On the St. Louis trip when you loaned me your new battery, it showed 100% when I put it in my camera. Took about 300 photographs with it and didn’t see any significant drop in power? You’re welcome to try my charger to eliminate the possibility that your charger is faulty.
The batteries were showing 100% after their first charge for me too. The battery I handed you had never been used by me. It was brand new from B&H and that was it's very first charge.
Remember I had some weird behavior at the gardens, losing half my battery life after only 150 shots? I thought it was the GPS so I stopped using it for the rest of the weekend. I charged my one battery at the hotel on Saturday night and used it at the zoo on Sunday. It seemed to be better, looking like around 800 shots given my percentage and number of shots taken. I was chimping pretty heavily so I figured 800 shots wasn't too bad.
But now it's acting up again.
I will contact you via email about borrowing your charger to eliminate that part at least.
This is not making me feel good about a trip to Alaska in just over two months.
In addition to running the shutter, reading/processing/writing data from the sensor, I think the battery life will also depend on your 'meter-off' setting, whether you are using AF or AF-S lenses, etc. I shoot 14-bit NEF, uncompressed (25MB) and get about 1200-1400 images per battery. Your 1654 seems like a solid outing; your files are smaller, but you camera has to do a little more processing to compress them. Seems like a wash to me.
I'm 99.9999% sure it was coincedence, but reading this thread I remembered the first time I put my 'aged' D2X battery in the D3. After using it, I noticed its 'lifetime' setting changed from 0 to 1, and it asked to be calibrated. The battery had about 20,000 shots on it, so it seems like normal behavior, but still thought it was an interesting coincedence.
It sounds like I am OK then. I will know for sure tonight when I use the other battery.
I am trying to charge my old batteries one at a time using only the left side of the charger to see if they come back to 99/100%. They were showing much lower than that, in the 80-90% range I think, which was what prompted me to buy the new ones.
So maybe I need a new charger? They are awful expensive. I suppose I can ship this one off to Nikon and have it checked out first.
Pretty well. I used one of the old batteries (charged on the left side) just to see what would happen. I had a new battery ready in case it started to go bad. I got 740 shots and have 58% left on the battery. That's 1761 projected images on the battery shooting 14-bit lossless RAW.
Based on that test it would appear my old batteries are fine. That's a shame since I don't need 4 active batteries
If you aren't doing much chimping, that seems like a low number of shots per charge to me. The only time my D3 ever used that much power (In normal use rather than with long shutter speeds) was when using the 200 f2. The VR on that lens seems to suck the very life from the D3 in a short time. I'm more normally getting between 2500 and 3000 shots per charge and I chimp like a good 'un.
Tonight I shot another softball game with one of the new batteries. I got 622 shots and had 80% battery left. That extrapolates out to 3100 shots. That's nearly double what I got the last time I used the battery. I didn't change my shooting style at all. If anything I chimped more tonight because I was trying some new stuff.
This is the third or fourth charge on this battery. Does it take a few charges before batteries start to show their full potential?
>This is the third or fourth charge on this battery. Does it >take a few charges before batteries start to show their full >potential?
I think it does. It has been a while since I got new camera batteries, but that tracks with my recollection. Other Li-powered devices I've gotten have shown a similar effect: apparent short battery life at the beginning rising to the expected level after a few charge cycles.
Even so, I've never seen more than 2,000 shots (I don't see much of a difference between the D2X and D3). Maybe if I turn the meter off, shoot compressed 12-bit RAW, manual focus, turn the monitor off and never chimp, I could get 3,000 shots... but I'm still not sure mine would get that.
Heavy VR use and chimping does take a toll. For my stats, the meter off delay (custom C4) was set to the minimum (10s). Related to this is the LCD brightness in the setup menu (the spanner icon). If you have this turned up then this will drain the batteries faster.
While shooting baseball games this weekend, I paid closer attention to my battery life. I was shooting with the D3, meter-off setting of 30s, uncompressed 14-bit NEF (~25 Mb per image) and an AF-S 70-200mm f/2.8 with VR off.
I am getting about 2800-3000 images per charge on my newer EN-EL4a battery (D3) with a little chimping.
My older EN-EL4 at 'battery-age' of "1", I got about 1,000 shots. I think I used to get about 1600-2000 on the D2X batteries when they were new.
I must have been confusing/averaging the old/new before. I was certain I'd never get 2500 shots on the new EN-EL4a, and it just kept going and going.