From: SMS on
J. F. Cornwall wrote:

> Indeed. My Pentax K100D, using AA Eneloops, has great battery life. And
> it takes great pictures.
>
> Jim

As the DC Resource review states:

"Camera performance is average (for a D-SLR) in most respects. The K100D
starts up in under a second (not that great) and there's no shutter lag
to speak of. _Focus speeds are decent in good light, but on the slow
side in dim light._ Despite this sluggishness, the K100D does lock focus
consistently in low light. Shot-to-shot speeds are okay, but the buffer
fills up quickly. Along those lines, I couldn't help but be disappointed
with the continuous shooting mode on the camera: the burst rate (a
respectable 2.6 fps) slows down noticeable after just 3 RAW or 5 Best
Quality JPEGs -- the competition does a better job here. _The K100D's
battery life seems to be below average_, though I don't have data for
every D-SLR in this class."

Of course none of these issues speaks to image quality, which is not an
issue with the K100D.
From: Ron Hunter on
SMS wrote:
> Ron Hunter wrote:
>
>> I think they have a good idea. For most people, a battery with
>> 2100mAh that retains its charge for a month is much better than a
>> 2700mAh battery that loses 50% of its charge after a month of disuse.
>> For those who routinely use a set of batteries in a day's shooting,
>> the higher price, and lower capacity wouldn't be an advantage.
>> For my uses, the Eneloop batteries are a great value.
>
> I think the same applies to most battery users. We were going through a
> lot of batteries in our house, and while I had many NiMH batteries they
> were too inconvenient because most of the devices they were in were
> either infrequently used, or were low current draw where the
> self-discharge energy exceeded the actual used energy. Hopefully the
> eneloop will pretty much eliminate the wasteful Alkaline habit.
>
> The other advantage of eneloop, from a marketing perspective anyway, is
> that they can be sold already charged.

Well, given the current trend toward 'instant gratification', that is
certainly a point in their favor, from a marketing standpoint.
Actually, I have had some of them for several months, and don't yet have
them in either of my cameras... Maybe soon.

Not sure Eneloop batteries are a good replacement for alkalines, at
least not at the current price. Frankly, a LOT of people just don't
like the hassle of recharging. We live in the 'disposable age'.
From: Ron Hunter on
SMS wrote:
> Ron Hunter wrote:
>
>> The smaller the camera, the more advantage the Li-ion battery has, but
>> in most cases, there is still room for a couple of AA batteries.
>
> I see a lot of ultra-oompacts, and a lot of digital SLRs, and fewer and
> fewer cameras in the middle (like the Canon A series). This trend is
> also reflected in camera sales, D-SLR sales are increasing at a greater
> rate than non-D-SLR cameras.
>
> While it's possible to make a D-SLR that runs on AA batteries, it's
> uncommon because in a D-SLR the Li-Ion pack provides additional
> advantages for D-SLRs.
>
> Many digital SLRs can use six AA batteries in the optional vertical
> battery grip (or two Li-Ion packs). The six AA batteries go into a tray
> which is inserted into the grip. This solves the problem of fumbling
> with twelve AA batteries, since they sell spare trays (as well as
> solving the problem of flaky battery doors).
>
> There's only a couple of AA powered, current D-SLR models on the market
> now, with less than stellar reviews. In fact, several of the cons that
> are listed in the reviews, are directly related to the power source. If
> they had gone to six AA batteries rather than four, the camera size
> would be larger but they'd have been able to solve some of the issue
> caused by the lower voltage (4.8-5V for four AA, 7.2-7.5V for six AA,
> 7.4V for a Li-Ion pack with two cells inside).
>
> Steve
> "http://batterydata.com"

Where that leads:
I get this mental image of a 24 volt truck battery attached to the
DSLR. Grin. LOTS of flashes!
Recharge annually.
From: ASAAR on
On Sat, 01 Sep 2007 23:41:39 -0700, SMS wrote:

>>>> There's only a couple of AA powered, current D-SLR models on the
>>>> market now, with less than stellar reviews. In fact, several of the cons
>>>> that are listed in the reviews, are directly related to the power source.

>> Indeed. My Pentax K100D, using AA Eneloops, has great battery life. And
>> it takes great pictures.
>>
>> Jim
>
> As the DC Resource review states:
>
> "Camera performance is average (for a D-SLR) in most respects. The K100D
> starts up in under a second (not that great) and there's no shutter lag
> to speak of. _Focus speeds are decent in good light, but on the slow
> side in dim light._ Despite this sluggishness, the K100D does lock focus
> consistently in low light. Shot-to-shot speeds are okay, but the buffer
> fills up quickly. Along those lines, I couldn't help but be disappointed
> with the continuous shooting mode on the camera: the burst rate (a
> respectable 2.6 fps) slows down noticeable after just 3 RAW or 5 Best
> Quality JPEGs -- the competition does a better job here. _The K100D's
> battery life seems to be below average_, though I don't have data for
> every D-SLR in this class."
>
> Of course none of these issues speaks to image quality, which is not an
> issue with the K100D.

But these "issues", such as they are, are a function of the
camera's design, it's data paths and bandwidth's and AF design. If
the "respectable" burst rate slows down after 3 RAW or 5 BQ jpegs,
it's in no way related to the camera's power supply. DPReview found
the battery performance to be good. Since about 1/2 of all DSLRs
will have "below average" battery life, this does *not* indicate
poor battery performance.

Your original contention was that four AA cells would *not* be
sufficient to power a DSLR. Shortly after I pointed out that
several DSLRs were indeed powered by four AA cells, you changed your
tune to admit that several do exist. But in an attempt to try to
put the best spin on it and save face, you then say that they have
"less than stellar reviews". Weasel words, these. Very few cameras
get stellar reviews. But as usual, you engaged in very selective
quoting to shape the DC Resource review to seem to match your
anti-AA battery bias.

This part of the thread was not about sluggish focusing in dim
light, it was about whether AA batteries could or could not power a
DSLR. You said no. I said yes. You then tried to spin it as
"well, ok, there are a few, but because of the AAs used, performance
is poor." Hmm, DPReview said battery performance was good. So
let's see what DC Resource actually had to say about this.

> Since most manufacturers don't publish battery life statistics about
> their D-SLRs, it's hard to compare the K100D against the competition.
> Pentax says that you can take 300 shots per charge (with 50% flash
> use, CIPA standard) using 2500 mAh batteries. Canon's new Digital
> Rebel XTi can take 370 shots per charge, the old Pentax *ist DS2 took
> around 500 shots, while the Sony Alpha DSLR-A100 can take a
> whopping 750 photos under the same conditions. I don't have CIPA
> numbers for Nikon's cameras, unfortunately.

So with newer 2,700mAh batteries, that would be 324 shots per
charge, and when 3,000mAh batteries become available, it will
increase to 360 shots per charge. Hardly "poor battery life", since
this test uses the flash at full power for 1/2 of the shots. When
the flash isn't used, the number of shots per charge should be well
over 1,000, perhaps close to 2,000 shots, and this type of
performance is typical for DSLRs. It is *not* dismal performance as
you'd like to portray it. In fact, the manual for my D50, which
uses an Li-Ion battery pack states that for CIPA type measurements
(also using the flash at full power for 50% of the shots), the
battery should be good for about 400 shots. For more typical usage,
where the flash isn't used, the battery pack is good for about 2,000
shots. While the D50 gets a slightly greater number of shots from
its Li-Ion battery pack compared to the K100D's four AA cells, I'd
prefer it if the D50 had been designed to also use four AA cells,
and if the D50's battery usage was similar to the K100D, it would
reach the 400 shots/charge level when NiMH AA cells reach the
3,300mAh level, which they will, eventually.

I wonder if you'll now have to start disparaging the Rebel XTi's
Li-Ion battery, since it only gets 370 shots per charge vs. the
Pentax *ist DS2's 500 shots per charge, which also uses four AA
cells? One would think so, since by your own words, your website
and *you*, by extension are :

> Earth's Independent Source for Unbiased Digital Camera Battery Information

you'd have to be fair, and criticize the Rebel XTi that doesn't
measure up to the performance of DSLRs that use 4 AA cells. Fat
chance. :)


So much for the battery issue. Now let's see what kind of review
DC Resource actually gave the K100D.

> Focus times on the K100D were very good, though maybe a bit slower
> than on some other entry-level D-SLRs. Typically it took the camera
> between 0.1 and 0.3 seconds to lock focus, with longer delays at the
> telephoto end of the lens, or if the camera had to "hunt" a bit. Low
> light focusing was on the slow side (even when the flash assist is used),
> though the camera did lock focus eventually.

Nothing abnormal here, and you do realize that focusing
performance will be poorest when tested with an inexpensive kit
lens, as it was here. This is typical for DSLRs, and comparable to
my D50.


> Okay, let's move on to our test photos now. With the exception of the
> night shot, all of the photos were taken with the 18 - 55 mm kit lens.
> The night shot was taken with the Pentax F4-5.6 50 - 200 mm lens.
>
> The K100D did a fine job with our 3" tall macro subject. The colors are
> nice and saturated (in fact, the red cloak is a little over the top)\, the
> subject is super-sharp, and noise is not an issue.
> . . .
> Anyhow, the K100D did a great job with the night test shot. The camera
> took in plenty of light (having manual shutter speed control sure helps
> with that), and the buildings are nice and sharp.
> . . .
> Overall the K100D's photo quality was excellent, which is just what you'd
> expect from a digital SLR.
> . . .
>
> How Does it Compare?
>
> Going into this review I was sort of lukewarm about the Pentax K100D.
> But this entry-level digital SLR won me over with its excellent photo
> quality, built-in image stabilizer, and low price. It's not great for
> sports/action shooters, but for everyone else, it's absolutely worth a look.
> . . .
> The camera is also somewhat unique in that it uses AA batteries straight
> out of the box, instead of expensive proprietary li-ion batteries like most
> of the competition.

Wow. When will this last quote appear on your website. :) I
think that by now most people know that the answer is Never.


> Camera performance is average (for a D-SLR) in most respects. The
> K100D starts up in under a second (not that great) and there's no
> shutter lag to speak of. Focus speeds are decent in good light, but on
> the slow side in dim light. Despite this sluggishness, the K100D does
> lock focus consistently in low light. Shot-to-shot speeds are okay, but
> the buffer fills up quickly. Along those lines, I couldn't help but be
> disappointed with the continuous shooting mode on the camera: the
> burst rate (a respectable 2.6 fps) slows down noticeable after just 3
> RAW or 5 Best Quality JPEGs -- the competition does a better job
> here. The K100D's battery life seems to be below average, though I
> don't have data for every D-SLR in this class.

As noted above, the sluggishness is *not* a function of the
batteries used, and battery life can't be said to be poor. If it
was poor, it would be obvious, and DC Resource wouldn't say that it
"seems to be" below average. Also note that the *ist DS2, which
also uses the same four AA NiMH cells gets battery life that can
only be described as "better than average".


> I pretty much covered all the negative points about the K100D in the
> preceding paragraphs. With a street price of a little over $600 (with
> the kit lens), the Pentax K100D is quite a bargain. It doesn't have the
> resolution of most of the competition, but it offers solid build quality,
> great photo quality, and image stabilization for not much money. If
> you've got a Pentax lens collection this camera is a no-brainer, and if
> you're buying your first D-SLR then it's also worth a look. The only
> people to whom I'd say "stay away!" would be those who take a lot of
> fast action shots, as the buffer memory fills up way too quickly.
>
> What I liked:
>
> * Very good photo quality; low noise through ISO 800
> * Great value
> * Image stabilization system works with all Pentax lenses
> * Solid construction; doesn't feel "cheap" despite the low price
> * Large 2.5" LCD display
> * Full manual controls, as you'd expect
> * Good (but slow) low light focusing
> * Redeye not a problem
> * Decent RAW editing software included
> * Uses AA batteries
> * USB 2.0 High Speed support

See that, SMS? Unlike you, DC Resource *liked* the fact that AA
batteries were used. It was considered a plus, even though you did
everything possible to make it appear that AA batteries either
couldn't be used, or would contribute to poor performance. Nope,
your deceptive spin once again didn't work.


> What I didn't care for:
>
> * Buffer memory fills up way too quickly; unimpressive continuous
> shooting mode as a result
> * Performance not quite as good as other D-SLRs
> * Some vignetting with kit lens
> * Menus not terribly user friendly
> * Limited white balance options (no fine-tuning or color temperature setting)
> * No backlight for LCD info display

Despite your contentions, none of these "cons" are due to the
K100D's use of four AA cells. And you say that this camera has
gotten "less than stellar reviews"? Well sure, it can't go head to
head with a Canon EOS 5D, EOS-1Ds Mark II, Nikon D300 or D3, but
it's a good, solid DSLR. DC Resource like it, as did DPReview,
which also like its use of AA batteries. The reason that you tried
to disparage the K100D is because it uses AA batteries, but despite
hinting at DC Resource's review, it turned out that the reviews were
not only favorable (DPReview rated it Highly Recommended), but they
both like its use of AA batteries.

DPReview's conclusion started and ended with this :

> When we reviewed the *ist DS it was a camera which equally surprised
> and disappointed; on one hand it was one of those cameras which
> functioned beyond its expectation or billing, and on the other it
> disappointed with its relatively poor in-camera image processor,
> which simply wasn't delivering the results we knew the camera was
> capable of. Enter stage left the K100D, the camera which puts that
> right with a considerably improved image processor and also adds
> Pentax's own Shake Reduction system.

. . .

> The clear step forward in image processing and the addition of Shake
> Reduction are enough to tip the K100D into our Highly Recommended
> category, this is the camera the *ist DS should have been and is a
> refreshing change from another strong Canon or Nikon.

Now for your other contention, that *you* provide data and expert
opinions and *I* just provide biased personal views, it turns out
that in reality it's *you* that is the biased spin machine, and your
opinions and conclusions are so often wrong that one must suspect
that it's not accidental, and people would be wise to take most of
what you say at least with a grain of salt.

From: J. F. Cornwall on
SMS wrote:
> J. F. Cornwall wrote:
>
>> Indeed. My Pentax K100D, using AA Eneloops, has great battery life.
>> And it takes great pictures.
>>
>> Jim
>
>
> As the DC Resource review states:
>
> "Camera performance is average (for a D-SLR) in most respects. The K100D
> starts up in under a second (not that great) and there's no shutter lag
> to speak of. _Focus speeds are decent in good light, but on the slow
> side in dim light._ Despite this sluggishness, the K100D does lock focus
> consistently in low light. Shot-to-shot speeds are okay, but the buffer
> fills up quickly. Along those lines, I couldn't help but be disappointed
> with the continuous shooting mode on the camera: the burst rate (a
> respectable 2.6 fps) slows down noticeable after just 3 RAW or 5 Best
> Quality JPEGs -- the competition does a better job here. _The K100D's
> battery life seems to be below average_, though I don't have data for
> every D-SLR in this class."
>
> Of course none of these issues speaks to image quality, which is not an
> issue with the K100D.

Well, I tried it out with plain old AAs I had on hand when I got the
camera for a Christmas gift. As expected, they didn't last long. As
soon as I located some Eneloops and put them in, I have had no problems
with battery life. So, the only issue I can see is, does User X have a
problem with battery life? I don't, others may, depending on how they
use the camera.

Jim