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It sounds like you have bad batteries. I have had rechargeables that have suddenly done the same thing. I have learned that buying really cheap ones doesn't work out. If you buy a good branded set, I think you will find that they are much better. :)
dang I thought it was just me. I put so many brand new batteries in the camera,all kinds, no matter what it completely dead in about 2 minutes.. its frustrating b/c I got the camera last year as a xmas gift, so I really thought I was just an idiot when it came to operating the camera.. glad to know its just a crappy product; I still don't have a resolution though... sorry
Your problem may be due to corrosion on the battery contacts inside the camera
which can prevent the full power of the batteries from flowing into the
camera. Try this free fix before you do anything else: remove the batteries and wipe the camera contacts firmly with
a dry cloth (heavy corrosion may require cleaning with a wire brush,
steel wool, or sandpaper). Remove any residue that may have fallen
into the battery compartment during cleaning, then wipe both ends of
the batteries and place them back in the camera. This cleaning clears
the problem about 90% of the time. If it doesn't work for you, the camera may have
a problem that requires professional repair.
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I recommend to all my customers with AA battery life issues to try Energizer Lithium AA's. Virtually all battery issues solved. I think alkaline batteries are being manufactured poorly, these days, so even brand new they aren't great.
Mine had the same problem. I consulted http://camerarepair.blogspot.com/ and it said to use rechargeable batteries only. The entry claimed that alkaline batteries, even if they're brand new, don't have sufficient power for more than a few pictures and may not even be powerful enough to turn the camera on. I was dubious, but I tried putting in a pair of fully charged rechargeables and, by Gum, the camera was suddenly working again. So before junking the camera, try investing 20 bucks in a battery charger and a pair of AA rechargeables and see if that fixes it.