How can I prolong the life of the batteries in my digital camera?

A. When I go on vacation, I bring my digital camera, but I also bring along a laptop so I can offload images from the camera every day, saving space for the next day's photos. The only problem with this scenario is battery life--nothing drains a digital camera's battery faster than copying and deleting photos. There are two good solutions to this problem. The first is to use AA-sized Nickel-Metal Hydride (Ni-MH) batteries instead of plain AA batteries because they last longer and you can recharge them (and bringing along a recharger doesn't take up too much space). Another option is to purchase a USB dongle that accepts the data-cartridge format your camera uses (mine happens to be CompactFlash--CF). Such dongles cost only $20 to $30, and they use the laptop's power supply instead of your camera's.

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