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Light-moderate wt, AA power camera
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Renais A
Light-moderate wt, AA power camera on 09/30/2010 20:42:01 MDT Print View

I'm looking for recommendations for a new digital camera of the generic point and shot type. Reading through some of the old threads has not provided the input I'm seeking. I don't need the absolute lightest camera. I'm replacing an old camera that weighs over a pound. The most important criteria is that it be powered by AA batteries since the camera will be used in locations, and for durations that preclude recharging a rechargable battery. I will generally have reasonable access to AA batteries. I'm looking for something probably $400 or less. Three questions: 1) What cameras would you suggest I consider? 2) What features would you recommend I look for in the camera that would be useful for backpacking photos? 3) Any cameras or features to beware of? Thanks for the help.

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: @Tarptent
Light-moderate wt, AA power camera on 09/30/2010 22:28:58 MDT Print View

I might think about this, but in the meantime what did/didn't you like (apart from the weight and AA ...) in your previous camera ?
The point here is that as much as I prefer a wide angle lens over a tele (as an example) others opt for the longer end.
My personal likes...
wide lens( 24mm or 28mm as a compromise)
waterproof/ maybe shockproof
low light capabilities
largish sensor (IE 1/1.7" over 1/2.5")
optical stabiliser
(there is no camera for me, BTW...)
Have you considered that a LiIon batt can be as light as under 1 oz, take 200/400 shots and remain charged for over a month (at 85-90% of the initial charge ) ?

Alex H
(abhitt) - MLife

Locale: southern appalachians or desert SW
Re: Light-moderate wt, AA power camera on 10/01/2010 05:16:30 MDT Print View

As Franco says don't immediately discount the rechargeable batteries, especially for backpacking pictures when you don't use a flash much, I can get 300-400 shots off of one charge with my Canon cameras. If you are within reach of AA batteries then you might also be able take the time to charge a battery there too (you would have to carry the tiny charger) unless you are leaving the AA's in a cache in the middle of nowhere.

That being said check out this link, sorted for cameras using AA batteries. The new Canon SX130IS looks like a good candidate.

Renais A
Change motivations and comments on 10/01/2010 07:57:48 MDT Print View

My old camera still takes great photos, but is of 2000 vintage, but still takes great pictures. I am just hoping to reduce the (1 pound, 7 ounce actually) weight. I also assume that there might be new features (image stabilization comes to mind) that would be nice to have. I routinely take 200-300 photos a day, both when backpacking and on other trips. For some of my non-backpacking, photo taking trips, I have found it easy to get AA batteries even in places where it was quite difficult to find a place to recharge batteries. Thanks for the link to the sorted list. I'll also check out the Canon.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Canon SX130 IS on 10/01/2010 08:11:58 MDT Print View

Better read this review-- it is a battery eater.

Scott Johnson
(scottyjsr) - F

Locale: The GREAT pacific Northwest
Canon camera on 10/01/2010 09:14:02 MDT Print View

Thanks Dale...We are looking... Also wondering if anything you can recommend.. We have Canon Rebel Digital.. We need a new over all good lens for close and distance pics..Any piticular size? or brand


Michael Neal
(michaeltn) - F
canon on 10/01/2010 11:36:48 MDT Print View

I think the 15-85mm is a pretty good choice for an outdoor lens, or if you need something with more reach the 18-200

Edited by michaeltn on 10/01/2010 11:43:08 MDT.

drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Camera battery life comparison - AA vs proprietary on 10/05/2010 17:06:44 MDT Print View

Here is a list I put together comparing the battery lives of several cameras. This was in response to those that said AA battery powered cameras have poor battery lives.

Lithium AA batteries work longer than nimh AA batteries, weigh less and suffer less self discharge...although the last is negligible during the duration of a hike.

Canon A720is: 400 shots on AA nimh batteries
Canon SX20is: 540 shots on AA 2000 mah nimh batteries
Fujifilm HS-10: 400 shots on AA nimh batteries or 700 shots on AA lithium batteries
Fujifilm S2500HD: 500 shots on AA nimh batteries or 700 shots on AA lithium batteries

Pentax K-x: 1100 shots on AA lithium batteries
Pentax K7: 740 shots on proprietary batteries

Canon SX210is: 260 shots on proprietary batteries
Canon G11: 380 shots on proprietary batteries
Canon S90: 220 shots on proprietary batteries
Casio EX-FH100: 310 shots on proprietary batteries
Fujifilm F80EXR: 230 shots on proprietary batteries
Nikon S8000: 210 shots of proprietary batteries
Pentax X90: 255 shots on proprietary batteries
Fujifilm JZ500: 230 shots on proprietary batteries
Kodak Z950: 310 shots on proprietary batteries
Panasonic DMC-ZS5: 340 shots on proprietary batteries
Panasonic DMX-ZS7: 300 shots on proprietary batteries
Ricoh CX3: 310 shots on proprietary batteries
Sony DSC-H55 & DSC-HX5: 310 shots on proprietary batteries
Fujifilm S200EXR: 340 shots of proprietary batteries

A new hybrid option is the Pentax K-r. It has a battery bay that can accommodate a lithium-ion battery or AA batteries. 470 shots with the proprietary lithium-ion battery. 530 MORE shots with AA lithium batteries.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Camera battery life comparison - AA vs proprietary on 10/05/2010 17:19:51 MDT Print View

Eugene, that looks like a good list. Currently lots of folks are trying out video shot through a small camera. In many cases, the video mode lights up the rear display, and that burns a lot of battery power. One of my own cameras uses up one proprietary battery pack in eight minutes of video (which seems like a lot).


drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: Re: Camera battery life comparison - AA vs proprietary on 10/05/2010 17:42:22 MDT Print View

You're spot on about that rear display. My brother has a Canon a720is, one of the last P&S cameras with AA's and an optical viewfinder. One day I used his camera to take over 700 pictures, some with flash, with Sanyo Eneloop 2000 mah batteries installed. The rear display was kept off most of the time. At the end of the day the battery meter still showed the majority of battery life remained.

Dan Healy

Locale: Queensland
small secondary viewfinder is better than just a large view screen on 10/05/2010 19:20:25 MDT Print View

having the option of a small eyepoint viewfinder as well as the large viewing screen to compose and shoot is a huge advantage in a camera.

1st up it far more stable to shoot with both hands holding the camera and pressed up against the face as the eye sees thru an small viewfinder -either optical or digital

2nd the sunny outdoors does not effect you finding what you are shooting at

3rd it is waaaay quicker to compose the shot

4th it uses a lot less battery power

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: @Tarptent
Light-moderate wt, AA power camera on 10/05/2010 21:10:46 MDT Print View

Jim is after a camera that is new lighter than his 1 pound 7oz current model.
Suggested models :
Canon SX 20 , 21 oz
Canon A720 (2007 model, disc)
FujiFilm HS10 23 oz
FujiFilm HS 2500 11 oz

So the only candidate there is the Fuji HS2500.
(If found new , the Canon A 720 would be a good choice.)

These are comments from DPReview :

"The S2500HD is not a terrible camera but it's simply not on the same level as the competition in this test (superzoom comparison)
Looking at what we've written above it's a little difficult to recommend the Fujifilm S2500HD on any grounds other than its low price. It's the cheapest camera in this test but in most areas it's also the worst performer. "
Note also the " ineffective image stabilization"
Something to look out when checking specs. A feature is not always a benefit.

Edited by Franco on 10/05/2010 21:23:19 MDT.

drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: Light-moderate wt, AA power camera on 10/06/2010 01:20:03 MDT Print View

The list of cameras I posted were not recommendations, just data concerning battery life....I had a DSLR on their after all, a Pentax too which are often super heavy. Thanks to your looking up the weight, useful recommendations can be made. I totally agree about the a720is. I am still kicking myself for not buying one. An a720is with the firmware hack and lithium batteries would be a great combo. For new cameras I would go with the sx130is, although I wish it had an optical viewfinder.

Oh, and as much as I highly desire AA batteries in my portable devices, my next camera will have a proprietary battery...the Fujifilm f300exr. I can't resist the combination of a compact ultrazoom, big p&s sensor and a potentially class killing autofocus speed.

Edited by leaftye on 10/06/2010 01:23:07 MDT.

drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: Re: Light-moderate wt, AA power camera on 05/10/2011 09:11:25 MDT Print View

This weekend I took 2053 photos on a single charge on my Fujifilm S9000 using Sanyo Eneloop 2000 mah nimh batteries. I still had some battery life left to continue taking pictures, but had to go home.

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: @Tarptent
2053 pics... on 05/10/2011 17:50:15 MDT Print View

Shooting for 10 hours a day for two days you need to take over 100 pics an hour to do that.
That is something...

drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: 2053 pics... on 05/10/2011 18:05:40 MDT Print View

100 per hour, pff. I knock that out in a few minutes. In fact I wish I had a camera that could shoot more quickly in terms of af acquisition and shots per minute.

This does create a new problem though. Google's photo albums have a 1000 photo limit.