Digital Cameras With the Best Battery Life

Leave your charger at home, or get better mileage out of your AA batteries. Based on PC World Labs battery evaluations, here are 2009's juiciest point-and-shoot cameras in terms of battery longevity.

Casio Exilim EX-H10

The 12-megapixel EX-H10 pocket megazoom camera has a big, 3-inch LCD and a slick silver and black frame that's slightly less than an inch deep. What's amazing about the camera's depth is that it somehow houses the lengthy 10X-optical-zoom lens, which reaches from an ultrawide 24mm to 240mm telephoto. With fun in-camera features, this model is geared toward a younger crowd. --Tim Moynihan

Battery life: 500-plus shots per charge (rechargeable lithium ion battery)

Pros: Very fast 10X-optical-zoom lens; fun in-camera features and auto modes

Cons: Loud zoom-lens motors; lack of manual controls

Price: $300

Full review

Kodak EasyShare Z980

On the 24X-optical-zoom Kodak EasyShare Z980, the standout features are ergonomics and battery life. The Z980 is a solid buy, with RAW-shooting capabilities, a hotshoe, and a secondary shutter release for vertical shots. However, potential buyers will need to overlook slight shortcomings in imaging, as well as the fairly hefty weight and size. --Danny Palmerlee

Battery life: 500-plus shots (four fresh AA batteries)

Pros: Additional vertical shutter button; shoots in RAW and JPEG formats

Cons: Image quality a bit below average; on/off switch is difficult to use

Price: $400

Full review

Canon PowerShot SX20 IS

In addition to outstanding battery life, the Canon PowerShot SX20 IS has an impressive set of headline features: a massive 20X optical zoom, a 12.1-megapixel sensor, and 720p HD video recording. Its image quality is among the best we've seen for a point-and-shoot camera; in PCWorld Labs image evaluations, the SX20 IS earned a score of Superior, showing across-the-board excellence in overall image quality, lack of distortion, sharpness, and color accuracy. --Dave Johnson

Battery life: 500-plus shots (four fresh AA batteries)

Pros: 20X-optical-zoom lens (28mm to 560mm); 720p HD video recording; Color Accent mode and super macro setting

Cons: Slow burst mode (almost a second between shots)

Price: $400

Full review

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX1

The lightning-fast, 20X-optical-zoom Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX1 starts up in about 2 seconds and has almost no lag time between shots. Its sharp, tilting 3-inch LCD screen makes shooting overhead and from the hip a breeze. It's also one of the few advanced point-and-shoot cameras equipped with a CMOS sensor, which allows special functions such as Twilight Mode (a high-ISO setting that shoots remarkably noise-free images) and Sweep Panorama (a mode that stitches photos together as you pan across a scene). --Danny Palmerlee

Battery life: 472 shots per charge (rechargeable lithium ion battery)

Pros: Extremely fast to focus and shoot; tilting 3-inch LCD screen; Sweep Panorama mode

Cons: Subpar image quality; settings menu is difficult to access

Price: $500

Full review

Fujifilm FinePix S200EXR

This elegantly designed megazoom camera has a wealth of unique exposure options for serious photographers. The FinePix S200EXR may not be a DSLR, but it is the sort of advanced point-and-shoot camera that's an enthusiast's dream. With a layout that mimics a typical SLR model's design, it offers superb handling, megazoom reach, advanced exposure control, and only a few minor disappointments. --Dave Johnson

Battery life: 397 shots per charge (rechargeable lithium ion battery)

Pros: EXR modes for dynamic range and low noise; 14.3X optical zoom with manual focus ring

Cons: EXR modes reduce image resolution by half; disappointing, standard-definition video; lag between sequential shots

Price: $600

Full review

Canon PowerShot SD1200 IS

In many ways the Canon PowerShot SD1200 IS seems to be the ideal on-the-go camera: It's pocketable and affordable, with an interesting variety of shooting modes, excellent image quality, and optical image stabilization. A few design flaws keep it from being perfect, however. The buttons are flush with the body of the camera, which makes them difficult to press, and the optical viewfinder is simply too small to be of use. --Ginny Mies

Battery life: 352 shots per charge (rechargeable lithium ion battery)

Pros: Compact, slim design; good image quality in automatic mode

Cons: Image quality suffers above ISO 200; viewfinder is too small to use

Price: $230

Full review

Kodak EasyShare M381

Fully automated, easy to use, and affordable, the Kodak EasyShare M381 is a solid point-and-shoot choice for anyone who doesn't want to have to deal with camera settings. It has a few usability quirks and it lacks excitement, but it takes a decent still photo with little work on the shooter's part. --Roman Loyola

Battery life: 350 shots per charge (rechargeable lithium ion battery)

Pros: Easy to use; Perfect Touch feature fixes poorly lit shots

Cons: Shutter and zoom both lag a bit; limited manual controls; no HD video shooting

Price: $170

Full review

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W290

If you're looking for entertaining in-camera extras and editing tools in a point-and-shoot, the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W290 is a great option. Its wide-angle lens, sharp 3-inch LCD screen, and 720p HD movie mode also add to its overall appeal, but we have seen better image quality from similarly priced cameras in 2009. --Tim Moynihan

Battery life: 342 shots per charge (rechargeable lithium ion battery)

Pros: In-camera editing tools; wide-angle lens and huge LCD

Cons: Image stabilization could be better; proprietary A/V connector

Price: $250

Full review

Canon PowerShot SX200 IS

For $350, the Canon PowerShot SX200 IS serves up a heaping helping of camera. The marquee feature is its 12X-optical-zoom lens, which reaches from 28mm on the wide-angle end to 336mm on the telephoto end. That alone is a major selling point for this camera, and the SX200 IS just gets better when you factor in its image quality and fun features. --Tim Moynihan

Battery life: 324 shots per charge (rechargeable lithium ion battery)

Pros: Excellent zoom lens and image quality; HD video and fun in-camera features

Cons: Bulky, with no AA-battery compatibility; door for the HDMI and A/V ports is a bit flimsy

Price: $350

Full review

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