Is the EN-EL3 battery really memory-effect free?
I readed in marketing stuff that LiIon battery is free of memory effect, so it would be no problem to recharge it even if it's not fully discharged. Is it true, in your experience?
Design & Photography
#1. "RE: Is the EN-EL3 battery really memory-effect free?" | In response to Reply # 0
Wed 23-Nov-05 01:05 PM
Yes it is true. In fact discharging it completely isn't a good thing for it. They recommend that if you aren't going to use one for a while you store it at least partly charged
Li-on batteries will not last forever but I've got an original one with my old Fuji camera that's over four years old and it's still going strong.
#2. "RE: Is the EN-EL3 battery really memory-effect free?" | In response to Reply # 1
paizhao Basic MemberWed 23-Nov-05 02:21 PM
>Yes it is true. In fact discharging it completely isn't a
>good thing for it. They recommend that if you aren't going
>to use one for a while you store it at least partly charged
However, it's been recommended by many that you should condition a new battery by fully discharging and charging the first few times (3 to 5 times depending on who you ask). After that, they say you should do it every month or so I believe. That's just what I've heard.
#4. "RE: Is the EN-EL3 battery really memory-effect free?" | In response to Reply # 3
edmun Registered since 16th Sep 2003Thu 24-Nov-05 01:42 AM
Funny, what I have heard, here on Nikonians, is do not run it flat. Keep it charged and cycle them through your camera.
That is what my friend has been doing first in his d100 then d70 and now D2x.
It is still too early but that is what I have been doing and so far it is working.
#5. "RE: Is the EN-EL3 battery really memory-effect free?" | In response to Reply # 4
Steve Chism Registered since 17th Nov 2005Thu 24-Nov-05 05:00 AM
In my experience it is best not to run any rechargeable completely flat, whether Ni-cad or Lithium Ion. My Ipod is six months old and the battery is dead on it...not completely but I only get 3-4 hours out of it. Numerous times have I used it until it wouldn't run anymore, and I've been told (not by apple) that that is the cause of the dead batt. I've also had a similar problem with ni-cad batteries in my flashlight. Now I know better
Nikon: The Calming Camera
#6. "RE: Is the EN-EL3 battery really memory-effect free?" | In response to Reply # 5
Thu 24-Nov-05 06:10 AM
Your Ni-Cads in the flashlight and the Li-Ion in the D50 are so different that you can't and shouldn't compare them.
Ni-Cads are very old technology that suffer from memory effect in the worst possible way. After as few as twenty charges a Ni-Cad can start to show deminished life span. Throw them away (properly) and get something newer (Ni-MH at least).
Li-Ions don't have a memory effect but they do have a life cycle of a certain number of complete discharges and recharges. In the case of iPods it's 900 complete discharge / recharge cycles. A Discharge is when the battery is completely flat so recharging the battery by "topping it up" will actually increase the length of time it lasts. I don't know what the cycle count on a D50 battery is but I'd guess it's similar to the iPod (around 900 cycles). From a realsitic point of view that means that if you discharged your battery once a week it should last something like 17 years - probably longer that you would have the camera body.
Another tip for Li-Ions. Charge them overnight rather than removing them from the charger as soon as the LED stops blinking. Generally the blinking stops when the battery is about 95% charged on most chargers, Li-Ion batteries will continue to trickle charge for several hours after than to get fully charged. It might just give you those few extra shots you need one day.
#7. "RE: Is the EN-EL3 battery really memory-effect free?" | In response to Reply # 6
Steve Chism Registered since 17th Nov 2005Thu 24-Nov-05 06:37 AM
heh...wish I could throw them out, but my flashlight is pretty exclusive (Surefire) and finding the battery in another chemistry is a no-go. Luckily they're cheap at $20usd each, so I keep 3 in rotation and just replace them every 8 months to a year. The quality of the light is worth the trouble
Anyways, very good info in this thread
Nikon: The Calming Camera
#8. "RE: Is the EN-EL3 battery really memory-effect free?" | In response to Reply # 7
Thu 24-Nov-05 10:59 AM
If the batteries are only $20 they are in no way a special battery despite what the manufacturer wants you to believe. Some simple internet seraching will probably reveal a suitable replacement.
I know that this is OT but I just looked at Surefire's web site. The rechargeable batteries look to me like a couple of standard cells in a shrink wrap outer. It's hard to tell the scale but so I don't know what size but I'd guess C cell's.
My advice is to open an old one up and see what is inside. I bet you will be surprised at how much you will be able to save.
#9. "RE: Is the EN-EL3 battery really memory-effect free?" | In response to Reply # 6
albano Registered since 12th Nov 2005Thu 24-Nov-05 02:22 PM
#10. "RE: Is the EN-EL3 battery really memory-effect free?" | In response to Reply # 9
Fri 25-Nov-05 06:34 AM
Yes. From the point of view of battery longevity the best thing you can do is recharge it before it is completely depleted. You should remember though that for most peoples usage the battery will probably last longer than you will keep the camera body the way that the technology in the bodies is moving forward so fast.
#11. "RE: Is the EN-EL3 battery really memory-effect free?" | In response to Reply # 10
Fri 25-Nov-05 12:23 PM
I think that's true in many cases, I've got a Fuji 6900 and it's original battery is still going strong after nearly four years. It's had a lot more charging as well.
#13. "RE: Is the EN-EL3 battery really memory-effect free?" | In response to Reply # 2
However, it's been recommended by many that you should condition a new battery by fully discharging and charging the first few times (3 to 5 times depending on who you ask). After that, they say you should do it every month or so I believe.
This is a pure myth. There is absolutely no need for fully discharging a Li-Ion battery, which is what EN-EL3 is. The only thing that eats into the life of a Li-Ion battery is age from time of manufacturing (shelf life) regardless if it was charged or not and not on the number of charge/discharge cycles. Nothing else. Absolutely nothing else.
And, BTW, even if you try to discharge it fully, you will not be able to do it because internal circuitry prevents one from fully discharging a Li-Ion battery.
Speed is significant and interesting but accuracy is downright fascinating!
#12. "RE: Is the EN-EL3 battery really memory-effect free?" | In response to Reply # 0
I am very skeptical about Li-Ion batteries longevity. There is a way to put them to death rather quickly as has happened with several of my Canon BP 512s. I haven't figured it out exactly why they don't last very long here, but could it be because I kept them in the charger or plugged in camera for too long after they reach their maximum charge?
Or is it because they need to be cycled more and don't if plugged in?
The manuals all seem to indicate that one should remove Li-Ions from the charger when fully charged.
I hope my D50 EN-EL3 batteries don't show the same problem.
#14. "RE: Is the EN-EL3 battery really memory-effect free?" | In response to Reply # 12
pradipta Registered since 03rd Oct 2004Sat 26-Nov-05 07:07 PM
Lack of longevity of Li-Ion batteries is because of its lack of durability as compared to NiMH or NiCd designs. The Li-Ion technology is fragile but is getting more and more popular because of its ability to have extremely high-energy density.
Speed is significant and interesting but accuracy is downright fascinating!
#15. "RE: Is the EN-EL3 battery really memory-effect free?" | In response to Reply # 14
BruceUK Registered since 27th Nov 2005Sun 27-Nov-05 06:24 PM
As I've been rather involved in batteries in various devices when I'm not taking pictures perhaps I can clear this up: (and I know some of this has already been said in various places but lets pull it together now)
Lithium Ion Polymer batteries are NOT like
Nicads (which have memory etc but can last decades)
NiMH (which need 3-6 cycles to reach full capacity and last years)
Lead Acids (heavy, hate full discharges, store full happily )
Some unattributable story including snatches of any of the above from your neighbor's nephew's expert teenagers mate!
The rules of the Li-Ion game are not widely known or understood yet but they are actually stable and clear for current technologies:
The average Lithium Ion battery will reach the end of it's useful life after c 5 years from production EVEN IF IT IS UNUSED in the blister pack or even sooner if kept fully and lovingly charged in a nice warm bag/drawer. This life may be prolonged a little by keeping it at 40% charge or cooler e.g. 10 degrees c.
Cell Manufacturers document this on application notes and ship batteries at 40%. Packagers say little on battery packaging and don't like to date limit their stock - wonder why !
Assuming you have bought the batteries to use not admire then:
The Li-Ion battery will last a maximum of about 300 x a full charge's worth of charge input. 2 x 50% = 1 charge, 10 *10% =1 charge. There is NO problem topping up a slightly discharged battery in a proper charger if you want to unless that starts to affect the average charge level over the time you plan to keep it (an important 'unless' - see below).
If you plan to store a battery for some months leave it at 40% - this WILL increase it's retained capacity over its life but still not to beyond 5 years
Do not however fully discharge batteries and then leave them. Further heat, discharge or leakage may take it into a zone where it will not allow itself to be charged by consumer-class chargers for safety reasons. You camera etc will cut off well above this point however which is determined by electronics actually IN the battery - not the camera power circuit.
AVERAGE CHARGE LEVEL
A 'stored/kept at 40%' battery loses 6% capacity per year at 25C room temp
A 'stored/kept at 100%' battery loses 20% capacity per year at 25C room temp.
Neither will last forever whatever you do. Moreover once the remaining capacity has dropped to around 70% of original/nominal an increase in the internal resistance of the battery may stop it fullfilling it's proper duties at times of peak current demand - and may cause the camera/phone/laptop etc to power off as the device sees the cell voltage drop under load (e.g. continuous flash use).
If you choose to charge to 100% anytime you are below 90%, use the camera regularly and keep the battery in the camera at room temperature you should still get a year's life, maybe 2 . Increase the camera temperature to 60 degC in a hot summer car situation and you may see no more than 3 months service life.
Now batteries etc do have a distribution curve so I'm sure someone will pop up with their 'good as new' 15 year old camera battery. However I often see a Li-ion polymer mobile phone battery that is paraded as 5 years old and 'still runs for X days standby'. Usually though the talktime (high discharge current) has dropped to about 10 minutes which may or may not inconvenience or be noticed by the proud owner. Likewise a camera may be fine until you try to take a long series of flash shots.
Final observation. This stuff can get obsessive. To remain sane and focused on work/photography/music etc I recycle rechargeable lithium batteries 3 years after manufacture date or 2.5 years after I get them at the latest (often you can figure the date code out if you guess it means 'this year or last year'). This way I don't get caught out and the batery portion of my total camera/electronics budget is not increased that much. Compare battey prices to your
printing to travel budget!).
Shop around for Batteries - the very cheapest option may well be rubbish or more likly a low capacity batch from a main maker - but there are some quite reputable aftermarket suppliers who may well be sourcing the decent cells from the same place in Japan as the equipment manufacturer.
Hope that helps (or at least stirs up some passion )