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digital cameras


Time of past OR future Camino

I've been reading this forum for almost a year- had planned on doing the Camino in May of this year, along with my daughter- as a college graduation present. However, my first grandchild (by a different daughter!!!) entered the world and our plans are to do the Camino next June instead! I get so excited when reading all the posts- thanks.

I want to buy a new camera before I do the trip and need it now. So... my question is this- are rechargable batteries a good idea? Can I count on being able to recharge the batteries? Is the weight difference of a camera with regular batteries vs rechargable batteries worth considering? Are AA batteries readily available along the Camino? Any thoughts will be appreciated.

[Moved by Ivar to the "Equipment Question" section]
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It's not always possible to recharge batteries. So many pilgrims are recharging mobile phones and cameras that it's sometimes difficult to get a power point. You also need to decide whether it's worth carrying the extra weight of recharger and adapter.

What about a camera that takes both rechargeable batteries (for use at home) and lithium batteries whilst on the camino eg CR-3V batteries. While expensive initially, lithium batteries last much, much longer than AAs, and it's easy buy replacements in the larger cities, or bring a couple extra with you.
Hi Marnie.

I faced the same issue as you in selecting a camera for our upcoming camino, and have recently purchased a Canon SD600 digital Elph camera which is very small and takes great pictures. It comes with a tiny recharger, and I bought 2 extra batteries. The camera and charger together are about the size of a deck of cards.
I am happy with this choice.
St James' Way - Self-guided 4-7 day Walking Packages, Reading to Southampton, 110 kms
Canon Elph

On my Camino in the late fall of 2005 I took an SD 400 with tiny charger and an extra battery. It was all I needed, taking photos at about 1 MB each. I recall the battery was sufficient for around 200 or so photos, maybe somewhat less, but I always had the spare battery, and I would recharge the depleted battery at the first opportunity. It worked great because everything was so light. The older camera began showing wear from being carried for many, many, many backpacking miles and was becoming erratic so I just replaced the camera with an even lighter SD900 with the titanium body. I consider it to be a great combination as well as a very lightweight one!
Hi Marnie,

I took my digital pocket sized camera, a Nikon CoolPix 4600, with two 2 MB SD cards, and took over 1500 pictures. The camera fit in my front pocket. Also, my camera uses AA Batteries and I got over 1000 pics on one set (pair) of Lithuim batteries. One third the weight of regular batteries and last 7-10 times longer. But they do cost more. Weight was my biggest concern, but AA batteries were for sale just about everywhere along the Camino, if I had needed them.
My wife also has a Nikon CoolPix, but older and uses the larger in size memory card, but only 1 mb. She took about 400 pictures.
I have the pictures as my screen saver, and have posted them on a Kodak site to share. In sum, I’d take my digital again.
Buen Camino.
i took a battery charger and had no problems getting them recharged. When purhcased a recharged, weight is the importance. i bought mine from future shop, i paid more money ($60Cdn) but the weight difference was considerable. i bought my first digital camera last year, i thought for me, double A was the way to go. lithium battiers are about $70, and if you travel in weird places and something happens to the battery you may be hooped.
good luck
ps. small camera is best i bought a cannon, 4 mg.pixels. it is great
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20 AA Lithuim batteries were us $19. in Austin, Texas. AA batteries are what our cameras use, that's one reason we chose them. AA recharable batteries are what we generally use at home. But the weight/space/convience factors are why I chose Lithium for the Camino.
lithium batteries in canada are $70cdn, one cannot not buy a camera for each destination, so i choose vertsatility. the panasonic charger is only 75grams. well worth it. i ALWAYS had fresh batteries.
When I did the CF, I brought my Canon Powershot A40 with a couple of 250MB (?) compact flash cards and two batteries, plus a charger. Good camera, and it took excellent pictures, but was a bit heavy for a small digital model.

When I did the CPortugues last month, I brought my Olympus SP-510. It's a lightweight semi-pro digital camera that runs on 4 AA batteries. I loved the sharp photos, and it has a good zoom length, and large digital window. Worth the investment...
Very light, comfortable and compressible poncho. Specially designed for protection against water for any activity.

Our Atmospheric H30 poncho offers lightness and waterproofness. Easily compressible and made with our Waterproof fabric, its heat-sealed interior seams guarantee its waterproofness. Includes carrying bag.

We took the Panasonic Lumix FX3,, which right now is realticely cheap as they've brought out two upgrade models since. Awesome awesome camera!! I think it's 6MP but much more importantly i does the two things I love most.....it takes a picture pretty much instantly when you press the button (hate that delay on some digi cameras) and it sips at the battery. I bought a generic replacement battery (proper ones are hard to find and over priced) which cost about £10. Charged both before I went and only needed the second one on the last two days.

Bearing in mind I took about 300 pictures and movies off one battery thats pretty darn good! Both batteries together would last me a month i reckon. So no need for a charger and the batteries are small and not heavy. The camera, spare battery and spare sd card all fitted into a lowepro compact camera case (with lots of room to spare) that clipped neatly on to the shoulder strap of the pack so it was always available.

Cant reccomend them highly enough :)

I took a Canon A570IS camera on the Camino during July and August of 2007. I bought it because it was light, had good reviews on Amazon, and ran on 2 AA batteries. It was a good choice - took great pictures and was easy to use.

As for batteries, I brought along 8 AA Energizer Lithiums. A photographer friend recommended that I buy them, and he was right. I was expecting I'd have to change batteries every 2 weeks or so, but that wasn't the case. After 30 days, the Canon was still going strong but I went ahead and changed the batteries anyway just to be safe. Heck, I even gave away 2 of the Energizers to a Spanish guy for his camera :)

Frankly, I'd go with a small AA-powered camera. Sometimes the plug-ins at albergues are limited, and you'll have to compete with other folks using them to charge cell phones and such. I took almost 900 pictures (used one 2GB SD card - had a spare, but didn't use it), and the Canon and Energizers never let me down. You can find AAs along the way, but as you can see from my experience, if you bring the right ones you won't need to buy any.

As an FYI, I used an M-Rock Yosemite case for the Canon A570IS. It was an excellent little case - the camera fit snugly, so I didn't have to worry about it slipping out. The case also came with a neck strap and weather cover, and it had a thick velcro strap on the back which I used to attach it to my pack's waistbelt. And its pockets held 2 batteries and the extra SD card with no problem.

Anyway, hope whatever camera you choose serves you well - buen camino!
Is it worth getting a camera that's waterproof and/or shockproof for the camino? Or do people find that there's not really much danger of cameras getting wet or being dropped, etc?
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Hi Artemis....,
I kept my digital in a small case attached to the strap of my bumbag. It was always right at hand to pull out to snap a photo ( and put right back in the case) but I didn't have it around my neck (banging around) and I was always careful about dropping it (and never did, thank heaven!). When it rained, it was under my raingear so never got wet...I really think it is only in as much danger as during normal use...nothing extraordinary.

I much prefer my 35mm but it was too big and heavy (plus film) so I opted for the digital and was forced to learn to use it! I lost many of the interior shots (my hand is MUCH steadier, now w/o flash) and I have purchased a tiny tripod as well..so on my next Camino, I'm hoping to be able to be a far better photographer for those shots I missed!

Buen Camino,
I second vinotinto's suggestion of the Energizer Lithium batteries. One set got me through 2 Caminos (May & Sept of 2007), as well as my personal photography in the meantime & only recently died. I had tried the "rechargeable" batteries prior to the lithium batteries, but found they didn't hold a charge very well or for very long.

Just an appeal to recycle your batteries if you are not taking a charger. Battery recycling facilities are widespread in Spain and can be found in the recycling area in most towns and villages (look for the slot marked PILAS) or in camera shops or wherever batteries are bought.
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