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04-02-2013, 01:08 AM   #1
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Battery indicator K-7

I was in the middle of a photoshooting session the other day. The batterylevel indicator showed
maximum charge level. Suddenly the display turned black and showed the words "battery empty".
I thought it was a false alarm and tried to turn the camera off and on again, but the same thing
happened. Does anybody have any experience of this situation and possible remedies?

04-02-2013, 02:14 AM   #2
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When you went to recharge the battery did it need charging?
04-02-2013, 02:24 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by kerrowdown Quote
When you went to recharge the battery did it need charging?
Yes, I started to charge it right away and it kept doing it for a long time before it was fully charged. I was, exceptionally using Live View a couple of times yesterday and I realise that this may have triggered the situation. But, annoyingly, the indicator showed maximum strength at all times. Actually, I hadn't charged the battery for a long time prior to yesterdays session and, in the back of my head, I remember thinking that the battery had remained strong for a surprisingly long time. But, as said, there were no warnings..
04-02-2013, 02:43 AM   #4
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Yeah, maybe just one of those things.

Keep an eye on it and keep another fully charged spare battery with you just in case.

04-02-2013, 02:50 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by kerrowdown Quote
Yeah, maybe just one of those things.

Keep an eye on it and keep another fully charged spare battery with you just in case.
Thanks for your comments. Incidentally I bought a spare one through e-bay at a fraction of the cost of "a real one". I accepted the fact that I took a risk but, up to now (bought it in September last year) it has, touch wood, worked faultlessly. The "problematic" battery, yesterday, was the original Pentax one.
04-02-2013, 04:24 AM   #6
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On my K-7, the battery indicator remains 'fully charged' until the battery is nearly close to depleted, and then moves to two-bars then one-bar fairly rapidly. I have this with all my batteries (2 Pentax and one generic).

It is likely that your battery were already partially depleted when you started to used Liveview, which pushed quickly the battery to zero.

In nay case, the best medicine is to fully charge your battery and to have a spare (as you do).
04-02-2013, 08:40 AM   #7
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The level indicator looks at the voltage level, and the batteries use hold their charge very well during normal use. So you don't see a dip in performance.

However, live view and video do use a lot of power and because of the extra request of power on the battery, the voltage actually goes down and you can get indication that the battery is low when you turn these options on.
04-02-2013, 04:06 PM   #8
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I remember the shot number when I change batteries. Add around 400 and that's when I think about changing or carrying a charged spare. I can go further, 500-600, especially if it's not all at once. If I use live view a lot or some other power-hungry mode, I recharge sooner. I started this with my *ist DS, with a much less reliable level indicator.

04-02-2013, 10:23 PM   #9
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Battery level..

Thanks to all of you who commented. I know a little more about the subject now. Imagine, if the gas level indicator in a car would work the same way.. You leave home believing the tank is full, and 10 minutes later, on the highway, its empty....
04-03-2013, 12:19 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by barkii Quote
Thanks to all of you who commented. I know a little more about the subject now. Imagine, if the gas level indicator in a car would work the same way.. You leave home believing the tank is full, and 10 minutes later, on the highway, its empty....
I understand your concern. However to complete the analogy, your car does work like modern batteries. Modern battery designs produce a constant voltage. Power level meters can only indirectly measure capacity based on voltage (electrical pressure). Your fuel pump supplies fuel at a constant pressure right up until just before your tank runs out of gas. Your car quickly goes from fully operational to barely running, and then quickly dying. If we judged remaining fuel based on pressure we would have same situation as in the battery. The difference is there is a sensor embedded in your car's fuel tank. No such sensor currently exists in an affordable form for batteries. Nor do I believe would the public willingly pay the additional cost of such sensors. The public would just buy extra sets of batteries and swap them out as needed.

I'm not saying this is ideal. And hopefully engineers will someday find a cost effect solution.
04-04-2013, 01:52 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by JimJohnson Quote
I understand your concern. However to complete the analogy, your car does work like modern batteries. Modern battery designs produce a constant voltage. Power level meters can only indirectly measure capacity based on voltage (electrical pressure). Your fuel pump supplies fuel at a constant pressure right up until just before your tank runs out of gas. Your car quickly goes from fully operational to barely running, and then quickly dying. If we judged remaining fuel based on pressure we would have same situation as in the battery. The difference is there is a sensor embedded in your car's fuel tank. No such sensor currently exists in an affordable form for batteries. Nor do I believe would the public willingly pay the additional cost of such sensors. The public would just buy extra sets of batteries and swap them out as needed.

I'm not saying this is ideal. And hopefully engineers will someday find a cost effect solution.
Not quite true. Battery management has come a long way - most mobile phones these days measure the actual current drawn from the battery and base their 'fuel gauge' on a quite accurately predicted amount of charge remaining, rather than just on a simple voltage measurement. It is about time camera manufacturers caught up. The extra cost is minimal.
04-04-2013, 03:11 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by barkii Quote
Thanks to all of you who commented. I know a little more about the subject now. Imagine, if the gas level indicator in a car would work the same way.. You leave home believing the tank is full, and 10 minutes later, on the highway, its empty....
The K10D especially worked this way, it showed full until it was almost dead. As soon as it moved, you had about 10 shots left.

The K7 and K5 are significantly better in this regard, but, if you have a high usage function, live view, or continual checking of your shots, it will seem to go down pretty fast. I think the K7 and onwards use the third terminal to get a bett estimate of battery life, the K10 battery only has 2 terminals, so all the indicator can look at is the terminal voltage, not any internal points of the battery
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