AA batteries no longer the trend?

Started Oct 31, 2011 | Discussions thread
Sammy Yousef
Sammy Yousef Veteran Member • Posts: 4,655
Re: Don't let your Lithium ion freeze

Midwest wrote:

Sammy Yousef wrote:

Now lets say I buy 1 camera a year (modest if you're a hobbyist with a family and include all their cameras in the list). Let's say each battery costs $35 and you like to have 2 spares on hand. Over 10 years, there's $1050 right there.

Those are some pretty wild calculations... perhaps you are figuring a one year life for lith ions, purchased at far more than they really cost?

Actually they're very conservative calculations. I have AA rechargables that around 4-5 years old that still work.

I bought a new Panny FZ50 in late 2006, and shortly afterward I bought a 3rd party spare battery. I sold the camera four years later and both the original and aftermarket battery were still working quite well enough to continue using. My battery cost in 4 years? About $10. Okay, I could have bought a second spare, which I never needed anyhow, and the cost would have been $20 for four years. That's either $2.50 or $5 per year (for me was $2.50) - not $105.

$10 for a proprietary camera battery? That means you're buying knock-offs from China. You were lucky. And your battery is one of the cheaper ones out there.

Even so, if you have 10 cameras you are paying $100 just for one set of batteries for the cameras. You can get 2 or 3 sets of AA batteries and share them between the cameras and it won't cost nearly as much. Also if one camera dies it is no issue.

Last fall I bought a 'new' (in box) Canon 450D. I paid another $9.95 including shipping for a spare lith ion battery AND plug-on-the-wall charger much like the OEM.

I'll repeat again The knock offs are a bargain, but it's a gamble. I've bought some that have been just fine and others that have not been worth using. Most importantly if your son wants to play with the camera and it's still in working order in 10 years, you'll have trouble finding batteries.

My son was born a couple months ago and I spent three days and nights at the hospital with my wife, took hundreds of shots, never changed or charged the batter - I barely gave a look at the battery meter.

I've had 300-400 shots of a set of 4 AA batteries. What's your point.

One spare is all I have any need of. Ten dollars for a spare battery and a spare charger to boot, and I expect to be good for three years at least. $3.33 a year, not $105/yr or $310 for four years.

I've gone through 4 enel3e batteries on my D90 in a day's shooting. That's not typical but it has happened. They are Li-ion. The bottom line is it comes down to the efficiency of the camera, as well as the efficiency of the batteries. If either is bad it'll sink you.

Right now I can buy a 3rd party replacement battery for my Canon on Amazon. The buyer rating for the 3rd party battery is only slightly less than for the genuine Canon battery. Price, about $4.75 including shipping. Nowhere near $35. Given the number of Canons sold that use this battery I am sure they'll be available far longer than I will keep using my 450D.

Amazon ratings are no guarantee.

Yes, Panny has started using chipped batteries. In genuine Panny brand they are $30 on Amazon. Okay, $30 over 4 years instead of $10. Hardly outrageous, even if annoying.

They can raise the price of these batteries, and they can discontinue manufacter on a whim. That is about as customer hostile as you can get. Thanks for the warning. My last Panasonic was an FZ-20. It was overpriced and I never much liked the performance. Looks like I won't be giving them another try.

And a new camera every year? Why on Earth? (Unless one is caught up in the 'latest greatest superzoom' race, at least.)

Well I have a wife and 2 children that like to take photographs. It isn't unusual for me to sling 2 DSLR bodies, and have a point and shoot in the bag for things like video or rarely timelapse. I count six cameras right there (3 for me, 1 for each of me, my wife and my children). I did not go out and buy 6 cameras when I entered the hobby.

You've really skewed the whole scenario to the ridiculous, and if it were really as you picture it I would agree with you - but it's just not that way.

It isn't that way for you because your family is young. My kids are 1 and 3. The 3 year old already is quite capable with a camera - he's no savant but he can take a snapshot reliably when he wants to (sometimes with minimal coaching).

I've heard the urban legends about batteries shorting out, catching fire, exploding, etc. etc. but I've seen no evidence that this is a serious likelihood at all.

Well if you've never seen it then it must never happen hey?

I have first hand seen a NiMH battery explode due to overcharging....well I saw the aftermath including a small fire. I heard a loud pop. I walked in where it was charging. There was a small fire and I was very lucky as it was quite near some curtains. 50 cm to the left and it would have been a house fire. It was not a camera battery though - it was a glo starter for an r/c airplane engine. The chemistry is no different. The mistake I made was to charge it repeatedly without using it and the charger was somewhat crude. The fire melted part of the casing on my r/c radio. No substantial damage though. As I said I was lucky. Of course you can just add that to your set of urban legends, but it was enough to make me go out and buy fire blankets and set up my charge station differently.

-- hide signature --

Sammy.

My forum postings reflect my own opinions and not those of my employer. I'm not employed in the photo business.

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