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07-02-2007, 02:16 PM   #1
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Troublesome proprietary batteries in remote places

About a year from now I'll be going on an expedition where we'll spend two or three weeks on locations far far from civilization. I was thinking of upgrading to a K10D for that trip, but I have second thoughts regarding battery as there will be no place to recharge it. The only way around this problem that I can think of is getting some Pentax batteries just for the trip and (hopefully) sell them afterwards. Any other ideas or perhaps even experience?
I know Nikon has a battery cartridge for CR3 batteries.

07-02-2007, 02:25 PM   #2
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Stick with the DS

I would stick with the DS for this trip. You can take loads of batteries with you and not worry about recharging. Also take a manual film camera with you, Someting like a MX that does not rely on batteries for the shutter to fire. You dont want to be hundreds of miles from civilisation with bountiful photo-oportunities and find your digital camera has gone on the blink.
07-02-2007, 02:26 PM   #3
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Or do as I did. Get a bunch of Minolta NP400 batteries (made for the Minolta 5D). They are identical to the K10D batteries and cheaper.
07-02-2007, 02:42 PM   #4
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You could use a 12 volt solar power supply to recharge the batteries. Purchase a charger for the Pentax battery that draws power from a vehicle's 12v electrical outlet (the cigarette lighter). You then plug this charger into the 12v solar power supply. If you shop around, you should be able to find a 12v solar power supply for less than $50.

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07-02-2007, 03:21 PM   #5
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I say take the DS. For one thing, it's lighter than the K10D by a fair bit, ... and that's before you even consider how easy it is to get (and store) AA batteries. I'd take the K10D (and buy additional batteries) only if there was a particular feature (weatherproof, dust-reduction) that was going to come in particularly handy.
07-02-2007, 06:10 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Matjazz Quote
About a year from now I'll be going on an expedition where we'll spend two or three weeks on locations far far from civilization.
I'm going to take you literally, and assume that you're going to be hiking and camping, so you truly won't be anywhere near a power source. In that case, if it were me, as I already HAVE a K10D, I think I'd just buy a couple more batteries. I have two now; I think I'd feel pretty confident that the camera would shoot for weeks if I had four. The battery life on the K10D seems to me quite good. I'm pretty sure I am able to get through a full week - actually, much more than that - on a single battery. Of course, if you're using flash, zooming a lot, shooting more pictures than I usually shoot, etc., your mileage may vary.


QuoteQuote:
I was thinking of upgrading to a K10D for that trip, but I have second thoughts regarding battery as there will be no place to recharge it. The only way around this problem that I can think of is getting some Pentax batteries just for the trip and (hopefully) sell them afterwards. Any other ideas or perhaps even experience? I know Nikon has a battery cartridge for CR3 batteries.
I don't think I personally would use this little problem as a reason NOT to get a K10D. I'm not a huge fan of proprietary batteries. One of the things I liked about the K100D was its use of standard AA batteries. When I was in China, I was able to buy AA batteries everywhere I went, although I didn't know that before I left the USA, so I brought a bunch of batteries with me. If I were traveling to China today with my K10D, I'd probably buy an extra battery or two, charge 'em well before leaving, and not worry too much. One of the batteries I have for my K10D is a third-party battery that was recommended by someone on this forum, and it works fine - and it was much cheaper than the Pentax brand battery.

Will
07-02-2007, 07:03 PM   #7
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I have k10 with grip and three batteries
I worry more about running out of memory.
Yes, you can carry 200 AA batteries but you got enough memory for that?
07-02-2007, 07:21 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by pentaxographer Quote
I have k10 with grip and three batteries
I worry more about running out of memory.
Yes, you can carry 200 AA batteries but you got enough memory for that?
Good point. I filled up 6GB of flash memory Saturday and barely made a dent in battery capacity. (I shoot raw, so if you shoot JPEG you might actually run out of a battery first...)

07-02-2007, 07:25 PM   #9
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pound for pound, You'll get more shots out of the np-400 batteries than AAs. At less than $20 a pop, and a conservative 500 shots per battery, you could buy four and be covered for 2000 shots. And they will hold charge your entire trip if unused.

Also as stated, if you get the 12v charger on the cheap as well, you can pick up a solar charger just in case.

Personally I'd save money and buy still yet more np-400s.

DEspite rationalizing it, you have to procure and carry enough battery, and AAs don't go very far in a DSLR. Unless you get rechargables. Then you are in the esxact same boat as with the NP-400s, except you ahve to carry more.
07-02-2007, 07:56 PM   #10
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I guess it depends on what you mean by "far far from civilization". Is it wet, cold, dusty, hot etc. Africa, SE Asia, Mongolia, Central Asia, South America?

If it is wet and/or dusty the K10D may give you additional protection - but I would not purchase a new piece of equipment just before I left. You need to learn the layout and behavior of the machine. If the K10D would be a new purchase - keep the *ist Ds (take it along with two sets of batteries - Li-Ion's to be sure) and use it as a backup.

As for the battries on the K10D - yes buy two or three - charge them up and take them along. If you are going to be somewhere where there is electrical power, then you can get a power converter so you can take your charger along. Get a solar cell charger if you are going somewhere the sun shines - or if you are going somewhere you can see the sun shine (jungles tend to be very shady at ground level - cloud forests are full of ----- clouds ----- not good for solar power)

Search for equipment used by wildlife photographers - see how other people survive in the "boonies".

PDL
07-02-2007, 09:11 PM   #11
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Just imagine for one moment that you were shooting film. A trip like the one youre about to take would cost hundreds of dollars and hundreds more to have them developed on your return. You wouldn't be able to see the results before coming back to civilisation.

Go out there and shoot carefully just as you would with a 35mm camera. Take the time to compose your pictures and don't shoot like your camera is a machine gun.

Purchase as many batteries as you can afford. Cameta Camera sells them on Ebay (2 for $34.95. Cameta is one of the most trusted seller on Ebay. 188,000 items sold) eBay: D-LI50 Batteries+Charger for Pentax K10D Digital Camera (item 160134033161 end time Jul-12-07 17:49:03 PDT)

Don't look at the pictures taken on your camera LCD monitor more than once or twice and not for 5 minutes each, after taking the shot. Immediately delete the shots you don't want to keep after preview, to save memory space, although you can buy 4GB SDHC cards for less that $40.00 at Costco. You will need a lot of memory if you shoot RAW. I personnally would shoot JPEG for that kind of trip, unless you are planning to sell to National Geographic, and if you do, you are in a caliber that most of us can only dream of. In that case, a company like National Geographic would pay for all of your equipment and expenses anyway.

So, buy the K10D, its a much better camera than Canon or Nikon for the price. Use the extra money saved to purchase 6 additional batteries. That would give you 7 batteries x 500 pictures each, = 3500 If only 10% of your shots are good, you will bring home 350 great shots. What more can anyone ask for?

Oh yes, the solar battery charger with the 12V adapter is an excellent idea. I used one of those to recharge my cell phone during a one week treck. It fits on top of any backpack. Of course I needed a cell phone that worked with satellite.

Have fun in what looks like a wonderful trip. I wish I could take such a trip.

I just noticed that you live in Slovenia and batteries and memory cards may be more expensive there and harder to get. I don't know, I'm just speculating. However, if it is, I personnally ship books all the time all over the world, including Slovenia, and I don't see why you couldn't buy from Ebay. I never had a book not reaching its final destination. k10dbook home

Last edited by ebooks4pentax; 07-02-2007 at 09:18 PM. Reason: Additional comments
07-03-2007, 01:53 AM   #12
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_Let me first say that this is a very resourceful place. Thank you all for your answers.
_We're going to Papua New Guinea where highest plateaus of limestone are and there we'll be looking for caves. We'll take solar charger but where we're going rain falls every day from noon to five. There'll be also more important devices that'll need recharging (satellite phone, GPS...) and camera might get left out.
_There is a strong possibility that a photo editor of National Geographic Slovenia will come allong which gives me mixed feelings because on one hand he is link to NG, he can attract sponsorrs (afterall he is a big name - Arne Hodalič) and I could learn from him. On the other hand I'm no longer "official" photographer of the expedition and might get pushed aside god knows how far. We shall see.
_Back to the subject. I'm leannig toward K10D, now even more. Getting some Minolta or third party batteries seems like a good option. I'm well aware that if I want to take K10D I better buy it this year and get used to it before we take off.
07-03-2007, 09:04 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Matjazz Quote
_Let me first say that this is a very resourceful place. Thank you all for your answers.
_We're going to Papua New Guinea where highest plateaus of limestone are and there we'll be looking for caves. We'll take solar charger but where we're going rain falls every day from noon to five. There'll be also more important devices that'll need recharging (satellite phone, GPS...) and camera might get left out.
_There is a strong possibility that a photo editor of National Geographic Slovenia will come allong which gives me mixed feelings because on one hand he is link to NG, he can attract sponsorrs (afterall he is a big name - Arne Hodalič) and I could learn from him. On the other hand I'm no longer "official" photographer of the expedition and might get pushed aside god knows how far. We shall see.
_Back to the subject. I'm leannig toward K10D, now even more. Getting some Minolta or third party batteries seems like a good option. I'm well aware that if I want to take K10D I better buy it this year and get used to it before we take off.
keeping dry is going to be first on your list of things to do. Check out Joel Sartore's site Joel Sartore Photography he is a Geographic wildlife photographer who just converted from film to digital. He does have some interesting things to say about being in the field - equipment wise.

Get some pelican cases Welcome to www.pelican.com Pelican™ Products - Manufacturer of high-impact, watertight equipment Protector™ Cases and safety approved, technically advanced flashlights or an equivalent (don't know what you can get in Solvenia) lightweight, waterproof, not cheap and will go through airports. Carry lots of sealable plastic bags - for cloths and for your equipment. Carry silicon gel to dry things out.

I would suggest that you do not do much chimping - when in doubt bracket - shoot like you are using slide film (wait to look at the images). You might want to look into getting a portable hard drive/card reader for storage. I (and ironically Joel) use Wolverines External Hard Drives I used mine on my Dec 06 vacation to New Zealand and only used 21.1GB out of the 40GB available (around 2,100 images).

If you can afford it buy your own Solar collector - a good battery on a K10D will last a day or two with heavy shooting. Avoid the built in flash - along with the LCD it will eat your batteries.

Contact Arne Hodalič and develop a relationship (if you have not done so already). I have had the pleasure of working with a Geographic photographer (Bob Sacha), although it was in a workshop, his insights provided the push to get me back into photography.

Enjoy your expedition
PDL
07-03-2007, 11:05 AM   #14
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The batteries for your soon to be K10D work best after a few cycles. So don't load up on batteries just before going. Get your batteries soon enough to cycle them a few times to get them up to optimum function. I've heard 5-6 cycles seems to get you to the best performance.
07-03-2007, 08:46 PM   #15
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Camera accessory buying frenzy

Hey k10dbook, I usually hate advertising or links to commercial web sites in forum posts but that was a good tip on the batteries. It was just what I was looking for. Therefore, I will check out the book.

Camera accessory buying frenzy
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