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06-12-2013, 06:51 AM   #1
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Camera shows dead batteries, but they're good!

I have an *istDL camera, using good batteries. Suddenly the display shows a flashing empty battery icon and the camera won't turn on. What causes this, and how can I fix it?

06-12-2013, 07:56 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forum, just a thought have you tried taking the batteries out for ten minutes or so and then trying again, sort of a cold reboot.
06-12-2013, 01:31 PM   #3
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I struggle with similar problems with K100DS.

I believe it is probably related to the internal resistance of the batteries, which results in significant voltage drop under heavy load. Digital cameras present a heavy load to batteries because there is a lot of internal electronics working fast. (Digital devices use power at a rate related to operating frequency.)

What kind of batteries are they? I have found some brands of NiMH batteries to be poor t the extent of not worth buying for a camera. I recently found a shop that sells Eneloop and have been happy with those so far. Big test in the next two weeks when I do a conference event over several days.
06-12-2013, 01:57 PM   #4
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A very likely cause of a voltage drop is dirty contacts, on the battery and/or in the camera. Even touching the contacts with your fingers can increase their resistance. Try cleaning them with a soft cloth. Do not use sanding paper or the like, that would remove the gold plating, with even worse effects.

06-12-2013, 02:01 PM   #5
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Good batteries, dead camera

Thanks for your replies, kerrowdown and tim60. I tried taking the batteries out and leaving them for a while, then re-inserting them, but no luck. I have used Duracell CR-V3 lithium batteries for years and have never had this happen before.

I see on another thread that a couple of people say they can get the batteries to work by pressing the "erase" button while turning the main switch on. But I can't get to the "erase" point because the camera won't start up! Maybe they have different Pentax cameras.
06-12-2013, 02:15 PM   #6
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Thanks, Kobayashi.K. I tried cleaning the terminals with rubbing alcohol and drying them, but still no luck.
06-12-2013, 07:10 PM   #7
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How long have you had your DL? For some reason the DL is crazy when it comes to batteries. Mine only likes copper tops rechargable or standard it doesn't matter. Energizers rechargables ( fully charged)and it won't turn on. Standard Energizers it will turn on but only gets about 20-50 or so shots and the battery depleted light shows on then the camera shuts off.
Are all the batteries new , and out of the same pack or fully charged? If one is weaker The camera often reads that for all the batteries . I would try a different fresh set . You might also try removing the batteries over night then installing a fresh set. Overnight should be long enough to drain the memory battery. You will have to reset the date and time but you will probably have to do that anyway by now. That will in essence be rebooting the camera.
06-12-2013, 08:05 PM   #8
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All of these solutions mentioned might help, but the real problem is a capacitor going bad within the camera.

Start reading from this post, and a solution is eventually given in the thread.

06-12-2013, 10:06 PM   #9
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Just yesterday I was searching online and in Pentax sites for potential clues about getting my old *ist DL to turn on and stay on. Several years ago, I gave it to a friend when I got the Pentax K20D. A year ago it became a headache as it shut off again and again. Then a month ago it stopped powering up. Nothing.

After reading the thread to which tomwil shares the link, I removed the brand name AA batteries and tried a set of off-brand rechargeables — and I tried what one contributor recommended: press MENU button while turning on the *ist — up-side-down.

The firmware version showed. (Good start!) But the camera powered off. Repeat. Had to repeat it several times, but the good news is that something in the battery and button advice did the work. For the first time in several months and several troubleshooting attempts, the camera functioned. I used it for 40 minutes before I turned it off. It has powered on each time since.

Don't know if this helped, but I changed the sleep setting which had been at 5 minutes: I turned it completely off.

So, thanks to the advisors! You saved my friend from needing to replace a seemingly dead Pentax *ist DL which still captures great nature shots.

Last edited by bonitap; 06-12-2013 at 10:08 PM. Reason: added "up-side-down."

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