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How to recharge digital camera on 16 day hike?


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I am planning a 16 day hike, 118.5 miles, on Isle Royale for late August/early September and need something to recharge my digital camera bettery. It is an EN-EL2 Li-Ion battery.

 

I've heard of crank radios with adapters to charge cell phones...can I get a lightweight one that will recharge my camera battery?

 

How about a solar cell panel trickle charger? I was thinking of putting one on top of my pack and trickle charging one battery while using another.

 

What do you use and what would you recommend.

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At REI they have a few. The Solio got a descent review

 

I have tried the Solio. The good feature is that it charges an internal battery the can then be used at night to charge whatever item you want to charge. Unfortunately it short circuited my GPS. It does not have charge protection that is why I switched to the Brunton.

Edited by Fathergoose
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It is an EN-EL2 Li-Ion battery. The main reason I prefer it is that I love the camera it is in. Nikon Coolpix 1500. I've taken over 8000 pictures with it so far. It has outlived 3 batteries...luckily the EN-EL2 is common to many cameras and it is easy to find replacements at battery and camera stores.

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I dont know if that Energizer phone/PDA charger thing could work for you. I have a couple of them they recharge from 2 e2-lithum AA. Works great for phones and PDA, batteries can even be used in GPS. and onliy like $15-19. might at least give your camera a boost. Might be worth a look as it multi-tasks. JMHO

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I have thought on this very question in the past for my handheld ham radios as well as my cameras... Seems what i came up with was to buy radios and a camera that could be used with rechargables as well as store bought batts.... Cant beat the feeling of security that i have when a go out with a few extra sets of lithium aa's to put in my ht or camera when the lithium ion runs down... might also consider building a charger that you could put aa's in as a power source, could easily do so with one trip to radio shack and a few questions... good luck :unsure:

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I bought the Brunton Solaris 12 from REI and 2 new EN-EL2 batteries from the local Batteries Plus (for a total of 3 good batteries). It comes with cables for attaching to multiple types of battery chargers (a 4-pin charging connector), a cigarette lighter charging plug, and cables for charging a car battery. Puts out 800ma at 12 volts. I'll be using it next week on the Bruce Trail. Thanks for the replies...you put me on the right track.

Edited by victorymike
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I get over 600 pictures at 8.1MP with my lithium batteries. I don't have to worry about measuring in days of energy leakage which is problematic with rechargeables.

 

The biggest benefit of a camera that uses AA batteries... vs a rechargeable. No worries on running out of power unless you forget to pack extra batteries.

 

(Although I would like a smaller camera!)

 

 

michelle

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I get over 600 pictures at 8.1MP with my lithium batteries. I don't have to worry about measuring in days of energy leakage which is problematic with rechargeables.

 

The biggest benefit of a camera that uses AA batteries... vs a rechargeable. No worries on running out of power unless you forget to pack extra batteries.

 

(Although I would like a smaller camera!)

 

 

michelle

I agree.I have a digital cam with a rechargable internal battery.It's small and handy until everytime we're out hunting/fishing/wheeling/snowmobiling and I want to take pics....and my battery is dead as a door nail.That's why my next cam will be a replacable battery unit.This line of thinking also steered me away from trying a new Magellan gps,instead going with a 60cx.I believe the XL I wanted was a rechargeable unit.Not a piece of gear I want to die out on me while 10 miles in the Maine backcountry on a track. :blink:

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Since I have finally upgraded my GPS to the Colorado 400t I I took another stab with rechargeable batteries (rechargeables REALLY sucked in my Garmin eMap that I started with). Nuon 2500mah NiMHs. They work great. So no I have something else for my solar panel to charge. And they should work in my Celestron SkyScout too.

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Which solar charger did you choose?

-cjd

 

Since I have finally upgraded my GPS to the Colorado 400t I I took another stab with rechargeable batteries (rechargeables REALLY sucked in my Garmin eMap that I started with). Nuon 2500mah NiMHs. They work great. So no I have something else for my solar panel to charge. And they should work in my Celestron SkyScout too.

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I had a Nikon Coolpix 2500, till it diead a death earlier this year. It was only 2MP but served me well from 2002. My only gripe was the paper thin recgargable battery and I soon found I had to buy a spare so that I would still be snapping well into my trip. But no matter how cautious I would be with my snapping, I would always run out of juice and without a main supply it's a pain in the a**

 

So when my camera died I opted for a camera that took AA batteries (always available in all stores) and my two other criteria were it had to have a viewfinder and the option of being able to turn off the screen, thus stretching the life of my batteries. I also had to do great video so that I could finaly put my tiny Sony Handycam to rest.

 

Well the Canon does the trick for me, it takes AAs, it takes great pictures, has all the modes that my Nikon had plus lots more, and it captures video with sound at the same framerate as my Sony Handycam.

 

So my advice to people thinking of a new camera is get one with a viewfinder so you can turn off that fancy juice hungry screen.

 

As for solar chargers I've not ventured down that route due to living in the UK and not being blessed with copious ammounts of sunshine, which to be honest suits me because I'm one that likes to walk on a crisp frosty trail and not be boiled by the sun and annoyed by the fairweather hikers, and I use the work hikers with tongue in cheek :laughing:

Edited by stuthehiker
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The jury is still out on the solar chargers...some would take days to recharge a camera battery and most folks don't want to wait around for that to occur.

 

Why not just take a few extra batteries? The proprietary ones are costly, but even taking two or three extra might be less costly than a solar charger with all the plugs, and may even weigh less too.

 

Of course, Honda makes a nice 2000i generator...... :)

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I carried 3 spare EN-EL2 digital camera batteries (one is old and weak and only lasts about 4 hours) and my Brunton Solaris 12 solar panel on my 16 day backpacking trip to Isle Royale. I also brought 8 2500mah AA NUON batteries and their charger for use with my Garmin Colorado 400t (which eats batteries). I charged batteries at every opportunity and was able to keep snapping pictures the entire way...as well as keep my GPS powered up the ENTIRE time (which is a feat since it drains a pair of AAs in around 10-12 hours). I hiked 92.7 miles (yes...ninety two point seven miles) and took 1290 (yes...one thousand two hundred and ninety) pictures. My Brunton Solaris 12 worked AWESOME. The only problem was getting late starts which put us in camp as the sun was behind the treeline. Luckily I didn't have to charge batteries EVERY day. When the sun was bright and high and we had open campsites I was able to charge 4 AA batteries and a digital camera battery at the same time. Luckily we had a couple of days set aside for swimming and rest and enjoyment...which I also used to completely charge every battery in my pack.

 

P.S. Take a "few" extra batteries, lol. It would have taken about 15 spare EN-EL2 batteries to last the entire trip...at around $30 a pop. Not an option...even if you could find that many brand new batteries for sale (they are becoming outdated).

P.P.S. The Brunton Solaris 12 only weighs around a pound. 15 spare batteries...I am guessing they would weigh more than a pound.

Edited by victorymike
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I carried 3 spare EN-EL2 digital camera batteries....

 

P.S. Take a "few" extra batteries, lol. It would have taken about 15 spare EN-EL2 batteries to last the entire trip...at around $30 a pop. Not an option...even if you could find that many brand new batteries for sale (they are becoming outdated).

P.P.S. The Brunton Solaris 12 only weighs around a pound. 15 spare batteries...I am guessing they would weigh more than a pound.

 

15 spare batteries??? Why that's only around 80 pics per battery - ouch!

 

I loathe anything that looks like a proprietary battery so I purchased a Canon A650 which is 4-AA based. A set of NiMh last about 500 shots so for my equivalent shooting that would have been about 3 sets of batteries (1 in camera, 2 spare) sans charger. 12x27 grams = 324 grams (0.71 lbs) total plus I can switch between GPS and camera for batteries.

 

We have a 7 mp Sony at work with a tiny Li-ion proprietary battery. It lasts "maybe" 100 shots but it's also a very small P&S that will suffice in a pinch. I always eschew it in favour of my personal camera.

 

Forgive my scepticism but I couldn't find any Coolpix 1500 camera on Google just the 2500 and 3500 models. The EN-EL2 is available on Amazon for $4.34 ea New if you want a deal. 15 spares + 1 in camera = 16.96 oz = 480 grams!!! Double ouch!

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Are you really gonna shoot that many photos in 16 days? How much of the trip is hiking, and how much taking pictures?

 

Get a point-n-shoot that runs off two AA's and get one of those solar chargers to set up on top of your pack.

 

Learn how to conserve batteries:

 

Find a digital that has an optical viewfinder or a small LCD viewfinder rather than using the large LCD on the back. Don't use the zoom feature a lot. Find a camera with a manual lens cover. Set the auto shut-off for a short time period. Make sure the continuous auto focus is turned off. Don't use the flash.

 

Another route is to get the 2700 mAH rechargeable batteries and carry a few extras. Unless you lug a bunch of memory cards or have low-megapixel camera, its unlikely you will shoot enough photos to run through that many sets of batteries.

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I get over 600 pictures at 8.1MP with my lithium batteries. I don't have to worry about measuring in days of energy leakage which is problematic with rechargeables.

 

The biggest benefit of a camera that uses AA batteries... vs a rechargeable. No worries on running out of power unless you forget to pack extra batteries.

 

(Although I would like a smaller camera!)

 

 

michelle

 

Agreed. However it seems to be harder and harder to find cameras that run on AA's.

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Are you really gonna shoot that many photos in 16 days? How much of the trip is hiking, and how much taking pictures?

 

Get a point-n-shoot that runs off two AA's and get one of those solar chargers to set up on top of your pack.

 

Learn how to conserve batteries:

 

Find a digital that has an optical viewfinder or a small LCD viewfinder rather than using the large LCD on the back. Don't use the zoom feature a lot. Find a camera with a manual lens cover. Set the auto shut-off for a short time period. Make sure the continuous auto focus is turned off. Don't use the flash.

 

Another route is to get the 2700 mAH rechargeable batteries and carry a few extras. Unless you lug a bunch of memory cards or have low-megapixel camera, its unlikely you will shoot enough photos to run through that many sets of batteries.

Hmmmm all the extras we buy you say don't use. Doesn't work for me. It was a legitimate question to solving an issue he knew he was going to run into with his current equipment.

 

And yah, in 16 days, it would be easy to run down the proprietary battery taking THAT many shots. I know I will on my 5-7 day hike across the Kitsap Peninsula next year... although I did buy into a camera that uses AAs.

Edited by TotemLake
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I get over 600 pictures at 8.1MP with my lithium batteries. I don't have to worry about measuring in days of energy leakage which is problematic with rechargeables.

 

The biggest benefit of a camera that uses AA batteries... vs a rechargeable. No worries on running out of power unless you forget to pack extra batteries.

 

(Although I would like a smaller camera!)

 

michelle

This has always been a real factor for me when choosing a new camera. I like to be able to power camera, head torch, GPSr and PDA charger all from the same AA battery pool.

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Agreed. However it seems to be harder and harder to find cameras that run on AA's.

 

Nikon Coolpix L18. 8 megapixel, $110 on Amazon. And the panorama feature is really cool.

 

As for AA rechargeables self-discharging, you can get the low-discharge units if you want to give up some mAh. Doubtful AA NiMh are gonna discharge any significant amount in two weeks though.

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Yep, my Canon Powershot A720is takes a boat load of pictures on 2 AA's, and has also served to replace my Sony Handycam for video as it does the same 30 frames a second as the Sony.

 

A camera that runs on AA's and like mine has a viewfinder so you can turn off the juice hungry screen, wins hands down for sure. It's bigger than the Sony that the Mrs has due to hers having a rechargable battery, but when she runs out of juice out on the trail she's not taking anymore pictures until she gets to a mains outlet. I know her camera does fantastic on one charge but when it's dead it will stay dead until we get home.

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I am planning a 16 day hike, 118.5 miles, on Isle Royale for late August/early September and need something to recharge my digital camera bettery. It is an EN-EL2 Li-Ion battery.

 

How about a solar cell panel trickle charger? I was thinking of putting one on top of my pack and trickle charging one battery while using another.

 

What do you use and what would you recommend.

 

 

I just got back from 35 days away from the power grid while climbing and hiking in Nepal in the Solu/Khumbu and Gokyo valleys. (This was my second longer trip there). I ran the numbers (considering both power for things like my GPS and two cameras (a Canon SD890-IS and an EOS 450D / Digital Rebel XSI). It was way easier and less weight to take extra batteries than to lug a solar panel. I had researched the solar route and found flexible panels you could hang from the back of your backpack but this depends on a good view of the sun (not generally a problem in Nepal in November) but having heard from people that tried this it can be quite a pain to get working (I couldn't find anyone who was happy with a solar charger on a longer trip.)

 

 

-Wolfgang

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When I was camping out at a Renaissance faire, I had a Brunton trickle charger hooked up to a fairly hefty 12V gel cell in the tent, and the tent remained standing over the weekdays when I was home & at work. I imagine the same concept could be used with a smaller 12V battery, then something that can connect to the 12V source for short term to recharge the NiCad/NiMH batteries. I don't think the panel would handle direct connection to the charger, unless the charger had a low draw.

 

Not exactly roughing it.. the Ren Faire was on the grounds of an Agricultural fair, and was used to power my laptop, (fairgrounds had WiFi, so I could keep up to date on script/schedule changes.)

 

Alternative, would be bringing along plenty of pre-charged batteries. At the risk of sounding like a commercial endorsement, (which it isn't, I don't work for Sanyo/GE) Highly recommend Sanyo/GE Eneloop batteries.

Best charge holding I've ever run across.

 

Stephen (gelfling6)

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We are planning a trip to sweden in a couple of weeks for a day or 10. I have a small cheap solar panel with 1 USB output (€25) and an USB Battery Charger.

 

The charger charges AA batteries fine, but for my EN-EL3 (D40) I need 220V to charge it. I just bought 1 extra battery, which should make me able to fill up my 8GB SD-card in those 10days.

 

Keep in mind that a DSLR also consumes less battery as a compact camera because it does not use the LCD display.

 

I'll be taking 16AA batteries to power my GPSMAP 60CSX for about 12hrs a day each day and my camera flash. Should be more than I need

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