Recharging options for non-AA cameras

I’ve always had AA powered cameras in the past because I frequently go on long backpacking trips where it’s difficult to find wall outlets. But I really like the new mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras (price, size and functionality) and the battery issue is the last sticking point before purchase. I have found two options that might work but I’m not electronically inclined in this area and don’t know anyone that has used either with a camera. I do know that the camera needs to charge via a mini-USB attachment. But I’m not sure what power input/output details I need to look at. Does anyone know if the options below would work?

The likely camera would be a panasonic G10 or G2 (possibly a NEX3/5).

Option 1 is a Solio solar charger that I have back home. Their product support webpage pretty much said that some cameras would charge and some wouldn’t. I think the deciding factor would be if the solio could connect to the camera’s charging port. I tried to hook the solio up to an XM radio but it didn’t charge since I think it was a data input only and there was a separate charging input.

Option 2 is a battery powered charger like this - But I think this faces the same issues as the solio charger.

Alternatively I could just buy an entry level pentax kx dslr. It’s powered by AA batteries but is also slightly larger, about 100USD more expensive, and the wide angle comparable lens is almost twice that of the mirrorless. But it would be a little better camera. One plus is that it’s available in Taipei at only a 10% markup of the lowest US prices that I’ve found.

You could buy an additional battery. Make sure both are fully charged before to go on your trip.

Why not just buy a couple of extra batteries and make sure they’re charged before you set out? Should only cost you an extra $20-30 per battery. Using AA in a DSLR is only for desperate situations - you usually don’t get much life out of them at all.


I’m talking a month plus with really intermittent access (not to mention inconvenient) to AC power. In a year and a half I’m planning on a multi-month trip to Nepal and Tibet. The cold temps are terrible for battery life and sometimes it can be a big hassle (and expensive) to get your batteries charged. Another trip I plan on taking someday is hiking the Continental Divide Trail down the length of the Rocky Mountains. it’s a 6 month trip where you spend no more than 1 night in town per week and that might be camping. If it was as simple as having 2 (or 3 or 4 or 5) batteries I would go that route gladly. But I really don’t want to be in a position where I’m missing pictures because my batteries are dead.

As long as you use the AA lithiums you’ll get better life compared to the other proprietary batteries. It is true that alkaline won’t last at all (lucky if you get 100 pics).