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After getting into a choice between two super zooms, the Canon SX30IS or Fujifilm HS10 / HS20, I have chosen Fuji. However, it uses AA batteries. When on tour it's so painful if AA batteries go out or low.

Is it possible to have an additional good battery source (lithium, etc.) which can last a long time and can connect to tye Fujifilm HS10 / HS20 using a cable or something, so that even if the camera does not have AA cells it will still work?

Perhaps something which is there for old SLR cameras, or flashes that professional photographer use on wedding photography, or outdoors.

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AA batteries are absolutely the best source of power. More cameras should use them. They are always cheap and incredibly easy to find, particularly while traveling to remote areas. You can also easily charge them using solar power. Learn their advantages and you will never want proprietary batteries again! –  Itai Feb 8 '11 at 19:12
    
The best option would be a camera that can take several AAs or a lithium ion pack. Li-ion is best for general use, as it doesn't suffer the memory effects that NiMH and NiCd have, have better energy density, etc. –  Evan Krall Feb 9 '11 at 3:07

5 Answers 5

up vote 2 down vote accepted

As I understand it, the OP is asking for an external battery pack to power his Fuji HS 10 / HS 20 so that he can get extended battery life.

To do this you need the following
1. AC-5VX power adapter from Fujifilm and third parties.
2. CP-04 DC coupler from Fujifilm and third parties.
3. Duracell PowerSource Mobile 100 External battery pack + DC to AC power inverter - Lithium ion 4 Ah

The Duracell PowerSource has an AC power outlet(as well as two USB outlets!). Connect the AC-5VX power adapter to this. Then use the CP-04 DC coupler to connect the power adapter to the camera. One end slots into the camera's battery compartment.

Now you have in effect an external 4 Ah battery which should keep you going for a good while, to say nothing of the benefits for your other devices.

The downside is that you will have a bit of a cable tangle to manage.

There are other external power supplies to be had. I merely use the Duracell one as a good example of the genre.

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1  
The other downside is that ~ $150 buys you a lot of AA batteries... –  mattdm Feb 8 '11 at 19:41
    
@mattdm, yes, agreed, that buys a lot of batteries. But, he asked for an additional battery source such as lithium. Generally I try to avoid second guessing the question (we see too much of that). The incidental advantage is the other uses it can be put to. –  labnut Apr 21 '11 at 11:42

I use an HS20 and find if I am going on a trip using the Lithium batteries works great the 8x 9x version cost about $8.00 to $10.00 but they have lasted me sometimes two full weeks of shooting and fairly heavy reviewing of my pictures on the LCD. A little expensive but for me worth the cost because they last so long.

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One of the biggest problems with electronic cameras (I currently have 3) is the battery management. They usually switch off long before the batteries are discharged. This makes me very angry. I've been doing some measurements on leading brand batteries.

Different makes of NiMH battery have varying "fully charged" voltages - I have three kinds and measure 1.28v, 1.35v, 1.45v. A big difference!

The "discharged" voltages measured after being removed from my HS10, for example, vary from 1.13v to 1.25v. These are nowhere near being fully discharged.

Cameras have to assume all manufacturers batteries are the same, but that is clearly not the case. I believe cameras should have a setting for this in their firmware, or they will get a bad name for their cameras having a short battery life.

Sanyo ENELOOPS have always consistently outperformed any other make of battery despite being supposedly only 2000 mA/Hour. I can get over 5 hours continual use from a HS10 with screen on hight brightness.

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Short answer:

  • get yourself some good, rechargable NiMh-AA with low self-discharge (see extensive list here on Wikpedia), at least two sets
  • buy a good recharger with discharge-function and peak-detection (delta-Voltage) like the Technoline BC 9001

Longer answer: you asked for energy-solutions people use for flashes: see the linked (and recommended on the side of your question) threads:

and you'll be recommend NiMh-accumulators anyway. So buy yourself some sets of decent AA cells, like Eneloop (reducing self-discharge) and a decent charging device (I like my BC900) using an delta-U (peak) detection.

Your problem most certainly is not that AA accumulators "go out or low" but that your energy management is currently bad. If you (mis-)use an old or bad lithium accumulator, it will go out too (and that even faster). It is the same with your accumulators as with your memory chips: handle with care.

Of course the circular AA never will have an energy/mass-ratio as high as a proprietary lithium-ion, but I find this neglectable with big cameras. Most LiIon-accumulators have all the tech for preventing deep discharge and regulating charging packed away, but that is because they are more vulnerable (and tend to answer abuse with a bang) and because of that they cost more.

The bonus on AA is:

  • you'll get replacement-accumulators anywhere on the world
  • there are some solar chargers too, if your trips really take this long

1 I use it for my Canon-compacts for >= 5 years. The money for a better recharger is a good investment, this unit eat 12V, has a 110-240V adapter with changeable plugs and a car-adapter. Reads as "usable world wide".

Edited: mellowed the answer, thx @lindes ;)

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I wonder if the original asker isn't currently using Alkalines. This answer certainly has useful information, but it might be useful just to say: don't use Alkalines, use Nickel-metal Hydride ("NiMH") rechargeables. :) –  lindes Feb 8 '11 at 19:00
    
Thanks for detailed answer that really helped –  Anil Namde Feb 10 '11 at 5:32

There are plenty of types of AA batteries that could be useful depending on what you want to do:

  • Lithium AA batteries - Last ages but they are expensive (usually more than the rechargeables each time you buy them) and single use.
  • High power AA rechargable NiMh batteries - 2500mAh lots of power as long as you charge them before each use.
  • Always ready AA rechargeable NiMh batteries - Lower power, but they hold their charge for up to a year, brands to look out for are Sanyo ENELOOP, Panasonic Infinium, Uniross Hybrio, GP Recyko, Sony Cycle Energy, Duracell Active Charge, Hama Ready 4 Power and Camlink's Ready 2 Go. I always keep this type of battery in my camera bag as spares for flashes, but use the high power type as my main batteries.

Of course, it goes without saying if you are using rechargeables get a high quality charger.

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