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lightest digital that takes AA batteries
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ben kohl
(benkohl) - F

Locale: Northeast
lightest digital that takes AA batteries on 04/16/2007 10:19:07 MDT Print View

Any suggestions here for PCT thru hike? I am hoping to have a robust zoom and light weight (under a half pound). thought there was a Canon out there like that--but can't find it. Much appreciated!

Roger B
(rogerb) - MLife

Locale: Here and there
Re: lightest digital that takes AA batteries on 04/16/2007 10:32:45 MDT Print View

Were you thinking of the Canon S3 IS?

kevin davidson
(kdesign) - F

Locale: Mythical State of Jefferson
Canon AA powered Digital Cameras on 04/16/2007 10:48:31 MDT Print View

The Canon A series cameras are lighter than the S3 and use AAs. The A630 ( which has been well reviewed and is a great bargain) weighs 245g (8.6 oz.) w/o batts and 11 oz. w/ batteries. The S3 weighs 410 g (14.5 oz.) w/o batteries.

The A630 zoom is only to a 140 mm equivalent but there is a supplementary lens option( albeit a little heavy and clumsy). Both cameras have lots of manual control options.

Brian Lewis
(brianle) - F

Locale: Pacific NW
Pentax Optio M20 on 04/19/2007 12:10:43 MDT Print View

I'm hoping to thru-hike the PCT in 2008, and just went through this thought process. I like my Kodak V570 a lot because of the built-in wide angle lense and on-camera stitching software, but I didn't want to rely on mailing batteries back home to recharge or hassling with a charger in my bounce bucket, so I looked for something decent that takes AA batteries (I'll use lithiums) and isn't too heavy or bulky.

Measured weight for my Pentax Optio M20 with NiMH rechargeable batteries and an SD card is 6.9 oz (195g), that includes the little carry strap. With no batteries but the SD card left it it's 4.7 oz (134g).

My notes say that a pair of lithium AA's weighs 0.9 oz (25g), so with those the total weight should be 5.6 oz (159g).

No optical viewfinder unfortunately, but I think the reviews said it nevertheless does pretty well on battery useage.

I haven't yet used this often enough to comment on how well it works on a long backpacking trip, but I think it's likely it will work out fine. And a really big (2 GB) SD card isn't too expensive these days, which limits how often I'll have to mail the SD card home, if at all. It seems like I read in too many trip logs how a camera memory card mailed home fails to make it for whatever reason!

Edited by brianle on 04/19/2007 12:11:58 MDT.

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: @Tarptent
Canon A550 on 04/20/2007 21:13:26 MDT Print View

The Canon A550 is nice. Abbot 8 oz with lithium, or for up to around 800 shots over three months or so, 4 x Sanyo AA Eneloop, they retain the charge. Do not be misled by the low (2000 mAhH) amperage.

Greyson Howard

Locale: Sierra Nevada
S3 IS on 04/20/2007 21:37:09 MDT Print View

I have an S3 IS, and I love it. It takes 4 AA bateries, and with good batteries it seems to last forever.
I use the S3 IS for backpacking and for occasionally for work, and have used it with a gorilla pod (regular, not SLR).

My friend has the A630, and its also a great camera.

Chris Bogart
(Zoomerang) - F
Lightweight digicam on 04/26/2007 18:25:23 MDT Print View

I found a 4MB Casio Exilim on ebay for less than $30 that weighs 5 oz with battery versus 19 oz for my Canon S2 IS which is also 4 times the size of the Casio. For trips where weight is the issue, the little Exilim has been the better choice for me.

Nathan V
(Junk) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lake State
Canon A710 IS on 05/06/2007 17:01:49 MDT Print View

I just picked up one of these , 9.5 oz with 2 AA's, 6X zoom, 7.1 mega pixels. So far I like it a lot, it does what I need in a camera.

Nikolas Andersen
(nsandersen) - MLife
One suggestion on 05/08/2007 17:03:45 MDT Print View

Canon A710IS (7MP, decent 35-210mm for the size, full manual mode, stabilizer, 7.3oz/210g + 2AA batteries). Gets quite good critique and I am quite happy with mine.

Kenneth Knight
(kenknight) - MLife

Locale: SE Michigan
Canon A710IS on 05/22/2007 14:50:15 MDT Print View

I'll add some praise for this camera. The interface is easy to work with and the photos it takes are pretty good considering its cost. If I had a single complaint it would be that the lens wide setting is so high. I'd rather it have been more along the lines of my old S70 Powershot at about 28-100 (35mm equiv). However, wide angle adapter lens exists that I may have to try out. For what the camera is the lens is fast enough and I think I'll be happy with the camera for the foreseeable future (I'll have my first batch of photos online from that camera soon).

I liked my S70 for its flexibility and ruggedness and the A710IS doesn't feel quite as tough but so far so good.

Russell Swanson
(rswanson) - F

Locale: Midatlantic
Re: Canon A710IS on 05/24/2007 16:45:11 MDT Print View

I own the A710IS as well. I bought the camera for the manual controls, image stabilization, and good zoom. These features sold me on the Canon over my next option, the Pentax Optio W20, which is a little lighter and waterproof. My Canon is listed on my gear spreadsheet as 7.5 oz with 2AA NiMH batts.

I was hoping to get better results shortening depth of field but that's possibly user error as I'm no camera wiz. I've been able to cheat this some using the macro mode.

The biggest downside of the camera (and this is well documented) is the extremely long recycle time for the flash. At full flash, it can take 5 seconds or more to cycle. But, that's a function of only using 2 AA batts, which was a selling point for me considering the camera's weight. Of course, I don't find myself taking many too many pics requiring flash usage when I'm hiking.

One comment on durability: the printing on the mode selection dial are starting to wear off after maybe a half-dozen times in the field and some casual home use. This is potentially a big problem as I'll have to rely on the LCD screen to tell me which mode I'm in.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Nikon with AA batteries on 12/16/2007 00:43:29 MST Print View

I ended up with a Nikon Coolpix L12 on a trade and it isn't bad-- 6.7oz with batteries, 3x zoom, 7.1MP and plenty of features. It runs on 2 AA's and doesn't seem to be too greedy with them. The viewfinder is big enough for my aging eyeballs too.

But I want one of the new Olympus 790SW for hiking. It is a hiker's dream-- light, tons of features, waterproof, shockproof, and the lens doesn't extend from the body-- that is a feature to look for now-- it is heartier, and allows better sealing.

I would figure out a way to charge the batteries :)

Christopher Chupka

Locale: NTX
Canon A720 IS on 03/10/2008 19:10:05 MDT Print View

I lucked out on a good deal on the Canon A720 IS. Office Depot had an Instant $50 deal going to make the camera $149 and then I price challenged at the local AFB and got it for the $149 with no tax. 8.5 oz with 2 AA and strap.