I asked Nikon tech support today if anyone else had reported short battery life and the lady went off the line to check with others, later reporting that no one else had reported any anomalies. Well, no big surprise there, would they admit it? So I'm putting it out here. I recharged last night and needed another one tonight. Approximately 30 photos taken today. That's the poorest performance yet in three weeks of ownership. Anyone else having this problem? Many Thanks, John
John, take a look at message 387, this concerns confirmed problems with the use of AA batteries and the MBD-100. If you have an MBD-100 please check it out with AA's.
Now addressing your concern: it is possible that the lithium EN3 or the charger is defective. I doubt that both are but it's possible.
If you are using flash and the focus illumination assist often the battery will drain quickly. I had this experience this weekend, the battery icon was minus 1 'stripe' when I started and 30 min later Ithe battery was down & out blinking away. I did not notice when and if there were -2 'stripes' The rechargeables (NiCd, MnH and the Lithiums run their life over a pretty flat voltage discharge curve until ened of life (discharged). At this point the voltage drops preciptiously.
The next time you recharge your battery (and the charge light stops blinking) measure the voltage across the battery terminals, it should be ~7.746 VDC. Next place a ~100 ohm resistor across the terminals and re-measure the voltage; for a freshly recharged EN3 battery drawing about 75 ma the voltge should measure ~7.723. I placed a 50 ohm resistor (150 ma load) across the battery and read ~7.706. these voltage changes are what one would expect for a charged battery in 'good' condition. If your measured voltage drops are much greater ~150--250 mVDC, I would supect the battery. If your no-load voltage after rechage is less than 7.8 VDC,i.e. 7 VDC the charger could be at fault. With 3 weeks of ownership your dealer should let you swap batteries and/or the charger--in fact recharge your battery at the dealer and see what happens. While your battery is recharging take a walk with one his batteries (hopefully 'fully' charged)and shoot 100 (I hope) or more frames. If you have used focus illumination and flash, do the same now. When the memory fills up delete all, this process also uses a chunk of juice. Obviously, if you use a new fully charged battery and the D100 gives you 20-50 frames you've got a camera problem.
I am not happy with Nikon being in denial about problems, I had the same difficulty with them last week. I think the Nikonians should utilize their body of strength when dealing 'Nikon Support?'; let Nikon kmow that these concerns are being discussed and confirmed on our website and others.
Thanks for your time spent writing all this, Irving. Instead of taking a course on electronics and buying equipment, I've ordered a new battery. I had a brainstorm and suddenly thought of my laptop draining the battery excessively. Right now this is just a wild theory, but I will confirm it at the computer repair, where I have to go anyway. Many Thanks, John
My experience with the D100 and battery life has been completely the opposite from what you are describing. I am finding that I can shoot for days on end, taking hundreds of shots before the battery even drops to the first notch.
I bought three batteries when I got my D100, expecting it to be like other digital cameras, with sudden battery death. Instead, I rarely have to change batteries, and I look at the majority of my images after each shot.
I also use an IBM Microdrive which runs the battery down faster than normal, but still...long battery life. My feeling as to how long it lasts is this. If I view almost every picture, use built-in fill flash, and am using the IBM Microdrive, I get from 350-450 shots out of a single battery charge. The best I have ever gotten is about 600 shots while using little flash and image viewing. Most reviews I have read about the D100 mention the same...LONG BATTERY LIFE!
Nikon claims 1600 shots in their manual. I have never gotten that many, but I am sure that I could get over 1000, with a compact flash card (not Microdrive), no flash, and no image viewing.
<<<START QUOTE>>> In your opinion, what is the D100's outstanding feature?
TW: Well, it is not listed in the catalog, but the D100 has a very long battery life.
Would you say it has an "energy-conserving" design?
TW: Yes. When you actually use the camera, you get the feeling you can take almost twice as many pictures as with D1 series cameras. The actual number of shots will obviously depend on shooting conditions; but our internal evaluation team made many comments about the long battery life. Also, accepts AA batteries. So even if the rechargeable battery runs out, you can use these as a substitute. <<<END QUOTE >>>
As I suspected, the computer is sucking juice from my battery like a vampire, when connected. I shot over a thousand frames and still had full charge indication, using jpeg fine. Now that I know what the problem is, I can just minimize connection time to a minimum, till the computer comes back from repair. Thanks Darrell and Irving. John
John, if what you said about your computer is true, purchase a stand alone card reader like a SandisK ImageMate or equi for $20-30.
Your flash card plugs into reader, the reader cable (USB) plugs into your computer and the software on the CD sets you up. I just got one as a free bonus when buying a 128M card but have not run it yet--too busy writing to you!
This inexpensive approach keeps your camera away from your voracious computer.
...is $16.99 at PCMall. A card reader is faster and more convenient than connecting your camera to the computer. The ImageMate folds up into a small package and is quite portable for those traveling with a laptop computer. It draws power from the USB port so there is no dangling power cord either.
I have found that I really only need to charge my one battery once per 5 days or so, and each day I take 50-100 raw images... also, I charge it after I loose the first notch, i.e. I don't wait for it to actually die.
I know I gotta be missing something here, so bear with me...I download to the card reader, then later to the laptop for editing. Why have the intermediate step at all? Time is not a big factor, my images download to the computer pretty fast as it is. Yes, the computer is sucking my battery, but that's temporary as Apple will be fixing it. What is the primary reason people use card readers at all? Thanks.
1-remove the card from the camera 2-plug the card into the reader 3-connect the USB cable from the reader into the PC 4-PC will recognize the card reader and open a dilagoue box on the screen. 5-click on the appropriate task item 6-PC downloads images from card reader 7-unplug USB cable from PC, remove card from reader and put back into your camera. Your camera never connects to the PC and download is only done once. Many digital pixers are doing this now.
I read your email before I got here, so I may sound repetitive.
John, If you are out in the field with your laptop or in your studio doing a shoot the card reader and the PC/Laptop can be working for you while you continue shooting.
Look at this technique as an insurance policy similar to Skylight filters being used for the physical protection of your pricey lenses.
Keeping your camera from making direct physical connection (except optical links) to the PC minimizes static discharges or 'vampire current sucking' USB ports from screwingup or destroying your costly cameras. Secondly, if you snag the cable from your camera to the PC the rapid descent of your D100 hitting the floor will not make a pleasant sound and your day might be ruined. I always remove my AF lens when doing this; 'the heavier they are the harder they fall'. As soon as I set up my Sandisk card reader tonite this will be a worry of the past. The card reader is smaller than a mouse (PC)and will even hold your spare mem card.
I'm not sure if any of the previous posts mentioned this, but another step you should take to ensure longer battery life is to deep discharge (refresh) your battery about once a month or approx. every 10 charges. I'm not sure if the charger for the D100's battery has this feature, but the charger for my D1H's EN4 does; basically this allows you to completely discharge your battery before you recharge it. This eliminates the "memory effect" these batteries have. After refreshing my EN4's, I more or less tripled the number of shots I could take, from 150 to about 400.
The D100 batteries are the Lithium Ion type so there's no memory effect - hence the battery charger doen't have (or need) the refresh facility.
The D1/D1x/D1h use Nickel Metal Hydride batteries and they definitely do benefit from periodic refresh cycles. It's actually worth putting a new battery through three charge / refresh cycles before you first use it to maximise its life right from the start.
Oops, already ordered the USB card reader, though I did see the PCMCIA adapater on the PC Mall order page. Just didnt' know what it was at the time. And only ten bucks too! It was all for the good, as I found two 256 MB Lexar Cards for $99 each, after rebate. Something which will come in handy for the Route 66 Rendezvous in San Bernardino this weekend, you betcha! Thanks one and all! Now we can beat something else to death. Darrell is sure to come up with something provocative soon. Actually I have a good potential, but I have to keep it under my hat till things develop some more. Hint; someone said my D100 is a piece of s _ _ _ by Nikon! More soon. . . .
I just realized something (or not): is there a battery charger for our EN3 battery working from a car? I have a small~30 W 12VDC-115VAC converter that might do it, will let you know. Meanwhile, check this out at your end. Hopefully other Nikonians will reply about this.
Gents, embarassingly enougn Nikon does offer a 'Multi-Charger' MH-19, that can be plugged into an automobile cigarette lighter. It is shown on page 10 of the Nikon D100 brochure, which came today-having been requested 2 wks ago. Looks like it does two batteries at once. I would estimate its price as slightly than an N65 or basic 28-80 zoom lens (Nikon, of course).
Does anyone know the polarity of the pins for the camera body DC input and what the output voltage of the AC Adapter EH-5 is when connected to camera.
I have seen the charger listed as well. It's in stock at B&H for only $249.95 US.
While I grant that it can charge two EN-ELs or EN-4 batteries simultaneously (I don't know if it can charge all four simultaneously) AND it can be powered from a cigarette lighter, I already have chargers for my D100 and D1, and I have an inverter that cost some $60 and powers both, as well as powering/charging my Mindstor.