Light Meter: Batteries 101

There are a variety of things to consider when shopping for a digital point and shoot camera. In my experience I have found that people make the choices that are best for them and that’s the right thing to do. If you do your research, without making yourself crazy, and ask a few friends what they like/dislike about their cameras you will be a better educated consumer. Let’s get you started on the road of knowledge.

Batteries: Positive and Negative (get it? a ha ha hmm)

A digital point and shoot will either run on AA batteries or a lithium-ion battery. Some cameras will allow you to substitute a CRV3 lithium or lithium-ion for 2 AA batteries. AA’s are what we’re most familiar with. We use them in toys, walkmans, discmans, and those water bottle/fans that Disney sells. Well, I’m assuming they take AA maybe they use AAA batteries. I’m too cheap to buy one. Moving on, lithium-ions are what is in your cell phone. It’s that square or rectangular flat battery that keeps your phone powered so you can talk till the cows come home from a rollicking game of bingo.

I’ve compiled a list of pluses and minuses to both types of power. Oh, and before you make your decision based on these lists, next time I’ll go over the 5, count ’em, 5 common types of AAs.


** Easy to find in gift shops, drug stores, and even gas stations should you forget to pack them or they wear out
** Most cameras take 2 and most chargers will power 4 at a time. This gives you a spare set ready for action
** Rechargeables will allow an average of 250-300 shots per charge

** Alkalines can last as little as 20 minutes
** Spend more money on alkaline and lithium

Plus and Minus: Chargers can take anywhere from 15 minutes to 8 hours, depending on the charger and strength of batteries.


** Available in camera stores and electronic stores
** Average battery will take 400 shots per charge
** Chargers are compact


** Average manufacturer’s price is $30-60 for a spare. Off-brand lists for about $20-40
** Like your cell phone battery, some last longer than others
Lithium-ions (left and center) come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. They are also designed to work with specific cameras. AA’s are always the same size but are either alkaline, lithium, oxyhydroxide, NiCad or NiMH.

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