Q: Are rechargeable camera batteries the best?
Point-and-shoot digital cameras typically use either proprietary rechargeable camera batteries or disposable off-the-shelf batteries. Both types have some advantages, although rechargeable batteries will cost less over the long run and have less bulk. Camera makers also have made impressive strides in recent years in extending the capacity of their rechargeable batteries without increasing the size much.
Proprietary rechargeable camera batteries cost less to use in the long run, but, once their power is gone, your camera is useless until you can recharge. You can buy a second, backup battery, but it can cost $40 or more. Keep in mind that this cost varies from camera to camera, so shop around and you may find a second battery for a much lower cost.
Disposable batteries typically add more bulk to the camera, and they're more expensive in the long run because they sometimes run out of power quickly, especially if you use the LCD quite a bit. However, if you're traveling and run out of power, picking up two more AA batteries at a local store is an easy process. You also can use rechargeable AA batteries.
You can read more about camera batteries through this page.
Find more answers to common camera questions on the camera FAQ page.