AA batteries no longer the trend?

Started Oct 31, 2011 | Discussions
goetz48 Senior Member • Posts: 2,607
Remembers me on lenses

When I started shootin with SLR I bought a Yashica with 42mm 'Pentax' thread. Most SLRs had this and one could exchange lenses between brands. Then AF and open aperture measuring were invented, and each brand invented their own bayonnet. And you had to buy brand specific gear. Similar was with DSLRs. Some 10 years ago they were equipped with Alcali or NiMH cells one coud buy in most stores all around the world. But capacity was poor, one could shoot some 200 pics with one charge. In order to increase capacity companies switched to Lithium cells and became brand specific. I have some cells for the KM A2, had different ones for the Sony A100, and bought some for the A700. They all had the same cells inside, and the A700 batteries were even downwards compatible to the A100, but that did'nt help, since I had enough for my give away camera. And now I am totally surprised since A77 still has the same batteries like the A700.

I just have to say it is boring that Japanese industry is unable to use standardized accessory. Always some gimmicks that distinguish the brands in childish (or senile) way.

 goetz48's gear list:goetz48's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS1 Sony Alpha NEX-5N Sony SLT-A77 Sony DT 16-105mm F3.5-5.6 Sigma 10-20mm F4-5.6 EX DC HSM +4 more
T3 Forum Pro • Posts: 21,255
Re: No to AA's

Erick L wrote:

Yeah right, the "market". It's not like consumers even had much choice. Of course, this has nothing to do with manufacturers being able to sell more expensive accessories (a D5100 batt here is around 100$, no kidding) or detect 3rd party batteries.

The market is definitely a big part of it. Consumers have generally chosen cameras with proprietary batteries. For one reason, a proprietary battery packs more power in a smaller space than a bunch of AA's, which is a more efficient use of space. This effects the overall design and size of a product. And overall design and size of a product is definitely one factor in why consumers choose one product over another.

BTW, there are AA-size Li-ion batteries on the market so there's no reason why manufacturers couldn't use standard size batteries. One 7$ 3.6v 18500 Li-ion battery is no bigger than the 28$ panasonic battery in my P&S. The charger isn't any bigger either and it can charge two batteries.

Again, a proprietary square or rectangular battery is a more efficient use of limited space (ie, they pack more power into a small space) than a bunch of AA batteries. Also, most people would much rather deal with a single compact battery than a bunch of AA batteries. Think about it, would you rather have a single compact proprietary battery in your pocket, or four AA batteries tumbling around in your pocket? And at the enthusiast or pro level, where these users are more likely to have spare batteries, these users much prefer to have a couple compact proprietary camera batteries in their camera bag than a dozen AA batteries taking up space in their camera bags. Heck, I wish my strobes took the same proprietary batteries as my cameras, or even their own type of proprietary battery, because I hate dealing with AA batteries!. If I have three sets of AA batteries for my flash, that's 12 AA batteries (the flash takes 4 batteries). And since I have two flashes, that's 24 AA batteries!!! All those AA batteries take up a lot of space, weigh a lot, clutter things up and are a pain to deal with because there are so many of them!!! Why do you think pro bodies like the Canon 1-series and the Nikon D3 series, which have built-in battery grips, use a single large proprietary battery rather than a bunch of AA batteries? Well, it's for the same reasons I mentioned above: a single large proprietary battery is a much more efficient use of space, and dealing with one or two large proprietary batteries is much more convenient than dealing with dozens of AA batteries spilling all over the place!!!!!!!

And the end of the day, proprietary batteries easily win out over AA batteries for the simple fact that they are a much more efficient use of space than AA batteries. Smaller size, less weight, more power packed into that space. When you put a proprietary battery next to a bunch of AA's, it practically makes those AA's look archaic in design and form factor. And of course, they are archaic in design and form factor because the AA form factor was first introduced in 1947!!!! LOL!

 T3's gear list:T3's gear list
Canon EOS 60D Olympus PEN E-PL3 Canon EOS M Fujifilm X-E1 Sony a6000 +17 more
CharlieDIY
CharlieDIY Veteran Member • Posts: 7,120
Re: Don't let your Lithium ion freeze

While I don't leave photo gear in the cold, my cordless tools, most of which have L-I batteries, survive quite nicely in my normally unheated shop. Virginia isn't the coldest spot in the world, but we do spend a considerable amount of the winter below 32 degs. F.

Just for kicks, with winter coming on, I'm taking one of my Pentax K20D batteries and putting in the shop.

-- hide signature --
Ring A Senior Member • Posts: 1,269
Re: Don't let your Lithium ion freeze

CharlieDIY wrote:

While I don't leave photo gear in the cold, my cordless tools, most of which have L-I batteries, survive quite nicely in my normally unheated shop. Virginia isn't the coldest spot in the world, but we do spend a considerable amount of the winter below 32 degs. F.

Just for kicks, with winter coming on, I'm taking one of my Pentax K20D batteries and putting in the shop.

Years ago I purchased 2 Sony Lithium ion camcorder batteries through Amazon. They came from Abe's of Main (that's when they were still in Main). They looked new but neither one would take a charge. They sent two more, same thing, couldn't charge them. Sony replaced all 4 and picked up the bad ones.

Sony said they had been in freezing temperatures too long.

-- hide signature --
-- hide signature --

'I don't necessarily believe everything I say'!

Ring A Senior Member • Posts: 1,269
Re: Don't let your Lithium ion freeze

CharlieDIY wrote:

While I don't leave photo gear in the cold, my cordless tools, most of which have L-I batteries, survive quite nicely in my normally unheated shop. Virginia isn't the coldest spot in the world, but we do spend a considerable amount of the winter below 32 degs. F.

Just for kicks, with winter coming on, I'm taking one of my Pentax K20D batteries and putting in the shop.

Everything you want to know about batteries can be found here

* http://batteryuniversity.com/*

-- hide signature --
-- hide signature --

'I don't necessarily believe everything I say'!

Sammy Yousef
Sammy Yousef Veteran Member • Posts: 4,655
Re: No to AA's

I'm sorry but I just don't buy that argument. Just as there are many standard NiCd/NiMH/Alkaline battery sizes, a manufacturer should be able to efficiently design around one of a selection of standard Lithium battery sizes. It is just one more component. Many other components come as standard parts that must be packed into the case.

-- hide signature --

Sammy.

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

Sammy Yousef
Sammy Yousef Veteran Member • Posts: 4,655
Re: Don't let your Lithium ion freeze

Ring A wrote:

Why folks go out and purchase the newest equipment without money being a factor yet shriek at the extra battery cost?

I don't know too many folks that are carefully with their money but throw it away on batteries, or too many that spend money like it's going out of style or balk at new batteries. However if there are such people it is probably due to the fact that the batteries don't give you any new or improved capability - they just power the camera like the last battery powered the last camera. When a camera enthusiast spends on gear it is usually so they can have a new capability or improve an existing one.

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.

Now let's do the same with AA. It's more like $20 per pack, and you can share them between cameras. Over 10 years that's $600 if you don't want to move sets between cameras. If you do, it's considerably less (but your battery will die in 3-5 years not 10, so let's leave it there).

So $450 buys you one or two new point and shoots, or a good tripod and camera bag, or a nice lens or a nice flash. It's not a small amount of money. Why wouldn't you consider it?

-- hide signature --

Sammy.

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

pierpa Junior Member • Posts: 29
Re: No to AA's

T3 wrote:

Again, a proprietary square or rectangular battery is a more efficient use of limited space (ie, they pack more power into a small space) than a bunch of AA batteries.

I understand the argument about square or rectangular being more space efficient.

I don't understand how being proprietary makes a battery more space efficient, though.

CharlieDIY
CharlieDIY Veteran Member • Posts: 7,120
Re: Don't let your Lithium ion freeze

Ring A wrote:

CharlieDIY wrote:

While I don't leave photo gear in the cold, my cordless tools, most of which have L-I batteries, survive quite nicely in my normally unheated shop. Virginia isn't the coldest spot in the world, but we do spend a considerable amount of the winter below 32 degs. F.

Just for kicks, with winter coming on, I'm taking one of my Pentax K20D batteries and putting in the shop.

Everything you want to know about batteries can be found here

OK. It looks as if lithium-iron-phosphate may be the L-I of choice for some camera batteries, while power tools (and electric vehicles) use a more cold resistant combination. Handy to know.

-- hide signature --
CharlieDIY
CharlieDIY Veteran Member • Posts: 7,120
Re: No to AA's

pierpa wrote:

T3 wrote:

Again, a proprietary square or rectangular battery is a more efficient use of limited space (ie, they pack more power into a small space) than a bunch of AA batteries.

I understand the argument about square or rectangular being more space efficient.

I don't understand how being proprietary makes a battery more space efficient, though.

Possibly the battery can be designed to fit in what otherwise might be wasted space in the camera.

-- hide signature --
Erick L Senior Member • Posts: 1,243
Re: No to AA's

T3 wrote:

Erick L wrote:

BTW, there are AA-size Li-ion batteries on the market so there's no reason why manufacturers couldn't use standard size batteries. One 7$ 3.6v 18500 Li-ion battery is no bigger than the 28$ panasonic battery in my P&S. The charger isn't any bigger either and it can charge two batteries.

Again, a proprietary square or rectangular battery is a more efficient use of limited space (ie, they pack more power into a small space) than a bunch of AA batteries.

I'm not talking about AAs but standard-size li-ion. They DO exist. ONE 18500 battery has the same voltage and more capacity, and is no bigger than the square battery in my P&S. The charger is no bigger either and unlike the proprietary charger, it can charge two batteries at once. Two 18500 batteries could power my D5100. Two of those aren't any bigger than the single D5100 battery, and the charger is smaller than Nikon's. Which is more efficient?

I have three cameras and whenever I travel, I have to bring along three chargers and three sets of batteries. I'd rather bring one standard charger and batteries.

-- hide signature --
whvick Veteran Member • Posts: 5,618
AA batteries just do not always get the job done!

I actually scanned all 5 pages of replies before I wrote this to see if anyone mentioned my experience. My family likes canon products and over the years we have worked through about 10 different A series canon cameras.

We have noticed that on many of the models as they start to age they will give a "low Battery signal" on fully charged batteries, both NiCad and Alkaline.

Somewhere in all the DP forums someone said to try the AA Lithiums and sure enough it cured the problem.

So the point is that maybe the manufacturers know something about the energy strain these cameras put on batteries and have learned that only lithium will do the job, so they may as well make it a rechargable!

Just thought I would throw open a new angle on the subject if anyone understands it better please, chime in.
whvick

 whvick's gear list:whvick's gear list
Canon EOS 5D Canon EOS 30D Canon EOS 50D Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Canon EF 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 USM +9 more
Ring A Senior Member • Posts: 1,269
Re: No to AA's

Erick L wrote:

T3 wrote:

Erick L wrote:

BTW, there are AA-size Li-ion batteries on the market so there's no reason why manufacturers couldn't use standard size batteries. One 7$ 3.6v 18500 Li-ion battery is no bigger than the 28$ panasonic battery in my P&S. The charger isn't any bigger either and it can charge two batteries.

Again, a proprietary square or rectangular battery is a more efficient use of limited space (ie, they pack more power into a small space) than a bunch of AA batteries.

I'm not talking about AAs but standard-size li-ion. They DO exist. ONE 18500 battery has the same voltage and more capacity, and is no bigger than the square battery in my P&S. The charger is no bigger either and unlike the proprietary charger, it can charge two batteries at once. Two 18500 batteries could power my D5100. Two of those aren't any bigger than the single D5100 battery, and the charger is smaller than Nikon's. Which is more efficient?

I have three cameras and whenever I travel, I have to bring along three chargers and three sets of batteries. I'd rather bring one standard charger and batteries.

This is exactly what the Cordless Power Tool mfg. have done .... look at Milwaukee and Makita ...... dozens of tools all using the same battery

-- hide signature --
-- hide signature --

'I don't necessarily believe everything I say'!

Midwest Forum Pro • Posts: 18,309
Re: Don't let your Lithium ion freeze

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?

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.

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. 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. 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.

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.

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.

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

I've lived on both sides of the AA vs. lith ion debate, I used to be firmly on the AA side, but it is such a relief to not have to d* around with those little lead sausages, their clunky corded chargers, and messing with keeping batteries in sets etc. IMO batteries make a LOUSY hobby! I've left AA behind and I would not buy another camera that uses them. Ever. Period.

Now let's do the same with AA. It's more like $20 per pack, and you can share them between cameras. Over 10 years that's $600 if you don't want to move sets between cameras. If you do, it's considerably less (but your battery will die in 3-5 years not 10, so let's leave it there).

So $450 buys you one or two new point and shoots, or a good tripod and camera bag, or a nice lens or a nice flash. It's not a small amount of money. Why wouldn't you consider it?

Midwest Forum Pro • Posts: 18,309
Re: Don't let your Lithium ion freeze

Ring A wrote:

Years ago I purchased 2 Sony Lithium ion camcorder batteries through Amazon. They came from Abe's of Main (that's when they were still in Main). They looked new but neither one would take a charge. They sent two more, same thing, couldn't charge them. Sony replaced all 4 and picked up the bad ones.

Sony said they had been in freezing temperatures too long.

When my organization was researching to purchase a large number of laptop PC's we needed to make sure they would be sturdy and survive field use. One of the brands (we ended up purchasing them) was Panasonic and on their website they had a video or some sort of presentation from some group which had accidentally left one of their laptops in the back of a pickup truck out in the snow. For months the laptop was actually encased in ice. When it was thawed out, it powered on as though nothing had happened. Those lith ion batteries didn't seem to have any problem. I suspect Sony blamed defective batteries on having been frozen as a more convenient 'out' for them. Why not?

Midwest Forum Pro • Posts: 18,309
Re: AA batteries no longer the trend?

Mark B. wrote:

joejack951 wrote:

Sammy Yousef wrote:

For SLRs where I can't use AA,

I'm not sure about Nikon's other battery grips but the MB-D10 for my D300s came with a tray that accepts 8 AA's to power the camera. Bumps the frame rate up 0.5 FPS too. Makes the camera even heavier though.

...and the batteries do not last as long, at least on a Canon DSLR...not to mention you then need to carry a set of 8 AA spares making the weight even more of an issue.

So you've got 16 batteries to lug around, and if one of them gets away under the car seat or whatever, you've still only got one set of batteries to use because 7 charged ones and one dead one are not likely to work very well together.

Midwest Forum Pro • Posts: 18,309
Re: No to AA's

RedFox88 wrote:

T3 wrote:

I don't know why anyone would want AA batteries in compact cameras. OEM rechargeable batteries are so much better. They are a fraction of the size and weight of AA's, pack a lot of power, last a long time, have more compact chargers, and the one battery that comes with the camera is the most that 99.9% of compact camera users will ever need. If you need a bit more juice, just carry your charger with you, which are tiny. When you have a bit of downtime, just charge your battery up some more.

But what happens if you forget to charge your battery and it's near dead or has sat for a while and has become dead and you want to use the camera right away? You're SOL unless you have a 2nd battery, which the average P&S user probably won't have.

What happens if you forget to recharge your AA's? and if you don't have a backup set of batteries? Get a spare lith ion battery (or set of batteries, if AA's) and keep the backup(s) charged. If someone hasn't the foresight to do something that simple then I have no sympathy for them no matter what kind of batteries they use.

Heck, most AA chargers are larger than the compact P&S cameras that those batteries are going into!!!

Chargers? Who said anything about chargers?

I will. I found the AA battery chargers to be clunky messy affairs with power bricks and a cord or two, a lot less convenient (and slower by far) than a regular lith ion battery charger. You have to buy a AA charger. The one for my lith ions came with my camera and cost me $0.00.

I have several family members that use standard AA batteries in devices and don't deal with rechargeable batteries. They buy a huge box and always have them if needed. Plus AAs can be bought practically everywhere around the world.

I use AA's for lots of things. Just not in my high tech stuff like cameras.

Plus they are cheap compared to a special li-ion battery that might cost $30 to $60.

I can buy a lith ion battery for $5 that will probably be working long after a $10 set of AA's has gone to the recycling. $30 to $60? Maybe $30 for a name brand Panny battery, but it too will last at least a few years.

See, there are very valid reasons for AA batteries.

I used to buy into that 'you can get AA's anywhere in case of an emergency!' thing but once I got rid of my AA powered camera, I stopped HAVING those 'emergencies'.

-- hide signature --

Art is far superior to "artsy".

Midwest Forum Pro • Posts: 18,309
Re: Yes to AAs

Darrell Spreen wrote:

RedFox88 wrote:
See, there are very valid reasons for AA batteries.

I think so too.

I got over 1300 shots on my first set of AA batteries in a new camera (yes, Li type), but the camera was so dependable that it has become my grab-and-go camera for almost every occasion. I actually replaced the batteries for a big trip, so I still don't know how many shots I could have gotten on them.

We've bought 2 plastic baskets to hold all the chargers we have accumulated just for those wonderful Li-ion batteries, and then we have to find the right charger (3 for Canon cameras alone) and be sure we've got a couple of charged batteries before going anywhere.

Funny, I had that kind of mess BEFORE I went lith-ion...

I recognize that AAs are not the trend, but my new AA camera has changed my thinking.

-- hide signature --

Darrell

-- hide signature --

Art is far superior to "artsy".

Midwest Forum Pro • Posts: 18,309
Why do "monkey playing the cymbals toys" use AA's?

Seriously, I would probably not be as opposed to AA's for a flash gun. I still wouldn't want them, but not as vehemently as I don't want them in my camera.

Midwest Forum Pro • Posts: 18,309
Re: AA batteries no longer the trend?

beshannon wrote:

myst-vearn wrote:

AA batteries no longer the trend?

i was unaware that AA batteries ever WERE a trend.

Surely you remember 1964. No?

Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads