travel advice & savings
5 replies
Camera: batteries vs rechargable
cold_gorilla's profile picture
New Member
New Member
Eurotrip Points: 40
Member: 5463
Joined: 01/29/2007
User offline. Last seen 11 years 24 weeks ago.

Hi guys need advice before i buy a camera.
I’ll be backpacking for 6 months and i don’t know what to do about cameras. Do you think i should get a camera that takes AA batteries that i can buy when ever they run out or should i get a camera that has a rechargeable lithium battery that i would have to plug into a power outlet?
How available are power outlets in most hostel?

Don's profile picture
Eurotrip Points: 30
Member: 59
Joined: 01/03/2007
User offline. Last seen 5 years 13 weeks ago.

I’d go for the rechargeable, but be sure to get a plug adapter:

I know OP asked about a camera, but for the sake of others reading this who might not have considered electrical input compatibility for their devices.

NOTE: plug adapters make the prongs fit, but do NOT change voltage. However, most modern small electronics—such as phones, cameras, and laptops—will take input ranging from 100-240 V (110 being standard for N. America; 220 being standard Europe). Check the little box in the middle of your cord for acceptable input; if it does not have an acceptable range covering the input, then your electronic(s) will fry! Usually not an issue these days, but definitely check.

One common mistake: hair dryers. N. American hair dryers typically do NOT take European input, so a plug adapter that makes the prongs fit, still carries way too much voltage, and hair dryers fry. Better to buy a travel hair dryer that will take 220V input, or just get one in Europe.

luv_the_beach's profile picture
Eurotrip Points: 2028
Member: 193
Joined: 01/03/2007
User offline. Last seen 8 years 5 weeks ago.

Personally I think it’ll be a bitch to have to buy batteries all the time. I have a DSLR, but from what I know about digital compacts: I believe most have a special rechargeable battery like DSLRs do, while some compacts take any AAA or AA battery. Of course, if the camera you really like takes regular batteries, you can always by rechargeable AAA/AA batteries and a AA/AAA charger.

As for cameras with a rechargeable battery: I believe they all have a removeable battery. I don’t believe that any digital compact cameras have built-in batteries like iPods/MP3 players do. Which is a good thing, because you can just charge the battery -rather than have to plug the device itself into the wall, and risk having it stolen.

Whichever camera you go with, it should tell you when the battery is starting to run low. And yes, you’ll be able to find outlets.

You may want to buy an extra battery, in case you won’t be able to recharge the current one for a while. Obviously, each camera takes a specific battery, but it shouldn’t be hard to find one at a photography store or electronics store that also sells cameras.

I’ll tell you one thing: I certainly don’t miss the days of having to buy batteries and film…(and then developing film).


oldlady's profile picture
Eurotrip Points: 19
Member: 778
Joined: 01/03/2007
User offline. Last seen 5 years 18 weeks ago.

AA batteries are readily available and the prices are reasonable.

That said, I’ve traveled with both. If you’re buying a camera, definitely shell out the extra cash to get a camera with a rechargeable battery. If you already have a camera that uses AA’s, buy good rechargeable batteries (the ones designed for cameras and electronic stuff) and a compact charger if you don’t want the expense of a new camera.

Kayling05's profile picture
Eurotrip Points: 518
Member: 8179
Joined: 11/02/2008
User offline. Last seen 8 years 23 weeks ago.

I’ve used both on trips (AAs and rechargeable) and as long as you get the good long-lasting AAs that you can recharge eventually it works well. Bring these from home because they are hard to find outside the US, and are even more expensive than at home if you do find them. Whatever you do, DO NOT SCRIMP on batteries. Cheap ones drain like a bathtub. If you can get the lithium kind, those are awesome.

Otherwise, I prefer the rechargeable for convenience and longer lasting battery power. (just plug the camera in overnight while sleeping, mine held charge all day doing this)

I am leaving from Atlanta, GA with $1200 for 14 days
London, Salisbury, Cardiff, Manchester, Edinburgh, Inverness, Edinburgh, London
Requesting help with Nightlife, Food, Sights
I am leaving from Rouen with $1500 for 15 days
Venice, Cinque Terre, Pisa, Florence, Rome, Sorrento, Rome
Requesting help with Transport, Hostels, Budget, Itinerary, Sights
I am leaving from busan, SK with $1000 for 13 days
Bangkok, Phnom Penh, Sihanoukville, Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Bangkok

2008—Language study abroad in Paris, France
2009—Archaeological field school/dig in Lau, Fiji
2010— Birthday UK trip!
2011— Teaching English in South Korea
2012— ????

Feicht's profile picture
Eurotrip Points: 1242
Member: 3972
Joined: 01/03/2007
User offline. Last seen 7 years 10 weeks ago.

Having done both, I have to say that once I went to a rechargeable lithium battery, I’ll never go back to AAs. It was just a constant pain in the ass, wondering if my batteries were going to run out in the middle of a cool adventure, or worse, there’d be a long decline where I took crappy blurry pictures on a low battery without realizing it. The best thing is, with a rechargeable lithium ion camera battery, they last a lot longer too. And if you are bringing a laptop, you can just hook it to that to charge if you’re plugged into the wall (remove your laptop’s battery first, though).

I am traveling for 51 days
Bath, Haltwhistle, London, Füssen, Freiburg, Stuttgart, Speyer, Nördlingen, Salzburg, Hallstatt, Salzburg, Rome, Ostia Antica, Athens, Delphi, Athens