Wednesday, June 28, 2006

The battery incident

Sometimes I'm not as smart as I think I am.

For the last couple of weeks I've been having trouble with my camera. Since we're moving soon to Europe, I didn't want to spend the money on rechargable batteries and a charger because they won't work in London. So I went to the dollar store and spent $8 on 8 packs of batteries - thinking they'd last me at least a month.

At this point some of you might already be questioning my intelligence (yes I did graduate from Teacher's College with honours) of putting $1 batteries in a $600 camera. In hindsight, I realize that this was not the best choice to make - but the dire state of my finances tends to affect my brain once in awhile.

You might guess where this is going. The camera started burning through batteries at an alarming rate, making me wonder if there was a problem with it. I'd put in a new pack of 4, take 10 pictures, and the camera would turn off. Even with cheap batteries, I figured that this shouldn't be happening. Jeremy mentioned that i might want to try not buying cheap-ass batteries for my camera - to which I rolled my eyes and said "batteries are batteries".

It happened like this:
Step 1. Insert new batteries in the camera
Step 2. take a few picturs
low battery icon
Step 3. sigh of frustration

Step 4. switch the batteries around / insert new batteries
Step 5. take a few more pictures
low battery icon - camera shuts off

Step 8. repeat process several times over, resulting in high levels of annoyance and the need for a strong drink

As I turns out - batteries are NOT just batteries.

After going to the fireworks last night on the Detroit river, I finally got annoyed enough with the reloading-batteries-only-to-watch-them-die process and decided to email Canon with my question. I also went so far as to pull out my receipt and warranty statement "just in case". I'd be lying if I didn't admit to a little temper tantrum over this possibly broken, month-old camera.

Just in case you haven't already guessed the problem, I'll share it with you now. I used to work in the techology field (sigh, yes I know - I don't always believe it either), and during my time there, I learned how to search the internet for answers to tech questions. One of these helpful sites is, where you can literally learn about how ANYTHING works. Go ahead and try it - you can type pretty much anything and it'll tell you all about it.

I learned way more than I ever needed to know about how batteries work - most importantly that "inexpensive" (can't hide the word CHEAP here) batteries are not in fact made out of alkaline - which is required for digital cameras and many other devices. Jeremy went to the store and bought a pack of alkaline batteries - which after taking 30 or so pictures still have not died.

I guess I should have listened to him in the first place.

So to my camera I apologize - and add a few more pictures that it took for me during our camping trip.


  • At 9:56 PM, Blogger ledawit said…

    oh mel.. what can i say .. ummm i will blame this incident for your sake on the lack of finances resulting in brain malfunction which lead you to believe that $1 batteries would be a good idea to use ... its ok mel.. soon you will be making the big $$$ and this will never happen again ..LOL

  • At 9:59 PM, Blogger Melinda said…

    i sure hope so! i can't promise more money will make smarter though ;P

  • At 6:41 AM, Blogger Laura Coubrough said…

    As a materials engineer, I'm not going anywhere near this, save to say that the pictures are beautiful.

  • At 7:16 AM, Blogger Kim said…

    Ha, that's funny Laura!

    I just need to contribute that when Steve looked through the blog he said to me:

    "She posted the same picture of Jeremy petting a big racoon twice" to which I said "It's a dog...and why would Jeremy be petting a big racoon?!"

    Silly Steven.

  • At 8:08 AM, Blogger Melinda said…

    well i guess i left myself open to all of this...

    in my defense most of the people I talked to about this had no idea that there were even two different kinds of AA batteries. They just thought I was dumb for being so cheap ;)

    ps. thanks for the restraint Laura :)


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