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01-27-2009, 07:25 AM   #1
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Long-term availability of K20D batteries???

Can anyone tell me anything about the long-term availability of K20D batteries?

Given Li-ionís short shelf life and the terrible luck Iíve had with after-market batteries in my Panasonic, this is the one concern that keeps the ďK200D or K20DĒ decision from being a no-brainer.

I tend to keep things for many years and the capabilities of either the K200D or K20D should be adequate for my intended uses far into the future. Photography isnít my main hobby so I doubt Iíd ever wear either unit out.

The one thing that keeps me leaning towards the K200D is that I know Iíll always have access to new batteries and that their technology will just get better.

01-27-2009, 08:36 AM   #2
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I'm not a fortune teller, and don't know how long a term you have in mind but some positive factors: so far they're using the same batteries across all K10D/K20D/GX10/GX20. This battery design is compatible with an older Minolta design so third-party replacements were readily available since day 1 of K10D. It's hard for me to imagine there being a battery availability problem for at least the next 10 years. I could still easily buy batteries for my first Canon Powershot S10 that was introduced close to 10 years ago (if I still had it). In a pinch these cameras can be powered externally too so a gerry-rig solution could be employed.
01-27-2009, 09:18 AM   #3
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Well, in addition to the Pentax battery that came with the camera, I'm also using Minolta batteries, and they haven't made cameras in several years, so I'm guessing the batteries won't be an issue.

Buy a couple of extras, give them a bit of a charge (not full charge, though), put them in a baggie with a desiccant pack and put them in the back of your refrigerator (not freezer). They should last indefinitely that way (unless you eat them one night in a sleepy hunger attack).

The Minolta cells (NP-400? IIRC) cost less than $20, so it's cheap insurance. You can find them online at lots of places. I can't remember if I bought mine at Adorama or Amazon.

Also, Thomas Distributing sells all types of batteries, including lots of "orphans". I don't think you'll need to worry.
01-27-2009, 02:48 PM   #4
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I just bought spare batteries for my Konica Hexar AF (Lithium...Sanyo 2CR5) ...discontinued 1999, despite the fact that it was history's absolute ultimate 35mm P&S, totally silent and built better than most SLRs. This battery looks a lot like K20D's...

Plannng to own/use a digital camera for more than 5 years seems a stretch of the imagination, even if it's as well built as K20D. Something much better will come along.

Many will be tempted by Panasonic G1, for example, but something even better will probably come from Olympus before the year's out.
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I hope Pentax gets into that small/fine game, despite my K20D.

01-27-2009, 03:17 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bikesmith Quote
Can anyone tell me anything about the long-term availability of K20D batteries?
Search on ebay for DLI150. It's an old Minolta standard, ironically. And yes, they're slowly improving in capacity. There are ones w/ less and more than Pentax's OEM version...

I've personally used the Minolta variant as have a few folks here for a second battery...
01-27-2009, 04:38 PM   #6
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yea, i recently snapped up a genuine minolta np-400 on ebay.... from china.... so im still waiting for it to arrive in the mail heh...

minolta's been out of business for a while - at least till sony bought the konica-minolta name... but the batteries are still around! you'll never run into a battery problem from what it seems - even with the existence of the "dodgy" 3rd party batteries that seem to do ok anyway..
01-28-2009, 08:06 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by janosh Quote
Plannng to own/use a digital camera for more than 5 years seems a stretch of the imagination, even if it's as well built as K20D. Something much better will come along.
A valid point for someone who's #1 interest is photography. For me it's #2 but a very distant 2nd.

I'm not too concerned about "Something better coming along" as long as what I have is adequate for my needs. At 62 I'm on my 5th car. Of my 24 bicycles the most modern non-recumbent is an '81 Trek. I've been using a Panasonic FZ-10 for 4 years.


QuoteOriginally posted by janosh Quote
Many will be tempted by Panasonic G1, for example, but something even better will probably come from Olympus before the year's out.
LUMIX | Digital Camera | Panasonic Global

I hope Pentax gets into that small/fine game, despite my K20D.
Dang! I wasn't aware of this new technology. Now I have to decide whether Pentax's ruggedness and seals are worth the weight difference. My shoulders are in terrible shape so I've been pondering strategies for dealing with the weight of a Pentax DSLR & DA 55-300.
01-28-2009, 09:34 AM   #8
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On a somewhat related note, I've been trying to dig up the number of shots a K10D/K20D can average on a charge of it's batteries. Searching the forum for batteries returns a list longer than the number of high quality lenses I'll never be able to afford, so I thought I might ask here. The reason I'm asking is because on another forum, Digital Photography School - Digital Photography Tips for You, there was a long discussion on batteries and I took the time to work out the actual cost of ownership over a few years on rechargeable versus nonrechargeable batteries. Since I've been contemplating the differences between a K200D and a K10D or K20D, I thought I might run similar numbers for a comparison between rechargeables AA and the proprietary battery.

That discussion was here: Fully charged - Part one - Digital Photography School

If anyone is interested. From some quick research I did this morning, it looks like expected life capacity of a Lithium-ion battery is between 300 to 500 charges before significant charge ghosting starts happening. That's about half the life expectancy of what a quality set of NiMH with a halfway decent charger would expect, but if the Lithium-ion batteries can take significantly more than double the shots compared to a set of AA, then clearly they still win in the long run from a purely cost based perspective.

01-28-2009, 09:37 AM   #9
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does the mAhs make any difference?

the kit battery is 1620 mAh while others are 1500 mAh or 1700 mAh in terms of capacity, and what is capacity on a battery?


any difference?
01-28-2009, 10:09 AM   #10
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The K10D could take something like 600 shots on one charge. The K20D is up to 700 IIRC...CMOS uses less energy.

mAH is how much charge it holds and how long it lasts when you use it. Bigger is better...
01-28-2009, 10:13 AM   #11
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mAhs makes a difference when comparing batteries of the same type, but it doesn't make a difference for comparing systems to another. For a given system, a higher amperage means that battery can provide the needed power longer; for systems run mostly off filling capacitors (like a strobe) it ALSO means faster recovery time. That's because you can think of it as which variable you're locking into place. If your device can draw a certain amount of power in a certain amount of time, then higher amperage means it can draw that amount longer. However, if your device is capable of drawing more power when it's available, then it reduces the amount of time needed.

So, for example, in a flash, higher amps may mean it can recycle faster between flashes, but in the camera itself higher amps may only mean it those batteries last longer because the rate is locked to a certain power usage. That tells you something between batteries, but not between TYPES of batteries because the system is different. In other words, it doesn't matter that NiMH can be 2850 mAh compared to a 1700 mAh for the proprietary because one system was set up expecting a range of 1800 to 2800 and the other wasn't. It DOES matter when you compare putting 2850 mAh in one system versus putting el cheapo 1800 mAh batteries in the same system.
01-28-2009, 10:20 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by kenyee Quote
The K10D could take something like 600 shots on one charge. The K20D is up to 700 IIRC...CMOS uses less energy.

mAH is how much charge it holds and how long it lasts when you use it. Bigger is better...
If that's true, then it's not wise to reject the battery argument out of hand, compared to using high quality rechargeable batteries. While it isn't a significant amount of money, it does mean that using the proprietary battery (I'm using a list price on Amazon of $40) does cost about twice over the lifetime of the camera compared to using rechargeable batteries, and worst case you're totally hosed. That means there's a total cost advantage and a risk adverseness advantage using a system based on AA over the lifetime of the camera.
01-28-2009, 08:42 PM   #13
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Another factor is that Li-ions have a limited lifetime, independent of number of charges. I'm still using some Sanyo NiMH AAs I bought in 2000. I bought 12 and 10 are still good.

QuoteOriginally posted by janosh Quote
Many will be tempted by Panasonic G1, for example, but something even better will probably come from Olympus before the year's out.
LUMIX | Digital Camera | Panasonic Global

I hope Pentax gets into that small/fine game, despite my K20D.
This from Janosh prompted me to do a little research. Now I suspect that anything I buy will be eclipsed by new technology in the next couple of years.

I also stumbled across a dpreview.com comparison test of the current crop of SuperZooms where I found out that the new Panasonic FZ28 is not the noise monster that all previous FZs were. So I bought one (for $300!!!) to tide me over till I see where this non-SLR, interchangeable lens, Four Thirds concept goes. I too hope Pentax gets on board.
01-28-2009, 09:01 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mister Guy Quote
does mean that using the proprietary battery (I'm using a list price on Amazon of $40) does cost about twice over the lifetime of the camera compared to using rechargeable batteries
Except my extra battery only cost $15...
01-28-2009, 10:15 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by kenyee Quote
The K10D could take something like 600 shots on one charge. The K20D is up to 700 IIRC...CMOS uses less energy.

mAH is how much charge it holds and how long it lasts when you use it. Bigger is better...
I shot over a thousand images this weekend at a wedding with a third party battery and it still showed a full charge with my K20D.
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