What is the smallest digital camera I can buy that uses AA batteries?

Discussion in 'Photography' started by Susan Roger, Jun 15, 2006.

  1. Susan Roger

    Susan Roger Guest

    What is the smallest digital camera I can buy that uses AA batteries?

    I know this is probably the dumbest question ever posted this blog but
    I need to buy a gift for a friend in Europe who wants a very small
    digital camera. That's about all I know and without camera experience,
    that would be an easy order to fill.

    However, my problem arises from my experience. I'd never ever want any
    camera that doesn't use AA batteries ever again so I wouldn't wish a
    camera that doesn't use AA batteries on anyone else either -
    especially someone I love dearly.

    The problem is the smallest cameras don't seem to use AA batteries.

    For example, the July 2006 online consumer reports has an extensive
    article on digital point and shoot cameras at

    Consumer Reports recommends these four small cameras
    Kodak EasyShare V550 , $295
    Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX8 , $280
    Canon PowerShot SD450 , $275
    Casio Exilim Zoom EX-Z750 , $330

    The problem is NONE use AA batteries.

    That means that 25% of the time, my beloved recipient will have a
    small camera in her purse which will be useless due to her forgetting
    to charge the battery or due to her forgetting to bring the charger or
    due to her not having a spare handy or any of the ills that have
    befallen me in the past so many times that I've sworn off non AA
    cameras for the rest of my natural life.

    Which brings me to you for help. I know there's no perfect world, so,
    may I presume to ask you experts the question ...

    What is the smallest digital camera I can buy that uses AA batteries?
    Susan Roger, Jun 15, 2006
    1. Advertisements

  2. Susan Roger

    nellybly Guest

    Ricoh makes small cameras that use 2 _triple_ "AAA" batteries, and also
    come with a li-on battery. I have the GRD, and it is truly the best of
    both worlds.
    Double AA's will probably, and necessarily, make the camera larger than
    what your friend would like.
    Happy Snappin',
    nellybly, Jun 15, 2006
    1. Advertisements

  3. Susan Roger

    editor Guest

    I'd suggest it also be large enough to get a good firm hold on - and
    with controls large enough to easily handle. Some of the tiniest
    digicams just don't offer that. Check this out before buying!
    In my experience, Canon PowerShot A60 is an excellent choice. It's
    small enough to carry everywhere in your purse - but large enough to
    easily handle, runs on four AA batteries.

    No $4 to park! No $6 admission! http://www.INTERNET-GUN-SHOW.com
    editor, Jun 15, 2006
  4. Susan Roger

    Panno Zhai Guest

    Here comes the power of scientific thinking. Do a Google search of
    dpreview for "AA review specs", or simply follow the link,

    You will be offered a choice of links to the cameras with AA batteries,
    some of them will turn out to be compact point-n-shooters.

    Panno Zhai, Jun 15, 2006
  5. Susan Roger

    WiNK Guest

    I feel your pain!! I was just bemoaning this after spending an hour driving
    around a tourist town trying to find batteries for my Nikon (Duracell CP1s,
    which were on CLEARANCE when I did find them, which is scary), I would love
    to have a camera that takes AAs as an alternative. (When the dopey camera
    owner forgets the charger and needs a "back up.")

    Since I'm currently looking for a slightly bigger camera, I don't have an
    answer.....but I just had to "weigh in" on this.

    WiNK, Jun 15, 2006
  6. That's true. The smallest cameras use lithium-ion rechargeable batteries
    which are very small and flat, and a camera using AA cells just can't be
    made as small.

    But you can come fairly close. Of the digital cameras I own that use AA
    batteries, the smallest is the Pentax Optio S60. This is an excellent little
    camera, six megapixels and with a 3x zoom, simple and easy to use but has
    more than enough features for the average user. Its dimensions are 3.5 x 2.3
    x 1.1 inches and it weighs 6.5 ounces loaded with two AA cells and memory
    card. I don't know whether it's the world's smallest AA-using camera, but I
    doubt any camera using those batteries can be made significantly smaller.

    You can get all the information on it here:

    And even download a brochure and the user manual if you like.

    The Pentax Optio S60 by the way sells for $159 with free shipping from Beach
    Camera (http://beachcamera.com/shop/product.aspx?sku=PKOPTS60) or $155 with
    free shipping from BuyDig.com, a sister company of Beach. Either seller is
    100% reliable in my experience, their prices are usually the lowest among
    dependable sellers and both ship very fast. You'll also need to get an SD
    memory card, which you can get from either of those sellers or from Buy.com,
    or from your local Wal-Mart or whatever. I think Buy.com is generally the
    best place to buy those memory cards, but they're a bit slower in shipping.
    Personally I wouldn't bother with any of the kits offered by Beach or
    BuyDig.com, you don't need that other stuff. Just buy the camera there,
    maybe an SD card too (512MB is a good size) if you need 'em delivered

    Neil Harrington, Jun 15, 2006
  7. Susan Roger

    Marvin Guest

    I just bought a Panasonic DMC-LZ3 that uses 2 AA batteries.
    I don't know that it is the smallest that uses these
    batteries, but it is compact and lightweight, and has
    features like a 6X zoom and image stabilization.
    Marvin, Jun 15, 2006
  8. Susan Roger

    Shawn Hirn Guest

    You really have no idea what you're talking about. AA batteries are the
    worst energy source for digital cameras. They are big, bulky, and they
    get used up much quicker than lithium ion batteries. I have used both
    types of cameras extensively and with the typical digital camera that
    uses a lithium ion battery, you can get several hundred shots on it and
    recharge it in about 90 minutes or less. With a digital camera that uses
    AA batteries, even with good rechargeable batteries, you are lucky if
    you get 200 shots per charge. I was out the other day and I took 300
    shots with my Sony DS-W100 and the battery still was strong when I got
    home. With rechargeable AA batteries, you also have to keep them grouped
    together and recharge them at the same time or else they lose their
    ability to hold a charge.

    With a digital camera that uses a lithium ion battery, you can easily
    shoot photos for days on a single charge, even with flash and with the
    display in use and you can go even further if you carry a spare battery.
    In addition, with rechargeable AA batteries, if you don't use them for a
    while, they lose their power so you have to charge them up again. So, if
    you get home on a Saturday for example and you charge your AA batteries,
    then let them sit in the camera for a week or two, they will lose their
    charge. That does not happen with lithium ion batteries, at least not to
    any significant degree.

    The biggest benefit to digital cameras that use lithium ion battery is
    that they can be a lot smaller and lighter than those that use AA
    batteries, plus you have fewer batteries to carry around and change.
    Shawn Hirn, Jun 15, 2006
  9. Susan Roger

    Jon B Guest

    Yes always the first thing I've picked up for any digital is a 2nd
    battery, if they have to be charged in camera then a desktop and/or car
    charger too so you can have one on charge with the other in use. Always
    get better life than AAs, never run into a battery problem with having a

    Demand for the things means copy batteries start from a few quid and
    chargers (if required) from not much more. The very idea of even
    replacing them with something that takes AAs wouldn't even enter my
    Jon B, Jun 15, 2006
  10. Susan Roger

    ASAAR Guest

    No, it's you that really has no idea what you're talking about.
    There are a good number of cameras that use AA batteries that can
    take well over 1000 shots per charge. Nearly 1000 if alkalines are
    used instead of NiMH. As for recharge time, it depends on what
    chargers and batteries are used. Some lithium batteries can take 4
    hours or longer to recharge but almost all high capacity NiMH AA
    batteries can be recharged in as little as 15 minutes, given the
    right charger. Anyone already having a slow AA charger can buy a
    very fast charger for the same batteries from a number of charger
    manufacturers. But due to their proprietary nature, if someone has
    a slow charger for their Li-Ion batteries, they may not be able to
    get a compatible fast charger for them.

    Whether Li-Ion or NiMH batteries are used, cost is not much of a
    factor for pros that take many tens of thousands of shots per year.
    But for most people that take at most a couple of thousand shots per
    year, AA alkalines are by far the cheapest power source. A $10
    brick of alkalines could be enough to keep a Canon A610 or Fuji
    S5200 running for more than 5 years, and wouldn't have the
    inconvenience of requiring recharging or carrying the charger on
    trips. Given that most people that use rechargeables have at least
    one backup battery, and that Li-Ion batteries usually need to be
    replaced well before 5 years have passed, the same 5 years worth of
    Li-Ion batteries could cost from $60 to $150. This assumes that one
    battery and a charger were "free", included with the camera.

    Admittedly, older cameras didn't get very long life from AA
    batteries, but that's no longer the case. There have been messages
    posted in this ng from users that have used a single set of alkaline
    AA batteries for nearly 1/2 year and the batteries are still going
    strong. Even though Li-Ion batteries can go longer between charges
    than other types of rechargeables, Li-Ion battery manufacturers warn
    that if you let them sit longer than this (1/2 year) without being
    recharged, they can become damaged and might need to be replaced.
    ASAAR, Jun 15, 2006
  11. Susan Roger

    Bob Salomon Guest

    Dangerous advice.

    If the NiMh or NiCd cells were not designed for rapid charging a modern
    ultra fast charger should not be used to charge them as they could
    explode since they were not designed to vent the gases that build up
    during charging at a fast enough rate.

    If you have old cell technology like the above then you should invest in
    modern 2600 or 2700 mAh AA niMh cells and the proper charger for them.
    the Ansmann Digispeed Ultra will fully charge most batteries designed
    for fast charging in as little as 10 minutes compared to the 15 to 18
    hours required by many of the "15 minute" chargers.
    Bob Salomon, Jun 15, 2006
  12. Susan Roger

    ASAAR Guest

    Don't be silly. Those ultra fast chargers are not meant to be
    used for NiCad batteries, and any NiMH batteries not capable of
    taking a fast charge probably were laid to rest before the turn of
    the century. I was talking about the commonly available batteries
    you can buy *today*, usually packaged with a relatively slow 4 hour
    charger, not NiCads from ages ago that used 7 to 14 hour chargers,
    or possibly some "noname" unknown quality NiMH cells purchased from
    a less than reliable eBay seller or website.

    That seems to be quite misleading. I'm only aware of one "15"
    minute charger (RayOVac) that takes many hours to charge NiMH
    batteries. That's because, as you're probably well aware, they
    require their own proprietary NiMH batteries to be compatible with
    the fast charging mode. Are there other brands of fast chargers
    that also have that limitation?

    Several other "15" minute chargers are available that don't
    require special batteries. I don't have Energizer's 15-minute
    charger, but use their 30-minute charger, and it works quite well
    with every brand of NiMH battery (nearly a dozen) that I've tried.
    You seem to have missed the forest for the trees. The point was
    that the assertion that Li-Ion chargers are much faster than AA NiMH
    chargers was false, and your own Ansmann brand is one of several
    that disproves that assertion.
    ASAAR, Jun 15, 2006
  13. Susan Roger

    Bob Salomon Guest

    The small switch on the front of the Ansmann Digispeed Ultra switches
    the charge current from NiMh cells to NiCd cells.

    And there are lots of old cells out there.

    Never rapid charge any cell that was not designed for rapid charging.
    Bob Salomon, Jun 15, 2006
  14. Susan Roger

    J. Clarke Guest

    I'm curious--how large an explosion can an AA NiMH or NiCD cell produce?
    J. Clarke, Jun 15, 2006
  15. Susan Roger

    David Wright Guest

    I would suggest a Konica Minolta Dimage X20. This camera meets your
    requirement as it takes 2xAA batteries and has dimensions of 86x67x24mm
    (about the size of a deck of cards) and a weight of 115g. It has a 3x
    optical zoom and takes SD cards.

    The downside is that this is a discontinued 2mp model. It is however
    still available new in the UK at a price of GBP 126.00. You should be
    able to find it for a lot less in the USA.

    I have the similar X21 model that I often carry in preference to other
    cameras as it is very pocketable. I find that it is quick in operation
    and takes excellent pictures. This too may still be available.

    I would be surprised if you can find a smaller camera that meets your
    David Wright, Jun 15, 2006
  16. Susan Roger

    ASAAR Guest

    Some of the fast chargers (such as RayOVac's 1-hour charger) also
    have NiCad/NiMH switches. Most of the newer, faster chargers no
    longer are intended to be used with NiCad batteries. You previously
    warned against rapid charging old NiMH and NiCad cells that weren't
    designed for that type of rapid charging. Are you saying that many
    of the "old cells out there" are capable of being charged rapidly?
    There may be some commercial or military uses for modern NiCad
    batteries, but the public rarely buys NiCad AA batteries these days.
    When switched to the NiCad position, does the Ansmann charger revert
    to a much slower charge rate, or does it also charge those cells in
    10 minutes or less?

    Unless designing or experimenting with IEDs. When it comes to AA
    and AAA batteries, are any readily available to the public from the
    better known battery manufacturers that aren't designed for rapid
    charging? If not, your warning probably applies to batteries that
    should have been trashed years ago, such as some old 450 mah and 600
    mah Radio Shack NiCad AA cells that I kept far too long, only
    disposing of them late last year. But those were never used in any
    chargers that didn't take at least 7, and usually several hours more
    than that to charge.
    ASAAR, Jun 15, 2006
  17. There's no serious question about Li-ion batteries being *better* in various
    ways, but if your battery runs down when you're out somewhere (and you don't
    have a spare, or have used up the spare too) you're really stuck -- whereas
    if you use AA cells you can find fresh ones in any drugstore, department
    store, hardware store, grocery store, etc.

    Another great plus is that all AA cells are the same size and work in the
    same cameras. I need four different sizes of Li-ion batteries just for my
    Nikons, two more sizes for my Pentaxes, two more sizes for my Minoltas,
    another size for my Canon, another size for my Panasonic -- and of course
    each of these different size batteries requires its particular charger that
    accepts only that size. Granted I have too many cameras, but the fact
    remains there wouldn't be this problem if only there weren't so many
    different sizes of Li-ion batteries.
    Neil Harrington, Jun 16, 2006
  18. Susan Roger

    ASAAR Guest

    Underscoring your point is a something said in a recent issue of
    Fortune Magazine (June 12, 2006) in an article about how Sir Howard
    Stringer and Dr. Ryoji Chubachi are trying to turn around Sony,
    correcting many of the company's mistakes and make them better able
    to compete with the likes of Microsoft, Samsung, Apple, Sharp,
    Nokia, Canon, Dell and many other competitors. From page 76:
    ASAAR, Jun 16, 2006
  19. Susan Roger

    Susan Roger Guest

    I have been using digital cameras ever since they came out and I've
    long ago learned AA beats AAA. Of course, AAA definately beats
    proprietary because you can generally find AAA batteries when you need
    them, but I find AAA cost just as much as AA for half the power. Just
    not worth it. AA is the perfect match for a small camera.

    So, I should have said this up front, sorry. AA is the only way as far
    as I can tell for the vast majority of us non professional users ... I
    just am trying to find the smallest camera that uses AA batteries
    (either two AA or four AA batteries).

    I'm ok with the camera not being the smallest camera out there ... I
    just want it to be the smallest 5MP or greater camera I can get for my
    Susan Roger, Jun 16, 2006
  20. Susan Roger

    Susan Roger Guest

    Hi Editor,

    I like the Canon PowerShot series cameras. I've used them for years
    myself. They take 4 AA batteries which last for about a half day of
    shooting when I'm on vacation (I use fill flash almsost all the time)
    using 2400 maH NiMH batteries. Consumer Reports found they don't get
    any more battery life (surprisingly) using 2100 or 2500 mah batteries.
    I use the Panasonic ones for less than $2 each in packs of about 15 at

    The only problem with the Canon PowerShot cameras is they are like
    little bricks. And the strap doesn't go around your neck so I find
    myself always dropping the camera. Wrist straps stink. I found myself
    designing a neck strap just so I could hang the Canon PowerShot on my
    neck. If it were smaller, the wrist strap would be OK. As it is, this
    little brick hands at an angle on my neck. Yuck. One thing in favor of
    the PowerShot series is easy controls on the brick ones (the ones that
    look like SLRs have the world's most complicated controls in my
    opinion). But I'm looking for a smaller one that doesn't look like an

    So, I knew about the Canons but I was hoping to find an AA battery
    camera that gives decent pictures that is smaller. I'll keep looking
    (I haven't finished reading all the posts yet).

    Susan Roger, Jun 16, 2006
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.