Why can't you plug a digicam into the wall to charge the batteries?

Discussion in 'Digital Cameras' started by void, Oct 25, 2004.

  1. void

    void Guest

    You don't need a separate charger to charge a cellphone battery. You just
    attach an AC adapter to the phone and plug it into the wall.

    So why can't you do that for digital cameras?
    void, Oct 25, 2004
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  2. void

    chidalgo Guest

    You do need a charger to charge a cellphone battery! the only diference
    with a digicam battery is the relative position of it.
    Don't get your point.
    chidalgo, Oct 25, 2004
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  3. void

    Matt Ion Guest

    In some cases...
    Some can. All depends on the design.
    Matt Ion, Oct 25, 2004
  4. I think the OP's point is more like "why can't you charge digicam betteries
    while they are still in the camera?". Like you do with a cellphone. Instead of
    having to take them out and put them in a charger.

    Chris Pollard

    CG Internet café, Tagum City, Philippines
    Christopher Pollard, Oct 25, 2004
  5. void

    Matt Ion Guest

    Some you can.

    My dad's Kodak camera will take two AAs. It will also take a
    rechargeable pack that charges when the camera is on its optional dock
    (the pack is included with the dock).

    There are numerous variations on the theme...
    Matt Ion, Oct 25, 2004
  6. void

    chidalgo Guest

    Christopher Pollard escribio:
    One possible explanation is that some consumer digicams, they use
    normal AA's batteries, and you already have the charger (using the
    batteries for some others things, like a remote, a portable radio,
    flashlights, whatever), so the photo companies design the digicam as
    digicams and not as chargers :) In the case of cellphones, usually the
    battery is particular to a cellphone model, and you usually don't use
    the cellphone battery for others uses (or do you? ;-) ).

    In the case of pro-digicams, i need at least 2 or more packs of
    batteries ready to use, and at the same time need the camera in my hand
    to shoot. I can't afford to use the digicam as a charger, so i really
    need a external charger.

    That's my theory. Take it or dump it :)
    chidalgo, Oct 25, 2004
  7. void

    T-Rex Guest

    The size matters. Nobody wants to carry a camera with a built-in AC-DC
    T-Rex, Oct 25, 2004
  8. If it's designed that way. I have at least one old analog cellphone
    that has no external power input on the phone, and can't charge
    batteries. To use this phone from auto DC power, you remove the battery
    and attach a "battery surrogate" with a cigarette lighter plug instead.
    The batteries are charged off the phone.
    You can, if you buy the right camera. For example, the Canon G series
    cameras have internal charging circuits, and external AC power supplies.
    You plug the power supply into the camera, and it will either charge the
    battery (camera turned off) or power the camera.

    But there are pros and cons to this. On the good side, the camera comes
    with an AC adapter - there's nothing extra to buy to run from AC. On
    the negative side, you can't be charging one battery while shooting with
    another one, unless you buy a separate charger. Some other Canon
    cameras (e.g. S500) come with a separate external battery charger.

    Dave Martindale, Oct 25, 2004
  9. void

    Justin Thyme Guest

    Some can - for example many Sony's and HP cameras do charge in camera. Also
    a few cameras from Fuji, Casio and some others also charge in camera. It is
    available as an option on many Kodak and Fuji cameras.
    Personally, I think in-camera charging would be a big PIA. If I bought a
    camera that had in-camera charging, it would need to have a huge capacity,
    because I normally have spare charged batteries on me. With out-of-camera
    charging, I can be using one battery while charging another. It is also easy
    to charge multiple spare batteries to have on hand. In-camera charging
    would be ok for light users, but when a manufacturer makes their camera to
    have in-camera charging, they are effectively blocking themselves out from
    heavy users.
    Most cameras that use AA's require you to buy a charger seperately, while
    most cameras that use LiIon batteries come standard with an external
    charger. Both systems allow you to have spare batteries on hand.
    Justin Thyme, Oct 25, 2004
  10. void

    GT40 Guest

    So you can swap in good ones and keep take photos.
    GT40, Oct 25, 2004
  11. void

    Glenn Jacobs Guest

    There is another reason. If 120 volts goes directly into the camera, the
    entire camara needs to be UL approved. If 48 voltsd or less goes into the
    camera only the adapter needs to be UL approved. This is one reason that
    so many devices use the external adapter these days.
    Glenn Jacobs, Oct 25, 2004
  12. void

    Andy Turner Guest

    The latter situation means that you can still use the camera whilst
    charging your spare battery. I certainly prefer things to work that
    way. The only bummer is when the external charger is also the docking
    station and you have to take that whole thing on holiday - or buy a
    third party alternative.

    Andy Turner, Oct 25, 2004
  13. void

    chidalgo Guest

    Tim escribio:

    Which camera, and which cellphone???
    chidalgo, Oct 25, 2004
  14. void

    bob Guest

    My minidisc recorder is the size of a very small digicam. It runs off a
    single AA battery, and I can charge it by pluggin in the 3v wall wart.

    Power consumption in MD recorders is amazing. They can record for hours
    from a single AA cell. MD is a MO technology, so you're using a laser the
    whole time.

    bob, Oct 26, 2004
  15. void

    George Guest

    A few reasons:
    1) power circuits tend to take up a fair amount of space...why make the
    camera unnecessarily
    large to save $25-30?
    2) power circuits generate heat
    3) and the number one reason (I'll bet) is who would want to tie up their
    camera for battery
    charging to save $25-30? I wouldn't buy such a camera...I'd want to be able
    to buy extra
    batteries and have them charging while I am shooting.
    George, Oct 26, 2004
  16. void

    Hunt Guest

    You can. I do it with my Canon DV camera all the time. Just make sure you have
    a camera that allows you to do this, otherwise expect the ConEd crew to stop
    by to restore your power, or plan on going to a camera repair shop.

    Hunt, Oct 26, 2004
  17. void

    bob Guest

    Have you ever seen a minidisc recorder? Very compact. Much smaller than
    most cameras. The heat doesn't seem to be an issue for them. Since this
    has been a standard feature of cell phones and MD gear for many years I
    doubt the circuitry adds much to the cost. Some MD players are in the
    $100 range.

    I don't have a strong preference one way or the other, but if my camera
    had a built in ability to charge the batteries, then I could carry less
    stuff when I travel. I don't usually shoot while I sleep.

    Since my camera doesn't have that ability, I need to carry my 1 hour
    charger, and schedule enough time to switch the batteries (6 cells but a
    4 cell charger.)

    I manage just fine, but the other would be handy.


    bob, Oct 26, 2004
  18. void

    Ken Tough Guest

    They use little power in operating, and thus need much less energy
    to charge their cells, and thus have to lose much less heat during
    the charging process. Compare the Ah of your average camera's
    battery to that of the mini-disc. Even the best has 4x the cell
    Ken Tough, Oct 26, 2004
  19. void

    bob Guest

    I'm not sure I understand. The Ah of each AA cell is 2100mAh. The MD
    recorder takes one. My friends Coolpix takes two. My Coolpix takes six.
    Granted six is a lot more than one, and I wouldn't really expect my camera
    to charge cells because of the wide extreem of power options, but what
    about his two cell camera? The cell itself doesn't care how much power the
    device drains -- it takes the same [current, time, voltage solution] to
    charge it back up.

    Regardless of that, I still think it's cool that they figgured a way to run
    a laser, a motor, and a pair of (itty bitty) speakers for 8 hours off a
    single AA cell.

    bob, Oct 27, 2004
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