Camera batteries

About to take off for Europe once again. As usual taking my excellent little Canon PowerShot SX100 IS point and shoot camera which I have used with very good picture taking results for quite a few years. Problem is that it "eats" batteries like mad. Thinking about going the rechargeable battery route this time but need to know more about it. Initial research shows the Sanyo Eneloops might be a good selection. How many batteries/what brand do I need to take for a 2+ week vacation? What kind of charger works the best? How long does it take to recharge the batteries? Is there a charger that works on the European current? I know quite a bit about European travel. I know very LITTLE about rechargeable batteries. Thoughts/comments GREATLY appreciated. Many thanks in advance.

Posted by Harold
New York, NY, USA
4737 posts

If your camera takes AA batteries, as a post above indicates, look into getting lithium batteries. They last MUCH longer than rechargeables, and are easier than schlepping a charger and several sets of batteries you have to keep charging. If you do buy rechargeable batteries and a charger, make sure it's dual voltage. On the charger, it must say "100-240 volts" AND "50-60 Hz". If it does, you only need a plug adapter in Europe.

Posted by Michael
Des Moines, IA
2193 posts

On my first trip with a small digital Nikon, I learned very quickly in London that cheap alkaline AAs, like Ever Ready were good for 1 or 2 photos tops (no joke). I was shocked. Anyway, I bought a pack of 4 plain old Duracell AAs in a convenience store near Trafalgar Square, and that's all I needed for two weeks. Problem solved. Since then, I've used nothing but regular Duracell or Energizer and I always take several back-ups. I'm pretty sure I've never gone through more than 4 batteries. I wouldn't want to jack around with rechargeables...maybe try the lithiums out before you go if a regular Duracell or Energizer won't work. What type of batteries were you using before?

Posted by Susan
Columbus, USA
95 posts

I find that if my flash is on it eats through batteries. So that might also be a solution. I also 3rd or4th the lithium batteries. They last alot longer than normal ones.

Posted by Ellen
Centennial, CO, USA
1500 posts

I found that Lithium batteries are the best. Used the rechargeable, not impressed. It does take 3-6 hours to charge them, so over night probably easiest. The cost of the Lithium was totally worth it when I had a camera that used "regular" batteries. My Canon cameras now come with a product specific I bought a back up battery to keep charged and with me at all times. Nothing like running out of power when you are ready for one more shot! Pay a bit more for the Lithium and I think you will be happier than with the rechargeable....less stuff to bring as need for the charger.

Posted by gone
2081 posts

hi, when new, did the origianl batteries last longer? if so, i would stick with them. Also, Lithium batteries last longer. If your camera uses Off The Shelf (OTS) batteries like AA, AAA or..., imo, i would buy them unless you can find some decent rechargables. When it comes to things like whats the best, i let google be my guide and look for reviews on different brands. sometimes you can find reviews where someone has done some real testing to see how long the batteries will hold a charge and last. For What Its Worth (FWIW), on my two (2) cameras i take on my trip, i bought a second unit to keep charged and carry with me. I just use the original charger that came with the camera. Also, i had no problem keeping at least one good batter in my camera and the other on the charger at night. Worse case i would have to use the other camera until the batteries were charged. regards to can you use the charges over there, you will have to read the label on the charger. It should say - 110/220 and if it does then your Good To GO (GTG) and then all you would need is an ADAPTER. The ADAPTER allows you to use the USA type wll plugs in a European wall outleets. there is no voltage difference in the ADAPTER edit to add: found out your camera uses AA batteries. If you cant find any review on rechagables, look for some lithium to buy and try. By The Way (btw) when i was researching my 2 cameras, i discovere that most of the cameras that used AA battiers were power hogs. happy trails.

Posted by Monte
Genesee, ID
1708 posts

If you decide to use rechargeable batteries give tham a good test before traveling. I had a nice camera that used AA bateries and decided to use rechargeables. I got three sets, charged them up, and went to India. They were all discharged in the week I was using the set in the camera. I threw them away and bought some alkaline AAs for the rest of the trip.

Posted by Sam
Green Bay
4465 posts

My wife has a Canon Powershot digital 1000. It uses rechargeable batteries. She keeps 2 batteries, so one is recharging or carried as a spare while the other is used in the camera. All we need is a plug adapter because the charger accepts 100-250 Volt, 50/60 Hz (pretty much standard nowadays for everything electronic). Works great.

Posted by Sam
Green Bay
4465 posts

For rechargeable AA and AAA batteries, we use North Tech. Takes 34 minutes to charge 2 AAA and twice as long for 4 batteries. I get yelled at if I leave em in too long.

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
21467 posts

richard, As I recall, the Canon SX100-IS uses two AA batteries. IMHO, your best option will be to use rechargeable batteries rather than alkaline. One of the reasons that digital cameras are often only to get a few shots when using alkaline batteries, is that the discharge curve is different than for rechargeable batteries. That "fools" the camera into giving a "low voltage" indication, even though there may be lots of power remaining in the battery. One option to consider is Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) batteries such as these: I've never heard of that brand, but if B&H Photo is stocking them, they must be reliable. The Charger with that product is rated for 100-240 VAC operation, but you would of course need a Plug Adaptor. One of the most important factors in choosing a rechargeable battery is the Millamp Hour (mAH) rating, which is an indicator of the amount of energy that can be stored. For rechargeable AA batteries, anything above 2300 mAH will be good. Some NiMH batteries have a high self-discharge rate (ie: they run down even if sitting in a drawer), so it's a good idea to top-up the charge if you're going to be out shooting for the day. The product above appears to include four batteries, but you could always buy another two, just to be sure that you have power when you need it. Happy travels!

Posted by Jerry
Lansing, MI
21 posts

Another place to check is for batteries and chargers. Like other people said make it is dual voltage. I took my battery charger that wasn't dual voltage on my first trip to Europe and brought a voltage converter. Guess I got the wrong kind and it just burned out the charger. So my rechargable batteries were no good after they were used up. Carry a backup set of lithium batteries just in case.

Posted by Bets
2794 posts

My husband carries two sets of rechargeable batteries and a charger. He bought a charger in France for 8 euros and a second in Belgium for 12 euros when he forgot his first one in the States one year. They're very easy to find. He plugs one set of batteries in every evening, so everything is good to go in the morning.

Posted by Nancy
Bloomington, IL, USA
8335 posts

After being disappointed by rechargeables, I turned to lithiums and I have used nothing else ever since. Two sets got me through three weeks in China. I think it's easier to carry a couple extra sets rather than deal with the unpredictable charge length of rechargeables, their expense, and the need to be able to charge them constantly.

Posted by Thomas
Snyder, Texas
504 posts

I would concur with using lithium batteries. They don't take up much space, and each battery will last longer than a rechargeable. And just for information I have a new Canon 60D SLR that I have used on one trip. It has the rechargeable camera type battery that comes in most cameras now. Using the highest resolution and no flash, I can shoot about 1500 pictures and quite a few videos before having to recharge.

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
21467 posts

Just to clarify, the Lithium batteries that Nancy mentioned are likely the non-rechargeable (disposable) type, while the Lithium batteries that Thomas mentioned are the proprietary LP-E6 Lithium-Ion rechargeable batteries that are supplied with Canon 60D DSLR's (my 7D and other Canon models use the same battery). As I recall, the genuine Canon LP-E6 batteries are equipped with a "chip" which allows the battery to "communicate" power level and other parameters to the Camera. Generic batteries may not have this feature. Cheers!

Posted by richard
Des Plaines, IL, US
89 posts

To all of you above who have taken the time to reply I just want to express my most sincere thanks to all of you. Your opinions/advice has been most helpful. Richard