Battery Failure

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by rub, Jun 20, 2008.

  1. rub

    rub TPF Noob!

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    Earlier this week I was out shooting some pics of a friend and her horse, and my fully charged battery (for my Nikon D80) failed after about 200 shots. The camera just turned off completely, and there was nothing showing on the top screen.

    Unfortunately, my other battery was not fully charged. I had stuck in the fully charged one so I would have to worry about changing the battery halfway through. I only had 1 bar left, so I got another 100 shots, but desperately wanted more.

    I have had the battery for about 4 months. When purchased, I was told there is no warranty.

    Any idea what could have caused this? Is it normal for a battery to have such a short life span? Should I try returning it?

    Thanks in advance for any input.

    Kristal
     
  2. mrodgers

    mrodgers No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Type of battery? (sorry, I don't know anything about Nikons or dSLRs. I'm a AA NiMH kind of battery user). How do you charge it? What is the voltage and mah of the battery? What is the charging rate of your battery? Did you use flash and how often? Did you preview your shots and how often?

    All questions that will help to narrow it down. Though, I don't know anything about Lithium Ion batteries. I only know NiMH and Lithium Polymer batteries. The answers to these questions should help others answer yours though.
     
  3. rub

    rub TPF Noob!

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    Its a Li-ion 7.4V 1500mAh (whatever that means). No flash, and i previewed a few times, maybe 20 to do a quick check on exposure.

    It has a charger that I use, and it generally charges up completely in a few hours.

    It has now taken what appears to be a full charge, but I am scared to use it now. I don't want it to fail again, especially at the wrong moment.
     
  4. LostEL

    LostEL TPF Noob!

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    Typical Li-on batteries get about 300 shots in a life span. You can probably get more in but that's the estimate on how long a charge lasts. To get the most out of the Li-on battery you want to make sure you charge it completely and then run it all the way down before charging it again fully again. It sounds like you aren't doing anything extra to run it down like mrodgers asked, so the battery should be lasting longer than it sounds like.

    So let me ask how often do you charge it? Do you charge it completely and do you ever charge it before the battery is actually dead or close to being dead?

    edit: and 1500 mah is how much power the actual battery has, most now and days come with 2500 mah.
     
  5. rub

    rub TPF Noob!

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    Wow. My other battery gets about 1000 shots, usually more (as I dont preview/delete much in camera).

    Maybe I just lucked out and got a really great one?

    I always wait till they are just about dead (1 bar) before I charge, and I charge till full every time.

    That battery has seen the charger about 6 times.
     
  6. LostEL

    LostEL TPF Noob!

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    1000? Yeah that sounds better, sorry I was thinking just regular digital camera's not dSLR. Ummm it sounds like your taking care of it so it should still be holding a good charge.

    How often are you using your camera and for how long? Batteries will sometimes start losing charge hold if used vigorously but that's over a period of time, not just it suddenly going dead. So there might be something wrong with your charger or something wrong with the battery reader thing (well that sounded brilliant and also less likely if the camera has been taken care of) or it could very well be the battery. I would charge up the back up battery and use that and take pictures like you normally do.

    If it dies out after a couple hundred pictures it might be the charger if it lasts like your battery did four months ago, then you might need a new battery.
     
  7. rub

    rub TPF Noob!

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    My other battery still holds a charge fine. I am only having problems with the one.
     
  8. djrichie28

    djrichie28 TPF Noob!

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    Is there a reason why there is no warranty? Where did you buy it? It sounds to me that it is defective.
     
  9. rub

    rub TPF Noob!

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    They just said there is no returns/warrenty on batteries.

    I will go in and talk to them, but because there was no warranty, I threw out the receipt and packaging.
     
  10. KD5NRH

    KD5NRH TPF Noob!

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    Don't know for sure about these, but Maha makes conditioning chargers that work for just about everything else on the planet; it could be a really worthwhile investment. http://www.mahaenergy.com/
     
  11. RyanLilly

    RyanLilly No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    sounds like one of the cells in the pack has gone bad, nothing you can do about it. Li-ions have a tricky chemical combo, Most packs are made up of individual 3.6v cells they have very specific charging requirements and discharge capabilities, if any single 3.6v cell goes lower than 3volts, it is ruined and will not recharge. Most chargers cameras and other electronics are designed to prevent this, but those safe guards don't always work, and sometimes you could have gotten a junk battery from the start.

    Also Li-Ion does not suffer from the "memory effect" like Ni-cd, and you should never charge a li-ion on a charger that is not specifically designed for it, otherwise your battery is toast.
     
  12. Beastt

    Beastt TPF Noob!

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    I would have to agree that it sounds like a defective battery. Nikon rates the EN-EL3e at around 2700 shots from a D80 camera. Of course, as usual, your actual use will be well below that number. When flash is used for every picture the rating drops to a mere 600 shots.

    Either way, it sounds like your battery is providing only a fraction of the intended charge time and, as another poster already stated, it's likely a bad cell in the battery pack. There is little you can do except hope that the business where you bought the battery will honor their merchandise and exchange it for one which is working properly.

    I'm glad your D80 is working properly with your other battery since both the D200 and D300 seem to have a few units which suffer from what is known as "dead battery syndrome" where the camera suddenly reports the battery to be drained and refuses to take pictures. Sometimes a cleaning of the lens contacts seems to cure the problem. Other times it appears multiple electrical components in the camera are damaged and must be replaced.

    Fortunately, it doesn't sound like this is the problem you have, it's just a bad battery which sucks, but is much better than having to have your camera repaired. I have both a D80 and a D200 and both use the same EN-EL3e batteries. The D200 gets a realistic 450-500 shots on a full charge while my D80 provides closer to 1000-1200, depending on flash use, LCD use, etc.

    See if the store will stand behind the product and if they don't, pitch it and breathe a sigh of relief that your camera is okay. Then buy another replacement battery from someone who will stand behind their products. One of these batteries will likely run $32-$40 (U.S.). There are many cheaper replacement batteries and I'm sure some of them work quite well but Nikon suggests you stick to their battery if you want your camera's warranty to be honored.
     

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