2 questions about digital cameras

Discussion in 'Digital Point & Shoot Camera' started by Neil Jones, Dec 18, 2008.

  1. Neil Jones

    SMS Guest

    The camera with Li-Ion batteries would have been far, far less likely to
    have shown symptoms of low battery, real or imagined. That's the real
    bottom line.
    SMS, Dec 20, 2008
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  2. Neil Jones

    -hh Guest

    Nevertheless, I did make a mistake: to compare Amp-hours is only
    valid within the same voltage battery. As such, the OEM-vs-
    Aftermarket comparisons were valid, but to compare a battery pack to a
    single 1.2v NiMH **might not** be: it depends on the voltage of said
    battery pack.

    In general (ie, I haven't gone to look, or pulled out a multimeter to
    test one), I'd expect that some of these battery packs are in the 3V
    or higher range, which would then require the cost comparison to be of
    "one OEM versus two AAs", or maybe 4 AA's, whatever. Which simply
    means that for the rough comparison I made, instead of there being a
    10:1 favorable ratio, its only 5:1 or perhaps 2.5:1, depending on what
    the OEM:AA voltage ratios happen to be.

    So while I appreciate the correction, I don't particularly appreciate
    the general intent of the statement being overlooked: even though
    cost really isn't my primary factor for me for the question of AAs vs.
    proprietary battery formats, it is another thing in its favor.

    -hh, Dec 20, 2008
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  3. Neil Jones

    -hh Guest

    Really? How?

    When there's an electrical discharge through a water-facilitated short
    circuit, how does the type of power supply make for any difference?
    Are you suggesting that all cameras with Li-Ion batteries inherently
    have better waterproof seals (to keep them from getting wet) because
    there's some law that says that they must?

    -hh, Dec 20, 2008
  4. Neil Jones

    -hh Guest

    'Small and Light' depends on how one is counting.

    For example, if I'm just going out for the day, the physical battery
    charger is left at home, so its size/weight doesn't matter.

    But when one is packing for a trip (one long enough to need more than
    just one+spare power), then the chargers have to get packed, and the
    more proliferation of battery types one has, the more chargers (and
    spare batteries) we end up with. If we then are going someplace
    remote enough that you want to reduce risks by having redundancy in
    chargers (not just _A_ spare battery), then this logistical tail
    becomes even bigger.

    And with the advent of modern electronics, everything invariably has a
    battery to consider how to support:

    iPod & Noise-cancel headset for iPod
    Alarm clock(s)
    Camera strobe(s)
    Arctic Butterfly
    Digital Wallet(s)
    Stabilized Binoculars

    Based on a list like the above, one can quickly discover that you may
    very well be carrying ~20 powered devices with which to deliberate
    their care & feeding.

    From a 'Reductio ad absurdium' perspective, if they all took unique
    proprietary batteries that each needed their own charger, then we
    would be stuck around carrying 20 chargers and 20 different types of

    The reality is that it isn't quite this bad. For example,
    wristwatches weren't mentioned because their button-batteries
    typically last years. The basic point here is that there's value in
    standardizing of battery form factors/types. Thus, the next question
    is merely in the details of which specific batteries to standardize
    upon, and why is X or Y a good or bad selection.

    From a recent trip, I found that I carried 17 discrete devices that
    used 6 different types of batteries (ignoring stuff that used long
    life button-batteries). Their distribution breakdown was:

    Battery Type#1: used by 7 devices
    Battery Type#2: used by 5 devices
    Battery Type#3: used by 2 devices
    Battery Type#4: used by 1 device
    Battery Type#5: used by 1 device
    Battery Type#6: used by 1 device

    For chargers:
    Charger A: recharged #1 & #2
    Charger B: recharged #2 only
    Charger C: recharged #3 only
    Charger D: recharged #4 & #5

    You'll note that on the above, Charger B seems superfluous: it was
    present so as to add redundancy for Type#2 and also increase
    recharging capacity. Basic reason for this is that Type##2 are AA's
    and that in general, a lot of generic consumer devices already use AA
    (and AAA) batteries. Here, there were sets of 4, 4, 4, 4, 2 (camera,
    external strobe, two digital wallets, and a GPS) which were in heavy
    daily use. These five devices shared a pool of six AAs for spares and
    in a pinch, they can cannibalize too. Taking this into consideration
    with a similar case with Charger A (Type#1: AAAs), we end up with 2
    chargers supporting 12 devices, or a ratio of 1:6 instead of 1:1,
    which results in some amount of size/weight savings.

    While this may all sound to be relatively small, when you're working
    with flights on small charter aircraft, every little bit starts to add
    up. We had a 17kg total (all gear, all clothes) weight limit per
    person, so many items invariably get cut and left behind.

    I merely used B&H for all prices; its convenient, verifiable by others
    (if they really care) and even if an item is a bit more expensive
    there, because of consolidation into a larger order, there's no
    shipping cost to consider as part of the true total cost. In any
    case, I mostly look at the cost factor as "gravy", since it is a
    higher personal priority to reduce equipment size/weight by being able
    to carry fewer rechargers.

    -hh, Dec 20, 2008
  5. Neil Jones

    SMS Guest

    Pretty rare. For my D-SLR I could compare the six AA batteries at 7.2V
    in the vertical grip to one or two BP511 batteries in the vertical grip
    at 7.4 volts, and it'd be fairly close to compare just mAH. Six 2000 maH
    Eneloops would cost $15. One 2000mAH after market BP511 from a reputable
    supplier costs $12. The cost advantage of the Li-Ion is slight, and of
    course for less common Li-Ion packs the Eneloops would have a slight
    advantage. Of course I can store twice as much energy in the vertical
    grip with two 2000mAH Li-Ion packs than I can with six 2000mAH Eneloop
    AA cells, which illustrates why AA battery powered cameras are usually
    found only at the low end (with a few exceptions) where the manufacturer
    want to avoid the expense of providing a charger and a battery pack.

    I don't know what you originally meant because most P&S cameras use two
    or four AA batteries (2.4V or 4.8V for NiMH) or a one or two cell Li-Ion
    pack (3.7V or 7.4V). With a more than 50% difference in the voltage
    between the NiMH batteries and the Li-Ion batteries it only makes sense
    to compare the energy stored in each.

    In any case, the bottom line is that AA batteries don't cost 1/10 as
    much as Li-Ion packs, when you compare WH to WH they're pretty close in
    SMS, Dec 20, 2008
  6. Neil Jones

    -hh Guest

    How much does it weigh, including its charger?

    -hh, Dec 20, 2008
  7. Neil Jones

    -hh Guest

    Rare for which? That the OEM and aftermarket will have different
    voltages? Its pretty much a sure thing (but not 100%) that a battery
    pack isn't going to be the same voltage as a *single* AA, which was
    where I erred.
    Wouldn't mind seeing a couple of online cites for 'reputable
    suppliers' for this price point on the BP511, with the usual
    assumptions (small quantities, includes shipping costs, etc). I find
    it quite odd that B&H would seem to be so competitive on one product
    (the AAs) and not another (BP-511A).

    It is closer, but there's cost considerations in other parts of the
    overall system that also afford some economies. For example, with
    standardization, you don't need to buy or carry as many discrete
    spares, so having a set of four AAs for $15 can be the backup for more
    than one device that would otherwise each take a different $20-$28
    battery pack.

    In my example mentioned earlier, I had six AAs (call that $20 total
    cost) providing backup for five (5) devices, so that's $20 replacing 5*
    $20=$100 (a 1:5 cost ratio) at your price points, or replacing 5*$28=
    $140 (a 1:7 cost ratio) at my price point.

    Incorporate the respective costs of multiple chargers and 1:10 cost
    ratio isn't at all out of question.

    -hh, Dec 20, 2008
  8. Neil Jones

    Charles Guest

    Charles, Dec 20, 2008
  9. Neil Jones

    -hh Guest

    Understood, but its still not zero, and what may be insignificant to
    you (or me) on its own, may not necessarily always be so. Its
    increasingly easy to get nickel-and-dime'd to death with similarly
    "small/light" items: individually, they may not be a big deal, but in
    aggregate sum, they add up.

    As such, I don't consider even a 43.5g battery to be "light" when I
    don't have the context identified. Afterall, the context may require
    ten of these batteries, which adds up to a pound, and 1lb is a quick
    5% of the total weight budget allowed for your porter on the Inca

    What may work just fine when operating out of the back of your truck
    only 5 miles from home may become another thing when you're 500 miles
    from the nearest pavement.

    -hh, Dec 20, 2008
  10. Neil Jones

    ASAAR Guest

    That's surprising. I don't have a G10 manual, but the G7 that it's
    based upon rates the battery life at 220 images/charge (CIPA test
    using 50% full power flash). The SX10 IS does better, rated at 340
    images per set of alkalines and 600 images/charge using NiMH cells,
    also per the CIPA test. Canon's cameras typically get 2 to 3 times
    the number of shots in non-CIPA tests since the flash isn't used.
    With NiMH cells that should result in from 600 to well over 1,000
    shots per charge, depending on how often the flash is used. The G10
    is newer and much better than the G7 and its NB-7L battery has
    greater capacity than the G7's NB-2LH, but I'd be surprised if it
    reaches the battery life of the SX10 IS. I think that you'd be
    satisfied with any camera whose battery life is as good as, or
    slightly less than that of the SX100 IS. If you're ruling out the
    SX10 IS because it uses AA cells and not because of its assumed
    battery life, that's another matter, and since it's your money, you
    also get to be called "The Decider". :)
    ASAAR, Dec 21, 2008
  11. Neil Jones

    Neil Jones Guest

    :)) Yes, I am "The Decider". I like that!!

    There were other small features here and, there that were missing on the
    SX10 that made me take it of the list. I did the read the reviews of
    Panasonic's Lumix FZ28 and I liked what I read about the features,
    battery life and other accessories (which are limited and not pocket
    busting). I have ordered this camera.

    My old Canon G3 was really really good. I took about 10000 pics on it
    and it still was chugging along. The person who bought the G3 from me
    is very happy with it too.

    In a couple of years from now, I hope my next digital camera will be a

    Thank you again every one for a vibrant discussion on the "battery
    science" and "battery economy".

    Happy Holidays everyone!

    Neil Jones, Dec 21, 2008
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