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08-19-2010, 01:57 PM   #1
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K-x Non Use Battery Drain

I use a camera erratically. I will use it a lot at times then it may sit for weeks before I use it a gain. My problem is the non use battery drain. I had a ist DS for years and it worked great. The K-x (Red) is horrible. It is a great camera to use and the pics are very good. A new set of Energizer Lithiums will last 3 to 4 weeks of non use. They just die with "0" Zero, no pictures taken. A set of Rayovac Hybrids charged with a good LaCross charger lasts about 2 weeks. When I do take pictures I take a lot but then the camera may sit for several weeks. I sent it back to Pentax and they "fixed" it and returned it to me. I put a new set of Lithiums in it and watched it. No pictures taken. In a week it was orange. In two weeks it was red. In 3 1/2 weeks it was dead and would not power on. Again let me point out that no pictures were taken. I only turned it on 4 times for a few seconds. I sent it back to Pentax again yesterday. It is only 6 months old. Anyone else have this problem? I have no idea how many pics it will take with any type of battery. Wish I had my ist DS back.

08-19-2010, 02:09 PM   #2
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That's odd; never heard of that happening with either Lithiums or hybrid rechargeables, both of which should hold charge pretty well. So it seems maybe the K-x is drawing a not-so-small amount of current even when nt being used. I take you are actually turning the camera off? What happens if you *remove* the batteries? Or try different cells?
08-19-2010, 02:46 PM   #3
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I can definitely tell you that I am NOT having this problem at all. My Eneloops are Energizer NiMH are lasting as long as your Lithiums and I almost use my KX daily. I think you need to ride Pentax a little more on getting a real repair or, better yet, a replacement camera.
08-19-2010, 03:45 PM   #4
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Definitely sounds like a power drain of some sort because I do not turn "off" my camera (I do not physically turn the switch off), I will let the camera turn itself off after 1 minute and my Eneloops will last weeks of shooting most everyday and when I used the Energizer Lithiums that came with the camera those lasted more than a month of regular shooting.

Do you have the latest firmware? This is suppose to help with the battery indicator accuracy (although I'm pretty sure this is not your problem, more likely a power drain), but that may help.

08-20-2010, 05:20 AM   #5
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Two things here. Firstly, when you put the camera away, is there anything pressing the shutter button? Secondly, if not, you have a faulty camera. Take it back but be prepared to leave it in their hands for a few weeks - the current drain is so miniscule at any moment that most common voltmeters will not show it - it adds up of course so they might need two or three weeks to assess battery drain before they believe you.
08-20-2010, 05:52 AM   #6
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Sounds like there is something wrong with your camera. There should be next to no load on the batteries with the camera off and a set of Energizer Lithiums, left unused, should last years. The Rayovac Hybrids should last several months (or more) left unused.

FWIW, the first set of Energizer Lithiums that came with my Kx lasted over 2000 photos (very few movies and flash). I currently use Rayovac Hybrids and they work quite well, although you don't get quite as many shots per charge.
08-20-2010, 07:44 PM   #7
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Ni-MH batteries lose their charge slowly anyway, but not rapidly enough to give you dead batteries in two weeks. The lithiums should last years, as dgaies says.

My K100D Super has a similar problem. I don't store it with batteries in it and I take it out once a week or so to play with it, which "recharges" the little capacitor or whatever that keeps the clock running. If it were under warranty, I might try to get it fixed, but as it is I can live with it. You're not the only one.
08-21-2010, 06:47 AM   #8
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The K-x uses the batteries, even when the camera is turned off. Plug in an SD card when the camera is off - the red "SD card busy" light on the back of the camera will flash. Something has to be running in the camera to detect the card was inserted, and then flash the red light. I think, but am not sure, that the camera can detect when you change a lens, with the camera off (of course!)

I measured the K-x OFF current at 40.7 uA - easy to do. Open the battery door, and note how the batteries are connected by the battery door. Use a paper clip to mimic what the battery door does on 2 of the batteries (just shorts a + and - terminal together), and put a sensitive amp meter between the other two batteries (which again, shorts a + and - terminal together).

Using 2000 mA hour batteries, the K-x should last (2 Amp-hours divided by 40x10-6 amp) is 50,000 hours, which 2000+ days. The batteries will self-discharge much faster than that, although I don't know the exact number.

Sounds like you have a defective camera. To be sure, measure the OFF current drain as described above, if you are able to.

08-21-2010, 07:23 AM   #9
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The answer to your problem is this, as with anything including car batteries, there will be slight drain with no usage. So there are a couple of things you can do here. 1) Don't leave your batteries in the camera thus they will not drain and you will stop wasting money. 2) You can invest in something like a paper towel, or shami style cloth, rubber caps, or even just a small piece of tape which you can place between the batteries and their terminals. Thus stopping any type of battery drain at all. I picked up some rechargeable lithium's while at Disneyland and they work great, I charge them once a week to keep the fully, and shoot away. Hope this helps, Tim.
08-21-2010, 11:07 AM   #10
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Thanks guys for the input. My Kx arrived at Pentax service yesterday 8/20. When I get it back "again" I will check it out and post the results. I really like the Kx but with the current excessive non use battery drain it is almost useless the way I shoot.
08-29-2010, 08:53 AM   #11
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You did not mentioned which cells you use. Bad NiMh cells discharge in a matter of days (I had some like this), I recommend getting Sanyo Eneloops.
08-29-2010, 10:13 AM   #12
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No battery type is immune from a bad copy. I use a La Crosse charger so I can see what's happening with individual batteries and recently discarded an Eneloop that would not hold a charge well, even after conditioning.

Now I have to figure out what to do with three Eneloops ......
08-29-2010, 11:05 PM   #13
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Sorry I forgot to post what batteries I use, they are the Rayovac 4.0 Lithium rechargeables. Here's a link to see Amazon.com: Amazing Rayovac 4.0 Rechargeable AA Batteries: Electronics what I am talking about. It's for a 4 pack and they have a great lifespan, only thing is remember that if you use the flash, live view, or video recording, they will not last as long as if you were just snapping away. Also I have shot over 10 minutes of video and 2500 pictures without needing a recharge. The package states 1900 pictures but their just understating their product, overall I am extremely happy with them, and would recommend them to anyone.
08-30-2010, 09:32 PM   #14
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Note those aren't actually lithium cells - they are hybrid NiMH's, just like Eneloops.
08-30-2010, 10:15 PM   #15
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I've never had a big love for anything Rayovac. I don't trust any battery they make, seriously. I wouldn't leave one in my camera, ever. We have gotten their alkaline batteries in the past, mostly for toys, but also for general use. Several times I ended up with powdery batteries when I left them in whatever I was using at the time for a few days.

I can't speak for their re-chargable ones but their regular batteries are just CRAP from what I have seen.

It could be your batteries but it could also be your memory cards causing the drain. My Fuji has that problem. If I leave a memory card in the camera the batteries drain within a day. If I put the memory card with it, but not in it and just put it in before I go to shoot my batteries last just fine. I have several 512 MB San Disk cards and I also use the enloops if that helps.
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