I'm searching for a new P&S camera to replace a dead 3 year old Nikon Coolpix.
I want a P&S that offers better image quality than the Coolpix did. Also better zoom and especially, low light capabilities.
Looking at the latest P&S cameras, they ALL seem to use manufacture proprietary rechargeable batteries, as opposed to AA batteries like my old Nikon.
Great, so I checked out the Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS3. What's this? Panasonic implemented a firmware update to preclude the use of anything but non-Panasonic branded replacement batteries? Now why would they do that?
Oh, to protect the camera from cheap after-market rechargeable batteries. Okay. Let's see, the Panasonic replacement battery is -- $45.00. Uh-huh...
Looking over other brands, see the same trend toward proprietary internal rechargeable batteries.
I don't have ANYTHING against a rechargeable internal battery in a camera. What I do have something against is using it as a form of controlled recurrent revenue and a means of "planned obsolescence".
What do I mean by "planned obsolescence"? Forcing you to buy a new camera in 2-3 years because the manufacture decides to stop making the proprietary battery for your camera (as in, "phasing out beyond end-of-life"). Thus refreshing consumer demand and insuring a continued source of revenue from new camera sales.
It happened with printer ink cartridges. Manufacture sells you a printer that uses a specialized, proprietary cartridge and in a few years that cartridge becomes increasing difficult to find, outrageously expensive then impossible to find. Time for a new printer, open your wallet please Mr. Consumer.
That and you have to carry a battery charger and extra (proprietary) battery with you when you go on trips. More stuff to pack and keep track of. I just want to throw my camera in my bag and go. Dump pics off the SD card to my laptop while I'm there, reformat the card and continue taking pics/movies. Run out of power for the camera? Buy a pair of alkaline or lithium AA batteries and keep shooting.
What I would like is a recommendation on a decent quality, P&S camera that uses commonly available, off the shelf AA batteries. That is, a camera that is designed to work with such, doing things like powering off automatically, allowing you to switch off the LCD, maybe the option of using a (GASP!) viewfinder, etc. In other words, designed for efficient power use.
I am currently looking at the Canon PowerShot SX120IS. Looks okay, funky form factor though and appears to be very inefficient power-wise.
Willing to bite the bullet and buy a camera with a proprietary battery IF I can find one that allows for recharging via a USB cable so I don't have to carry a separate battery charger. And allows for third party replacement batteries so the manufacture doesn't have an iron grip on battery price and when the camera will become obsolete.
Thanks for listening to my rant and your consideration.
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