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Old May 24, 2009, 9:58 AM   #1
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Default Sony Battery Claims

Wonder how Sony gets its battery claims, must be the worst case........

Recently I have been shooting some large scale events with my Sony A200. The battery (or battery cluster, its a single rechargeable lithium-ion) is rated for around 500 shots from what I read. Yesterday at a high school graduation took 1200 pictures and the battery still shows 40% left. A few weeks ago I shot nearly 1000 images on a single battery charge.......

Very interesting.......

dave
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Old May 24, 2009, 10:44 AM   #2
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Are you complaining?
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Old May 24, 2009, 11:36 AM   #3
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NO WAY!!!! Just point it out for other members. Its just that from my experience Sonys battery claims are way off. I actually went and bought extra batteries based on the claims but so far haven't needed them.

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Old May 24, 2009, 1:06 PM   #4
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Quote:
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NO WAY!!!! Just point it out for other members. Its just that from my experience Sonys battery claims are way off. I actually went and bought extra batteries based on the claims but so far haven't needed them.

dave
That may be because you don't have live view, which drains power rapidly. My 350 eats batteries - I am considering a battery grip to have a second battery on board.

Incidentally, watch out for third party batteries. I have never had a problem with any before, but I bought an imported one for this camera from a reputable US firm - it must have swelled in the camera, because I had a devil of a time getting it out. If it is at the least bit snug on insertion don't push it all the way in, because it should slide in freely and easily so it will come out the same way.

Last edited by penolta; May 24, 2009 at 1:14 PM.
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Old May 25, 2009, 8:16 AM   #5
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Even when the battery level indicates 0%, I can still use it for quite a few shots. When I shot the parade at night (Sydney Mardi Gras), I took 1040 photos most with flashes, and about 80% were shot with LiveView on, still have 35% of power left on NP-FM500H. (Although I did bring a second battery, but it wasn't used.)
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Old May 25, 2009, 11:21 AM   #6
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Even when the battery level indicates 0%, I can still use it for quite a few shots.
A couple of tips for the Sony batteries:

- always charge them for a couple of hours longer after the charger light goes off. The light goes off at about 90% of full capacity. I believe that this is pointed out in the manual.

- periodically, run the battery down to the point where in the camera it shuts down due low power. Then recharge fully. This "resets" the zero point in the metering system Sony uses to indicate the charge level in the battery.


I use the slide show function of the camera to accomplish this last point - disabling the auto power shutoff function, and setting each slide to show for the longest time period possible. With a full card, I can usually run the battery down before the camera gets to the last image.

PS... I too am amazed at the battery life of these camera. I've been out walking around with the camera on 3 or 4 separate days, with at a least 4 hours of "on" time, and don't go below 25%, with well over 600 shots (no flash) taken.

.

Last edited by NewsyL; May 25, 2009 at 11:25 AM.
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Old May 25, 2009, 1:15 PM   #7
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We are told that new rechargeable batteries usually need to be conditioned by two or three charge/discharge cycles before they reach full capacity. We are also told that those that exhibit "memory effect" need to be completely drained periodically - and we are told that Lithium batteries do not exhibit that effect. All a non-electrical engineer such as myself can do is rely on the manual. The a350 manual states that partly discharged batteries can be recharged and does not specify that they should be fully drained except before storage. The manual also states that full charge is reached after one hour following the charge light going out, and warns that leaving a fully charged battery in this charger (for an unstated period) while connected can damage it. Ideally, such a charger should stay lit until fully charged, and then either flash to warn you to take it out, or shut itself off, or else maintain a safe conditioning trickle charge as some others do. You shouldn't have to sit there and monitor the charging. The 5D and 7D charger lights go out on full charge, and the 5D manual even advises charging up the battery "before each shooting session." Either the technology (or the knowledge of it) has changed, or this is a poorly designed charger.

Thanks for the tip about Sony"s "zero point" reset.

Edit: Antony - thanks for the recommendation - sounds like a better charger.

Last edited by penolta; May 25, 2009 at 1:32 PM.
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Old May 25, 2009, 1:20 PM   #8
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Thanks for the tips NewsyL.

Except I have slightly different views.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NewsyL View Post
- always charge them for a couple of hours longer after the charger light goes off. The light goes off at about 90% of full capacity. I believe that this is pointed out in the manual.
Sony's menu states one hour extra after the charger light goes off.
4.5 hours for practical charging; 5.5 hours for full charging

And I recommend Sony AC-VQ900AM

It shortens the charging time down to only 1 hour! (or 2 hours for full charging) It will automatically cut off the charging after its full, and start charging the next battery if you have two inserted.
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Old May 25, 2009, 4:28 PM   #9
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And I recommend Sony AC-VQ900AM...
Not me. I'm cheap. I'm now using one of these chargers from CBK (they're $7.99 on Ebay, including shipping).

You could buy a dozen of these and still save money compared to that Sony charger.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...m=270394619382

It works just fine. The light on the charger changes from red (while it's charging) to green (finished charging) after a few hours and batteries charged by it work just fine in my A700.

I've even left a battery in one of these for a week with no ill effects observed after subsequent reuses and recharges of the same battery in this charger.
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Old May 25, 2009, 4:54 PM   #10
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I cannot fathom why Sony would supply a charger that is incapable of detecting when the charge state transitions from active charging to a maintenance trickle charge state. Completely boggles my mind.

I'm somewhat leary of using a charger that charges the battery in about 25% of the time the standard charger does. It has to generate excess heat in the battery when it is cramming all that energy in there much faster than normal. Heat leads to battery fatigue with a shorter overall lifespan. Considering that Lithium batteries are like little bombs you end up holding inches from your face, I'm really not too comfortable with this fast charge rate.
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