Digital Cameras, NiMH batteries and AC adapters

Reply Thu 24 Apr, 2003 07:04 pm
Ok, questions for you technophiles. I bought a digital camera that eats batteries like I drink water. I'm interested in buying a charger and rechargeable batteries and and AC adapter.

Question, do you REALLY need to buy NiMH batteries, chargers and adapters made by the same camera manufacturer as the manuals state or is that yet another marketing ploy for brand loyalty?

If there is not a compatibility issue between brands/types of NiMH batteries, what should I be aware of when looking at generic brands? Are they basically categorized the same as all AA batteries, just products of different manufacturers?

It doesn't look like there is much of an effort at standardization in the NiMH industry. What's the difference between the "size" of the battery? Some say they retain a longer charge then others. Is that the only difference?

What should I look for in a battery charger? Are all battery chargers basically the same?

As for the AC adaptor, as long as I find a generic one matching the specs in the manual, will that work or do I really need a brand-compatible one to prevent damage to the camera?
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Craven de Kere
Reply Thu 24 Apr, 2003 07:42 pm
It's a marketing ploy but they back it up with incompatibility.

Most electronic products use some mechanism to force you to buyt from them. Maybe the jack will be an off size, etc etc.

I have seen generic adapters with a host of sizes in an effort to circumvent this but can't comment on their effectiveness.
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Craven de Kere
Reply Thu 24 Apr, 2003 07:49 pm
Correction to my above post:

If they are AA batteries you can probably use AA rechargables and just charge them in a separate charger.
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Reply Thu 24 Apr, 2003 08:35 pm
On the batteries, AA NiMh batteries are all going to be pretty much the same thing. What you buy in the store isn't going to be much better or worse than what you'd get from the manufacturer of the camera. They will almost always be a lot cheaper in the store though.

The size of the batteries is important. The size covers both the physical size and the electrical charastics of the battery. If the camera takes size "AA" then size "C" batteries aren't going to fit. "AA" is extremely common and you should have no problem finding any. Just read the labels and find the AA NiMh - You don't want the AA Alkaline, Lithium or Nickle-Cadium batteries. You want a Duracell Part # HR6 or it's equeal. You should be able to find these for about $1.00 each.

You can use any generic charger as long as you aren't interested in charging the batteries while they are in the camera. That means you either have to take them out or have 2 sets (wwhich isn't a bad idea in the long run!). If you want to charge them while they are in the camera then you are stuck with buying an adapter from the camera maker. Everready makes a model# CHM4FC charger that you should be able to find for under $20 and it will charge 4 NiMh batteries in about 5 hours.
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Craven de Kere
Reply Fri 25 Apr, 2003 12:43 am
Note that generally rechargable AAs are not too good with a flash (the amount of good flashes is MUCH lower than alkaline).

It's hard to explain but in addition to lasting less (no big deal cause you can recharge) rechargables don't have the same "bang", "power" or what have you.
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cicerone imposter
Reply Fri 25 Apr, 2003 01:00 am
Butrfly, So you'venoticed that too, heh? Wink What you want to do is get a Rayovac "1 Hour Charger." As for the batteries, get the ones that has the number 1,850 on them. They last longer. Finally, try not to keep your camera on all the time, and take your pictures without using the LCD. Don't 'review' your pictures all the time. Instead, buy extra flash cards. I just bought a 128 meg smart media card for $23. at Fry's Electronics this past week on sale. I now have 336 megs total, but I'm a photography nut. I have three sets of spares for my digital camera, and two sets of spares for my 35mm. I'd rather be on the safe side than miss a good shot. Opportunities for good shots don't happen that frequently, and I'm lucky if 20 percent of my pictures are decent enough to save. c.i.
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Reply Fri 25 Apr, 2003 01:11 am
Heh, I had a feeling that the products sold on the manufacturer's website were a ripoff. Glad I asked.

Here's the info on their site for the camera I have.


TOSMB4DCRC MB4DCRC Monster AA Batteries (4) & Charger
1800mAh NiMh Rechargeable Batteries
Longest Lasting AA Size Batteries & Charger - Monster

Price: $54.95

Accessory list

PDR16004 1600mAh NiMh Rechargeable Batteries
4 AA Size Batteries with Charger
(no link or price available on Toshiba's site)

From what you all are saying it sounds like I can get something compatible and just as useful for half the price even if I do buy two sets of batteries to swap.

I'm interested in more info on the ability to recharge the batteries while in the camera. What sort of adapter is needed for that? I couldn't find anything on the website in that regard. Btw, I have a Toshiba PDR-3330.
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cicerone imposter
Reply Fri 25 Apr, 2003 10:07 am
Some cameras can't be used to recharge batteries. If it can, the camera would have come with the booklet that explains how long it takes to recharge the batteries. c.i.
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Reply Fri 25 Apr, 2003 11:13 am
I purchased a Millenium NiMh/NiCd charger from Amazon.com that came with four NiMh batteries, for $14.99. I bought a CD so I could get free shipping. Best $30 I ever spent. The NiMh batteries last forever compared to NiCd, or even worse, standard alkaline AA's. It also charges (up to four) NiCd batteries with a simple flip of a switch.

One thing, when you connect your camera to your computer, especially if it uses a USB connector, this causes your camera to turn on. When you transfer stuff, connect your camera only long enough to do the transfer, then disconnect it.
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