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12-25-2009, 02:08 AM   #1
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Rechargeable batteries (again)

I've searched the forum and see where most of the users are on this issue, however, would like to get more specific feedback.

I recently got the K-x and never even opened the Li battery pack. Been using my old rechargeables Powerex Imedion (2100mAh). I suspect that this type of battery may not be the best choice for the camera, for a few reasons:

1. Low mAh compared to some other batteries (2700mAh). Demanding electronics need a little more juice. I've tried two sets of fully charged batteries (in Powerex MH-C9000 charger) and never got past 40-50 shots before green signal turned orange. Haven't gotten red yet and the orange does go back to green after turning the camera off for a while. I'm still new to DSLR, do a lot of reviewing on the screen, changing options etc. Not much flash or live view. I wonder how long it will take before battery indicator turns red? During a single session, I never took more than 25-30 shots, before shutting the camera down. I would continue later the same day or the next day and after another 20 or so shots the green would turn orange.

2. Imedion are low discharge batteries. Good if they're sitting around for a while or in devices that are not power hungry and can work for a long time on a single charge, such as remotes, clocks etc.

I intend to get a set of nice 2700mAh, and would probably go with Powerex again. I see that many folks have religious relationship with Eneloops, but from some mixed reviews on several forums and amazon, I don't see they are a clear winner over Powerex or even Rayvacs.

Any thoughts?

P.S. the battery option in my K-x is set to NiMH (also tried "Auto", but the NiMH seems more accurate)

12-25-2009, 03:23 AM   #2
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Are you using the latest firmware?
12-25-2009, 03:56 AM   #3
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But, of course...

Any other thoughts?
12-25-2009, 05:52 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by maxmagnum Quote
I recently got the K-x and never even opened the Li battery pack. Been using my old rechargeables Powerex Imedion (2100mAh). I suspect that this type of battery may not be the best choice for the camera, for a few reasons:

1. Low mAh compared to some other batteries (2700mAh).
Don't feed your K-x high mah batteries--it will get intoxicated. (Check the camera's manual.) That's why A LOT of people 'religiously' stick to eneloops. I have a K200d, but I don't think the K-x differs a lot in this respect. A set of eneloops is good for about 800 shots (then you charge it again). But rayovac rechargeables are very good too. I use both brands.

BTW, there have been tons of similar discussions about batteries on this forum. Use the search function to look for "batteries" or "k-x batteries" threads.

12-25-2009, 05:58 AM   #5
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Don't remember seeing anything specific in the manual as far as the mAh rating.
12-25-2009, 06:05 AM   #6
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That's right. My manual says 'use lithium or NiMh rechargeables, no alkalines'. But check other threads.

Question: how long does it normally take for you to take 30 shots? (I never keep the camera on for more than 4-5 minutes max.)
12-25-2009, 06:21 AM   #7
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here's a recent thread you might find interesting:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-video-forum/84466-k-x-battery-test.html
12-25-2009, 06:57 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by causey Quote
That's right. My manual says 'use lithium or NiMh rechargeables, no alkalines'. But check other threads.
My manual says alkaline OK just in emergencies and when reviewing camera features.
QuoteQuote:
Question: how long does it normally take for you to take 30 shots? (I never keep the camera on for more than 4-5 minutes max.)
Depends on what I'm shooting, but in the specific situation in question it took not more than 30-45 minutes (incl. reviewing images, and setting different parameters). During those 30-45 minutes, I turned the camera off and back on couple of times.

12-25-2009, 08:39 AM   #9
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The mah rating of a battery is milliamps per hour at (x) load. It is not how much voltage the battery can output. This whole mah thing really gets blown out of proportion. Yes your Imedions are only 2100 mah and Eneloops are only 2000 mah but, both batteries will put out a higher working voltage for longer than the higher mah rated batteries. These cameras require a higher working voltage than most any other AA powered device. Why do you think so many of us recommend Eneloops or other low self discharge rechargeables? It because they work well. I've been using Eneloops for over a year in my K200D. I never have to worry about battery life or batteries being dead when I want to use my camera.

Long story short. Have faith in the LSD rechagables. They will not let you down. If you do go the LSD route make sure you have a proper charger for LSD batteries. cheap NiMh chargers will not cut it. They will not properly charge the LSD NiMh batteries. You probably have a good charger for your Imedions so you should be ok charging Eneloops with it also. I bought one of my sets of Eneloops with a charger and that's what I use to charge my batteries. I tried using and old NiMh charger I had with my Eneloops and it would not fully charge them. They would die quickly like regular NiMh batteries.

Last edited by kkoether; 12-25-2009 at 08:41 AM. Reason: spelling
12-25-2009, 09:01 AM   #10
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No rechargeable battery has the instantaneous recovery time of lithiums.

Thats what lithiums do they take a beating then they are ready to go again and again.
12-25-2009, 09:08 AM   #11
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PinarelloOnly, That's very true. Lithiums will give you the best performance hands down. I was only speaking to the rechargeable batteries.
12-25-2009, 09:53 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by causey Quote
Don't feed your K-x high mah batteries--it will get intoxicated.

causey,

Sorry, but not true. Pentax customer service told me to use "at least" 2500 mah rated rechargable batteries, and if I have higher rated one use them.


wll
12-25-2009, 12:11 PM   #13
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As previously stated.. The MAH rating is how long the battery will last basically.

It will still put out 1.2V like most nimh's but with a higher storage capacity if you will.

higher mah usually means more shots before recharging..


I have been using eneloops and the duracell precharged.. Get around 650 shots on a set.
12-25-2009, 05:38 PM   #14
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I have been also using the hybrids since my P&S camera and now on my K100Ds.
If not a lot of people can convince them, then I say, let them experiment and see for themselves.
As for me, I'm for the tried and tested..and who knows, they might discover something else, so I say..try it!
12-26-2009, 01:25 AM   #15
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Currrently there are two basic kinds of NiMH batteries: high-capacity (around 2700 mAh) or low self-discharge (LSD) (aka hybrid aka pre-charged) at around 2000 mAh. You can have one or the other but not both.

There are two potential problems with the high-capacity cells. The first is that they lose their charge relatively quickly (say a month), so unless you're always using the camera and recharging the battery frequently, there will be times the batteries have lost their charge and you can't use the camera. This invariably happens when the wife needs a photo taken (now!).

The LSD type will keep most of their charge (85%) for six months or more, so they are good to keep in your camera on all the days you're not planning to take a lot of photos.

The high-capacity type work fine when new and will in general last longer than the LSD type for a day or two of intensive use. To make the high-capacity cells, however, the internal components and separators within the battery are very thin and hence fragile. When these internal separators break, the battery develops "rapid self discharge syndrome" in which it will lose all its charge within one or two days. To the best of my knowledge, all the high capacity cells are prone to developing this syndrome relatively quickly, and once it happens it cannot be fixed.

If you have a good single cell charger when it happens, you can identify the bad cell and recycle it. (It's the one that always needs nearly a full charge.) The alternative is to do (that is, wait for) a full charge every day, even if you charged your batteries the day before and didn't manage to actually use the camera at all. This gets old really fast.

If you have a junk charger that only charges cells in pairs (naughty you), you're pretty much "up a creek without a paddle". You'll either never manage to get a decent charge into the junk cell, or you'll overcharge the good cell it's paired with and hasten its demise as well.

Having said all that, I keep LSD cells in my camera 90% of the time. I still buy the occasional pack of high-capacity cells to see if a new type is resistant to developing RSD.

Eneloops (and their repackaged versions) are better than the other LSD cells I've seen, because they have lower internal resistance and hence maintain a higher voltage under the heavy current draw of a digital camera. They also work a lot better in the cold than the other kinds of LSD cell.
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