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04-03-2012, 07:43 PM   #1
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Help with battery problem on K-x

Yes, it had firmware update 1.02 when I got it a year ago. And it still has this problem. Insert the batteries, use the camera for an hour and the battery shows less than half charge, turn off the camera, and turn it back on, battery shows fully charged, but using it again for an hour or less, it shows battery less than half charge. I am using Eneloops which are two years old.

Today I updated the firmware to 1.03 which didn't help.

Is it the camera or the older Eneloops?

04-03-2012, 07:52 PM   #2
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Happens to me all the time. It's the camera. I can shoot on orange/red battery for quite a while. Changing the battery from AUTO to Nickel-Metal Hydride may or may not help.
04-03-2012, 07:56 PM   #3
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It's probably because the voltage of rechargeable AA's is lower than that of normal ones.

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04-03-2012, 11:07 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by jellyfish26 Quote
Changing the battery from AUTO to Nickel-Metal Hydride may or may not help.
Camera isn't set on auto for battery, it's set for NiMH.

QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
It's probably because the voltage of rechargeable AA's is lower than that of normal ones.
Wasn't a problem on my K100D using the same set of batteries.

04-04-2012, 05:50 AM   #5
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I'm having the same problem, but strangely it only started after I did the latest firmware update. I haven't had the batteries die on me yet when they say they are almost empty, but it's still a bit disconcerting to not know accurately how much juice is left.
04-04-2012, 06:13 AM   #6
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My K-x does that with Kodak rechargeables, but not the Energizer rechargables. If I want to know how much is really left on the batteries, I just turn the camera off & back on. I don't worry about it too much.
04-04-2012, 06:29 AM   #7
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I'd get another set of Eneloops, and just alternate charging and using them. I rarely have any issues at all with Eneloops and my K-x or K200D.

I have about 24 Eneloops, including the rainbow ones - they are very handy for flashes and other stuff aside from cameras. I also suggest only ever charging them in a Sanyo-branded Eneloop charger. The results may not be what you expect if you charge them in something else.
04-04-2012, 06:33 AM   #8
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I thought firmware update version 1.02 was supposed to fix this problem. But surely, version 1.03 should have, as I understood it, this version had all three updates included. I have not checked using Energizer Lithiums, nor any other brand of rechargeables; though, I did have some Energizer rechargeables, but they seemed to stop holding their charge and I disposed of them. i will pick up some Lithiums today and test Adam's theory.

04-04-2012, 06:37 AM   #9
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rawr, I have two sets of Eneloops, and only use the Sanyo charger to charge them. I just put a fresh set in the camera yesterday and still the same thing happens. That happening is why I posted this question to start with. Freshly charged batteries, turn the camera on and it shows half battery life, turn camera off, back on, shows full charge until I take the first photo. I thought maybe it was the batteries, running out of the recharge life.
04-04-2012, 06:50 AM   #10
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I see the same thing with my K-x, no firmware updates. I'm using Duracell NiMH rechargeable batteries, which have been very good. One set shows red the minute I put them in, but will hold up for 2 days or so. The others usually start out green and go yellow in a couple of hours, then red and still hold up for 2 - 4 days. I think I usually average about 800 shots with them.

I've tried out other batteries, so far the Energizers have been crap, Kodak did well, Panasonic did well, Duracells have been the best ones. Never tried Eneloops, but would like to get some one day. SO far though, the Duracells have done a great job, I can shoot 2 - 4 days on a fresh charge, I have 3 sets that I alternate.One set seems to be going weak now, but I've been using them 3 years or so, I'm not disappointed at all.

If your batteries seem to be holding up well, I wouldn't worry too much about what the meter says. My Samsung P&S did the same thing, it would go to red fairly quick then the batteries (two AA) would last all day plus some.
04-04-2012, 06:58 AM   #11
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Thanks Pete for the comments. I don't care for Duracell. I've not found them to be exceptionally as good as Energizer. I get about 300 to 400 shots per battery charge on the Eneloops. I strictly shoot RAW. But it's still annoying to put freshly charged batteries in the K-x only to find a few shots later, the battery is almost drained of power. Luckily I carry two sets of Eneloops with me, then I can change out for a fresh set.

I just checked the battery level a few seconds ago, and last night when I came inside, the battery level was at half, this morning it's showing full charge...green.
04-04-2012, 07:04 AM   #12
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I think the issue with good NiMh's like Eneloops is that they also hold their charge at a pretty constant voltage right to the very end, then they die, unlike normal batteries which progressively show lower voltage and power as they run flat. This may account for the difficulties the camera has in metering the remaining battery capacity of Eneloops.

There has been a lot of discussion of these K-x battery issues here in the past. Suffice it to say I don't worry about what the meter says too much unless I am using something other than Eneloops. I just keep on shooting, and always keep a spare set or two of batteries nearby.
04-04-2012, 08:54 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Paleo Pete Quote
so far the Energizers have been crap, Kodak did well.
I've had excellent results with Energizers. I get several hundred shots per charge on 'em. Kodaks seem to be ok too, except for the false battery meter readings.

QuoteOriginally posted by photolady Quote
I did have some Energizer rechargeables, but they seemed to stop holding their charge and I disposed of them
I was using the Energizer rechargeables with the included 15 minute charger for probably a year before some started going bad. I wised up and got a better Maha charger that's more gentle on the batteries. I don't know which charger you're using, but those 15 minute chargers get the batteries pretty hot, which can shorten their life span. I hated to spend the extra $60 on a charger, but it's a money & battery saver in the long run.
04-04-2012, 09:15 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote
There has been a lot of discussion of these K-x battery issues here in the past.
I know there has been discussions/threads about this problem, but most of those had suggestions for first time owners to upgrade the firmware, which was supposed to fix this issue. And that's why I asked my question.

As for Energizers, I've been using them since 1978. Normal AA batteries, not the ultimates or rechargeables. I had a 5 year old nephew who had a toy that used batteries, my sister bought Energizers, the toy didn't run long on them before they weren't letting it run as fast as nephew wanted. I took the batteries and tested, they were still showing a charge. I used those batteries in a flashlight for two more years before they died. That's why I am sold on Energizers.
04-04-2012, 09:42 AM   #15
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May I ask if-
a) the battery indicator behaved differently previously?
b) your shot count is now noticeably lower than before?

There may be two main reasons why -
1) the batteries are now losing their charge -
from the age - this does not seem likely -
however batteries can get damaged from over-charge, over-heating, and over-discharge -
and if persistent can build up over time.
Unfortunately "eneloop chargers" range from really good to pretty marginal - depending on the model.

The oft recommended optimum charge current from knowledgeable battery people is 1/2 C
= ~1000mA = 1 Amp for eneloops -
lower charge currents may seem "kinder", but they are not, as any current below about 1/3 C (for eneloops < ~ 650mA) and it is very hard to detect end of charge - which leads to over-charge accompanied by over-heat a double-whammy for the health of one's batteries.

Using chargers (any brand) that have to charge in pairs can lead to unbalanced charge -
either one of the pair is under-charged,
or worse - one is over-charged (therefore damaged over time).

It only needs one battery to be sub-par to bring the whole set of 4 down.

2) different shooting - if the battery usage is high, the voltage may drop momentarily
(eg: lots of flash, live-view or video)
- causing the meter to show a lower battery level -
allowing batteries to "rest", eg: turning camera off for a while
- normally allows the batteries to recover and again show a higher level. This is quite normal.

eneloops, for anyone who reads this forum regularly, are the overwhelming recommendation for Pentax dSLRs that use AA batteries.

The main reasons are because :
1) they hold their charge, so returning to the camera weeks or even months later the batteries still work.
2) this is not generally known - but eneloops maintain their operating voltage under-load much better than any other NiMH including most other LSD (Low Self-Discharge) batteries.
Pentax dSLRs using AA's are notorious for being battery fussy.

I am sure photolady is well aware of this, and that is why she is using them.

I have 4 sets of eneloops that I have now owned for over 3.5 years -
started using them in the K100D where I got on average over 1,000 shots per charge
then 2.5 years ago in the K-x - over 1,200 shots per charge

One set was kept in the K100D when semi-retired and kept mostly idle for 2+ years -
the projected shot count from the remaining charge would have been 955 shots.
please see: eneloop (Duracell Pre-Charged) long term report (2+ years)

My experience with batteries in the K-x has shown:

full Green lasts for about 1/3 (33%) usage -
half Orange first shows when there is still about 2/3 (66%) capacity left -
empty Red shows when there is about 1/6 (16.7%) capacity left.

(I am on firmware version 1.01.00.07; and shot count 48,981 - so that is from 41 changes of batteries)

Last edited by UnknownVT; 04-04-2012 at 11:26 AM.
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