felloweskimo wrote:AA Batteries = eww.
But, not bad for the price. Just dont expect to get more than 50 pictures out of two standard batteries.
As someone who has worked at a battery store (yes, we ONLY sell batteries), I can tell you that AA batteries is actually a good thing for several reasons.
The biggest reason is that they are common. Someone else mentioned it too, that if you get into a bind and just need to take a few pictures, you don't have to wait while that fancy, better cameras' special-shaped LI-ION battery recharges. Just cannibalize your TV remote and CLICK! Instant memories!
Second reason is that if you know someone who's not just "not tech savvy" but who is a train wreck when it comes to anything more complicated than a toaster, this is something they can understand. I can't tell you how many times I've had to explain to people things about camera batteries that should be obvious. Like using the right type/shape/model is not optional. AA is a size that is pretty much universally known and understood. Few are the people you could ask "do you know what a AA battery is?" and get a puzzled look from. At least in the USA. For the record, another model for them is 1500 size (as in Duracell ProCell 1500 = AA sise).
Then, of course, there are the rechargeables. I did see someone talking about having the 2800mAH NIMH batteries and using the awesome charger. I think you may have gotten a bad batch or something is my instinct. My mom has this camera and has not had the same low-picture-count on a single charge. Remember that just like anything else, batteries are subject to defect. I like to tell people that battery making is much akin to baking: sometimes they turn out great, sometimes just "okay" and as normal, but sometimes you get a flop-batch of cookies or bread.
Another thing about rechargeables: mAH isn't everything. Consider two main things when you are buying your rechargeables: Do you use the camera often, or is it more sporadic? When you do use it, how much do you use it at that time? The mAH just tells you the capacity, but not how good the battery is at holding the power betwixt charges. Rechargeables self-drain pretty fast, in general. If you charge your batteries, take a few pics, then let the camera sit around for 4 months, you'll need to charge them again if they are normal rechargeables.
Many people know about the recent (that is, within just the last few years) arrival of batteries like the Sanyo Eneloop batteries: batteries that have been modified to hold their charge longer while just sitting around. Only a few companies make the type right now (Rayovac Hybrid, Duracell "Pre-charged," Sanyo Eneloop, and Maha/PowerEx Imedion are the ones I can think of), and for the person that only casually or infrequently uses their camera, they are a better AA rechargeable. This type of battery does have less mAH than the older common type of NIMH rechargeable, a result of the different battery design, but if you let them sit around for 4 months, they'll have MUCH more power left than the others.
The last benefit of AA that I'll point out: Availability of the non-rechargeable lithium batteries. If you are going to be somewhere extremely cold, and want to be able to take pictures, then your best bet is to use the non-rechargeable lithiums. They are surprisingly light-weight, and nothing else works as well in cold, really. They also have the longest shelf-life, so you can carry around an "emergency set" of batteries with you for 10 years.
Anyway, I'm not sure if anyone will even read this whole thing, but it's been fun to ramble on for a bit like if I was at work. Hope this helps someone at least. Toodaloo!