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Old Mar 13, 2005, 12:23 PM   #11
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Jethro wrote:
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(although I openned the support call before the 1 year was up - does that count???)
They may try to argue that the repair, if any is needed, was performed after the 1 year warranty was up. I would argue that as you had brought it to their attention before the expiration of the warranty that you would/should have a valid claim. I believe a court of law would support this.

Be sure to keep any correspondence, (emails, make a note of any phone calls etc), because even though you are giving them 'reasonable' time to try to sort out the problem, if there is the need for repair, they were notified in time. It's not your fault that the potential repair was not carried out immediately.

That's what I think anyway.

Good luck,

Stevekin.


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Old Mar 15, 2005, 5:36 PM   #12
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KM's advice so far was:

"As the batteries are roughly a year old we recommend for you to change them with a new set as it is recommend with recharable batteries. We also would advise for you to clean the battery compartment out with a cotton bud incase dust has built up on the contacts."

I have my doubts, since the camera and the batteries have had relatively little use in the last year, and this does not explain the low performance of the alkalines either. Nevertheless I have just bought a new set of 2300mAh Ni-Mh and a neat 1hr charger, in case the problem is with the charger, not the batteries. I'll give it a go in the next couple of days and let you all know if it makes any difference.

Jethro
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Old Mar 30, 2005, 9:59 PM   #13
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i have been having the same issue with my s414 that you all have expressed. The problems with mine began before the year warranty was up, however, i was naive and thought it was a battery problem b/c i was using rechargable. Now the problems are wide spread knowledge and I can't get rid of it. any suggestions? i believe minolta should do a re-call. that camera was too much money to quit working after three months. PLEASE HELP!
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Old Mar 30, 2005, 10:21 PM   #14
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Jethro wrote:
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I have my doubts, since the camera and the batteries have had relatively little use in the last year, and this does not explain the low performance of the alkalines either.
I'm surprised you got that many shots from Alkalines. As a general rule, they are useless in a camera that draws a lot of current (and the S414 falls into that class).

You'll need high capacity NiMH Batteries for this model. If your batteries are old, they are most likely the culprit (no longer accepting full charge).

Here is a quote from our Rechargeable Batteries Page

Quote:
The first thing a new digicam owner quickly realizes is that those AA alkaline batteries included with their camera are next to worthless. I've gotten many emails from folks who wondered if their cameras were defective because they only got 20 or so shots before the batteries crapped out.

Today's digital cameras are extremely high-drain devices. The batteries must power a color LCD, a motorized zoom lens, an autofocus system, the multi-megapixel imager and the associated processing hardware.
The answer is simple ... use high power NiMH or Li-ion rechargeable batteries.

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Old Mar 31, 2005, 3:26 AM   #15
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Jim, according to the OP, it would appear to not be an aging battery issue, in his case at least.

Jethro wrote:
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Nevertheless I have just bought a new set of 2300mAh Ni-Mh and a neat 1hr charger, in case the problem is with the charger, not the batteries. I'll give it a go in the next couple of days and let you all know if it makes any difference.

How did you get on then Jethro ?

Stevekin.
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Old Mar 31, 2005, 7:36 AM   #16
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Stevekin wrote:
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Jim, according to the OP, it would appear to not be an aging battery issue, in his case at least.
I was just noticing others mentioning having similar problems, talking about a recall by KM, etc.

This particular model is known to be somewhat of a "battery hog", and faulty batteries (or charger) are usually the culprit when owners report these symptoms. It's one of those models that AA Alkalines are virtually worthless in. ;-)

I suspect that the new charger and batteries will correct it. Hopefully, he will let everyone know if they worked or not. Since he mentioned AA Alkalines giving about the same performance, that also points to bad NiMH batteries (since Alkalines are known not to work well in this model, and if they're working just as well as his NiMH batteries, then his NiMH batteries or charger are probably faulty). With AA Alakline batteries, I've seen new owners report getting as few as a half dozen shots with the S414. It is definitely a high drain model. ;-)



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Old Mar 31, 2005, 1:56 PM   #17
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Fair comment Jim.


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Old Apr 1, 2005, 6:16 PM   #18
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Hi guys,

Thanks for keeping the thread going! Here's the update - apologies if it's a long one but the plot thickened...

I bought a new set of 2300NiMh and new quick charger (Uniross 1hr - hint for UK folk: Buy from Maplin's at 29.99 instead of Dixons at 39.99!). Charged them twice and started testing.

Results were identical with the old 2300NiMhs. After about 20 shots (no flash, no zoom, about 5 on-offs) the camera would switch onshowing half-full and as soon as the button was pressed it would auto-shut off.

Continuing the email trails with KM support, who I must admit were very responsive, we agreed that the camera needs repairing. As the repair centre is in Milton Keynes where I live, I agreed to drop the camera off, rather than posting it. Although originally they suggested that any repair would need paying, when I pointed out that the support call opened before the year was up, they agreed that it should be under warranty.

Incidentally, another brownie point for KM: When I went to drop off the camera, I asked about repair times. 3-5 days typically, but they cannot guarantee it as they may have to order spare parts. As I was going on holiday this week and the camera might not be ready, they agreed to let me keep it and drop it off next week! Nice!

Anyway, this last week, armed with the two sets of NiMh and the charger I set off for a short trip to Wales, expecting to keep swapping batteries and relying on the 1hr charge to survive...

Shock, horror! The camera seems to be behaving!!! I've taken about 60 shots, 3-4 shots between on-off, using zoom and flash occasionally and the batteries still show full strength!!!

Now I'm thoroughly confused! Either thereis an electricalcontact issue somewhere (at the battery terminals or inside the camera) or something un-triggered the problem. Or, since the batteries I happen to have in at the moment are the new ones, maybe there was something not right with the previous tests I did with them. This is the point where you start to doubt everything...

:?

So, the holidayover, Inow need to do some more scientific testing with both battery sets, before I take the camera back to KM...

There might be light at the end of the tunnel... I'll keep you posted!

Jethro
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Old Apr 1, 2005, 6:48 PM   #19
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:??:??:?

Thanks for updating Jethro.

I believe that new batteries need to be recharged several times before they reach full capacity, so it could either be the batteries, the charger or the camera. Try recharging your new batteries in the old charger next time they need topping up, see if you get the same as before. Maybe the old batteries in the new charger, although it is likely they would be pretty much past it now.

But I think that if you continue to achieve charging levels and usage from the new batteries and charger, then that was the problem, not the camera.

AsJimC has said, your camera is particularly battery hungry.

Keep us posted.
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Old Apr 2, 2005, 11:43 AM   #20
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I would say let KM have it while you can still get them to check it under warrenty! I have continued to play with mine consistantly since it began acting up, and I find more and more the inconsistancy of the problem (Though it never lasts for the hundreds of shots it used to)

despite these cameras being power hungery to the point of becomeing hand warmers :? they still have good battery life when they work.

I plan on attempting to fix the camera this summer when the semester is over (I have fixed other digicams before) and the first thing I am going to do is test the power draw of the camera. I might at least do that before summer, but I'll keep you guys posted.
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