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Old Apr 15, 2011, 8:38 AM   #1
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Default Nikon D90 and MB-D80 problem

I ran into a major problem with my battery grip. I had two batteries in the grip and one in the right slot went dead and the grip did not switch to the left battery and the D90 shut down. When I switched batteries putting the good battery in the right slot and the dead battery in the left slot the D90 would not power up. If I removed the dead battery from the left slot the D90 powered up with no problems. I then placed a fresh battery in the left slot and the D90 powered up no problem. This isn't a great situation as I can be in the middle of a shot and the D90 will just shut off without switching batteries. Does anyone know why this is happening?
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Old Apr 15, 2011, 10:00 AM   #2
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I'm new to battery grips (on Canon) and I didn't realise they switched between batteries. I thought both were simply in parallel and ran down together. In that case a bad battery with no internal resistance will both stop the camera working and will destroy the other battery.

Are you sure there's logic in these things?
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Old Apr 15, 2011, 10:04 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by peterbj7 View Post
I'm new to battery grips (on Canon) and I didn't realise they switched between batteries. I thought both were simply in parallel and ran down together. In that case a bad battery with no internal resistance will both stop the camera working and will destroy the other battery.

Are you sure there's logic in these things?
On the Nikon grips one slot runs down then switches to the second battery. As I understand Nikon says that second party batteries will not work as they are missing a chip. So for me to get it to work I have to buy a second Nikon battery, or use the grip until I see the low battery warning then remove the low battery and either replace it with a freshly charged battery or no battery at all.
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Old Apr 15, 2011, 10:08 AM   #4
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Maybe my Canon ones do the same thing then. I do believe the camera is capable of monitoring and reporting the condition of each battery separately. Though I'm not sure of that - I'm not really sure of anything to do with battery grips, other than that I don't like them and regard them as a necessary evil.

Input from an expert would be very welcome here!
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Old Apr 15, 2011, 10:15 AM   #5
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I am of no help in your situation since I don't have that grip. I have two for my D200's and it works fine with 3rd party batteries as well. I do find on occasion that it alternates between which side it will draw power from first but that is a moot point as it works when one runs down and then the other takes over without my noticing it at all.
Possibly a defect but can't be sure or positive that is the problem.
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Old Apr 15, 2011, 10:23 AM   #6
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I am of no help in your situation since I don't have that grip. I have two for my D200's and it works fine with 3rd party batteries as well. I do find on occasion that it alternates between which side it will draw power from first but that is a moot point as it works when one runs down and then the other takes over without my noticing it at all.
Possibly a defect but can't be sure or positive that is the problem.
I have read reports on different forums regarding this problem and they all refer to the second party batteries as the problem. Yes the batteries alternate depending on which one is lower in remaining power that becomes the first to discharge.
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Old Apr 15, 2011, 10:53 AM   #7
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This is good to know unfortunately at the expense of finding out your dilemma. I have been considering the MB-80 but may revise my thoughts on that. Hope there is a solution to your situation.
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Old Apr 15, 2011, 11:07 AM   #8
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This is good to know unfortunately at the expense of finding out your dilemma. I have been considering the MB-80 but may revise my thoughts on that. Hope there is a solution to your situation.
I originally purchased the Zeikos battery grip, which was built nice and looks just like the Nikon grip for a lot less. I had battery drain problems so I returned it. Others have not had any problems and rave how good it is. I love the feel of the MB-D80 so if I have to use it as a limited battery supply I will survive but not happy. I guess buying the Nikon battery will be the best solution. As we speak I am running on the Nikon battery and the one second party battery seeing if it will switch if the Nikon goes dead first. If it does then I will buy a second Nikon battery and insert the Nikon battery first. This way the Nikon battery becomes the lead battery all the time.
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Old Apr 15, 2011, 11:10 AM   #9
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I've (just) aired this question on POTN and so far (it's very early days) the consensus seems to be that for grips of whatever make used on Canon the grips are dumb devices that are not capable of battery management - the batteries are in parallel and run down together. Any imbalance will be down to the details of the individual specimen batteries. Is this another profound difference between Nikon and Canon, or has someone got it wrong?
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Old Apr 15, 2011, 11:14 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peterbj7 View Post
I've (just) aired this question on POTN and so far (it's very early days) the consensus seems to be that for grips of whatever make used on Canon the grips are dumb devices that are not capable of battery management - the batteries are in parallel and run down together. Any imbalance will be down to the details of the individual specimen batteries. Is this another profound difference between Nikon and Canon, or has someone got it wrong?
As I understand Nikon batteries have a third contact on each battery that is able to read the following conditions via a menu item:
1. Amount of charge left
2. Age of battery relative to number of charge cycles rated 0-4 Zero meaning new.
3. Number of shots taken on this battery after each charge. This way you can see how many shots you got from each battery.

I also understood the Canon grips are not smart grips.
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