Possible battery issues

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by tdz16, Jun 27, 2010.

  1. tdz16

    tdz16 TPF Noob!

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    I just recently purchased a D700 and immediately went and bought the Zeikos MB-D10 battery grip and a couple of extra Zeikos EN-EL3e batteries.

    The grip controls were working fine and I had been using the camera with the original Nikon battery in the body with no problems. Then I decided to pop one of the Zeikos batteries in the grip. The camera was set to use grip power first, then switch to the body battery after.

    It seems that when drawing battery power from the Zeikos batteries, the battery level drains from 100% down to the 80's very quickly and then the "battery low" indicator flashes and it starts kicking me out of menu screens on the LCD and won't let me release the shutter.

    The camera works fine with only the nikon battery in the grip or the body and appears to "malfunction", so to speak, when the Zeikos batteries are used in either the body or the grip. The camera also appears to be fine when I used regular AA's in the grip.

    So, has anyone else used off brand, particularly these Zeikos EN-EL3e's, in their camera before? Any issues? I'll be heading to the store tomorrow to just pick up some Nikons. I should've just done that in the first place but I had great success with the CTA EN-EL9 batteries in my D40 so I figured I would go off-brand again.

    Any input as to similar situations with this battery type or grip would be appreciated.

    Thanks,
    ~Tom
     
  2. BrentRS1985

    BrentRS1985 TPF Noob!

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    Sounds like a bad battery, exchange it for another. If you have the same problem with the new one it sounds like a horrible brand name is your problem.
     
  3. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Why is horrible brand name a problem? Chances are the batteries come from exactly the same factory as the Nikon originals.

    There's not a lot to screw up with batteries. The technology is basic and despite the fancy names on the side there's actually very few companies in the world who manufacture batteries. I guarantee Nikon don't manufacture their own Lithium batteries. Also Zeikos isn't a manufacturer either and neither is "Camera Devices" the brand of my EN-EL3e batteries.

    Just like any products though you do get duds. Nikon (one would hope) may have more quality control considering the absurd cost of their batteries.
     
  4. BrentRS1985

    BrentRS1985 TPF Noob!

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    That is basically what I was leaning toward, a dud battery. But if you were to get two dud batteries in a row, the common denominator in the equation is the manufacturer, very unlikely I guess. But now I see the op bought more than one Zeikos battery and is having problems with both of them, but no problems with the nikon. My only guess now is they aren't an exact match to what the camera requires. My battery says 7.2 V, 1080 mAh and 7.8 Wh. I would assume if the off brand batteries don't have identical specs they won't work properly. If this isn't the case I have no idea what could be wrong.
     
  5. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Aftermarket batteries vary tremendously in their quality and reliability. Nikon-branded batteries are, in my experience, excellent and reliable. People who buy really,really cheap aftermarket batteries often report difficulties--there are millions of reports about bad batteries all over the web. Battery grips are another area where some of the third-party offerings LOOK pretty good, but do not measure up. The Zeikos battery grip is basically a $65 Chinese grip for a $2,700 pro Nikon body. The Zeikos batteries seem to be crap in actual use for you. Seems like that Zeikos name just isn't really working out too well in actuality. It's likely I think that the cheap-o Zeikos products are not up to the quality that you would like, so the alternative might be to buy the name brand products and see if they'd deliver the expected performance. Given the huge problems that have been experienced in the camera, camcorder, laptop computer, and cell-phone battery areas over the last three to four years, the research I've done shows many cases where 3rd party batteries, cheap Chinese knock-offs, are just simply absolute crap. Same goes for battery grips--many of them have flex issues, and they fail to provide solid connection,and work erratically in some cases.
     
  6. tdz16

    tdz16 TPF Noob!

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    From what I could find through google searches, the grip itself actually received very positive reviews across the board. It is very solid in my opinion, granted its not made of the same magnesium alloy as the Nikon version, but its nowhere near as cheap as the Bower grip I had for my D40.

    The battery specs on the Zeikos are 7.4v 2200mAh 16.3Wh.
    The battery specs on the Nikon are 7.4v 1500mAh 12Wh.

    Wouldn't that theoretically mean the Zeikos could handle a larger current draw than the Nikon? The Zeikos just feels SO much lighter in weight than the Nikon, not that that means anything.

    Thanks for the replies, any other thoughts are welcome. I'm going to try to hit the camera store this morning if I have time.

    ~Tom
     
  7. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    For what it is worth, the Leica groups are reporting the same experience (which agrees with mine). I've tried a few brands that are crap and the "Impact" brands from Adorama are simply just "ok". Even if the cells are sourced from the same manufacturer as branded batteries, there is still question about the circuit components within the battery pack. My R-D1 is a nightmare.... Epson no longer makes their battery and other NP-80 batteries might look and fit the same but their lifespan/performance has been extremely varied (Epson originals were rated higher too). I'm on "Lenmar" branded batteries now... crossing my fingers that I finally found a good source.
     
  8. Forest Power Ranger

    Forest Power Ranger TPF Noob!

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    Yeah I had a problem with my Zeikos battery grip for my D300. Both my batteries are Nikon but when I set the camera to take power from the grip first the battery in the camera drains first and drains QUICKLY!

    But that was when I first got it and now it seems to work a little better.
    Maybe just give it time?
     
  9. Robin Usagani

    Robin Usagani Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    did you download the latest firmware. On my canon they had an issue with not showing the right battery level when you use a grip. They fixed that problem.
     
  10. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Well, Tom, last year I did some research into aftermarket batteries,and faulty batteries, back during the time period that one of the camera makers announced it was going to disallow the use of non-authorized batteries by means of some new technology that would look for a "chip" or somesuch signal that would convey a factory-branded battery,and allow the cameras to function. I believe it was Panasonic. Anyway....during a day or two of on-line looking, I found a web page put up by an electrical engineering/hiobby type electronics fellow, who had taken a number of aftermarket and manufacturer's batteries into his workshop, and tested them and disassembled them...

    What I learned from his report is that "some" aftermarket batteries have false labelling claims, and not just by a little bit, but what in the USA would constitute downright fraudulent labeling, as to capacity. I also learned that "some" batteries had shortcuts taken WRT to short-circuit protection and safety. So...when an aftermarket battery feels as you put it, "SO much lighter in weight than the Nikon" battery, well...yeah...there's a reason for that.
     
  11. Formatted

    Formatted TPF Noob!

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  12. Lipoly

    Lipoly TPF Noob!

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    You may be right, but coming from the same factory means almost nothing. I am an avid radio control enthusiast and race cars, fly helicopters and airplanes on battery power. I can say that batteries, although commonplace for years still vary greatly in performance and quality.

    I have spent hundreds of dollars in battery testing equipment to find the best performing batteries and there is just no question that junk batteries exist. You get what you pay for no doubt.

    [Edit]
    On a mostly unrelated topic, I worked part time while going through college at a car oil filter company who makes 90% of oil filter brands you find at retail and can say that even though they were made at the same factory, quality control and materials varied considerably. For our budget brands, we let many small defects go (at brand company's request). For the premium brands, no defect was boxed; not even extremely small cosmetic defects were allowed. That was just in the QC dept, materials involved were better w/premium brands as well.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2010

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