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06-18-2009, 04:28 PM   #16
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In the accessories forum, I did a rather intensive test of several no-name chinese batteries for the K10D/K20D. The test included fully charged rested batteries graphed for mAh capacity. Now that those batteries have had many cycles run through them it might be time to do another test.

06-18-2009, 07:27 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
If a battery suffers a catastrophic failure during the camera's warranty period and the camera's electronics are damaged, the camera manufacturer is going to be in a warranty liability situation with the customer. If it is a third party battery that caused the problem, the manufacturer will be taking it on the chin for something that is not their fault.
So, they have few options.
One is to force consumers into purchasing warranty approved first party batteries. This way, if a battery failure occurs, it is an in house problem, and they are taking responsibility for their own manufacturing defect.
Another is to stay with the status quo and continue fixing consumer created problems (buying cheap, high defect rate batteries) under warranty. This is bad for the company, and is bad for customers, as the cost of warranty service is built into the price of the product, so we all pay for the bad purchasing decisions of the people buying high defect rate batteries.
A third would be to inspect failed cameras prior to repair, and if the failure is battery related, to not give warranty service until the defective battery has been shipped to the repair depot for inspection. If it happens to be a third party battery failure at fault, then they could refuse warranty service.
This would, however, cost them more customers than just forcing first party battery sales in the first place, and would probably keep the legal department busier than they want as well.
Interesting. I had thought there was some clause in the legalese language included in the warranty to shield manufacturers from having to service units that have been used with third-party batteries and stuff, though I guess there's no one preventing a devious consumer from claiming that he/she only used the original battery all along when he/she didn't.
06-19-2009, 02:00 AM   #18

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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
That would work. Do you want to pay 3K for a Pentax K-7 so you can cheap out on the batteries for it?
The battery can only change the voltage unexpectedly, and thatís it. Itís hardly rocket science to protect the electronics from wrong voltage. The battery can also leak, heat up or explode, but in those cases itís pretty easy to tell that it was the battery that failed.
06-19-2009, 06:21 AM   #19
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If, so look carefully at the internet postings of nattery failures, Sony, Dell, HP and now camera makers, etc. You will find that most of them have one thing in common. Batteries do not usually spontaneously combust. While draining a little bit of heat is generated, but not nearly as much as if the battery is shorted, like some people who carry spare batteries in their pockets. Also when batteries are charged they generate a ton of heat, the higher the charge current the hotter the cell gets. Heat and mishandling (dropping onto hard surfaces) do the most damage to cells. In the case of laptop batteries, they generally failed when charging. Camera batteries most likely fail in the same way, but one difference is that most cameras require the removal of the battery to charge.

Of course overvolting a camera can result in damage as well as a short, overvolting should be much of an issue as the cells simply cannot put out enough voltage. Shorting could be a problem for a poor quality cell that is overheating. I would still say that the most common camera battery failure is the failure of a single cell in a pack. usually the symptoms are that the camera will report a fully charged battery and after a very small number of shutter activations the camera shuts down as if the battery were completely dead.

I think in this particular case, Panasonic is trying to protect its battery market share. I have a complete Panasoinc mobile phone system in my office and the genuine Panasonic batteries fail in the way I describe in the previous paragraph and they charge a fortune for replacements. Why wouldn't a company interested in profits want to protect that business model and their bottom line?

Do I think Pentax will follow suit? Not initially, but eventually as batteries become smarter there will be circuitry that will identify the battery as genuine and more manufacturers will use that feature. It won't be just cameras either.

Should you worry about the 2 for $15 NP-400 clone batteries you bought a few months ago? Probably not, but after a year in service I would watch to see if the capacity has diminished and if it did then toss them. They are, after all, cheap enough to replace.

06-19-2009, 09:56 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by glanglois Quote
Hard to tell how the camera manufacturer is going to know whose battery was in use at time of failure. Easy enough to put the Pentax/Panasonic battery back in post-disaster and mail the combo back to the camera company.
As others have said, the type of battery failure that is going to damage a camera results in physical damage to the battery. In your case the battery just died (more specifically it sounds like its self protection circuity kicked in, disconnecting the contacts from the cells).

If a camera were damaged due to battery failure (typically significant swelling/overheating or explosion/combustion), it would probably be impossible to put a "good" battery into the unit, and even if someone pulled that off, it would also be obvious that the battery wasn't in the camera when the failure occurred.
06-19-2009, 09:17 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by WheresWaldo Quote
While draining a little bit of heat is generated, but not nearly as much as if the battery is shorted, like some people who carry spare batteries in their pockets.
I bought a supposedly "genuine" replacement battery for my 2000-vintage Nokia cell phone. When it was installed IN THE PHONE and the phone was turned on (but not in an active call) the battery got so hot I couldn't hold the phone. That was a BATTERY problem, not a USER problem. There was no way I was going to continue using that battery.

Since I had no other source of batteries, it was at that point I concluded that I needed to buy a new cell phone JUST so I'd be able to buy new batteries. There was absolutely nothing wrong with the phone, but because it used proprietary batteries and because Nokia wasn't interested in sourcing reliable batteries for them any more, it had become obsolete.

Proprietary batteries - BAH!
06-20-2009, 06:59 AM   #22
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I've had nearly the same problem, not a battery failing in mid exposure, but I've put "fully charged" third party batteries in the camera and had them go dead after about 5 shots. Next time I go down to Adorama I'm going to get 2 new pentax batteries, that way I don't have to worry.

NaCl(my experience with third party batteries has been less than great)H2O

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