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12-13-2010, 11:33 AM   #1
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Battery drain since camera repair

My K200D was in to Pentax Canada for repair. Turns out the problem was auto-focus issues. The invoice said, "auto focus repaired, minor repairs and firmware updated"
Ever since I got the camera back, my eco-cell rechargeable batteries last for only one to two weeks, taking an average amount of photos. i don't shoot every day! These batteries used to last me up to two months.
I have several sets and all of them are draining quickly. This is extremely frustrating as the camera doesn't give me any warning. One pic is fine, the next pic and they're dead/done!

Does anyone have any suggestions/opinions on what is causing this?

12-13-2010, 06:07 PM   #2
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Cannot say for sure what the problem is but since you just got it back I'd suggest calling Pentax Canada and asking what exactly they did and then tell them you are turning it back in to get whatever they broke fixed.
12-14-2010, 10:47 AM   #3
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Hi Debb,

I'd assume that they possibly changed some settings to test the camera. Do you turn the camera off physically with the power switch, or let it go to sleep?

I had always let it sleep, then changed the "Auto Power Off" setting from 3 minutes to "off" in order to keep the camera powered up to shoot some Focus Trap shots. . . My battery kept draining with no use all of a sudden until I remembered I'd changed the setting. I've recently gone back to turning the power off with the switch as I more commonly carry the cam in a bag, and started hearing the lens trying to focus while it's in the bag. . .

I'd also check the "Meter Operating Time" setting. Either of these could cause accelerated battery drain.

Other than these, I can't think of anything other than a faulty repair, and I'd be calling Pentax Canada as KxBlaze suggests.

Scott
12-14-2010, 12:10 PM   #4
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Only a very slight chance - but it may have some possibilities.

It may be the batteries.

Have you tried different batteries?
Even alkaline AA (even though they are NOT recommended for regular use) will do for testing.

EcoCell rechargeable batteries I think are regular NiMH - which unfortunately can self-discharge fairly quickly - and also can have low operating voltage (under load). Plus lower temperatures (now that it's Winter) can also lower the voltage levels of batteries (NiMH are not that good in low temps).

Since Pentax dSLRs use voltage levels for the meter - and their shutdown level - all these may have a bearing on the sub-par performance.

12-14-2010, 02:55 PM   #5
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Thanks for the tips.
I do know that I had a hard time remembering what my previous settings were when i got the camera back. I have checked and changed some of the settings, so we'll see what happens in the next few days.
I put a brand new set of charged batteries in on the 12th. I have taken about 6 photos since then and the battery level indicates almost empty. It's true that I always let my camera 'go to sleep' and do not turn the power button off very often. But that was never an issue before. Something is definitely going on.

I haven't taken more than two or three outdoor shots since I got the camera back, so the cold is not an issue.

As for the eco-cells, I have not had a problem with them in over a year since I bought them. They have always lasted from 6-8 weeks in camera and the extra sets I had in my bag were always charged up and ready when I needed them. They are supposed to be good for over 1000 recharges. I've had less than ten charges since I bought them. I am sure it's the camera.

I'll keep you posted if I get any solutions.
12-14-2010, 03:26 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Panache Quote
As for the eco-cells, I have not had a problem with them in over a year since I bought them. They have always lasted from 6-8 weeks in camera and the extra sets I had in my bag were always charged up and ready when I needed them. They are supposed to be good for over 1000 recharges. I've had less than ten charges since I bought them.
What is the rated capacity of the Eco-Cells please?

Do you have a link to some specs/details please?
12-14-2010, 08:00 PM   #7
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eco-cell link.
12-14-2010, 09:56 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Panache Quote
eco-cell link.
Thanks - I see the EcoCells are "Pre-Charged" - so are the LSD (Low Self-Discharge) type like eneloops - therefore my forgoing suggestion about fast discharge and low operating voltage may not apply.

LSD batteries, as their name imply, are slow in self-discharge and tend to maintain their operating voltage under load better than regular NiMH.

So as long as they are in good condition and not damaged - a fully charged set ought to work fine, certainly better than you've indicated.

12-14-2010, 10:00 PM   #9
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Battery charger OK? I know when I first got my Eneloops and these sure look similar, I tried to charge them in an old NiMH charger and they wouldn't last long at all. I use a charger currently that came with a set of Eneloops and they work just fine in my K200D. Just something else to check.

Last edited by kkoether; 12-14-2010 at 10:00 PM. Reason: spelling
12-15-2010, 06:46 AM   #10
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I assume the charger is ok. It's the same charger I've been using since I got the eco-cells. Actually, it's and eco-cell brand charger that came with the first set of batteries. I don't have any other batteries to check it with.
12-15-2010, 07:36 AM   #11
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The very first step in the investigative process is to check performance using the power switch rather than the auto functions for power.

Next, assuming you're still at sea, would be to invest in a set of four lithium cells. I know they're not cheap but that would go a long way to verify if you've a battery/charger problem or a camera problem. Without LV and video, you should easily get more than 1,000 shots. If the camera is draining constantly, you should see a problem long before 1,000!

I don't know that I would assume that the charger is good. If you're seeing the same problem with several sets of batteries, you've probably narrowed it down to camera or charger.

I'm sure that you're confident about the settings. But .... I've read too many stories about changes during repair. Rather than simply checking those of interest, have you used the reset function and restored the camera to factory default? After testing at that point, you can go back to your usual settings, one by one when they involve power, and see if the problem re-appears.

As an aside, batteries, even those from good manufacturers, fail. In the last year, I had to toss an Eneloop that decided it did not want to charge. Please note that there was just one bad battery in the string but that one battery greatly affected the performance of the group.

So it's important that you can measure, as best you can, each battery individually immediately after charge and every so often after the charge. Do so with normal use as well as a series of checks with the batteries just lying about in their case. See if you can borrow a battery tester, even a cheap one, to get a rough idea of what's going on. I use a very inexpensive (USD $5 on sale at Radio Shack) tester just to tell good from fair from gone.

Good luck!

I use a La Crosse charger that shows me data for each battery in the string. There are other good charger manufacturers. Without data on a battery-by-battery basis, you'll have to throw out four instead of one. That makes the charger a pretty good investment if you will be using those cells for a good while.

As an aside,
12-19-2010, 02:15 PM   #12
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I changed some settings and I'm day 7with a fresh charge! So far so good.....
12-19-2010, 06:15 PM   #13
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QuoteQuote:
I changed some settings
Please - if this works at all, let us all know what settings you changed!
Thanks
12-29-2010, 10:30 AM   #14
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It's been a few weeks and ALL IS GOOD!!
I changed a few settings [can't remember] but I'm pretty sure it's this one that did the trick.....changed the "Auto Power Off" setting from 3 minutes to "off"
12-31-2010, 01:38 PM   #15
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Glad it's sorted and good of you to let us know. Auto off wont work well if you put the camera back in the bag - slight pressure on the shutter button will reactivate the camera and extend the auto off period for a further three minutes. This may have happened in your case.
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