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12-27-2012, 08:34 AM   #1
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Should I have AA batteries as backup?

I would be travelling soon and I wish to purchase additional AA batteries as a back up for my lithium ion battery.

Would I be better off purchasing a second lithium ion battery?

If not, do AA batteries provide more battery life? Which brand would you recommend?

Thank you.

12-27-2012, 08:52 AM   #2
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You have a K-r which means you'll need an adapter to use AAs. I use Eneloops in my K-x and did in my K-r when I owned one. They have given me 600+ shots per set and often many more. It all depends on how you use your camera. Do a search for Eneloops here and you'll see lots of posts about how well they work.
12-27-2012, 08:56 AM   #3
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The Li-ion battery should be at least as durable as the best of AA rechargeables, but lithium (non-rechargeable) AAs would probably last longer.
THe Li-ion battery is easier to take out and reinsert, and you'd only need the one charger, unless you were bringing AAs anyway for an external flash unit or otherwise.

Last edited by Ash; 12-27-2012 at 11:22 AM.
12-27-2012, 09:22 AM   #4
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If you were thinking about alkaline AAs, they really are only good for emergencies. They can't compare to the Li-ion, Eneloop rechargeable AAs, or lithium non-rechargeables. I usually leave the Li-ion at home when I travel, and just take rechargeable AAs and a charger, since all my gear can use the same batteries and I can get alkaline AAs almost anywhere in a pinch. Speaking from experience, generic gift-shop AAs are overpriced and underpowered, but they're better than walking around with a dead battery.

12-27-2012, 09:25 AM   #5
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I think AAs would be a great backup when travelling. The camera lithiums are convenient, but actually charging them is not always so!! If you're on the move then you need to find the place and time for charging. The AA's will always be there ready for when you really need them.

Duracell 2100 or 2600 should be very reliable - the usual advice in camera manuals is to always use new ones, and don't mix up partly used ones with unused, as they discharge faster when mixed up.

The battery grip for the newer DSLRs (BG-4 I think) is brilliantly flexible with its 2nd Lithium ion slot plus 6 AAs - the camera provides an auto-switch option or you can choose in the camera menu whether to use the camera battery first or the AAs first - guess it could be critical if you know how long you have to wait before you get to a plug again!
12-27-2012, 10:18 AM   #6
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Thank you everyone for the advice.

I currently use the KR so the battery grip is not really an option.

I guess I'll drop by the store later to get some Eneloops. Sucks that I need to purchase an additional battery adapter!
12-27-2012, 10:43 AM   #7
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I guess Pentax's thinking was that most people would just use the Li-ion (probably true). If you have the time to wait for shipping, you can get a US$10 adapter from China via (that big auction site) that looks just like the official Pentax one. Some of the sellers in Hong Kong might be able to get it to you in a week or so. I think I paid $6 for mine, and had in in less than two weeks.

Edit: I should add - the same clip works in the K-r or K-30, if you decide to upgrade down the road.
12-27-2012, 10:45 AM   #8
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Luckily for me there's a shop where I live that stocks 3rd party adapters!

I wonder if pentax could have made the KR (and K30?) smaller if they had not made the AA battery an option.

12-27-2012, 10:49 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by iceshiel Quote
Luckily for me there's a shop where I live that stocks 3rd party adapters!

I wonder if pentax could have made the KR (and K30?) smaller if they had not made the AA battery an option.
Not really. If you look at the grip the size is, in part, determined by functioning effectively to give you good control of the camera. That meant that whatever battery they used they still had to make the grip at least a certain size. I think it was great of them to make the AAs an option - particularly given that there is no grip available for the K-r or K-30.
12-27-2012, 11:00 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by iceshiel Quote
Luckily for me there's a shop where I live that stocks 3rd party adapters!

I wonder if pentax could have made the KR (and K30?) smaller if they had not made the AA battery an option.
You are lucky!

They might have been able to squeeze a couple mm off the width, but the K-r is only 2.5mm wider than the K-m/K-x, and it also has a larger LCD. Like Doc said, I think they made a conscious decision to make the K-30 wider (another 3.5mm) for handling. The K-5 doesn't have an AA option, and is wider still (but it uses a slightly larger battery).
12-27-2012, 11:05 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by THoog Quote
You are lucky!

They might have been able to squeeze a couple mm off the width, but the K-r is only 2.5mm wider than the K-m/K-x, and it also has a larger LCD. Like Doc said, I think they made a conscious decision to make the K-30 wider (another 3.5mm) for handling. The K-5 doesn't have an AA option, and is wider still (but it uses a slightly larger battery).
The K-30 has had many comments about the change in the grip around the net. Some love it and others find it more difficult than the K-5/K-x series of frames. In any case, Pentax folks have said specifically that it was done to enhance control of the camera with 1 hand.
12-27-2012, 11:30 AM   #12
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I do wish Pentax had bundled the clip with the K-30. Even if it cost a couple bucks more, support for either battery is a good selling point that isn't quite as good when you add "sold separately". When I bought my K-30, the sales person admitted I knew more about the camera than she did, and was disappointed that the clip wasn't included - she wanted to see what it looked like. I had one out in the car, but running out to get it would have been pushing my fanboy limits.
12-27-2012, 11:40 AM   #13
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Yes having batteries are good as a back up. I use the eneloops and they last for 600-1000 shots. In fact I pretty much exclusively use the eneloops because they far out match the original camera battery.
12-27-2012, 04:55 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by THoog Quote
I do wish Pentax had bundled the clip with the K-30. Even if it cost a couple bucks more, support for either battery is a good selling point that isn't quite as good when you add "sold separately". When I bought my K-30, the sales person admitted I knew more about the camera than she did, and was disappointed that the clip wasn't included - she wanted to see what it looked like. I had one out in the car, but running out to get it would have been pushing my fanboy limits.
What I can't believe is that you left it in the car!
12-27-2012, 05:48 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Docrwm Quote
What I can't believe is that you left it in the car!
It was in my K-r.
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