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06-15-2012, 11:16 PM   #1
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ist ds shutter

Hi all,

This was a problem which I managed to fix with my pentax ist ds camera. I was shooting some scenery in light drizzling rain during the day when my camera decided not to operate. No shutter. No pic. Menu worked. The battery indicator showed the batteries were still good. Used backup camera to finish shooting and headed home. When I arrived home I tried the camera again. But some new symptons appeared as listed below:

* Shutter activated on pressing of any button
* Shutter would operate in multishot mode
* Unable to see image in viewfinder
* Would not capture images
* Flash pop up didn't work when button pushed


Thinking that the camera was stuffed, I tried re-setting it. No good. I then decided to try a different brand of lithium re-chargeable batteriy. I replaced the 4 batteries (these were a brand called Energizer- ultimate lithium made in Singapore 1.5v rechargeable) in the camera with a different generic made in rechargeable 1.2v nimh batteries. Voila! Everything turned to normal and camera was back in action. Can't work out why the other batteries were doing okay up to a point. Probably this camera is voltage sensitive. The replaced batteries are okay for any other electronic devices except my ist ds camera.

Hope this helps someone else before they send their camera off to the doctor.

06-16-2012, 06:26 AM   #2
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Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Lake Superior - Michigan
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QuoteOriginally posted by gnaxl Quote
... I replaced the 4 batteries (these were a brand called Energizer- ultimate lithium )...
The battery meter in most cameras is a simple circuit using voltage drop as an indication of remaining battery life. One of the things chemists have tried to do with battery chemistry is to keep performance levels constant until the battery is truly dead. It means the camera's battery meter isn't a very reliable indicator of remaining battery life. Pentax has improved the metering function with newer cameras - but this is still a chase because the chemists continue to tweak battery chemistry. I don't blame the camera maker and I do cheer on the chemists.

Here is the performance sheet for the batteries you said you used. Take a look at how the discharge curve remains much flatter than older battery designs.
http://data.energizer.com/PDFs/l91.pdf

Mirror flip and shutter takes a surge of power. My guess is the batteries were nearing the end of their capacity and installing any new batteries would have fixed the problem. Advise to everyone is to always have a spare set of fresh batteries in your kit - - and I know most of us do that. You shouldn't totally disregard what your camera's battery meter says, but don't depend on it either.
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