I recently bought a D3100 - loving it very much, apart from its battery. Compared to my D40, its battery life is pretty poor. The D3100 manual says that it should take 500 shots, 50% with flash before needing a recharge. I can get about 200, none of them with flash, before needing a recharge. I am recharging fully and have tried fully discharging and charging it but I still get about 200 shots. Anyone else experiencing this?
Also, I certainly do not like the new "feature" of the camera locking out if a non-Nikon battery is inserted. Yes, I know Nikon will say "ah but non-Nikon batteries overheat and anything could happen", but I have used non-Nikon batteries for years, as have many friends, with no ill-effects. I know there is a minimal risk, and I choose to take it. I use non-Nikon batteries because they are £5-£8, and they out-perform genuine, £50, Nikon batteries. Normally I would carry four or five batteries, which now would cost me around £250! If Nikon want us to buy their batteries, they should make them outperform their competitors, and price them properly, not just give their firmware a form of battery "copy protect". They manage to make high quality bodies and lenses which are worth what they cost, which is why I buy their kit. Why can't they manage it with batteries?
That said, does anyone know of a firmware hack to get around this? Does the P7000 have this "feature"? (I have some batteries to sell...)
Thanks for any info, thanks for listening to my little rant!
#1. "RE: D3100 battery life and battery "copy protect"" In response to Reply # 0
I understand your rant as I experienced similar short battery life. The battery got better after several charges. Live view and video really shortens battery life. I purchased a couple spares from B&H for 27.00 dollars each.
I was unaware that other manufactures batteries don't work. I believe Nikon is going to offer a higher mAh which should net longer battery run times.
Remember these are lithium ion so they really don't get a memory so you can recharge them at any state of discharge. Always monitor lithium ion batteries while charging though.
#2. "RE: D3100 battery life and battery "copy protect"" In response to Reply # 0
Welcome to Nikonians! Batteries have to go through about 10 charge - discharge cycles to achieve maximum capacity. Do you use: Live View, Video, or do you chimp a lot? Of my 7 Nikon DSLR's my D200 is the only one that can even remotely be considered a battery hog.
With regard to aftermarket batteries, in my expierience, Nikon batteries out perform third party batteries by a very wide margin. In fact, the aftermarket batteires I tried using with my D200 and D2X several years ago would not even power up the cameras. I returned them to the manufacturers and the replacements that they sent would not work either. Good Luck and Enjoy your Nikons!
#3. "RE: D3100 battery life and battery "copy protect"" In response to Reply # 2
>With regard to aftermarket batteries, in my expierience, Nikon >batteries out perform third party batteries by a very wide >margin.
Do you have any relevant experience? Al says Nikon blocks use of 3rd party batteries, so how could you have? If Nikon batteries really outperform others, what is Nikon afraid of that would make them prevent use of other batteries?
#4. "RE: D3100 battery life and battery "copy protect"" In response to Reply # 3
Battery lock-out only occurs on their new models, of which I only have experience of the D3100. The battery has five pins, not the normal 3: I guess the other two pins are for the identification chip. Annoying that the 3rd party manufacturers did not notice this / test it and copy that chip. They aren't going to be selling many EN-EL14 batteries if they don't work...
I am sure there will be a great variation of quality in 3rd party batteries, from unusable to great, but the ones I have used were very good.
What Nikon are afraid of is people not buying their vastly overpriced batteries, of course!
What is that about Nikon offering higher capacity batteries? Arriving any time soon?
gkaiseril Chicago, US Nikonian since 28th Oct 2005
Sun 06-Feb-11 06:11 PM
#5. "RE: D3100 battery life and battery "copy protect"" In response to Reply # 4 Sun 06-Feb-11 06:32 PM by gkaiseril
That is your opinion. Nikon includes electronics that Nikon considers important to protect the camera from battery damage. Nikon's price is more than 3rd parties not only because it is branded Nikon, but the quality of the parts, quality control of production, and design maybe better than the 3rd party products.
Several years ago when rechargeable batteries were exploding,Nikon offered to replace batteries for free that were improperly designed. Nikon replaced my EN-EL3 for free. And their service advisory is still in effect for this replacement.
You do not buy many batteries and than can last several years. This may mean the price differential is not as great as you think it is. Especially when you consider if the battery fails in a destructive manner, not only do you lose a battery, but also possibly the equipment was in at the time of the problem, and possibly the user.
If you owned a D3x instead of a D3100, you might answer the question differently.
#6. "RE: D3100 battery life and battery "copy protect"" In response to Reply # 5 Sun 06-Feb-11 08:30 PM by altanner
gkaiseril, yes of course, everything I say is my opinion, that's what forums are!
I agree, D3 owners might have a different take on this topic, but that doesn't mean us "consumer level" camera owners should just grin and bear it. It shouldn't make a difference, but I have been a "pro-level" camera owner, (mainly Hasselblads, to do a quick name-drop), and owned these cameras because they did the things I needed them to do. I like the D40 and D3100 because they do what I want them to do too (mainly be light). I feel this isn't about how expensive your camera is, or whether you make a living from your equipment or not.
I disagree with your statement "the choice is yours." I buy quality cameras, recently Nikon, because it offers me choice over the boring details like exposure, aperture, ISO, what lens I use, maybe filters, so my photos are what I want. So to be denied the choice of battery I find patronising.
gkaiseril Chicago, US Nikonian since 28th Oct 2005
Sun 06-Feb-11 09:23 PM
#7. "RE: D3100 battery life and battery "copy protect"" In response to Reply # 6 Sun 06-Feb-11 10:06 PM by gkaiseril
As otters have stated, many 3rd party batteries do not work as well as the Nikon product and with the D200 may not work at all. There was a time some 3rd party manufacturers tried to make counterfeit Nikon batteries. These batteries are not the simple carbon zinc batteries from your flashlight, they use a far more complex chemical reaction and that reaction can produce enough current to heat the battery to a temperature high enough to ignite the chemicals in the battery. This is also why there are special chargers with special circuitry that measures both current and temperature during the charging process.
Do you remember the exploding cell phones and laptop computers?
Nikon had a 5 reports world wide of the EN-EL3 having the same problem. Nikon chose to replace all batches with an older design that did not contain the necessary safeguarding circuitry no matter when the battery was bought. The service advisory for this replacement offer has not expired and is still being honored by Nikon. This type of service comes with a price, even a small price.
I do have 3rd party remotes, but the quality of the build is adequate but far from the same build for the equivalent Nikon product. There is a reason the U.S. Navy and NASA uses Nikon products in their missions. Although there is not MilSpec for camera equipment, but testing has showed that the Nikon accessories work at and beyond the listed marketing specifications. Researchers also leave remote Nikon cameras in very harsh environmental conditions.
It is important that others reading this post are aware of the possible problems and guarantees being offered by Nikon and the 3rd parties before buying their batteries.
#8. "RE: D3100 battery life and battery "copy protect"" In response to Reply # 7
Yes, we heard you the first time.
You confirm your Nikon sycophancy, which is to be expected considering the name of this website. I am not a military photographer nor in space, but certainly am impressed that Nikon kit is used in these conditions. The point is that I just want to buy a battery, at the price it should be sold for.
#9. "RE: D3100 battery life and battery "copy protect"" In response to Reply # 0 Mon 07-Feb-11 01:51 PM by sic0048
I'd say there is something wrong with that battery. I've only just received my D3100 and have only charged it once. But I've already taken more than 200 pictures (probably over 300) and the battery meter still shows 2/3 full. Most of these pictures were without flash, but clearly there is still a lot left in the batteries.
I'd recommend contacting Nikon Support and see about getting a replacement battery
#10. "RE: D3100 battery life and battery "copy protect"" In response to Reply # 3 Mon 07-Feb-11 06:17 PM by MEMcD
Welcome to Nikonians!
>Do you have any relevant experience?
Read the entire reply!
Al says Nikon blocks use of 3rd party batteries, so how could you have?
My experience is with an earlier generation of batteries as stated above. Many others here have had issues with third party batteries not lasting as long as the Nikon batteries. I have a Nikon EN-EL3a in my D70S that is going on six years that continues to work perfectly. I also have about 6 Nikon EN-EL3e's that are more than 5 years old that indicate zero (0) (New) on the battery life meter. I also have Nikon 2 EN-EL4's over 5 years old and they are at 2 on the battery life meter and both continue to serve me well. Plus several newer Nikon EN-EL3e's and a half dozen Nikon EN-EL4a's and have never had a problem with any of them.
When the EN-EL4 (D2 series bodies) and EN-EL3e (D200 and D80 bodies) (3 contacts) were introduced replacing the EN-EL3a (2 contacts) it took about a year or so for the third party manufacturers to get their batteries (copy the circuitry) to work correctly with the new bodies. Even though they were selling aftermarket versions very soon after the D2 and D200/D80 bodies were introduced, many did not work as indicated by my experience.
If Nikon >batteries really outperform others, what is Nikon afraid of >that would make them prevent use of other batteries?
In two words: Product Liability! If your house burns down because an aftermarket battery without the proper safety circuitry overheated and caused a fire who is responsible and how much will it cost to prove it in a court of law.
The EN-EL14 and EN-EL15 are next generation battery designs brought about by changes in Japanese law (and likely laws in other countries)requiring Li-ion batteries to have the electrical contacts protected to prevent accidental shorting. There are likely other provisions in the law as well, making the battery design proprietary. Good Luck and Enjoy your Nikons!
rhom Sacramento, US Registered since 06th Aug 2008
Tue 08-Feb-11 10:59 PM
#11. "RE: D3100 battery life and battery "copy protect"" In response to Reply # 9
My experience echos that of sic0048.
Since initially charging my new D3100 battery, I have charged it just once more in 850+ shots. The details are that 75% of these images were made with VR lenses, very few pop-up flash shots, 50% were NEF captures, less than a few dozen live-view captures, and lots of chimping.
Going on a 3 week vacation to Japan later this year. At the moment, I have no plans to buy a spare battery.
Nikon user for 40 years. F-Ftn, F3, F4S, F90, F100, D5100, D700
#12. "RE: D3100 battery life and battery "copy protect"" In response to Reply # 8 Sun 13-Feb-11 08:50 PM by MstrBones
>You confirm your Nikon sycophancy
#13. "RE: D3100 battery life and battery "copy protect"" In response to Reply # 11 Thu 14-Jul-11 09:33 AM by Azam2011
For my Nikon D3100 I used an even stricter set of photo rules that CIPA recommends , almost no LCD monitor, less than 50% flash pics, no video,preview in ON by default as per CIPA, still I get about 150 shots per charge.Camera battery is on its 6th charge.Also the battery indicator drops from full (three) to one bar after 150 pics and disables shutter asking to recharge battery.How can i prove it to the dealer unless he takes 150 pics in his shop (reducing camera life).Nikon should do something as like myself many must be having D3100 as their first Nikon.
>My experience echos that of sic0048. > >Since initially charging my new D3100 battery, I have charged >it just once more in 850+ shots. The details are that 75% of >these images were made with VR lenses, very few pop-up flash >shots, 50% were NEF captures, less than a few dozen live-view >captures, and lots of chimping. > >Going on a 3 week vacation to Japan later this year. At the >moment, I have no plans to buy a spare battery. > >Best Wishes, > >Rick
pjonesCET Martinsville, US Nikonian since 11th Jul 2011
Wed 27-Jul-11 06:36 PM
#15. "RE: D3100 battery life and battery "copy protect"" In response to Reply # 14
Although I have a D3000 bought just a week before the 3100 hit shelves at Sears.
I bought an additional Battery and swap out as needed. I frequently download my pictures take to computer. I find that is the biggest drain on battery. I have to change battery about every couple of months. But with the spare it doesn't bother me that much.
#16. "RE: D3100 battery life and battery "copy protect"" In response to Reply # 0
HI Yes I can see that Nikon would love the opportunity to charge us all £50 for a replacement battery making them another £35 for each one they sell above the price every one else charges that make the en-el14 guess its called marketing.
The thing that really worries me is if Nikon go bust / cease trading we are left with useless systems.
I know they will say they can't see that happening but because the world financial markets do not rely on Nikon carrying on unlike RBS Northern Rock etc who are too big to fail Nikon could follow Goldman Sachs who thought they were too big to fail. I notice Kodak (the inventors of the digital camera) Have filed for protection in the US and they are pretty big!!!!
Much as I really like using this camera If I had know at the time that the battery situation is as it is I would have never dreamt of buying such a camera, while there are still manufacturers out there that do not seek to rip off their customers I would have used one of them.
I make it my business to tell anyone I know who is thinking of buying an slr about this and so far I have told 10 people and All of them have after expressing their disbelief have bought other than Nikon.
The cure of course is for nikon to re program the camera so it no longer looks for this
pjonesCET Martinsville, US Nikonian since 11th Jul 2011
Wed 11-Jan-12 08:49 PM
#17. "RE: D3100 battery life and battery "copy protect"" In response to Reply # 16
If Nikon goes bust batteries are the least of our worries. Then we will have chuck all our cameras, lens, and such and go to Cannon or, Sony.
My only regret buying my camera was getting it when I did. If I had waited one more week I could have gotten the 3100.
But that's normal for me. I am always at the bottom of the Purchase or update curve. Every computer I've ever bought was last years model within a week of purchasing. And yet all the scuttlebutt, on the Internet. didn't see any signs of new products coming out.
#18. "RE: D3100 battery life and battery "copy protect"" In response to Reply # 16
Welcome to Nikonians!
>HI Yes I can see that Nikon would love the opportunity to >charge us all £50 for a replacement battery making them >another £35 for each one they sell above the price every one >else charges that make the en-el14 guess its called >marketing.
While there is profit it the batteries, I would doubt it is anywhere near the 233% that you imply. That said, I have found Nikon batteries to be completely reliable and third party batteries costing about 2/3rds to 3/4 the price of the Nikon batteries to not work at all.
Here are a few things to consider: What is your safety and the safety of your family worth to you?
When your house burns down because a cheap Li-ion battery overheated because the manufacturer wanted to make it cheaper to sell it for less. Penny wise and Pound foolish!
Japanese Law is dictating many of the design features of new Li-ion batteries in order to make them safer and less prone to causing fires. These apply to all removable Li-ion batteries.
> >The thing that really worries me is if Nikon go bust / cease >trading we are left with useless systems.
My oldest Nikon Batteries are about 7 years old and continue to work perfectly, and I shoot significantly more than most. Given their track record, I suspect that they will continue to serve me well, long into the future. Even if the batteries were to be discontinued tomorrow, The batteries will be powering my cameras long into the future. In addition most if not all of the battery grips currently available (Nikon and Third Party) provide the capability to use AA batteries that are readily available in several chemistries in both disposable and rechargeable varieties.
>I know they will say they can't see that happening but because >the world financial markets do not rely on Nikon carrying on >unlike RBS Northern Rock etc who are too big to fail Nikon >could follow Goldman Sachs who thought they were too big to >fail. >I notice Kodak (the inventors of the digital camera) Have >filed for protection in the US and they are pretty big!!!!
Unfortunately Kodak has been poorly managed for well over a decade and were slow to adapt to the digital revolution.
>Much as I really like using this camera If I had know at the >time that the battery situation is as it is I would have never >dreamt of buying such a camera, while there are still >manufacturers out there that do not seek to rip off their >customers I would have used one of them.
No one is "Ripping Off" customers!
DeLorean has been out of business for 30 years and there remains a significant supply of replacement parts available today. In fact one could build hundreds of new cars from the supply of spare parts.
If you are that worried about future battery availability, you will find that the manufacturers of just about every complex electronic device (Cameras, Computers, Phones, MP3 Players, ect...) use proprietary batteries specifically designed for a particular application within their product line. This is getting to be more common every day.
>I make it my business to tell anyone I know who is thinking of >buying an slr about this and so far I have told 10 people and >All of them have after expressing their disbelief have bought >other than Nikon.
Every Manufacturer of DSLR's has their own proprietary battery design and they are designed, marketed, and priced the same as the Nikon batteries. Therefore the 10 people that bought other brands have the same issues with batteries for their camera that you seem to have with yours. Even most of the P&S cameras being made today have proprietary batteries. Given that most of the other camera manufacturers are significantly smaller than Nikon and hold a much smaller market share, they are much more likely to go out of business, than the big two.
>The cure of course is for Nikon to re program the camera so it >no longer looks for this
It has nothing to do with reprogramming the camera. The battery is an integral part of the camera design. I have two laptop computers made by the same manufacturer made one year apart and the batteries are not interchangeable. Good Luck and Enjoy your Nikons!
#19. "RE: D3100 battery life and battery "copy protect"" In response to Reply # 0
You should be getting lots more battery life than that. Remember 1) turn off the camera when not in use 2) don't constantly use your live view 3) remove the memory card from your camera and use a card reader instead of a cable for file transfer. If you are using the flash heavily, it will run down your battery faster.
It's also kind of silly to spend that much money on a camera and then try to cheap out on the battery. If you can't afford a real Nikon battery, you couldn't afford the camera in the first place. They aren't that expensive. Just get a spare battery and keep it charged. Yes, they do hold a charge well.
If you need to carry 5 batteries, it's because you are using cheap batteries. I've used my D3100, heavily, on one battery for several days on vacation. I can't imagine needing more than 1 real Nikon battery plus another for a spare.
working on it in Middle TN Nikon D3100
35 mm 1.8 Nikkor 18-55 mm Nikkor VR 55-200 mm Nikkor VR 55-300 mm Nikkor VR 150-500 mm Sigma OS Feisol CT3471 & Markins M20 ballhead
OldCodger Sawbridgeworth Hertfordshire, UK Registered since 15th Oct 2011
Sun 15-Jan-12 06:45 PM
#20. "RE: D3100 battery life and battery "copy protect"" In response to Reply # 19
I have a 10 year old Coolpix 885 and my daughter has a 775, they use the same battery type an EN-EL1. About ten years back when I bought the cameras I also bought a pattern part battery, the first one lasted about three charges and was replaced. The replacement is still 'working' but not with half the capacity of the original EN-EL1s that are still going strong. I also have a D7000 about six months old now. So far I think I have charged the battery twice... So far it is Nikon 1 others 0 (nil) for me.