Nikon Digicam and Eneloops (and other NiMH)

ltiu

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I have a Nikon and so does my sister. Same brand but different models and bought separately from two different places at two different times (1 year apart). The Nikon camera has a setting where you can indicate what battery type you are using. So I set it to "NiMH".

One problem we always have is that the camera would start flashing the
low battery icon on the LCD screen after only about 30 shots (with flash)
using an Eneloop (freshly charged, 1.4+v measured) or any other NiMH (freshly charged 1.4+v measured). Then after maybe about 60 shots, the LCD screen would shut down temporarily while the flash is charging, I
suspect it is trying to save power by shutting down the LCD screen to
give more current to charging the flash.

So much for Eneloop/NiMH's supposedly long life.

You guys have the same issue with your digital cameras and Eneloops/NiMH?
 

qwertyydude

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Exact same problem with my Olympus SP-350, in fact it was so bad that they had a firmware update to lower the low power voltage warning. But it still goes to low power screen off while charging the flash after only 50-60 shots. But even with flash the batteries didn't die till about 200 flash pics. With a lithium CRV-3 rechargeable I get close to 350 shots with flash. Trouble is that it's regulated and will just shut off with no warning, from full voltage to warning and shutdown in less than 10 seconds.
 

Glasstream15

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I have a Canon S5IS which should be about as power hungry a compact as you can get. With 4XAA Eneloops I get about 400 shots, about half of them with flash.

My Olympus C520UZ uses 4XAA RayOVac Hybrids and gets about 300 shots.

I use Eneloops in my Canon 430EX Speedlight for 200 to 400 shots depending on fash intensity required and it is almost instant recycle even on full power shots.

If you are having problems with Enelops, I would suggest check your charger. Or your camera. Eneloops and Hybrids work as advertised.
 

ltiu

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If you are having problems with Enelops, I would suggest check your charger. Or your camera. Eneloops and Hybrids work as advertised.

I don't think it's the batteries. I think it's a the camera. I think the low voltage cutoff is too low. So even though the Eneloops can handle the current requirements, the camera thinks the battery is almost dead (low voltage) and tries to extend the life of the battery by shutting down the LCD screen.
 

Mr Happy

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It does seem that it's the camera. However, a small possibility is high internal resistance of the cells due to infrequent cycling, causing a voltage drop under load that triggers a premature low battery warning. What facilities do you have for rejuvenating cells, such as an MH-C9000 or LaCrosse BC-900 charger?

The trick to "waking up" the cells, if indeed this is the problem, would be a few full discharge/recharge cycles. With a C9000, a break-in cycle would also be worth trying.
 

digitor

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What are the model numbers of the Nikon cameras? I've got three Nikons myself, and haven't had any problems so far. There may be another menu option you have missed.

Cheers
 

hopkins

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just for comparison -- I got almost 275 pictures with the supplied Li-ion 3.7v 760mAh battery in a CANON Power Shot SD630 (no flash used) highest res settings during a summer hike once.
 

LEDninja

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Then after maybe about 60 shots, the LCD screen would shut down temporarily while the flash is charging,
My El cheapo Olympus won't do that. It just says battery empty.
I found my Olympus likes Eneloops over RayOvac hybrids. It says my RayOvacs are empty in 1/2 the shots. The RayOvac battery will still run my CD player for hours after that.
I don't think the cameras use a low voltage cutoff as the RayOvacs when rejected has a higher voltage than replacement Eneloops I grabbed from another device that was accepted. I think the cameras are checking current in the charging circuit.

I still remember the flash for my old film camera would take 20 seconds to charge. Now people expect to be able to go click >flash< click >flash< so the camera manufacturers are rejecting any battery that cannot do the really quick flash charge and run the power hungry TFT screen at the same time.
 
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VidPro

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I don't think it's the batteries. I think it's a the camera. I think the low voltage cutoff is too low. So even though the Eneloops can handle the current requirements, the camera thinks the battery is almost dead (low voltage) and tries to extend the life of the battery by shutting down the LCD screen.

What he said ^
yup different cameras will have different settings for what they concider low, you would think that with the Extra setting to tell its on ni-mhys they would solve the problem of the voltage looking a bit low compared to alkalines, but some devices just wont hack it.
might be a good candidate for lithium, and then you have the opposite problem, it being to high, and heating the regulator chips internally.
do you think that any other ni-mhy would act any different in the same situation, when they all act about the same , untill they are selfdischarging.

one thing to do to "Improve" it slightly, would be to do a discharge recharge cycle , the chemicals Just charged will be slightly more "vibrant" and allow for a faster discharge, with a little bit less voltage drop under load. also the charge rate being a bit higher will "form" it in a way for higher discharges. like MrHappy is indicating.
 
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UnknownVT

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I don't think it's the batteries. I think it's a the camera. I think the low voltage cutoff is too low. So even though the Eneloops can handle the current requirements, the camera thinks the battery is almost dead (low voltage) and tries to extend the life of the battery by shutting down the LCD screen.

Did you mean cutoff (threshold voltage) is set too high?
- so that the camera shuts down despite there being plenty of charge still in the batteries?

I have the same issue with a Pentax K100D dSLR - it is notorious for the threshold cutoff voltage being set too high - at about 1.19V per AA - so on most NiMH the camera will shutdown prematurely despite there being plenty of charge left - this happens even with otherwise very, very good LSD cells like the Kodak Pre-Charged (if the batteries were stored for about 3 months or more - please see summary Post #57 in eneloop vs. Kodak Pre-Charged Voltage Maintenance)

This thread I just posted may be of some interest - AA battery type comparison
 
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ltiu

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What are the model numbers of the Nikon cameras? I've got three Nikons myself, and haven't had any problems so far. There may be another menu option you have missed.

Cheers

CoolPix L3
CoolPix L11
 
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ltiu

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Did you mean cutoff (threshold voltage) is set too high?
- so that the camera shuts down despite there being plenty of charge still in the batteries?

Yes. I got things mixed up and revered.

I have the same issue with a Pentax K100D dSLR - it is notorious for the threshold cutoff voltage being set too high - at about 1.19V per AA - so on most NiMH the camera will shutdown prematurely despite there being plenty of charge left - this happens even with otherwise very, very good LSD cells like the Kodak Pre-Charged (if the batteries were stored for about 3 months or more - please see summary Post #57 in eneloop vs. Kodak Pre-Charged Voltage Maintenance)

The Nikon has a battery change setting where you can indicate what batteries your are using. But I guess it is ineffective. Even if you indicate NiMH, it still screws up.
 

ltiu

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Hmm, Nikon claims 300 shots with NiMH for the L11, which would indicate that they think the low voltage cutoff is correct. What charger are you using for the cells? Perhaps they're not getting fully charged.

Cheers

Someone suggested it is because I am not fully cycling the cells. probabaly as I charge a lot. I do not wait for cells to die before I charge. I do not have fancy chanrgers that can cycle cells.

Oh well, I have a huge supply of L91s. I am using those for any long trips where I will be taking a lot of pictures.

For shorter trips or occasional uses, I will continue using NiMH.
 

hopkins

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almost 275 - :ohgeez: - there was some reviewing of video clips taken which used some power ...the 3" display sucks current
Was thinking CANON Power Shot SD630 has such a small battery how could the Enloops not perform better.
 

ltiu

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Hmm, Nikon claims 300 shots with NiMH for the L11, which would indicate that they think the low voltage cutoff is correct. What charger are you using for the cells? Perhaps they're not getting fully charged.

Cheers

300 shots without flash?
 

UnknownVT

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300 shots without flash?

Most digicam specs for battery life are based on the CIPA standards - which is 50% flash.

It's on page 119 of the Nikon CoolPix L11 user's manual (download pdf)
here's the extract -
nikonl11battlifeym1.gif


The eneloops should have performed a lot better than you're getting -
so perhaps as others have suggested - they might not be fully charged?
 

OpenGuy

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Someone suggested it is because I am not fully cycling the cells. probabaly as I charge a lot. I do not wait for cells to die before I charge. I do not have fancy chanrgers that can cycle cells.

A few questions:

What model charger(s) do you have?

How old are your Eneloops?

Do you charge them once a day, less often, or more often? Could you elaborate a bit more on your charging habits?
 

ltiu

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A few questions:

What model charger(s) do you have?

How old are your Eneloops?

Do you charge them once a day, less often, or more often? Could you elaborate a bit more on your charging habits?

I use an assortment of chargers. Radio Shack, Duracell, Rayovac, Kodak ...

I like topping up my NiMH. Once a week plus/minus with or without usage.
 
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