I removed and re-inserted the battery a few times to no avail. All this time, D100 and D70s reported fully charged.
Then I decided to try to continue 'charging' the battery. I inserted the battery to the charger with the charger after 10 seconds indicating fully charged (light stopped blinking). I left the battery 'charging' for about 45 minutes and when I tried again...all was OK. The camera reports through the menu 100% charge.
I would like to believe this was just a weird glitch, but I'll have to monitor this and come back to you. In fact I don't like the flimsy looks of the third (middle) contact in the camera battery compartment.
If someone else has a similar problem, I would like to know.
I had noticed something similar, but you reported before I got around to it. I charged the battery, and the light on the charger stopped blinking after about 90 minutes. I figured that Nikon's 135 minute estimate was variable, but I am now noticing that the battery indicator on teh top LCD panel is showing three bars (about 60%). I admit to some concern because I have only shot about 70 pictures.
I'm sorry to say I have the same problem. I charged the battery fully when I got home, and started to fire off shots all over the room and work my way through the menu. Naturally I was using the monitor almost non-stop, but to my shock later that evening I noticed that the battery indicator showed less than 40%. I re-charged until the light stopped blinking and went on with the learning curve, but once again the indicator seemed to be falling almost as I watched! The ads say expect 1800 shots per charge, but on this showing I wouldn't get even 800. I never, ever, had this problem with the D70.
It's now Sunday morning. I collected the camera Friday afternoon, and I'm now on my third charging cycle. Other than that the camera is wonderful. ********* Edited to add... It's now late on Sunday night. I had intended to let the battery go to the blinking, or low warning, stage before charging again. I haven't really taken very many shots but I have been going back to the camera often to try some new setting from the manual. However, I'm back to only 2 bars showing! I fear this is more than just "new toy syndrome" and wearing out the battery by overuse of the monitor — this is beginning to look lke a real problem.
I have this same problem. I charged the battery for about 3 hours and the light stoped blinking but the battery would not work in the new D200. I tried it in my D100 and it worked fine, and showed a full charge.
I will try leaving it on the charger overnight to see if it works in the morning. I hope so. The dealer said ti would be days before they could get me a replacement battery!
OK... My first charge stopped after about 1.5 hrs...
Took about 200 pictures with the camera and the battery is down to 43%.
I thought it was because ot the transmitter for the strobes I was using but thinking about it now. I should still get better battery life.
I'm hoping after one or two full charges the battery performs as it should.
Edited to add: More acurately, my pic meter says 191 shots and the Bat. Meter is now at 30%.
Should definately not be the norm. I'm going to charge overnight and try it out in the morning. This time I'll be testing those seals in the snow. The cold would probalby affect battery life but we'll see what happens.
The recalled EN-EL3A batteries are getting replaced with EN-EL3e ones which I find funny in two senses one is that my D50 has no use for the added connector on the battery and secondly since people like me are getting these batteries the ones who need them ie those with D200 cameras are not getting any. Bum deal.
I don't really get what the rave is about here. I mean, as pointed out earlier here, new batteries take a few charge recycles to reach full capacity.
Even mobile phone manuals recommend batteries (no matter what technology) to be first charged overnight and for the initial charge recycles to fully empty and "overcharge" them, this so that the batteries will reach maximum capacity and lengthen their lifespan. I looked it up and even my PSP manual includes the same recommendation.
>I don't really get what the rave is about here. I mean, as >pointed out earlier here, new batteries take a few charge >recycles to reach full capacity. > >Even mobile phone manuals recommend batteries (no matter >what technology) to be first charged overnight and for the >initial charge recycles to fully empty and "overcharge" >them, this so that the batteries will reach maximum capacity >and lengthen their lifespan. I looked it up and even my PSP >manual includes the same recommendation.
Exactly. Also, let's not forget a little piece of advice that every iPod owner takes to heart: don't let the little bars scare you. Shoot with the camera until the bat goes dead. See how long you can actually shoot with it, not what the little bars tell you.
Remember too that the previous Nikon battery indicators were notorious for showing a nearly full charge LONG after the bat was below half charge. When they finally got to that last bar the camera was virtually dead. With six instead of the usual three bars to work with and a reputedly more accurate batter meter we should expect to see more bar activity. I'd prefer the meter to show me that the battery is going down over time rather than the old way (reads as full until the very last moment and then dies in no time).
Be patient. Give the bat three full cycles from charged to dead to charged again and then let's see how they're working.
>Remember too that the previous Nikon battery indicators were >notorious for showing a nearly full charge LONG after the >bat was below half charge. When they finally got to that >last bar the camera was virtually dead. With six instead of >the usual three bars to work with and a reputedly more >accurate batter meter we should expect to see more bar >activity.
You may be correct in that the battery needs to be "broken in" but with my current "two bars showing," the Battery Info shown under the Set-up Menu has a corresponding value of 39%.
I shot the batery till it was dead in my D100. Then I charged it overnight in the provided MH-18a. It stopped blinking after about 3 hours. But, following Niko's advice I left the battery in the charger with the light solid overnight. This morning when I put it in the D200, same behaviour, flashing one bar and will not take pictures, or allow the menus to work. But, the batery works fine and reads full in the D100. The batery or charger is toast and Nikon does not seem to have any extra batteries anywhere. I have used my camera for only 2 minutes at the store when someone loaned me their battery to test with. So I am glad I have a working camera but upset that I cannot use it because of no power. I may have it for weeks till I can find a battery to power it.
DonS - My battery did not last very long on the first charge either. Sorry to hear about yours. I wonder if you put a bit of tape across that third contact if you could fake out the camera, or whether it simply must have the chip info to work at all? When I read about the "intelligent battery design" I wondered how may of us would have a problem.
Check the manual for the charger. If there's a calibrate function I suggest using it. Calibration has a lot to do with whether or not the camera can accurately read and report the amount of charge left.
There's no callibrate function. I'll try running the battery down a couple of times and see how that goes although these new batteries supposedly should not be run down flat.
Also took mine out today with a full charge and got to 203 shots and ended up at 60%. Not sure if that's an improvement over last night since I didn't have the receiver for the strobes attached and I was out in the cold.
I'm sure it'll pick up after a few discharge and recharges. At least I hope so.
I don't think we should realistically expect to get even close to 1800 shots. The 1800 shot rating, among other criteria, includes VR off, JPG Basic/Medium files, no RAW files, no flash used, no AF assist, very litle monitor usage, no cycling the camera on and off, etc.
Note that there is another rating of 340 shots. This protocol includes use of built-in flash every other shot, and larger files (JPG Normal/Large), cycling the camera on and off, etc. Note however, that this protocol still does not use JPG Fine/Large and/or RAW files which I expect many owners are using. Also there is no mention of monitor usage at all in this protocol.
I'm sure the above ratings are done under ideal conditions such as temperature, battery in peak condition, etc. I suspect that our battery life is being greatly reduced by excessive use of the monitor (natural because of new toy syndrome, setting up options, etc.) use of the built in flash and AF Assist, Fine/Large JPG's and RAW files, and other activities not included in the protocols which resulted in the 1800 or 340 shot ratings.
I would expect battery life to improve somewhat as the newness wears off of the monitor and menus, and as the batteries improve with a few charge/discharge cycles.
Refer to page 207 of the User Manual for the above referenced battery rating protocols. (page number based on English version)
“Less is more.” Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
“Less is only more where more is no good.” Frank Lloyd Wright
Yes that may be so but are people getting a reasonable number of shots or is this a systemic problem partly fueled by an overeager rating?
I know with my D70 I would be upset to get less that 1000 shots in 'normal' use over a few weeks. At a recent wedding I had over 600 shots, using in-build flash, lots of reviewing, etc. I ran out of card space before battery power. My lowest ever count was 400 on the franklin over 2 weeks with cold nights, more reviewing than you'd ever expect (10 people saying "show me!") and a lot of hunty autofocus, and that was after only 1hr of charge (sometimes you forget till the last minute!).
Yes the D70 is rated slightly higher but are we being mislead on the D200's capacity and we need to factor in the cost and weight of a battery or two when we buy it? OR is this just a problem with some batteries and other people are getting a useful working life out of them?
I'm nearly done. Only one more shot. Just give me five minutes...
The manual explains the 1800 shot is marketing hype. If you choose to shoot in low quality jpeg medium image size mode with the settings Nikon has specified you may get 1800 shots.
Page 207 shows 2 examples:
Example 1: 1800 shots Zoom Nikkor AF-S VR 70–200 mm f/2.8G IF ED lens (VR off ); continuous shooting mode; continuous-servo autofocus; image quality set to JPEG Basic; image size set to M; shutter speed 1/250, shutter-release pressed half way for three seconds and focus cycled from infinity to minimum range three times with each shot; after six shots, monitor turned on for five seconds and then turned off ; cycle repeated once exposure meters have turned off.
Example 2: 340 shots Zoom Nikkor AF-S VR 24–120 mm f/3.5–5.6G IF ED lens (VR off ); single-frame shooting mode; single-servo autofocus; image quality set to JPEG Normal; image size set to L; shutter speed 1/250 s; shutter-release pressed half way for five seconds and focus cycled from infinity to minimum range once with each shot; built-in Speedlight fired at full power with every other shot; AF-assist illuminator lights when Speedlight is used; cycle repeated once exposure meters have turned off ; camera turned off for one minute with every ten shots.
Turn VR on in the above example and I'd bet the shots would be more like 300, maybe less.
I'm at around 120 shots and I'm down to one bar with very light reviewing on the LCD. I've also been using a Series E 50mm a lot (really good fun now I can meter with it!), so that doesn't require any AF power either. Other lens used include Sigma 10-20 and Sigma 30mm. No VR here!
I could do about 1200 shots on the D70s before needing a recharge.
Added: I've since recharged my battery and it only went up to 76% before it was reported as "charged". So I charged it somemore and got it up to 96%. I then tried to get it up to 100% and after another 6 minute charge, its now reporting as 93%!!
So I suspect that this "inteliigent" battery is a bit dumb, and we'll get more shots out of the D200 than the battery bars indicate.
i go by the "wait till the bugs get fixed" moddo. i NEVER buy a product (anything) the first year. the simplest example was when a new car model comes out(not all the time), the bumper is always black, till the next year when they come out painted the body color. there are always improvements, and bugs to get fixed, no matter what, just like this battery issue. but then again, if you didn't buy the camera, who would know about the problems....
nikon doesn't seem to have the battery issue under control. melting, heating, not properly working....hmm i'll sit back and see what else it has problems with...
yes, i will not buy one for quite some time. prices come down, all problems get fixed (hopefully). good things come to those who wait....
the main thing is the battery. they must get this under control, or i feel they will loose SOME sales, though not a lot. how retarded is this: poor nikonians, are dying from NAS waiting for the camera, and nikon can't get the power source together. when the D100 came out, i said i will still wait for something better...it didn't impress me much. i have high expectations. just a small point. it's said you save money by not buying film, and paying for processing, but figure you pay so much money for calibration, all the comp upgrade to handle the files and editing, and then you wind up selling the old camera for minimum dollars. seems funny to me...the digital market fluctuates to much, and that DSLR is depreciating at a fast pace... i'm just unsure and worried...
a canon 24-105 (my dream lens!) "L" F4 having flare problems is NOTHING compared to a camera melting!!!!!!
"...let's not forget a little piece of advice that every iPod owner takes to heart: don't let the little bars scare you. Shoot with the camera until the battery goes dead. See how long you can actually shoot with it, not what the little bars tell you..."
That's like saying "...don't bother looking at the petrol gauge, just keep on driving until the car conks out...and you’re left stranded"
The D200 is neither a car nor an ipod. However, if a vitally important indicator reading - such as one that shows how much power is left before the camera dies - is faulty, or not showing the correct readings, then I'd certainly not want to use or rely on that camera.
Like Robert, I prefer to wait a while after a 'new' camera is launched, just to see how it fares in the real world. It is rare for a newly developed camera (or any item for that matter) to be perfect at the first launch, and often it is the second or third generation camera that is the best one.
The D200 is not a Pentax LX or Nikon FM3A - When the batteries fade, the D200 camera fades and dies with it...so it is vitally important that the battery level indicator performs flawlessly, and that each of the battery packs available last for a large amount of high quality RAW shots.
After that first adventurous charge, I used the camera and took more than 400 shots both RAW and JPEG fine medium, with lots of LCD use and just a bit of flash, before the camera showed 4% charge when I decided to re-charge. Mostly AFS, some manual focus, some AFD and some VR. My fairly typical use. 400 shots doesn't impress me compared to D100 and D70s, but I'll wait for a couple more charge cycles before I pass judgement.
Charging took less than 2 hours, I removed the battery from the charger as soon as the light stopped blinking and, sure enough, the camera reported 100% charge.
So all looks well on the charging front this time. I hope the problem was just a first use glitch.
Help! This strikes me a problem with the camera, not the battery!
Out of the box, I charged and installed the battery and took about 20 shots (RAW, jpeg, both, flash, no flash) chimped, used the menues, etc. and the battery was down to 85% capacity.
I'm going to shoot a concert this evening, and based on what I've read on this thread I thought I'd leave with a full charge. It took only about 5 minutes for the light to stop flashing. When I put the battery back in the D200 and turned it on the display panel turned on briefly before starting to flash the low battery icon. I can't do anything with the camera. I've gone thrugh the charge-insert-turn on sequence three times with the same result.
The battery appears to be just fine in my D70.
I called Nikon's 24-hr support and explained the situation to Adrian. He suggested I try the D70 battery in the D200 and I had to tell him why it wouldn't work.
Of course, swapping with the local dealer where I bought it is an option, but it is also a slim chance they have a D2oo to swap with.
Any ideas? I'm back to using my D2H and D70 tonight.
I don;t have the camera (got a D70s) but I got a PocketPC (Dell Axim) which had similar underreporting issues initially. A fresh battery would show less than 100 and the indicator would go down too fast. Dell released a firmware update to the PocketPC and that fixed the calibration of the meter. No issues with actual battery usage since.
I'm thinking that the battery meter is very "conservative" in the D200 and that this coupled with perhaps sample variations on it and the batteries may cause some camera/battery combos to exibit the behavior you are experiencing.
The underreporting would not be a serious issue but an annoyance except in cases where the camera thinks the battery is pretty much dead when in fact it is still good and thus refuse to take shots. In my mind this is a "feature" of the camera, I assume to preserve the battery in the long term - LiIo batteries generally behave best when topped off regularly and do not like being fully discharged.
To sum-up, if a lot of cameras exibit this, I suspect Nikon will be releasing a firmware update. Or do you think think they can recalibrate the battery (if there is some sort of "smarts" in it)?
Thank you both for your feedback. My local dealer called and said they had checked with the next buyer on the list. He had graciously allowed them to satisfy my need before he would get his camera. Whoever you are, THANK YOU! And this is why I'm willing to pay a few extra bucks and deal with a local rather than the Internet. Thank you Camera World of Charlotte!!!
We slid my battery into the new camera and it indicated "dead" and locked up the camera. Brown Bobbitt had a fully charged battery waiting for me when I arrived and it worked just fine in the store's camera. The new battery appears to be just fine in my camera, too. So I left the store with my original body, a new batter, joy that I'll have my D200 for tonight, and hopes that I don't have to make another trip -- they don't have another battery.
We still don't know why battery that appears dead in the D200 works fine in the D70. Is the battery condition monitor that different?
Yep. Same thing happened with my pocket-pc. I used a software (not a firmware update) to recalibrate the battery. I get 2 days of power with heavy mp3 use now up from 4hrs. Could be a firmware issue (i hope) my d200 arrives tommorow.
I noticed in the manual that the camera has an internal rechargeable battery that is charged by the main battery. Could these early low power problems be caused by the initial charging of the internal battery? The manual says two days to fully charge the internal battery, so the drain *should* be low. See bottom of Page 117.
Craig. ------------------------ Nikonian in Atlanta, GA. Technolust/NAS junkie