Monday, 28 January 2008

How to live without batteries

energizer battery close upDavid McMahon posts another interesting question on his blog this weekend:
How efficiently (or inefficiently) would your household function without batteries?
For me, the first thing which came to mind was that my camera wouldn't work without batteries. So if I had no batteries in the house, I'd have to go back to the "old-fashioned" film method (some film cameras don't need batteries). But this is more inconvenient than it would seem. If I wanted to change to film, here are some of the costs that would be involved:
  • I'd have to buy a new SLR. Cost: AUD$700+
  • Since September (four months ago), I've taken approximately 9,000 photos. If I were to take these on film, I would need about 375 rolls of film. These would cost over AUD$1,800.
  • To develop the 375 rolls of film would cost about AUD$6,000
This brings the total cost of film photography for 4 months to about AUD$8,600! And that's ignoring the storage factor - 375 rolls of film take a lot of storage space.

Apart from cameras, there are quite a few other things in the house that use batteries. For example:
  • T.V. remote controls - These devices are very handy, and without them we would all be forced to perform the laborious chore of actually standing up and walking across the room whenever we wanted to turn up the volume.
  • Cordless (or mobile) telephone - Have you ever noticed that when you're talking on a cordless phone you tend to start walking around the room? Without them, you'd have to stay standing beside the phone the whole time - until you need to get the pencil and paper that aren't there.
  • Computer - Hang on, doesn't the computer run without batteries? Yes, as long as it is turned on. But when you turn off your computer, a small battery inside of the case takes care of the time, making sure that when you next start up, it knows what day and hour it is. Without batteries, we'd have to reset the computer's time - and the time of every clock in the house - all day.
The verdict: Thank God for digital photography - and pray that we never run out of batteries!


  1. Hi,
    I came over from David!
    I agree with you regarding the cost of photography without digital and batteries. I have had that argument with several friends who were not sure how much to spend on a new camera. Figuring in the cost of film and developing and printing all of a sudden makes a digital camera look like a really good investment. ;-)
    I have used a little Sony Cyberspace with 3x optical zoom for two years, with the two supplied Sony rechargeable AA batteries not only lasting through up to 350 pictures each time I load them, but together with a second set I purchased working continuously for those two years, and still running strong, about 100.000 images later.

  2. Hi merisi,

    Sounds like your batteries are top-notch - 100,000 pics is a lot! My Energizer batteries at the moment last for over 400 photos per charge, but I use the viewfinder for a lot of my shots.

    Digital cameras are certainly a good investment - but most people should stick with their film one if they already have it and just use it for family snaps. The biggest advantage of digital is the bulk you can handle - and delete!


    David Webb

  3. Bravo, Dave,

    As a former film-user I've often mulled over the savings I've made since switching to digital.

    And I like the way you;ve tackled the other issues, too - especially the computer clock!!

    Love the ladybug and fishing boat shots.....

    Well done, Dave and do keep in touch.

  4. David this is in fact very good point. I don't think I ever come back to the film camera, I still have one and holding on to it though, not sure why. Thanks for pointing out about the computer. Now I know why my husband turns our desktop at least once a month - I thought that he was missing the good old desk top times, lol. Thanks for the calculations, I did the same too once, and my figures where hight too, not in the favor of the film camera. About the batteries, try rechargable, I have one set that fully charges one of my point and shoot camera in 15 minutes (the batteries of course). Thanks for sharing, Anna :)

  5. Hi david mcmahon,

    Seems that everyone is happy with the digital cameras in terms of price savings! I will try to keep in touch now that I've got back from holidays. :)


    David Webb

  6. Hi Anna,

    I advise if you have a film camera that you should keep it. You never know when your batteries might run out! :) Or if you have the time, you can still get a lot of enjoyment out of film photography, and it can achieve some nice effects.

    Turning on the desktop can help, although you're also supposed to replace the batteries once every few years. But at the rate things are going now, after two years a desktop is antiquated anyway!


    David Webb

  7. Hi David, If I took all my photos ( 17,000 photos) with SRL, I would cost me a lot. Thanks for digital revolution helping me : ) Thanks for sharing this great post.



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