AA batteries no longer the trend?

Started Oct 31, 2011 | Discussions thread
Alternative Energy Photography Regular Member • Posts: 105
Re: AA batteries no longer the trend?

Haha, I never know "which" post to reply to in this forum's threaded view.

Okay, here are my thoughts on this:

AA Batteries in Cameras

I used to have an Olympus 3030-Z which took four Olympus branded AA sized NiMH batteries. Eventually I added a couple sets of Olympus and Duracel/Energizer recharagables for rotational duty. I LOVED that camera and the convenience of having a common AA size. The Oly would fit in a coat pocket for a Manhattan walkabout, and it took decent pictures for the time (although it had a few nagging always-red and always-green pixels). I used the Oly for more years than I should have, even when higher megapixel cameras with better sensors became available, and a big reason for this was that I was always able to obtain new batteries for it.

AA batteries do have one small challenge for me. It's a small thing, but both in that Oly and in my current SB-700 speedlight, changing batteries takes an extra moment to ensure that they're properly mounted:

XO
OX

Not terribly difficult, but I always have to "read" the disiplay on these devices, or look really carefully at the contacts to make sure I get them correctly loaded. Time consuming when shooting an event, and there's an increased risk of fumbling and dropping a battery. And AAs like to roll around.

For that Oly, I kept 16 batteries (four sets of 4), labeled and stored in their original plastic retail "bubble-packs" because the bubble-pack plastic was hinged and could be held shut with a rubberband; easy and convenient when in the field.

I labeled my AA batteries for the Oly (Set 1A thru 1D, Set 2A thru 2D, and so forth), so that they were always used with their own family members and never mixed. It took several years for me to have trouble, and even then it was only with one of the sets, which got hot once during charging. I tested those four and it became apparent that they were not accepting a charge; so I got rid of them.

LiIon in Camera:

Currently, my Panasonic FZ-28 point and shoot and my Nikon D7000 have their own proprietary battery packs. I have not had any trouble with the Panasonic batteries in a couple years now, and I've only owned the Nikon for a couple months. I always buy one spare battery whenever I buy a camera, with plans to add a third or fourth some years down the road. The packs for both cameras charge quickly and they seem to last a long time even when shooting with the built-in flash.

To spread the wear-and-tear, I swap the batteries and make sure all are charged up whenever I take one of the cameras out.

I plan to buy a third EN-EL battery for the Nikon.

Thoughts about AA for the Nikon

In another post, I recently asked about the use of the Nikon MB-D11 extended battery pack, and I do plan to buy it in the next month or two. I like how it can take six AA's or it can take an EN-EL battery. Gives me flexibility, although it's not likely that with two or three EN-ELs in my bag, I am unlikely to ever need to use AA's for the camera. But I like having the choice, and I will definitely reserve room in the camera bag for the AA battery tray.

Speedlights

I currently have 8 AA's for the SB700. Until I begin shooting more, or until I get an added speedlight for added multi-directional lighting, it's unlikely that I'll need more AA's. But if/when I do, I'll just buy them in multiples of 12 and they could serve double-duty in the MB-D11 (in sixes) or in the speedlights (in fours).

When it comes to the Nikon, I'm not worried about the size and weight of the AA's, either for the camera or for the speedlight. I'm a strong guy and it's not like they are 12-volt car batteries. But I'll probably switch to a backpack soon. I guess it's really more about how much money I want to spend.

Charging Up

The proprietary chargers are in my camera bags, so I don't lose them, but also so that I can charge up my camera batteries in a hotel room or even at an event (which I had to do recently when I had already depleted the first battery and had more than half-drained the second). It turned out that I didn't need a third battery after all for that event, but it was handy that I was able to find an AC socket and that I had the charger.

I keep one AA smart-charger is in the Nikon bag; it can charge up to 4 AAs and it has no cords or wall-warts; it plugs directly into an AC socket. Its only detraction is that it can take 6 to 8 hours to fully charge a set of NiMH AA batteries, but even this is not a major worry, even in a hotel room. Plug in a set before dinner, plug in the second set before bed. By the way, I despise evil wall-warts, but out of necessity I do have a bigger (and corded) smart-charger at home that can do AA and AAA batteries.

A new P&S

I really like that Canon S100. I don't care about the proprietary battery; for that camera, it's all about the size and the fact that it's much better quality than my Droid phone. If I buy something like that, I'll pick up one or two spare batteries like usual, and just keep them handy. One in the glove box in the car, maybe one in my laptop computer bag.

Post (hide subjects) Posted by
T3
T3
T3
T3
T3
T3
T3
T3
T3
T3
T3
T3
T3
T3
T3
T3
T3
T3
T3
T3
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum PPrevious NNext WNext unread UUpvote SSubscribe RReply QQuote BBookmark MMy threads
Color scheme? Blue / Yellow