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Old Feb 24, 2005, 6:07 PM   #1
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I recently bought the *istDS. I had some NiMH batteries from my previousdigicam (2000 and 2300 mA/h) so I put them in the new DSLR. I went to the mountain and I had some shooting sessions on the snowfields. The number of shots I was able to take with a newly charged set was really low (40 to 60). I know very well that the battery life is conditioned by low temperatures but in this case they were not so low (above zero) and the situation did not improve that much in interiors. The batteries were pretty young (one set was practically new).

Is anybody aware of possible drawbacks in using NiMH batteriesin the *istDS compared to the lithium ones ?

Thanks & ciao.

Damiano
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Old Feb 25, 2005, 12:18 AM   #2
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This is not first complain what I saw about short battery life in *istDS. However I was able to shoot significantly more then 200 pix on one set (2300ma) and they went to charge while camera still showed full battery. Probably it is something to to with your charger - some cheaper one charge batteries in pair and therefore if one is crooked, another became crooked very soon. And with two crooked batteries 50 shoots will not surprise me. Today gonna make a test. Weird...:?
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Old Feb 25, 2005, 11:35 AM   #3
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I've just bought the istDS & popped a set of fully charged batteries (2000mAH) to try it out & they died in the istDS very quickly but still carry on in the Fuji S602 - strange 'causeNiMH should hold their charge at a reasonably consistent level before going 'flat'.

They are quite old & probably a tad 'cooked' due to inadvertent overcharging (trickle) & the 2100mAH are holding up better.

Time will tell how good NiHI are going to be.
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Old Feb 25, 2005, 2:17 PM   #4
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You will fing that the NiMH recchargables will apper to not last long but if you power down and give it a few seconds you will be back in action. The NiMHs are lower voltage than Lithiums etc and the "power" meter on the camera is not as sensitive to these and gets trick into thinking they are spent. If you are shooting something very important andcan't miss a shot I would switch to the CR-V3 batteries. For daily use I find the NiMH batteries a good economical choice.
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Old Feb 25, 2005, 6:57 PM   #5
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My experience agrees with RGBPentax. NiMh batteries will appear to be dead and then keep right on going in the *ist DS.

I have two sets of Duracell NiMh AAs. One 2050mh and one 2300mh. I getabout 150 out of the first and over200 shots out ofthe 2300mhones.

The "low battery" or "dead battery" syndrome will appear more when you use the flash a lot. The indicator will be low or blank (dead), and then you either wait a bit or turn the camera back on and voila, fully charged battery again.


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Old Feb 25, 2005, 7:09 PM   #6
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Very true RGBPentax and jaynlisa. I just purchased the new Maha Cool charger (MH-C401S) for AA's and AAA's and read the documentation thoroughly. As far as the documentation goes, they recommend "For new NiMH batteries, it is necessary to cycle them three to five times before they reach peak performance. Battery cycling can be achieved by using the batteries completely and recharging them." So presently, I am still on my initial charge. That said, I am about 300 shots into using them and they keep firing. Approximately 80 of those shots were with built in flash. The batteries are the new Maha NiMH at 2300 mah. I did measure my charged start voltage per cell and the reading was 1.423 Vdc. They are now reading 1.344 Vdc, so about three quarter of a volt drop per cell which really isn't that bad. Of course, that is a static measurement and was not performed under load. I did however notice, as you pointed out, that while I was shooting fairly rapidly with flash, the battery indicator on the camera went low and theflash ceased to function. I then stopped, turned the camera off, waited a few minutes and turned it back on. Sure enough, the indicator was back up to full and I continued shooting with flash. Since these are fairly new I surmise that capacity isn't 100% available initially and that the operating voltage probably dropped as well. I believe giving them a few minutes to recover seems to replenish the capacity and also bring the volatge back up.

These are my inital observations on the new NiMH and I am fairly pleased with this technology. Sure beats buying batteries and messing up the environment:-?. (Note: there appears to be 2500mah NiMH's on the market and the capacity will probably go higher in the future)
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Old Feb 27, 2005, 11:56 AM   #7
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I just bought some 2400 mAh NiMH batteries for about AUD$10 for the 4, charged em up and have taken about 300+ photos and the meter hasnt budged.
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Old Feb 27, 2005, 6:08 PM   #8
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I think there aresome important factors here:

1. Charger. I honestly believe that investment into good charger (per-battery channels, microprocessor controlled) will pay for itself. Even if it is somewhat more expensive (50+ bucks in Oz) it will return investment by prolonging battery life (not mention about frustration)

2. Battery itself. Again reputable brand (Energizer, Duracell or still better Panasonic or Sanyo) and proper origin (even if not Japan, but definitely not China) will give better battery life even having *LOWER* Mh rating - IMHO cheap brands making fullish testing of their batteries in try to catch a customer.

3. Habits - extensive using LCD and continuous focusing will not help battery life.

4. Temperature.

5. Batteries require training. Nothing special need to be done - just use them couple of times and they should became in better condition.

6. Lens. I have old lens from my old Pentax. It sort of stuck inside and rotating with quite a bit of effort - I do not believe that I can do 200 shoot with this lens.

Just foran exercise I have shoot 204 pix by my *istDS. Battery was not fresh - I have done about 150 shoots before. I very seldom shoot with internal flash (using external one), but all of this 204 pix was shoot with flash. Battery indicator still show "full". So how I can complain about 350+ shoots 200+ of witch was with flash? And by the way I have strong suspicion, that some SD card draw much more power that another ones. I am using 512M Taiwanese made Kingston. So would be interesting to know what SD card,what lenses, how much flash and LCDusing people who have problem with battery life.

And BTW I never go outside without spare set of battery anyway :-)
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Old Mar 1, 2005, 6:29 PM   #9
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What brands of charger are good? I have the Duracell one (1 hour) that I bought with 4 Duracell AA 2300Mah batteries. I'm not sure it fully charges them though. And once the LEDs turn green, I don' think it trickle charges.

Any tips on a good quality charger?

Jay


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Old Mar 1, 2005, 10:50 PM   #10
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I think the key to getting the most out of NMH batts is definetly the charger. I read in a report somewhere ( I can't remember where ) that most cheap ( under $25. ) chargers only charge the batts to about 80% capacity even after several hours of top up tricall charging. The La Crosse BC-- 900 charger will charge and monitor each cell individually and fully charge each cell seperately. check it out at http://www.jsburlys.com Ken.
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