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Old Mar 25, 2003, 11:06 AM   #1
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Default Low battery indicator

I've just read the following in another post that also mentions the Olympus C2100UZ -

"The ONLY thing that worries me is the SDS (sudden death syndrome)...I will try to not take pictures when the low battery advise is on the screen and things like that....."

I've quite often continued to use my C2100UZ (and our old Leica Digilux zoom) after the low battery indicator has come on. Is this something I should never do?

Also I can't find anything about 'sudden death syndrome' - is it something that the C2100UZ is apt to be afflicted by?
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Old Mar 25, 2003, 11:40 AM   #2
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Should have really asked this in the Oly forum since it's an Oly specific question, but here is some quotes from a thread there titled, "C2100UZ vs C730UZ" (all quotes written by myself) from: http://www.stevesforums.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=8029

"One of the main reasons of SDS (Sudden Death Syndrome) is low battery, and the three biggest draws of power are writing to the card, powering the LCD, and the IS (Image Stabilization) motor. The biggest mistake people make to cause SDS is taking a picture with the low battery indicator flashing, hoping they can get that one last shot...the C-7x0 can have a similar problem but with the C-2100 it means a trip to Olympus to repair it while with the C-7x0 you just have to remove the batteries and card for a while (an hour at least) and every case I've heard of the camera was fine."

"Low batteries are (and should) be a concern in any digital camera; especially if you have a 2AA battery camera instead of a 4 AAs. In the camera there is a device that increases the voltage of the batteries (because to write to the card you need at least 3.3volts...if you have 2AAs, that would equal 2.4v (1.2v x 2) which wouldn't be enough to write to the card). To K.I.S.S. you need a certain capacity for the voltage booster to work, and if you have low batteries this circuit can't do its job, and the camera dies.

The 2100 due to poor design in this circuit can actually self distruct, which would mean a trip to Olympus for repair. The 700 series can lock up in this situation...the solution usually means removing the batteries and/or the card for over an hour till the camera resets.

The way to avoid the problem is when the low battery indicator starts flashing is not to try to get that one last shot in, but change the batteries then and there."
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Old Mar 25, 2003, 12:46 PM   #3
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If from what you say death is pretty certain and inevitable, one wonders why lo-batt doesn't just lock out the cam in sleep mode, after allowing the last save. Doesn't seem impossible, when sleeping for a user preset duration, is often present in most cams.

I suppose instant decapitation occurs when you switch on the flash in lo-batt mode then?
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Old Mar 25, 2003, 1:30 PM   #4
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Well I'm not a C-2100 user, I'm a C-700 user, and my knowledge is based on these events are as described by others and my knowledge of electronics.

When the 2100 was designed, they didn't anticipate the problem...probably in tests none of the cameras died, or they didn't test them in that respect; who knows. I do know they did fix the problem in C-700's, although they still need to be reset by taking the batteries out for at least 60min and/or the card removed because it didn't have enough power to write to the card (usually that's when the problem happens).
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Old Mar 26, 2003, 10:48 AM   #5
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Default Low battery dangers

Thanks for the warnings, Mike. From what you say, using either of our cameras (not just the Olympus) after the low battery sign comes on can cause problems - though with the C2100UZ it can go beyond inconvenience and damage the camera. That being the case, perhaps it's been useful to discuss it here and not just in the Oly forum.
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Old Mar 27, 2003, 5:23 PM   #6
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I have exhausted all battery power while taking pictures and haven't had any problems. However, I believe I will start changing batteries when I get the flashing battery symbol from now on.

For what it's worth, I've always been able to get several pics with flash before the camera shuts off, if anyone' s interested. If the low battery indicator comes on while you are framing a shot, I'd go ahead and take that shot before changing batteries.
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Old Mar 28, 2003, 4:39 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lg
For what it's worth, I've always been able to get several pics with flash before the camera shuts off, if anyone' s interested. If the low battery indicator comes on while you are framing a shot, I'd go ahead and take that shot before changing batteries.
I wouldn't (especially if you're using ancient batteries)...one of the biggest draws of power is writing to the card, and that's when the camera can go dead (especially since that's what needs the higher voltage (3.3v) which can be a problem especially in 2AA cameras).
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Old Mar 28, 2003, 4:48 AM   #8
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This is correct! the card write and flash re-charge power after you take the shot wil likely kill a low batt. And it's during an aborted memory write cycle that you will get the problems.

If you don't believe these posts, try shooting the highest quality largest (e.g uncompressed) file and take the batts out whilst the card is updating - if the cam will let you. Best to do this on the shop demo cam!

Of course some low batt indicators might be more conservative - other's are not. The risk is yours and how well you trust the indicator.
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Old Mar 28, 2003, 4:55 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by voxmagna
If you don't believe these posts, try shooting the highest quality largest (e.g uncompressed) file and take the batts out whilst the card is updating - if the cam will let you.
If I can add another tip, don't bounce your camera while writing to the card...some cameras have cheap/weak battery springs that can lose contact if the camera is bounced. (shame on those companies who use leaf spring battery contacts, are you listening Olympus...an expensive camera and they use a cheap piece of thin metal for the battery contact)
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Old Mar 28, 2003, 3:24 PM   #10
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This instant death when the battery dies is concerning me. I have a Nikon 2100 and am wondering if this ocurrence is limited to the olympus camera you are speaking about or is it relevant to every camera. Please let me know because I am a little worried now :?

Peace...

Shiggy
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