AA batteries no longer the trend?

Started Oct 31, 2011 | Discussions
Richard Briscoe Regular Member • Posts: 430
Re: No to AA's

Sometimes it is not. It is simply the space left over or a space allocated for an existing battery the designers wish to use because of customer demand.

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.

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

Midwest wrote:

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?

Everyone with past experience using older Lithium ion batteries knows that there was a high self discharge rate back then compared to modern Lithium ion batteries now.

Sony claimed that the power ran down low enough that these could no longer be charged. And because these were stored for months in the freezing basement of a merchant in Maine the freezing temperature played a part.

Fact is ..... Freezing temperatures do help run battery power down.

This if from Battery University ...
Over-discharging Lithium-ion

Li-ion should never be discharged too low, and there are several safeguards to prevent this from happening. The equipment cuts off when the battery discharges to about 3.0V/cell, stopping the current flow. If the discharge continues to about 2.70V/cell or lower, the battery’s protection circuit puts the battery into a sleep mode. This renders the pack unserviceable and a recharge with most chargers is not possible. To help prevent a battery from falling asleep, apply a partial charge before a long storage period.

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

Alwina H Regular Member • Posts: 338
Re: Yes to AAs

You can take many millions of shots with this "limited collection" before you have to buy new ones !

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A.

Darrell Spreen Forum Pro • Posts: 10,509
Re: Yes to AAs

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

But I only see one charger. I was talking about having 9 chargers for Lith-ions and about 20 batteries. Now that's a real mess! On our recent trip we had to take 4 chargers for the various cameras (and the phone). It took 10 hours (collectively) to charge up all the Li-ions before the trip besides having to unplug lamps in the hotel room to recharge some of the batteries.

The AA camera went the entire trip on one set of Lithiums with no fuss.

I have never had a Li-ion rechargeable that lasts longer than about 250 shots -- probably due to the compact size everyone thinks is such a blessing. I want conenience and dependability and I see that it's possible with Lithium (not Alkaline or rechargeable NiMH -- they're old technology) AAs. Time to move on.

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Darrell

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.

Alternative Energy Photography Regular Member • Posts: 105
Re: AA batteries no longer the trend?

Part 2 to my post above. Yeah, I'm just as blabby in real life, too.

Environmentalism

I do not use rechargables for the assorted watches or remote controls I have. They're not even available for CR-2032, CR-2025, or other "button style" form factors. AA and AAA rechargables are expensive and drain over time when sitting, making them not well suited for low-drain devices such as DVR or TV remotes. I'd have to recharge them more often, and as somebody else already said in this thread, batteries don't make good hobbies!

My employer collects used batteries of all types. There are buckets and buckets of batteries on various drop-tables and mail-drops all around my work location. I never see them get emptied. What's up with that?

I hear the horror stories about battery disposal, but I have never seen any numbers, so I must question all the screaming and yelling. I think the green lobby may be "glossing over" the details and making the AA battery disposal problem seem worse than it may really be.

Yes, of course proper disposal is the right and moral thing to do. Most cities in the US have "some" way to recycle batteries and hazardous household waste, some are even free. But I have to say I am suspicous of the vocal nature of the Battery Disposal Police.

Powered by Pizza; an Alternative

Fat contains much more energy density than any other food-based energy source, including carbohydrates from sugar or corn, but not as much as gasoline. If we're not likely to accept lawn-mower ripcords on our cameras and flashes, then we should consider making them run on Mozzarella cheese. Just remember that cheese is made from milk, which requires a pregnant milk cow. To avoid being overrun by a population explosion of cattle, we will need to start eating more beef.

Remember, every well-intentioned action may carry unintended risks. I like beef in moderate portions, so I'm okay with this. The only risk is to the cattle.

T3 Forum Pro • Posts: 21,255
some people will never get it.

Sammy Yousef wrote:

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.

It's amazing how obtuse some people can be. Yes, they can design "around" AA batteries, and manufacturers have designed "around" AA batteries. But the fact is that more modern and more camera-specific batteries make a much more efficient and tailored use of space than the 64 year old AA battery form factor! Sorry, but the AA form factor just takes up more space to deliver the same amount of power as the new class of rectangular batteries that camera manufacturers have designed for their cameras. And consumers would rather deal with one compact, space efficient battery rather than two, three, or four AA batteries in their cameras. You may not "buy" any of these arguments, but if AA batteries were a better option, and cameras that used AA batteries sold better than ones without, then you can definitely bet that manufacturers would have stayed with AA batteries. That's because then manufacturers wouldn't have to include one of their rectangular batteries and one of their chargers inside of every camera package they sold! That's an added cost for them! It would be much less expensive to just throw a couple of cheap alkaline batteries inside each package and sell their cameras at the same price

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Sammy Yousef
Sammy Yousef Veteran Member • Posts: 4,655
Re: some people will never get it.

T3 wrote:

Sammy Yousef wrote:

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.

It's amazing how obtuse some people can be. Yes, they can design "around" AA batteries, and manufacturers have designed "around" AA batteries. But the fact is that more modern and more camera-specific batteries make a much more efficient and tailored use of space than the 64 year old AA battery form factor!

So come up with several new standard sizes. It's not hard. Re-read what I wrote. I'm advocating a standard battery, not that we stick with AA batteries.

...and I repeat again. Camera manufacturers must work around the size and shape of many other components to build their cameras. The battery is just one more component. And there are only a handful of practical shapes. Usually some kind of rectangular box, possibly with rounded edges and corners.

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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

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.

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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: Standardization is hard...

Joseph S Wisniewski wrote:

We're close to that, right now. the big problem is the same as lens mounts.

  • Nikon believes in a 3 terminal charging port, with the battery pack control chip and the cells sharing a common ground. Canon believes in 4 terminals and a floating ground for the chip.

No we're not! Some camera models share batteries, but even within one manufacturer there might be 10 to 20 different batteries to suit various cameras in their range. Camera batteries for a new generation of camera MIGHT be backwards compatible (eg. D90 enel3e works with d80, d70 but D70/D80 enel3 - no e - batteries don't work in the D90. Move up to D7000 and it's a different battery again - and this time it IS at least partly due to regulation so that the contacts are no longer exposed).

  • Sony likes shrouded pin contacts, while Nikon and Canon like exposed wiping contacts.

D7000 battery shrouds the contacts. Not sure what the relevant standard is but there is one involved. I read about it somewhere...I think Thom Hogan's site possibly?

But right now, there's no pressure, either from the market place, or from government organizations, to say "you all need to agree on a standard across all manufacturers".

There are existing standards - take a look at all the compliance logos on your battery some time - they just don't cover the form factor.

Personally, I don't see it ever happening. Lens mounts have been a hash for decades.

Imagine the uproar if lenses you bought only worked for 3 or 4 body models. The reason there isn't one for batteries is that the batteries are typically 10 to 100 times cheaper than the lenses. But it is still wasteful, and has more to do with customer lockin than technical constraints.

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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: No Nikon!

I use to buy Canon P&S cameras for pocketable take anywhere and Nikon DSLRs.

The Canon A-series cameras didn't do much in the way of zoom but were awesome otherwise. Most notable they had full PASM control. Then CHDK came out and I was in hog heaven. Well Canon has pulled PASM from the lineup and removed superfine setting while boosting the megapixels and noise. A series is not what it use to be. It WAS an excellent decently priced first step learning photography. It is now a mediocre dumbed down cheapy range. I have had issues with 2 of their P&S cameras developing dust even with proper storage. I've had issues with Canon printers and cartridges lately too on the latest models after years of loving their product and having no hassles. At one stage I was thinking of buying a Canon DSLR but after all that I now atively avoid Canon.

Nikon make great DSLR but their customer service has left a to be desired when I have had issues. Most Nikon P&S get mediocre reviews. So I avoid them.

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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
Fixing battery issues. Clean contacts, Use good batteries.

whvick,

I've had issues with the Canon A series cameras which were related to dirty contacts. Get in their with a Q-tip and some vinegar and clean the battery contacts, but don't go crazy with it - it is an acid after all and it can destroy plastic and glue. (I once had an SD card split open after I cleaned the contacts with too much vinegar).

The other thing is to get quality batteries and go NiMH. NiCad is being phased out (Are your batteries old??) and while it has it's uses camera applications are better served by NiMH. Eneloops work well for me - a couple of hundred shots easily, usually more.

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Sammy.

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

T3 Forum Pro • Posts: 21,255
Re: some people will never get it.

Sammy Yousef wrote:

So come up with several new standard sizes. It's not hard. Re-read what I wrote. I'm advocating a standard battery, not that we stick with AA batteries.

You still don't get it. There are "several new standard sizes". For example, Canon's 60D, 7D, and 5D MKII all have "standard"-ized around the LP-E6 battery. Future XXD cameras will also use the LP-E6. The future 7D MKII, MKIII, 5D MKIII will also use the LP-E6. In their compact cameras, Canon's NB-5L is the "standard" battery for their SD700IS, SD790IS, SD800IS, SD850IS, SD870IS, SD880IS, SD890IS, SD900, SD950IS, SD990IS, SD970IS & SX200IS, S90, S95, S100, etc., cameras. There's plenty of standardization around "several new stand sizes". You're just too blind to see it. But as for standardization across different camera brands, I'm sure the camera manufacturers wouldn't mind doing so, but its hard standardizing anything across multiple camera brands, and it's probably just not worth the trouble.

...and I repeat again. Camera manufacturers must work around the size and shape of many other components to build their cameras. The battery is just one more component. And there are only a handful of practical shapes. Usually some kind of rectangular box, possibly with rounded edges and corners.

Yes, the camera manufacturers are working around certain standardized batteries. Just look at the Canon example I mentioned above. You seem to have the false assumption that every camera in their brand uses a different battery. That's just not the case. Furthermore, it makes sense for a camera manufacturer to be able to control such an important component as the power source for their product, especially for products that are so power intensive. You can't just dismiss it as "just one more component." Camera manufacturers put their own customized sensors, processors, LCD's, etc, into their cameras all the time. The only difference is that the battery just happens to be the customized component that is user-removable. But that doesn't mean that they can't customize that as well, if they see fit to.

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Sammy Yousef
Sammy Yousef Veteran Member • Posts: 4,655
Re: some people will never get it.

T3 wrote:

Sammy Yousef wrote:

So come up with several new standard sizes. It's not hard. Re-read what I wrote. I'm advocating a standard battery, not that we stick with AA batteries.

You still don't get it. There are "several new standard sizes". For example, Canon's 60D, 7D, and 5D MKII all have "standard"-ized around the LP-E6 battery. Future XXD cameras will also use the LP-E6. The future 7D MKII, MKIII, 5D MKIII will also use the LP-E6. In their compact cameras, Canon's NB-5L is the "standard" battery for their SD700IS, SD790IS, SD800IS, SD850IS, SD870IS, SD880IS, SD890IS, SD900, SD950IS, SD990IS, SD970IS & SX200IS, S90, S95, S100, etc., cameras. There's plenty of standardization around "several new stand sizes".

No I really don't get it. Just because 1 camera manufacturer shares batteries among several models, you call it a standard.

You're just too blind to see it. But as for standardization across different camera brands, I'm sure the camera manufacturers wouldn't mind doing so, but its hard standardizing anything across multiple camera brands, and it's probably just not worth the trouble.

Not worth the trouble! Ha! The reason is that another company would then be able to sell you batteries cheaper. As it is they're chipping cameras to prevent knock-offs.

You seem to have the false assumption that every camera in their brand uses a different battery.

Where did you pull that from? Elsewhere on this thread I have mentioned that Nikon D90 batteries work with D80 and D70 (and D300 I believe). That doesn't make them a standard battery.

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Sammy.

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

mrsfixit
mrsfixit Senior Member • Posts: 1,473
Re: some people will never get it.

Sammy Yousef wrote:

It's amazing how obtuse some people can be. Yes, they can design "around" AA batteries, and manufacturers have designed "around" AA batteries. But the fact is that more modern and more camera-specific batteries make a much more efficient and tailored use of space than the 64 year old AA battery form factor!

So come up with several new standard sizes. It's not hard. Re-read what I wrote. I'm advocating a standard battery, not that we stick with AA batteries.

Why can't they use rechargeable 9V batteries?

My husband has a tiny guitar amp that uses 9V batteries. I bought some high capacity Powerex NiMH rechargeables, and they work great and last a long time.

The 9V NiMH battery is almost identical in size and weight to the proprietary battery I use in my Canon G11.

So IMO yes, manufacturers could design cameras using these, except for the tiniest of cameras. But many manufacturers would rather lock you in to their battery, they make more money that way.

And in the case of the Panasonic chipped batteries, they force you to buy an overpriced Panasonic OEM battery, so they make even more money on you.

I would rather have to take 2 chargers- one for AA, one for 9V- on trips rather than the 6 or 7 I have to take now, and have the option, in an emergency- of finding batteries that will work- locally.

And BTW- chargers do die. So if you're on the vacation and your charger drops dead on you, good luck charging that proprietary battery.

Candice in PA

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David Hull
David Hull Veteran Member • Posts: 6,333
Re: some people will never get it.

The question is: What is the capacity of the battery vs. its size and weight. For a 5DII, the LP-E6 is a 7.2 V 1800 mAh battery. To get this voltage with AA cells would require 6 cells. Then again you could have 2400 mAh which would run the camera longer but the camera would have to be bigger.

They need a given capacity to produce a desired "user experience" with the product in terms of shots per charge. The trade off is shots per charge vs. overall product size etc.

Looking at the Canon LP-E6 as an example: The capacity (stored energy) of a pair of 1.2 V, 2400 mAh AA's is 2.4x2.4=5.6 Watt-Hours. For a Canon LP-E6 (about the same size as a couple of AA’s) you have 7.2 V at 1800 mAh for 7.2x1.8 = 12.96 Watt-Hours. The LP-E6 provides more than twice the capacity in a similar volume. Another way to look at it is that they are able to pack the capacity of 4 AA’s into the space of two AA’s. Four 2400 mAh AA’s gives you 4x1.2 volts for a total of 4.8x2.4=11.52 Watt-Hours of energy.

The reason for not using AA's is pretty much a no-brainer when you look at the numbers. You need to work the numbers for the 9V battery you are thinking of and see where if falls in terms of stored energy.

The on-board performance monitoring (i.e. the "chipping") is also beneficial (or at least “nice to have) in that it allows the user to monitor the performance of his energy source over time.

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T3 Forum Pro • Posts: 21,255
Re: some people will never get it.

mrsfixit wrote:

So IMO yes, manufacturers could design cameras using these, except for the tiniest of cameras. But many manufacturers would rather lock you in to their battery, they make more money that way.

And in the case of the Panasonic chipped batteries, they force you to buy an overpriced Panasonic OEM battery, so they make even more money on you.

Sorry, but this simply isn't the case. Consider the cost to the manufacturers of designing, manufacturing, and including hundreds of thousands of their rechargeable batteries, plus chargers, in all of the cameras that they sell. Do you really think this enormous cost is offset by people buying additional OEM batteries for their cameras?! LOL. Not even close. The overwhelming majority of P&S camera buyers will never buy an additional battery for their cameras. And of the ones that do, they could buy a third-party battery! So the income provided by additional battery sales is miniscule. As for the notion that people get locked into a camera brand just because of a battery is equally silly. As I mentioned, most people never need any other battery than the battery that the camera came with, so prior batteries from prior cameras only factor into a tiny percentage of buyers' thinking. Plus, batteries are a small cost compared to the cost of a camera, especially when you start talking about DSLR cameras.

The reality is that OEM batteries are a cost to manufacturers-- not some way to make more money off of batteries-- but it's a cost that is worthwhile to them because it allows them better design flexibility with their cameras.

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Sammy Yousef
Sammy Yousef Veteran Member • Posts: 4,655
Re: some people will never get it.

T3 wrote:

Sorry, but this simply isn't the case. Consider the cost to the manufacturers of designing, manufacturing, and including hundreds of thousands of their rechargeable batteries,

Design cost for a charger is next to nothing. 3rd party can manufacture much cheaper and still make a profit. If they're not making a killing on the OEM batteries, they're doing it very wrong.

plus chargers, in all of the cameras that they sell. Do you really think this enormous cost is offset by people buying additional OEM batteries for their cameras?! LOL.

Yes. Do you really think they wouldn't be cutting costs by going to AA if it wasn't the case? LOL.

Not even close. The overwhelming majority of P&S camera buyers will never buy an additional battery for their cameras.

Unless they are AA in which case they've already got tons of spares lying around!

And of the ones that do, they could buy a third-party battery! So the income provided by additional battery sales is miniscule.

Shall I LOL some more? The manufacturers make a killing and then I've seen unscrupulous retailers sell at double or in a couple of extreme cases triple the recommended retail. (Then retails cry poor when people buy 3rd part online for literally 1/10th the cost).

As for the notion that people get locked into a camera brand just because of a battery is equally silly.

Try getting a proprietary battery for any piece of electronics that is over 6 or 7 years old. Good luck. Demand for old model batteries tapers off and it becomes very difficult.

As I mentioned, most people never need any other battery than the battery that the camera came with,

Which makes the cameras DISPOSABLE since the battery will only last 2-5 years.

so prior batteries from prior cameras only factor into a tiny percentage of buyers' thinking.

If it were such a tiny percentage of buyers, we wouldn't see these threads pop up from time to time.

Plus, batteries are a small cost compared to the cost of a camera, especially when you start talking about DSLR cameras.

Moving the goal posts again? If you're talking about the average user, surely you want to be talking about small pocketable cameras, not enthusiast DSLR.

The reality is that OEM batteries are a cost to manufacturers-- not some way to make more money off of batteries-- but it's a cost that is worthwhile to them because it allows them better design flexibility with their cameras.

No, I'd describe that as a fantasy. You sir are a manufacturer's dream. Do you work for one? Or do you sell the batteries?

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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: some people will never get it.

mrsfixit wrote:

Why can't they use rechargeable 9V batteries?

9V rechargables are expensive and not used often primarily because to get the high voltage you have to sacrifice mAh. Whereas a AA rechargable can be 2700mAh or more typically 9V is 200-300mAh with the higher mAh being expensive to say the least.

We really do need a "standard" Lithium battery. Not just the size, but also the chargers and the availability to purchase.

Meanwhile there is no reason cameras can't be designed to last on 2 or 4 AA batteries. If they could do it 8 years ago up to 2 years ago, they can do it now. Frankly I hate that "pocketable" cameras generally don't even sit well on a table (they topple because they're too thin).

I'm stockpiling AA cameras with P mode. Wish I could go back in time and make myself buy 2 or 3 more A590IS.

-- 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: Standardized rechargeable Li-Ion AA?

T3 wrote:

Not everyone likes that bulge in the body that comes with AA batteries.

Not everyone likes proprietary batteries. If you're for giving users what they want, why on earth are you arguing here???

The A1200 is missing PASM. Canon did us no favours when they killed that in compacts. Yes ASM are of limited value in a small sensor, but limited value is not zero value.

It is amazing that you argue so vehemently for what users want, but at the same time don't want to give users here what they want - which is what we've had until recently - Cheap pocketable PASM cameras that run on AA.

-- 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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