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Old Feb 19, 2007, 6:11 PM   #1
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My letter (recieved answer the next day)

Hi,

I upgraded from the *istDL to the K100D and I have had several incidents of premature low battery warnings. On my *istDL my camera could fill a
card (1 gig) and not give me a warning. On my K100D if I use my review
much at all I get a low batter warning and with the same type of use withmy *istDL this was not a problem. Sounds like I have a glitch, what next?
Thanks,
Richard Ritter

Their Reply

Thank you for contacting Pentax.
Powering your Pentax Digital camera

While your camera is capable of using widely available AA alkaline batteries, it was primarily designed to utilize a CR-V3 disposable lithium battery as its primary power source. The CR-V3 is a high capacity, high performance battery, and works well with digital cameras, especially considering the large power draw of the color LCD screen found on most digital cameras. Your camera can accommodate AA batteries as a measure of convenience, since AA batteries are inexpensive and universally available. However, using AA batteries will result in much lower overall performance compared with the CR-V3 lithium battery. Furthermore, some off-brands of AA batteries may not even be able to power your camera, depending on the specific brand of battery used.

When testing cameras with various types of batteries, Pentax uses very tightly controlled factory conditions. These conditions are not necessarily designed to emulate typical customer use of the camera, but are designed to test the limits of the camera with those types of batteries. For example, testing is often performed in various states of auto/manual focus, ambient lighting ranges, and various screen brightness settings, all of which typical users do not change in day-to-day photographic situations. As each camera reaches an initial state of battery depletion, the camera can be turned off then back on to take more photos, with this process being repeated until the batteries are truly and completely discharged. Again, testing conditions are tightly controlled, and the numbers are published to show the upper capabilities of the camera.


In order to conserve battery power and get the most out of your camera, we offer the following suggestions:

· Use a disposable lithium battery whenever possible as your primary power source. Your camera was designed with this battery in mind.

· When you must use AA batteries, use only name-brand batteries such as Eveready or Duracell. Make sure the batteries are not expired, and always carry spares. Also, make sure to use alkaline AA batteries or one of the "newer" chemical technologies, and avoid the older/cheaper zinc carbon batteries.

· If you use AA rechargeable batteries, use only the Nickel Metal Hydride batteries with the highest mili-amp-hour rating you can find (2100mAh to 2500mAh). Also, keep in mind that even NiMH batteries will loose charge capacity over time. Expect to replace them in a year or two depending on use.

· Minimize your use of the LCD screen, when possible, by turning it off and using the optical viewfinder if your camera has one.

· Turn off your camera's instant review, and minimize the time you spend in your camera's menus and reviewing captured images, since these operations use the LCD screen.

· Turn your camera's LCD screen brightness down as far as you comfortably can, if your model has a screen brightness adjustment.

We hope this information is useful in understanding the nature of your camera's power source. If you have any further questions or concerns, please contact the Consumer Services department at (800) 877-0155.


Sincerely,
Spencer Todd
Pentax Imaging Technical Support

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Old Feb 19, 2007, 6:15 PM   #2
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While their reply holds much truth, they didnt explain why your DL doesnt have the problem...


Could it be the SR that's increasing the battery consumption?
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Old Feb 19, 2007, 6:36 PM   #3
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The SR could be but I've heard others say they have no battery problems but others do. I do love the camera though. As much as I liked my DL the photos from the K100D are even better and the SR is great.
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Old Feb 19, 2007, 7:22 PM   #4
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What kind of batteries do you use? With my k100d I got 4gb worth of raw images (372) on about half my eneloop batteries. This is in a one day period.
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Old Feb 19, 2007, 11:42 PM   #5
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The letter doesn't really seem to address your specific issue, but it's pretty typical for what you'd usually get from these kinds of companies. If you really press the issue then you might start to get more something other than a portion of a tech support FAQ list, but unless you start having more serious problem I doubt you'd get much.

I have a theory, but just realize that I probably don't know what I'm talking about;

For a high drain device, it's not just the amount of power that's in the battery that's important, but also the rate at which that power can be drawn. That rate decreases as the power level of the battery drops, so there's usually a threshold at which the battery can no longer keep up with the device.

I'm thinking that perhaps the K100d has a higher power consumption rate for whatever reason, whether it be the SR, a brighter screen or whatever might be going on, and that threshold is now much closer to the full charge mark.

It might have just been the luck of the draw that the batteries you use provide just enough power flow for long enough to allow the DL to use a greater amount of their charge, but aren't quite powerful enough to keep the K100d going for very long.

I'm guessing that if you tested out both cameras with something designed for high drain devices, like high capacity Nimh batteries or the CR-V3 batteries suggested by Pentax, you'd probably see significantly less difference in performance.

Again, I could be completely off the mark here.
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Old Feb 20, 2007, 12:55 AM   #6
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If it is just a warning, but the camera fuctions fine, then don't worry. My DL2 does it all the time on rechargeables. Sometimes after 6-10 shots it goes to half charge and stays there for the next 200 shots.

Been trying AA Lithium batteries lately, and the ones in at the moment have done over 500 shots including reviewing and deleting and still show full charge.

The battery meter on Pentax in not an exact science - some work, some don't. Shoot till the camera stops, then change batteries.


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Old Feb 20, 2007, 4:03 AM   #7
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rritter wrote:
Quote:
Their Reply

Thank you for contacting Pentax.
Powering your Pentax Digital camera

In order to conserve battery power and get the most out of your camera, we offer the following suggestions:

· Minimize your use of the LCD screen, when possible, by turning it off and using the optical viewfinder if your camera has one.


Sincerely,
Spencer Todd
Pentax Imaging Technical Support
I found the above statement from Pentax interesting given that the query relates to a dSRL - didn't realise that the K100 could use the LCD to compose shots.

I believe that the camera shake mechanism also contributes to discharging the battery -I read in a previous forum discussion on this related subject, that it's best to turn this off unless absolutely required.

I can't comment upon K100 battery life but with my *istDS on NiHi 2300mAH batteries I would expect to get something in the order of 500 RAW shots i.e. 5 GByte of storage.

I have the camera set to auto power down after nominally 1 minute standing idle using the shutter release button to reactive the power source - I leave like this sometimes all day when I'm out which means that there is also some discharge due to being left on standby.

I have the LCD in preview mode so that I can take a momentary glance at it to see the resultant image.

I seldom use the battery indicator as battery life is so good it gets ignored I have noticed on occasion that it can show completely discharged one minute, leave the camera in standby for some ten minutes or so, & it's showing full charge again. When the batteries die, switching off the camera and back on gets another shot or two before they 'die' again.

My tip would be to always recharge NiHi before setting out for a days shoot which should provide sufficient life for the day - well at least in my case with an expected 500 plus number of shots.

Keeping the NiHi batteries topped up should ensure that you never have to replace them when out for the day.

Personally, I've never used lithium CR-V3 batteries (I've kept the set supplied with the camera intact as backup - should it ever be requied) as these are expensive & would challenge Pentax's statement that their dSRLs were designed to primarily to be used with them.

I've been tempted to try voltage stabilised rechargeable lithium CR-V3 batteries which claim an output voltage of 3V, but would be nervous to do so as some that I've seen have an output voltage of 3.7V which would not do the camera much good at all. For that reason, I've stuck with 'good old & reliable' NiHi batteries.
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Old Feb 20, 2007, 6:57 AM   #8
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When I got my new K100D I bought two packs of Energizer 2500's rechargeables and let my old 2500's go with my DL I sold. I have always used the camera in a "No Review" mode and as a responder said the K100D doesn't offer LCD preview. I actually get a warning of low power on my screen from time to time on batteries that maybe shot 100 photos, of watch maybe ¼ with flash. I think I will respond back to Pentax with more info.
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Old Feb 20, 2007, 7:52 AM   #9
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Don't know what it's worth but my Energizer 2500's performed just awful with my digital camera... both my Pentax istDl and a Olympus point and shoot. I bought some Duracell 2650's and they made a world of difference. Went from a few dozen or so shots on a set of batteries to well over a few hundred.
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Old Feb 20, 2007, 10:33 AM   #10
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FWIW, I get almost 500 shots without the flash with a set of Energizer 2500's with my DS.

Tom
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