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05-18-2011, 02:56 AM   #1
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Extra Batteries or some type of charger for extended wilderness trip???

Hi all,

I will be on a remote atoll without electricity for a few weeks with two K-7s. I will be shooting a lot so won't get by on a battery in each camera. Is my best bet to buy a bunch of extra batteries or is there any cool solar type lithium ion battery charging device that might have more sense than a heap of batteries?

Thanks! -LE

05-18-2011, 03:43 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Loren E Quote
Hi all,

I will be on a remote atoll without electricity for a few weeks with two K-7s. I will be shooting a lot so won't get by on a battery in each camera. Is my best bet to buy a bunch of extra batteries or is there any cool solar type lithium ion battery charging device that might have more sense than a heap of batteries?

Thanks! -LE
My suggestion is to go with extra batteries. The after market batteries are pretty good and only cost about $10/each on eBay. Each battery can easily give you 500-600 shots.

Problem with solar charger is there is always risk of not having access to the sun.

Perhaps the safest bet is to have extra batteries and a solar charger

Have a look here for some types of solar chargers Portable Solar Battery Charger Solar Cell Phone Charger Wholesale - ESPOW

I never tried any of those but you can always base on the user reviews to make your final decision.

Good luck!

Last edited by ducdao; 05-18-2011 at 03:49 AM.
05-18-2011, 10:59 PM   #3
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3rd party VS proprietary batteries

is there any difference in performance between them?
05-18-2011, 11:28 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Loren E Quote
is there any difference in performance between them?
I don't have the K7 so I can't tell but I've been using generic batteries (4 in total, all from Phottix) for my K10D/K20D for over two years and don't see any issues with them. Performance wise, they seem to hold similar charge or a bit less than the OEM ones.

05-19-2011, 07:55 AM   #5
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Did you think about a grip and use AA batteries? Eneloops or that type?
1W Solar Battery Charger 4 pc AA/AAA GREEN POWER | eBay
05-19-2011, 08:12 AM   #6
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I'd get a cheap 3rd-party grip, 2 sets of eneloops, that solar charger and also pick up about a ton of AA non-rechargables. (You could get these when you're closer to the final destination if, like me, you always just barely scrape into your airline baggage allowance even without them.)
05-20-2011, 08:27 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Loren E Quote
Hi all,

I will be on a remote atoll without electricity for a few weeks with two K-7s. I will be shooting a lot so won't get by on a battery in each camera. Is my best bet to buy a bunch of extra batteries or is there any cool solar type lithium ion battery charging device that might have more sense than a heap of batteries?

Thanks! -LE
I think you'd be much better off with extra batteries. You don't want to be saddled down each day waiting for batteries to charge, i don't imagine. Just to test, see how long one of your batteries lasts in normal usage now. How many days can you get out of it. Just be aware some of the 3rd party batteries don't last as long as the real Pentax brand.

05-20-2011, 08:41 AM   #8
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My K7 came with two pentax batteries and one generic one and I haven't noticed a difference between the two (unfortunately the generic battery does not have a manufacturer name on it). I always pack extra AA's with the grip if I'm concerned about having enough juice for the day.
05-20-2011, 08:47 AM   #9
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+1 on the third party batteries, a grip might also be good to have as it can take aa as well, but i would put the money in the 3rd party batteries as you could get quite a number just for the price of a third party grip. as for solar chargers you'll need a car charger as well as the original charger can't be adapted to the various solar chargers being an ac unit.
if you hunt you'll find batteries on ebay as low as $7 including shipping, car chargers for about the same.
05-20-2011, 10:26 AM   #10
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The nice thing about AA batteries is that they're also good for other things that are necessary or nice to have in the wilds - torches, a radio, etc.
05-20-2011, 10:36 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by timh Quote
The nice thing about AA batteries is that they're also good for other things that are necessary or nice to have in the wilds - torches, a radio, etc.
there is value in that but only if you want a grip (Price of which alone will buy about 8 spare batteries in this case - not taking into account the cost of enloops etc)
05-21-2011, 08:36 AM   #12
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Third party battery is a better idea as long as they hold the charge 'coz it won't be a problem for the first batteries that you would use, but what about the last ones?
If they don't hold too good of a charge, then the last batteires you would use might have also run out of juice when you need them.
New batteries, specially third party ones hold more charge when charged a couple of times or have already been used/cycled a couple of times.
If they are new, they usually don't hold that much charge yet.
It's something like, they need to be exercised..at least that is what I have experienced from the rechargeable batteries I have used whatever they me be (AA, Li Ions, Celphone batts..etc).
05-22-2011, 03:49 PM   #13
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I don't know folks... if I was going to spend a few weeks photographing paradise, the last thing I would want to worry about is a sack of AA batteries.

I'm assuming that the bulk of shooting will be done with available light and not internal flash. This means one fully charged battery should provide at least 500+ photos. I'd personally take 8-12 fully charged Pentax batteries (topped off as of the night before getting on the boat), a Pentax battery car charger (3rd parties have them) and an appropriate solar charging unit that can juice up the 12V battery charger.

This way you will have at least 7 days before you have to worry about running out of batteries and also gives you enough time to recharge dead batteries.

Think of it like the days of film... you could only carry so much before you just had to think about every shot. :-)
05-23-2011, 11:00 AM   #14
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Most car chargers aren't going to take kindly to being run directly off of a solar cell.

So what you might want to do:
Mid-small size solar panel. Probably at least 5W. Being on a tropical atoll, lack of sun shouldn't be much of a problem.
Small 12v SLA battery for charging from the solar panel. Transporting this by air could be problematic
Car chargers for your other battery types to top off your other batteries from the SLA.

Edit: By any chance, will you have access to a motor vehicle in these remote locations? You may just need car chargers for your batteries...
05-23-2011, 08:22 PM   #15
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Actually it's not direct at all. I'm not referring to solar panels but to a portable solar charger. These units have an internal battery which you can charge using the sun or an outlet. Once charged, you can plug cellphones, cameras, and even laptops (given the appropriate energy storage capacity). And some claim 16,000mAh or more, plenty of juice for large devices.

You would just need to find one with a 12v car plug option or rig a cable yourself.
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