I was out this morning shooting away at 32°F. After a few hundred shots, the D4 just stopped shooting. The only indicator was an empty battery icon on the back LCD. I've never run the battery all the way down, but thought there might have to be a first. I replaced the battery with another battery and had the same empty battery icon. When the battery is first inserted, the indicators inside the battery icon race across, then stopped and it was left with an empty battery icon.
I tried the first battery again, then popped out the CF card and reinserted it. I turned the camera off and on numerous times and also tried taking the lens off and putting it back on. Nothing fixed it.
On the way home, I pulled the battery out of the camera and let everything sit. I was thinking about having to find my NPS card and needing to send it in by Fed-Ex. When back in town, I pulled over and inserted the battery again and everything fired up. I tried both batteries and both of them showed a full charge.
Has anyone seen this behavior or possibly make suggestions for getting past the problem while in the field? I've been out with the camera numerous times in much colder temps without a problem.
If both batteries are from the same batch, I'd suspect them. The battery batch should be on the battery. If they are the same, consider buying a battery from your local camera store to ensure the new battery is from a different batch. Alternately, you can email B&H and tell them you'd like to buy a battery with a different batch I'd.
Less likely though possible is a defective battery charger. The likelihood increases if the batteries are from different batches. Consider cleaning the contacts in the charger. Though I think this is a real long shot, it is cheap to try.
Nevertheless were it me, I'd definitely buy another battery.
Hi Bill, Thanks for the suggestions. Actually, I already have three batteries. I usually only have two of them out...one in the camera and one in my coat pocket. The red flag definitely went up that morning, but I haven't had a similar problem since.
No doubt, I given the camera plenty of chances to fail using the same two batteries. So far, so good. Knock on wood.
I had a similar occurrence, years ago, with a Hasselblad 203FE... in Seattle, under similar conditions. Cold; but not REALLY cold (i.e., 25-35 deg F). When I took the camera home (and it thawed out), everything worked as if nothing was wrong. Hasselblad actually made a separate battery case, with a long cable, just so you could keep the battery warm.
This obviously doesn't identify your D4 problem; but "may" indicate that battery operation (and cold performance) may be related to more variables than just the "ambient" temperature. It would seem that a simple "cold-soak" test (at a range of temperatures) may give insight into the problem. Perhaps when people are using the camera in REALLY cold temps (<<<35 deg F) they may be paying more attention to keeping the camera "warm"... and the actual battery temperature may not be CLOSE to the ambient temp.
Have used my D4 in 4 F for hours and no issues like this. I suppose you could have a part that is sensitive to cold, you can do a simple check, by putting the D4 in the refrig. for a hour and see if the same thing happens. This happened to my old Leica R3 20 years ago, sent it in, they replaced the part and it never happened again.
Sun 26-May-13 12:11 AM | edited Sun 26-May-13 12:12 AM by M_Jackson
That was the middle of November. It happened only once and not since. I sent the body in to Nikon at the end of December after dropping it and the 200-400. No problems at all with the body or lens since the repair. MJ