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09-11-2010, 05:41 AM   #556
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@rparmar

"increased device efficiency"
I think this one applies to both the AA and proprietary, so AA looses again.

Compatibility ... I need my batteries for my camera I don't carry an RC car with me to a photo shoot. Flash you say ... wouldn't that render your camera useless (taking the batteries out of the camera and putting them in your flash) ... oh more packs of AA batteries you say ... hmmm, those 4 bits seam to be getting 4 additional bits. BTW, I don't use flash.

Easier to manage ... hmmm, so you're saying managing 4 bits is easier than managing one bit ... that's odd.

More environmentally friendly ... I won't argue, because I honestly don't know which battery is environmentally more friendly and I actually don't give a damn because the "environmentally friendly" is just a trend these days.

And what's with all the "AAs are available everywhere" ... I'm yet to have that urge to just buy a set of proprietary batteries when I'm on the go - they usually just work and last longer than I need them to.

Cheaper products ... nonsense Eneloop batteries cost 15 EUR (a pack of 4) and are rated for 1000 cycles, the LI50 costs 35 EUR and you can probably get it cheaper and let me see ... four years of charging and discharging and it's still working great. And besides that if you take your Eneloops and the LI50 and use them for a year, take a wild guess which batteries you'll have to recharge more.

Long lasting and consistent ˆread

And yes I do have Eneloops for my compact bridge camera and they rock but the LI50 or LI90 for that matter rock even more. And the best thing, I only need two proprietary batteries for each camera.

09-11-2010, 05:57 AM   #557
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QuoteOriginally posted by vk4akp Quote
- Rechargeable AA's are convenient and available in most places.
True.
QuoteOriginally posted by vk4akp Quote
- You can keep an eye on individual AA cell capacities and match like cells together. Also know their performance and life expectancy.
How is this better than having a li-ion battery?
QuoteOriginally posted by vk4akp Quote
- AA's are cheaper.
Not true. Aftermarket K-7 batteries are dead cheap on ebay.
QuoteOriginally posted by vk4akp Quote
- LSD AA's maintain 75% of their charge for up to 12 months now.
Li-ions do not have any self-discharge whatsoever. Their capacity is reduced over time, but this has nothing to do with self-discharge.
QuoteOriginally posted by vk4akp Quote
- AA power densities have improved and are approaching Li-Ion's now.
So they're not better than li-ion in that area. How is this an advantage?
QuoteOriginally posted by vk4akp Quote
- Many chemistries exist to best suit the users needs in the same AA format. NiCad, NiMh, NiZn etc.
NiCad is antiquated, with lots of memory effect and a low capacity (and while we're on the subject, li-ions do not have any memory effect at all). Other than that, I don't see the advantage of having these choices, but I have to admit I'm unfamiliar with NiZn. So that might offer advantages to NiMH and maybe to li-ion.
QuoteOriginally posted by vk4akp Quote
- AA's are a standard format that can be used in many devices. Hence you can have batteries on standby for many devices not just one. Where Li-Ion packs are often custom sizes and different for every device.
True.
QuoteOriginally posted by vk4akp Quote
- Li-Ion chemistries only have a 2 year half shelf life. (By 2 years after the day they are manufactured they have lost at least half their capacity).
Their capacity is reduced over time, but it takes longer than you mention. I've had my Nokia E51 with li-ion battery for over two years and the battery still works fine.
QuoteOriginally posted by vk4akp Quote
- Li-Ion batteries are dangerous and prone to igniting under certain conditions. (Thermal Runaway). SEE: Warning: Exploding batteries | Networking - InfoWorld. Do you really want a device with that type of battery charging in your home or up against your face as you take pictures?
Then I must constantly live on the edge, using two cellphones, a laptop, an electric shaver, an electric toothbrush, and a K-7. It's a wonder I'm still alive!!!

Granted, some of your arguments are valid. Others are not. Now, let's talk about some of the disadvantages of AA batteries:
- They do not work well in cold environments. Early this year I took my K100D Super with a freshly charged spare set of batteries. Temperature was around 0C. After my first set ran out and switching to the spare set, I could maybe take 10-20 photos before they ran out. The next day I checked both sets again at home (ambient temp ~20C) and they worked perfectly.
- For optimal performance, you need to have a charger capable of charging each cell individually. Also, you need to match cells. And once every few cycles, discharge the batteries to prevent memory effect. I'd rather spend that time taking photos.
- They weigh more than NIMH cells. So your camera weighs more as well.
- There are more disadvantages, but I've already mentioned them in the comments on your post.

Last edited by starbase218; 09-11-2010 at 07:02 AM.
09-11-2010, 07:37 AM   #558
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Li-On are nice but each device requires its own charger. It would be nice if there was only a few Li-On battery type but each manufacturer have a different battery and often they have different types per camera model as well. That's why I'm bit disappointed by the new battery in the K-r, I hoped they would use the same model as K-7. It would have been easier to carry spares, and take only one charger while on vacation.

With AAs, I have one good charger (a La Crosse BC-900) and I can always have a spare set ready for any device which needs fresh batteries. I can share AAs from flashes (they all use AA BTW), camera, flashlights, wireless keyboard and mouse, wireless controllers, etc.

While on vacation it's also a hassle to bring all the different Li-On chargers. Fortunately this is alleviated now because many devices can charge with the same USB cable.
09-11-2010, 02:50 PM   #559
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QuoteOriginally posted by fejker Quote
Compatibility ... I need my batteries for my camera I don't carry an RC car with me to a photo shoot. Flash you say ... wouldn't that render your camera useless (taking the batteries out of the camera and putting them in your flash)
Yes, but in an emergency I can take the batteries out of my flash (which I use much less) and put them in my camera. How did you not think of that option? In a pinch I would much rather have a camera and no flash than no camera and a working flash.


QuoteOriginally posted by fejker Quote
Easier to manage ... hmmm, so you're saying managing 4 bits is easier than managing one bit ... that's odd.
No, read what I actually said: "you need only one charger, not a different one for every device. And only one pool of batteries (AA), not new ones all the time." Whether there are four units or one makes no difference to me.

QuoteOriginally posted by fejker Quote
More environmentally friendly ... I won't argue, because I honestly don't know which battery is environmentally more friendly and I actually don't give a damn because the "environmentally friendly" is just a trend these days.
Ignorance is bliss. But it's never a sound argument.

QuoteOriginally posted by fejker Quote
And what's with all the "AAs are available everywhere" ... I'm yet to have that urge to just buy a set of proprietary batteries when I'm on the go - they usually just work and last longer than I need them to.
Well, then you have more limited needs than others. Fine. But this is not a counter-argument for those who might be shooting in the Amazon basin or the middle of the Congo. Or even if you are downtown and find an unexpected political demonstration worth shooting for an hour. Batteries get low? Pop into a variety store and you are sorted. You can always find AA batteries, all ready for use. But you may not be able to find a place to plug in your Pentax charger. And you might not be able to afford the time.

QuoteOriginally posted by fejker Quote
Cheaper products ... nonsense Eneloop batteries cost 15 EUR (a pack of 4) and are rated for 1000 cycles, the LI50 costs 35 EUR and you can probably get it cheaper and let me see ... four years of charging and discharging and it's still working great.
If you are going to compare, please stick to the same criteria. What is the duty cycle of the LI50? Are those "cheaper" versions of the proprietary batteries as good? I know they aren't since I use them.

Maybe you have a crappy charger and are basing your statements on that. Buy one nice reconditioning charger and it will handle all your batteries forever, extending their life in the bargain. Whoops! Not the proprietary ones though!

As for cheaper, you are not factoring in the price of different rechargers. If you buy a new body that comes with one, you are paying the hidden price.

QuoteOriginally posted by fejker Quote
LI50 or LI90 for that matter rock even more. And the best thing, I only need two proprietary batteries for each camera.
Plus the proprietary chargers, proprietary cables and all sorts of other rubbish. My AAs run in my digital recorders (two models), MP3 player, K-x, flash, etc. etc. all without needing to keep track of which recharger does what and which type of batteries I have where. Just throw a handful of spare AAs in the bag before a trip. Or one charger. That's the wonder of standardisation.

Meanwhile, even over the course of a few years one needs different chargers for K10D, K-7 and whatever comes next. Not to mention all the other devices. That's just silly.

Conclusion: I recognise there are arguments for and against AA batteries and don't get too hung up on which I have. But I know what I prefer and I'm glad Pentax recognises this with the K-r. Though the fact that the adapter is not included rather ruins the whole feature.

09-11-2010, 03:14 PM   #560
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As I said, I'm able to shoot for a lot longer with just two LI90s than I am with two packs of 4 Eneloop batteries. And I think my old Fuji uses less juice than the K-7. I'm yet to get caught out of juice with the K-7 ... hasn't happened to me yet, the same goes for the K10D. Before an important shoot I usually recharge my batteries even if they're not empty. Otherwise I don't worry about how much battery power I have left.
Please tell me why does it make a difference (AA vs Li-Ion) if you're shooting in the middle of the jungle - are there shops with charged AAs there? I know I'd rather carry four proprietary packs with me than 16 AAs.

But I guess you just need AAs and I don't. Well at least not as much as you. Besides if the grip on the K-5 is the same as on the K-7, then I don's see a problem for you and your superior AAs.
09-11-2010, 05:29 PM   #561
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QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote
Compared to this, the one and only advantage of a proprietary battery is that it can be made smaller and lighter than a set of AAs. Yes, they can also deliver more Watt hours, but with increased device efficiency I think that benefit is a thing of the past.
Li-ion batteries are also far quicker and easier to change (try changing four or six AA batteries in the dark, with the camera hanging around your neck, no flashlight, and nowhere to set anything down, remembering to put each battery in with the correct orientation.) LiIon is also either significantly lighter, or conversely has significantly higher charge for identical weight.

Fact of the matter is, preference for either type is down pretty much entirely to personal preference. Both types have an array of advantages and disadvantages. It's nice that Pentax gives users a choice, something most other manufacturers don't do.
09-11-2010, 05:46 PM   #562
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QuoteOriginally posted by fejker Quote
Please tell me why does it make a difference (AA vs Li-Ion) if you're shooting in the middle of the jungle - are there shops with charged AAs there?
Yes, generally, though I guess it depends on which jungle.

That's the thing about AAs. You can find single-use charged batteries for emergencies.

Though I have never been in a jungle, I was once caught in the other test case I mentioned. I ran into an unexpected street event that took more than one set of batteries to document. I simply walked to the nearest shop and bought some AAs. If I'd had my K20D instead of my K100DS then maybe the battery would have lasted longer. Or maybe, without any alternative to hand, I would have been caught out and missed the shoot.


09-11-2010, 05:55 PM   #563
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QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote
If I'd had my K20D instead of my K100DS then maybe the battery would have lasted longer. Or maybe, without any alternative to hand, I would have been caught out and missed the shoot.
First rules of the street... don't leave home without ample card space and power.
I usually grab a grip wich holds an extra 16GB card and a battery. But even so... I keep a few spares(batt) in the dash of my vehicle.
Though... since we can get well over 32GB of RAW images on a single battery, and really think were in good hands with respect to power on the K20D.

PS. I've found the packs to fit nicely in a front pant pocket too, being so compact and light.

09-11-2010, 07:59 PM   #564
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QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote
Yes, generally, though I guess it depends on which jungle.

That's the thing about AAs. You can find single-use charged batteries for emergencies.

Though I have never been in a jungle, I was once caught in the other test case I mentioned. I ran into an unexpected street event that took more than one set of batteries to document. I simply walked to the nearest shop and bought some AAs. If I'd had my K20D instead of my K100DS then maybe the battery would have lasted longer. Or maybe, without any alternative to hand, I would have been caught out and missed the shoot.

This kind of case is enough for me to own the battery grip for my K-7, and keep it to hand with the AA battery tray -- and it has indeed helped me out once or twice already in the last year. It's not enough of a reason for me to prefer the disadvantages of AAs over lithium ion as a primary battery, however. I like the ability to use AAs in a pinch, and lithium ion for daily convenience. I think I'd like the K-r body for the same reason. I've shot with the K-x, and I don't think I could've lived with AA power only, though.
09-11-2010, 10:09 PM   #565
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AA's: my current Pentax DSLRs, my flashes old and new, my LED torches, my wall clocks... one standard battery and charger (rechargable Eneloop NiMh) to serve them all.

Lithiums: different batteries to serve my P&S (NP-50), and my full HD videocam (BN-VF808U), and my old SD videocam (CGR-V610), plus completely different charging adapters too for each device.

Hmmm. And in a few years where will I get new batteries for those weird proprietary Lithium formats too?
09-11-2010, 11:05 PM   #566
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QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote
AA's: my current Pentax DSLRs, my flashes old and new, my LED torches, my wall clocks... one standard battery and charger (rechargable Eneloop NiMh) to serve them all.

Lithiums: different batteries to serve my P&S (NP-50), and my full HD videocam (BN-VF808U), and my old SD videocam (CGR-V610), plus completely different charging adapters too for each device.

Hmmm. And in a few years where will I get new batteries for those weird proprietary Lithium formats too?
AA's for me -- a few kids' toys on which rechargeables would be wasted, my Pentax flash strobe (Eneloops), and my Pentax battery grip (Eneloops if need be). If the proprietary formats become completely unavailable in the future, the battery grip still has me covered, so I'm good.
09-13-2010, 03:37 AM   #567
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Yea, It's just a shame really.

Pentax never seems to get the mix right.

I'm a K200D owner looking for an upgrade path.

I'd buy a Pentax K-r if it were weather sealed.
Although I really wish they hadn't of made the AA's option require a holder / cartridge.

Or

I'd buy a K-5 if it took AA's in the main body as standard.

I'd buy a PENTAX DA L 35mm F2.4 AL if it at least had the Quick Shift Focus.
But would also have preferred it to have weather sealing as well.

No quick shift focus and I might as well just buy a Sigma lens.

And why weather seal the 50-200mm when people really want the longer reach of the 55-300mm? And the worst part is the competitors offer the bigger 300mm lens in kits so Pentax really isn't keeping up with basic things in some ways.

In my mind Pentax just isn't doing enough market research when designing new products.

Another side point is that there are already AA sized Li-Ion cells!.
Why not just use those and detect the voltage difference. ??
Some LED Torch manufacturers are already doing just that!. Creating devices that will take any AA cell in any chemistry including Li-Ion!
Then every ones happy!.

.-.-.
09-13-2010, 06:26 AM   #568
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Nitpicking about batteries? o_O
09-13-2010, 06:41 AM   #569
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QuoteOriginally posted by asdf Quote
Nitpicking about batteries? o_O
Yep. 4 Sure!

Lets face it. What made me choose a Pentax DSLR?

AA Batteries and lens backwards compatibility!.

Otherwise, if I'm stuck with Li-Ion, I might as well buy a Nikon. !

.-.-.
09-13-2010, 12:06 PM   #570
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QuoteOriginally posted by vk4akp Quote
Although I really wish they hadn't of made the AA's option require a holder / cartridge.
I'm honestly curious... what's the disadvantage of the cartridge? It brings a significant benefit with it in also allowing use of a lighter, higher charge density lithium ion battery.

The only downside I can think of for anybody who shoots exclusively AAs is a tiny addition in weight -- but it's little enough that I'd be surprised if anybody could even tell the difference between a K-r with lens and batteries plus cartridge, and a K-r with lens and batteries only, by weight alone. Plus frankly, if you were that sensitive to weight, you wouldn't be shooting AAs in the first place -- a set of Eneloop AAs (the most popular choice) by itself likely weighs more than the AA cartridge and a li-ion rechargeable of greater charge density would together.

There's actually another advantage, in that the cartridge could make swapping batteries out quicker for a K-r owner who shot exclusively AAs. Just buy 2-3 cartridges, and load them with batteries immediately after charging, then store the loaded cartridges in your camera bag. Now swapping batteries takes half the time, with no need to fiddle about in the dark checking which way around each individual cell is.

I really see no noticeable disadvantage to this design for die-hard AA shooters, and a significant advantage for the rest of Pentax's customers.

Everybody complaining might want to take a second to step back, and consider the fact that Pentax is the only DSLR manufacturer that even provides for in-body AA capability any more, and indeed that has been the case for multiple years now. Talk about biting the hand that feeds you!
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