear to be obsolete ("Run out model! Not longer deliverable").

    The "Powerline 6 • Supe fast charger" looks pretty good, but is in
    fact a fairly slow charger, and won't fully charge the latest high
    capacity NiMH cells. It's AA charge rate is 450 ma, and that would
    require 8.4 hours to fully charge 2,700 mAh batteries, but this
    charger is said to have a timer that cuts out after 7 hours. This
    would only let it fully charge new 2,250 mAh batteries.

    The Energy 8 • High-tech desktop charger is a faster charger, but
    would still need about 5.4 hours to fully charge 2,700 mAh
    batteries. I assume there is also a charge time limit, but didn't
    see any mention of one. Only a 24 hour time limit is stated, and
    that is used because this charger can apparently detect a failed
    charge cycle and switch from charging to refreshing and back to
    charging again, aborting if it hasn't succeeded in fully charging
    the battery within 24 hours. The trickle charge rates of the
    different chargers aren't mentioned, nor whether they continue
    indefinitely or stop after a predetermined number of hours.
    The manual's description of the number of bays for each type of NiMH
    cell is a bit confusing, only making sense if one closely examines
    the larger image of the charger, where it can be seen that
    apparently the outer two cell bays can each take two AA or AAA
    cells, but the inner two bays can only take one of each cell type.
    Still, if reasonably priced it might be well worth getting.

    Can these chargers be seen or purchased anywhere in the USA or
    must they be ordered directly from the www.ansmann.de website? I
    tried clicking on the URL identified as "add to myANSMANN" and it
    eventually failed, so I can't even determine what these chargers
    cost. An error message popped up indicating that the redirection
    limit for the URL was exceeded, adding that maybe blocked cookies
    were responsible for the failure. My browser had cookies enabled.
    No dealers were listed for the USA, only two distributors, you (HP
    Marketing) and the Horizon Group.
    ASAAR, Jun 19, 2006
  4. Susan Roger

    Mark B. Guest

    An extra battery would have saved you much aggravation, and the charger
    doesn't take up that much room.

    Mark B., Jun 19, 2006
  5. That's very interesting. I have a Coolpix 5400 which is clearly based on the
    5000, and uses the same battery (as does the 5700 and 8700). But the
    chargers that came with my 5400 and 8700 are entirely different from the one
    shown in that article -- both cameras came with the MH-53 charger, but
    curiously while the 8700 manual mentions this specifically, the 5400 manual
    only says "with the charger provided." This suggests to me that Nikon had
    not yet settled on the new charger design at the time the 5400 manual was
    made up.

    But I find it hard to believe that, as Phil Askey implies in that review,
    the charger supplied with the 5000 is ONLY timer-controlled. That would seem
    to be an incredibly crude approach.

    Neil Harrington, Jun 19, 2006
  6. I do! It's interesting too that there's now a school of thought (perhaps not
    a large one) that insists those old vacuum tubes are really still the way to
    go for best audio performance, etc.

    Neil Harrington, Jun 19, 2006
  7. .. . .
    Very interesting stuff, thanks!

    Neil Harrington, Jun 19, 2006
  8. Susan Roger

    Phil Wheeler Guest

    The same folks who hold that vinyl gives better sound than CDs, I

    Phil Wheeler, Jun 19, 2006
  9. Susan Roger

    irwell Guest

    And they are right, no noise as in solid state devices.

    ALso true if you filter out the pops and crackles.
    Same with TV signals,analogue gives better pictures.
    And may we dare add emulsion film vs digital.
    irwell, Jun 19, 2006
  10. Susan Roger

    irwell Guest

    Thanks for the link, interesting stuff, reminds me of when I
    spent six months charging/discharging silver/pot.hydroxide
    primary batteries used in a certain missile system.
    They were only supposed to be used once to supply
    power for the one way ride.
    irwell, Jun 19, 2006
  11. Note however that Nikon ultracompacts that use AA cells (Coolpix 4100, 4600
    etc.) do make a distinction between the different types, in fact between
    Alkalines, NiMH and Lithium. The battery type is set in the Setup menu, and
    this is expressly so the camera *will* give an accurate indication of
    battery level. I have a Coolpix 4600, my sister has a 4100, and both give
    the low-battery warning well before the NiMH battery runs out.

    Of course they do not show the *percentage* of battery life remaining as for
    example my laptop does, which refinement would be nice, but neither does any
    Li-ion battery-using camera that I'm aware of. I doubt that's even possible
    in a digital camera.

    Neil Harrington, Jun 19, 2006
  12. Susan Roger

    RichK Guest

    I'm not sure why size matters that much, most digital P&S are small in my
    mind. Look at Canon A610 or A620. Very good camera and both use AA

    I'm with you, since battery is the one thing that you continue to run out
    of. In my book none of these cameras should propiretary battries. It's
    just silly and money waster, not speak of inconveniece. Using AA's was an
    important feature, when I looked for a camera.

    RichK, Jun 19, 2006
  13. Susan Roger

    SMS Guest

    Many of the C & D cells on the market are NiCads, and some companies use
    sleeves to convert NiMH AA cells into other sizes. So yes, there are
    some low-capacity D cells, but buyers of rechargeable batteries always
    look at the capacity before purchasing.

    Look at the D cell page at Thomas Distributing:

    "http://thomasdistributing.com/dbatteries.php" where the D cells range
    from 4500-12000 mAH.

    The C cells range from 3500-5500 mAH.

    So the capacity of D cells is 3-5 times the capacity of AA cells, and
    the capacity of C cells is about 2x the capacity of AA cells.

    They don't sell any C or D cells that are nearly as low as the AA capacity.

    So while it's possible, if you try really hard, to find a low capacity C
    or D cell, the quote "many of the most commonly available ones have no
    greater capacity than NiMH AA rechargeables" is demonstrably false.

    Your personal attacks on ASAAR are immaterial, stick to the fact that he
    made an incorrect statement.
    SMS, Jun 19, 2006
  14. Susan Roger

    SMS Guest

    Many Li-Ion powered cameras have a bar graph that shows remaining
    capacity, though it's in 20% or 25% increments. It's possible because
    Li-Ion batteries have a measurable voltage decline as the battery
    discharges. NiMH batteries have a flat discharge curve until close to
    the point that they are considered fully discharged, so a "low battery"
    indicator is all you get.
    SMS, Jun 19, 2006
  15. Susan Roger

    J. Clarke Guest

    They do? Don't bet on it.
    So do you have a statistical analysis of battery sales to present or is the
    extent of your argument "Thomas Distributing has high capacity C and D
    cells available so the majority of cells sold are high capacity"?

    Go to the Ray-O-Vac site and you'll find no mention of capacity, but look at
    the photo of their NiMH batteries and you'll find that their D-cells are
    marked 2900 mAH, or go to the Eveready site and you'll find that their
    D-cells are rated 2500 mAH. Now, how many of those do you think that
    WalMart sells for every high capacity battery sold by Thomas Distributing?

    You seem to be assuming that the average buyer of rechargeable batteries
    shops at Thomas Distributing and not the mall. Since that seems unlikely,
    I should like you to, if that is indeed your belief, explain how you
    arrived at that conclusion.
    J. Clarke, Jun 19, 2006
  16. Susan Roger

    J. Clarke Guest

    There's "small" and there's "pocket size". A Canon S3IS or a Panasonic FZ7
    is "small" but neither can be carried comfortably in a pocket.
    J. Clarke, Jun 19, 2006
  17. You mean an actual bar graph (I've never seen one like that) or one of those
    segmented-battery symbols, the number of segments indicating battery state?

    My Li-ion powered cameras that have the segmented battery thingy don't use
    increments of 25% or anything like that. The "full battery" icon (when it
    shows at all) continues to show through most of the battery life, then the
    "getting low" and "very low" symbols follow relatively quickly. Just at a
    guess, I would say the "full battery" symbol shows through at least 80% of
    the battery life, probably more.

    In the case of Nikon ultracompacts there's no difference between the NiMH
    and LiI cameras as far as battery indication goes. For cameras of both
    battery types, no icon means "fully charged," then there's the "Low battery"
    icon and after that, "WARNING!! BATTERY EXHAUSTED."
    Neil Harrington, Jun 19, 2006
  18. Susan Roger

    Don K Guest

    Actually the bad thing was that the tubes *were* the things most
    likely to fail.

    Once they replaced tubes with solid state devices, reliability increased

    Don K, Jun 19, 2006
  19. Susan Roger

    ASAAR Guest

    That's pure fiction, and at this point, since I've refuted this in
    detail several times and you'd never had the courtesy to reply in
    any manner, whether agreeing or objecting, one can only assume that
    you have no qualms about lying when it suits your purpose.

    The NiMH discharge curve, like the Li-Ion discharge curve isn't
    steep, but neither is it flat, as you've repeatedly, falsely
    claimed. This is easily seen in manufacturer's data sheets, and
    I've described devices that *very* accurately show remaining battery
    life when NiMH AA batteries are used. Cameras could easily do the
    same, at low cost. Implementing it would be quite simple, as unlike
    the way some laptops do it, maintaining a usage database for the
    battery isn't necessary.
    ASAAR, Jun 19, 2006
  20. Susan Roger

    ASAAR Guest

    And which companies would those be? Surely not the well known
    manufacturers that sell through mainstream supermarkets and
    department stores, such as Energizer and RayOVac. Perhaps you're
    talking about some cheap imports that come in unlabeled white
    sleeves, or others from fly-by-night companies where the brand names
    vary from month to month, and have names such as "Bright Sword"?

    You're also hallucinating if you think that buyers of batteries
    always check the capacity before purchasing. That may be true for
    some that buy AA cells, because they've been doing it so long, and
    eventually come to understand that capacities change slowly over
    time. But buyers of rechargeable C and D cells are in a different
    position entirely, and more often than not are first time buyers,
    and wouldn't have the faintest idea what kind of capacity to expect.

    Most people don't buy from that internet web site. The buy from
    WalMart. They buy from RiteAid. They buy from Sears. They buy
    from K-Mart. And they very frequently buy from Radio Shack, which
    advertises themselves as THE place to buy batteries. Those are the
    places where it's possible to buy rechargeable C or D cells that
    might have no greater capacity (less, even) than some of the AA NiMH

    No, it's you that has made the demonstrably false statement. It
    may be true for you, that finding low capacity C and D cells is
    unlikely, but that's because you've limited your purchases in ways
    that the average consumer won't. You may not always need to be
    careful when buying batteries, but the average consumers that don't
    are the ones that risk getting inferior batteries. You've gone way
    beyond the point of making simply incorrect statements, and by now
    this is easily recognized by most people that have spent more than a
    couple of months in this newsgroup.
    ASAAR, Jun 19, 2006
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