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Daryljd Feb 7, 2004 3:02 PM

which ext. battery pack for S414?
hi. i am seeking advice. i have purchased my first digicam the S414 and it eats batteries. i have searched and found that maybe an external battery pack would be a good idea. i am looking at a
digicom D135-1000 " 7.2 Volt " Li-on powerpack. note my emphasizing the 7.2volts. i know the camera takes 6Volts external power, but with a Li-on battery pack is one extra volt a problem? will it hurt my camera? since it is just a battery pack and does not maintain full voltage charge for very long. if i should post this question in the battery forum, let me know.
thanks, daryl

slipe Feb 8, 2004 12:32 AM

Confirm you arenít trying to use alkaline batteries. They last a fraction of the time of good NiMH rechargeables and will eat you out of house and home on cost.

Dave used 1600 mAH PowerX NiMH batteries for his tests only because it is his standard. 2300 mAH PowerX batteries are available from Thomas Distributing and the Maha charger you can get bundled with them is one of the best. Chargers make a difference in battery life. You also canít go by the first couple of charges. They donít have to be regularly drained like NiCad batteries do, but they give only half or less life the first couple of times you use them.

Projecting from Daveís tests a set of 2300 mAH batteries should just about fill a 256Mb card even if you leave the LCD on all the time assuming you are reasonable about just turning the camera on when you use it. If you donít turn the LCD on except to make settings and review pictures it will surely fill a 256Mb card with best quality JPGs. Once you have the charger spares are cheap.

Daryljd Feb 8, 2004 1:10 AM

thanks for the reply, still need to know about ext. pack!
hi, thanks for the reply, but i still need to know if the 7.2V power
pack is okay to use with my S414. i forgot to mention it is
3600mah. i did state it was a "Li-on" type. i have been using
NIMH rechargeables by Varta. they are only 1600mah batteries.
i have already ordered the pack and probably should have sought out advice beforehand. thanks, daryl

slipe Feb 8, 2004 2:18 AM

The Minolta EBP-100 battery pack that Dave said is appropriate for the 414 is 7.4v so I would think 7v would be OK. I would check with Minolta Ė donít just accept someoneís word. I would check on that mAh of 3600. 4 2300 mAH NiMH batteries would give you 9200 mAh total unless Iím missing something significant here. If that is in addition to your internal batteries you could still get almost that much increase by switching to more capable batteries.

You can get a Maha charger and 4 2200 PowerX batteries from Thomas for less than $40. Iíve always had a Maha charger, but people who have compared say the charger makes a big difference in battery life. The battery brand is also important and PowerX and Sanyo seem to be good.

If you arenít matching the times that Dave got on the 1600 mAH PowerX batteries I would suspect your charger or batteries. Those times arenít unreasonable unless you are using a 1 Gig memory card or microdrive. You could drop your Varta batteries in your pocket as spares Ė seems more convenient than an external battery pack.

Daryljd Feb 8, 2004 4:01 AM

thanks for the advice
i like the idea of the Li-on battery pack as it is quite small and clips to a belt or tripod and is good for taking photos for long events without fumbling for batteries. there is just the wire between the battery and the camera to manage. of course, it is good to take spare batteries in case the pack is depleted. electriclly speaking, i don't think the MAH is added together. 4 - 2300mah is still a total of 2300mah as the batteries are used in series circuit(i could be wrong; it's been a while since electrical courses). i also read in the manual that there should be no batteries in the S414 camera when any external a/c adapter or battery pack is used. also, it said to wait 30 sec. between changing batteries or power mode.
i have found at a few camera stores handling a company called "vidpro" that is offering a one hour charger and 4 - "2400mah" batteries for $28. is there anything to this new milliamp rating? or is it just re-labeling of 22-2300's? what do you think?

hendo Feb 8, 2004 7:41 AM

Slipe is dead on the money - With a Maha Smart Charger and a couple of sets of Powerex 2200, I've never had a problem with my S414 -

voxmagna Feb 8, 2004 8:04 AM

With a S414 you should think about usage and battery management first. I'm using the lcd sparingly, switching the display between the pre shot and post view/save shot as I need them, and not engaging the continuous focus mode unless I can justify it. I use 2300mAh NiMh.

This camera consumes over 1 amp with the lcd on, any re-chargeables get hot during the discharge and so does the media card located close by! So, before pumping in more sustained juice over long periods, I might question whether the camera is going to get rid of the heat and be reliable.

....4 2300 mAH NiMH batteries would give you 9200 mAh total unless I?m missing something significant here.....

The mAh rating is usually per cell in series, so in theory the capacity of 4 cells in series is still the same as one cell but the voltage (and total power delivered) increases. In practice, if any one cell in a battery of 4 in series is lower than the full charge capacity of the others - then that lowest figure becomes the capacity of your battery. Which is why chargers that have a regulator chip for each cell, will ensure that all charged cells when series connected, as in a camera battery, should deliver the maximumum capacity. This mis match in actual full charge capacity becomes more apparent as batteries get older or get mixed with newer one's. VOX

slipe Feb 8, 2004 12:58 PM

I donít pretend to know the answer about how they calculate the mAH of the power packs, but it doesnít seem reasonable that Minolta could charge nearly $200 for a battery pack with two 1600 mAH lion batteries and not have it outperform a $15 set of 2200 mAH NiMH batteries. The batteries are listed as 7.4 volt so obviously they would be used in parallel, giving 3200mAH. Where the NiMH batteries in series should give only 2200 (or whatever) as Daryljd suggests. When the pack was released 1600 was about the largest capacity you could get in NiMH giving twice the shooting time with the battery pack. With 2300 NiMH batteries now available I wouldnít think it would be worth the hassle of messing with the battery pack.

I got several sets of PowerX 1800 batteries for my D7i and put distinctive markings on the batteries in each set so I wouldnít mix them over time.

Daryljd Feb 8, 2004 2:40 PM

thanks for the input guys. i don't know about all battery packs, but i think they are probably constructed with more than the 4 batteries that would normally be held in a camera which probably
accounts for their being able to provide longer run time. in other words, more cells than a camera can hold; with probably a voltage regulation circuit or somesuch. as stated by some respondants, with the increasing capacity of rechargeable AA cells, it is probably only necessary to have a good charger and a couple of sets of
batteries. i never even considered the battery pack that is offered by Minolta and gave it no consideration in my discussion. at some websites it sells for $300, and i immediately dismissed the thought of purchasing one. that is highway robbery, but branded accessories tend to behave this way. i was considering the:
digicom D135-1000 " 7.2 Volt " Li-on powerpack which sells at some sites as low as $30.00(although it may be phasing out); big difference between it and the minolta. i read reviews by users at Amazon and it seems to please the 4 out of 5 persons that rated it. anyway, i have ordered one and i will report if it works out okay!
one other note about branded accessories. i tried to search ebay for accessories for my camera and found that ebay is not really an auction, but a retail store. people wait and fight over things over the span of a week or more and 9 out of 10 times pay equal or more than they could of by just spending a little time using product search engines to find the same item. i have wasted plenty time tracking items on ebay only to find an online discounter offering the same item without waiting or paying a high price. i think there are plenty of people that think prices are automatically lower on ebay, and that just isn't so; shipping charges can border on rediculous. i looked for the rechargeables mentioned here and they are offered at a starting price or "buy it now" price that is no better than retailers. i also, think that some bidders just have to win and don't care about paying a higher price(happens at many auctions). i wanted to purchase a minolta carrying case for my camera and several went as high as $36. i eventually found one at an online discounter for $16 (the same one).

voxmagna Feb 10, 2004 6:43 AM

............but i think they are probably constructed with more than the 4 batteries that would normally be held in a camera which probably
accounts for their being able to provide longer run time. in other words, more cells than a camera can hold;............

Actually the number of cells used is fixed by the terminal voltage of the battery chemistry. All they do is make physically larger cells and still put them in series.

The 'ideal' camera battery is not a battery at all, but a single high capacity cell using a chemistry which delivers the exact voltage your camera needs to work. VOX

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