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03-15-2009, 02:44 AM   #1
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K100D excessive battery usage.

Hi all, long time no post!

I was given a K100D, body only, but it has a real battery use issue. I'll give you all a step-by-step on what I've done.

I was given the body in January, I put some AA rechargables in it and it wouldn't turn on. I didn't know if the body was dead (I had no history of it) or the batteries didn't have enough juice to fire it up. I put some brand new Energiser Alkalines in it and it fired up no problems, but i couldn't test it because it had no card or lens.

I got the camera home and put my M-50 f/2 on it and put some 2600mAh Ni-Mh rechargables in it. These were straight off the charger and last for AGES in my K10D. I got the settings adjusted how I wanted, took 6 photos and the camera told me the batteries were depleted. Before the batteries went flat I did find out that it only had V.1.00 of the firmware.

Tonight I thought I would do a firmware update on it and see if that fixed the problem. I charged my near-brand-new Sony 2700mAh Ni-Mh rechargables, formatted a card and updated the firmware. The batteries lasted long enough to do the update (latest download off Pentax, v.1.02). I set the camera up again and took 1 photo and the camera said Batteries Depleted!


Does anyone have some suggestions on what I can try to gains some better battery life out of it? The camera functions fine...it has me beat.


EDIT:
Interestingly I turned SR off and I've been able to rattle off quite a few shots and it is still holding full charge. Anyone got any ideas?

Images seem pretty good, a fair few hot pixels at ISO 3200 (all of these), here are some I just took from my lounge chair. That camera hasn't even done 2500 shots either.









03-15-2009, 02:51 AM   #2
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I haven't used my rechargables yet, but the normal alkaline batteries that I used on my *ist DS work for a while on the K100D Super and then it says they're dead, but when I turn the camera back on I can get 50 more shots before it says they've died again. I've found it really strange, especially how the battery power can somehow "recharge" itself.
03-15-2009, 03:27 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by blwnhr Quote
I got the camera home and put my M-50 f/2 on it and put some 2600mAh Ni-Mh rechargables in it. These were straight off the charger and last for AGES in my K10D.
You have a K10D that runs on AA batteries?
03-15-2009, 03:33 AM   #4
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Haha, nice pickup, K10D flash (EF-500 Super).

03-15-2009, 04:23 AM   #5
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Lithiums = 1000 pics. Try it.
03-15-2009, 04:24 AM   #6
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Hard to explain other than perhaps because the AA rechargeables you've used aren't LSD and just didn't have enough charge on them to go the distance with the K100D, very well known to drain the highest powered AAs quite quickly.

I'd suggest that you get a set of good quality LSD AAs like the Powerex 2700 variety sold by Servaas (based in Melbourne). You can purchase them online (as I have) and they just go on, and on, and on... (but be sure to get a GOOD charger to complement the good batteries as well - it does make a difference in the charge quality)
03-15-2009, 06:01 AM   #7
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battery level

Are you sure the batteries are low/dead, or are you just getting the indication from the camera that this is the case? If you do a little hunting here you will find other posts that once you switch to eneloops the camera will take pictures as it is intended, 500 or more. Something to do with the camera conditioning itself to a certain voltage... but eneloops are your answer.
How did you initially test it with no card? My K100D will not turn on without a card inserted. Anyhow, get a set of eneloops, you'll have a new camera.
Jim
03-15-2009, 10:26 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by blwnhr Quote
Does anyone have some suggestions on what I can try to gains some better battery life out of it? The camera functions fine...it has me beat.
OK the Pentax K100D and other Pentax dSLRs using AA batteries are notoriously fussy about batteries.

It's about too high a cutoff voltage threshold.

You can try a set of lithium AA batteries to be sure the camera is OK - that's the 1.5V lithium, like Energizer e2 - if the camera works fine with those - then it has to be the batteries - even though you may have tried many others.

Alkalines in the K100D will make you think the camera has a problem - as they really do not last long in the K100D - in fact Pentax makes a point of saying alkalines are NOT recommended - battery page from the manual (Download)


I posted this elsewhere -

" Short version: use eneloops
or any confirmed re-badged eneloops - like Duracell Pre-Charged or Sony Cycle-Energy (for BOTH must be only made in Japan and white top surrounding the +ve button)

Long version - Pentax dSLRs using AA batteries are notorious for being battery fussy and voltage sensitive. It is the operating voltage under load that is important.
NiMH rechargeable batteries native nominal voltage is 1.2V - so this is already at a disadvantage when it comes to Pentax dSLRs - and as they are used, the operating voltage under load sags - depending on the current demand - and this can be as high as ~1.5Amps. (for more details please see this thread - K200D Battery Meter Problem specifically Post #23 )

Also as NiMH batteries age - they start to develop higher internal resistance - which limits the amount of current they can deliver - so the operating voltage under load sags even more.......

eneloops manage to maintain a higher operating voltage under load than any other NiMH rechargeables - this is trivial for almost any other application - BUT for the Pentax dSLR this is a HUGE advantage - please see post #28 (link) in the same referenced thread above. (also eneloop vs. Kodak Pre-Charged Voltage Maintenance summary post #57 , also please see #61 )

eneloops are the newer LSD (Low Self-Discharge NiMH rechargeable batteries Wikipedia link ) as the name suggests they hold on to their charge longer than normal NiMH batteries - higher capacity NiMH (>= 2500mAh) are well known to develop high rates of self-discharge some reported losing their charge in mere days - and this includes the big well known brands (eg: Ref1Ref2Ref3)

I use eneloops and DuraLoops (nickname for the Duracell Pre-Charged re-badged eneloops) and have gotten between 650 (with lots of flash usage) to over 1,100 shots (mostly without flash) in my K100D - and this is with the batteries stored for 1-4 months charged before use....... (see eneloop vs. Kodak Pre-Charged Voltage Maintenance) "

Another common problem may be the charger - invest in a good charger - they need not be expensive -
cheap "dumb" chargers do work - but can damage batteries in the long term - and that shows up in sensitive devices.... hello - K100D.

03-16-2009, 04:25 AM   #9
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I agree with Jim R about the eneloops. I have the K100D (non-super), and I have been using eneloops since I bought it, and I have no problems with getting 500 - 600 shots per charge. I rarely use the flash.
03-16-2009, 04:46 AM   #10
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I'm glad to see this thread because my k100d has gotten weird recently about the CTA batteries I've been using. I had no such problems when it was my main camera but now that it's in the role of back-up to my K20d (and only sees occasional use), it's gotten fussy. Non-rechargeables work fine. Is it just that the rechargeables lose their charge over time--especially in the cold?
03-16-2009, 08:24 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mike Cash Quote
You have a K10D that runs on AA batteries?
That was my thought also.
03-16-2009, 08:38 AM   #12
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sounds like a camera issue, could be the reason why it was given to you...i have two sets of batteries (1 set of eneloops and 1 set of energizer) for my k100ds, one that's in the camera, and one that stays charged...i'd say i can get off at least 500-600 raw shots (no flash) before i need to swap...
03-16-2009, 08:57 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by eclipsed450 Quote
sounds like a camera issue, could be the reason why it was given to you...i have two sets of batteries (1 set of eneloops and 1 set of energizer) for my k100ds, one that's in the camera, and one that stays charged...i'd say i can get off at least 500-600 raw shots (no flash) before i need to swap...
I also have the K100D and the eneloops. I can also get about 500 shots RAW; suspect probably something in the camera itself. I would suggest you get a set of fresh or newly charged battery and leave it in the camera for a couple of days to see it the camera drains the battery without even turning it on. If it does, you will need to take it in for service.
03-16-2009, 09:04 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by eclipsed450 Quote
sounds like a camera issue, could be the reason why it was given to you
QuoteOriginally posted by aleonx3 Quote
I also have the K100D and the eneloops. I can also get about 500 shots RAW; suspect probably something in the camera itself.
It could be any one or more of:

(a) bad batteries
(b) bad charger
(c) bad camera

Before assuming (c), figure out if it's (a) and/or (b). Get a nice charger/analyzer - LaCrosse BC-900 or BC-700 or the Maha equivalent (I forget the number) - and analyze your batteries. If they're bad, get some Eneloops or Imedions. Only once you've determined the batteries and charger are good should you start worrying about sending in the camera for service.
03-16-2009, 11:37 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by dadipentak Quote
Is it just that the rechargeables lose their charge over time--especially in the cold?
Regular NiMH rechargeable AA's do lose their charge over time - it's called self-discharge. And they don't like the cold that much. Modern "hybrid" NiMH cells like the Sanyo Eneloops that several on this thread have mentioned don't suffer from nearly so much self-discharge. I think they may do better with cold weather too, although I'm not really sure about that. But they also just plain work better - even though they don't have as high a rating in mAh, they hold their voltage levels up higher for longer, meaning your K100D can get more shots out of them than most other NiMH rechargeables. Ditto with other similar "hybrid" / "low self-discharge" cells that are available in other regions around here, Eneloop is the only brand I see, but others make them too, and in some regions, they are more prevalent than Eneloop).
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