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01-07-2010, 12:58 PM   #1
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K20 battery reading accurate?

Don't know if this a common problem or unique to my equipment, but this morning I went out with the K20, the battery symbol said "half" and three shots later it was empty.

But the question(s):
is there something wrong with my K20
or is the K20 battery symbol normally not to be trusted
and if not the camera battery reading, how do you "read" your battery status? Counting images means little because the viewing time eats up the power, and tracking LCD time seems kind of cumbersome, but maybe there's a better way out there. Or just always be a Boy Scout and go prepared with a backup battery?
Brian

01-07-2010, 02:22 PM   #2
Ash
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There is no way for the camera to show you how close to insufficient discharge there is in the batteries installed.
What you describe is most likely as a result of worn out Li-ion batteries that simply can't keep up with a sufficient voltage to keep operating.
If your batteries are showing some age, replace them.
01-08-2010, 12:52 AM   #3
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It's pretty typical on most Pentax DSLR's for the "half" indicator to really mean, "almost empty".
01-08-2010, 03:31 AM   #4
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New or well functioning Li-ion batteries though do give more 'accurate' stages of drain.

01-08-2010, 03:37 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
It's pretty typical on most Pentax DSLR's for the "half" indicator to really mean, "almost empty".
Well, IMO it's "half" as in "half-dead", more than "half-empty"
01-08-2010, 03:41 AM   #6
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Absolutely normal behaviour. The battery indicator is only reliable, when it shows empty, because then it shuts down the camera and you know its correct.

And that was the case for my K20 from day one with all of the eight batteries I have in concurrent use.

Ben
01-08-2010, 10:26 AM   #7
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Thanks one and all. Since both batteries are as new as the camera, and that's less than six months, I'm going to assume this is "normal" Pentax behavior. Reminds me of my old Bugeye Sprint that, like most British cars of the time, had Lucas gauges and that meant no matter what the gauges said, the reading was "normally" at least 50% off the mark. From now on, I'll carry the backup at all times. Good to know,
Brian
01-08-2010, 12:02 PM   #8
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Yep, this is normal for Pentax DSLRs, sometimes one can squeeze 15 shots out of your camera after battery is "half empty", but this would be unusual.


QuoteOriginally posted by FHPhotographer Quote
Thanks one and all. Since both batteries are as new as the camera, and that's less than six months, I'm going to assume this is "normal" Pentax behavior. Reminds me of my old Bugeye Sprint that, like most British cars of the time, had Lucas gauges and that meant no matter what the gauges said, the reading was "normally" at least 50% off the mark. From now on, I'll carry the backup at all times. Good to know,
Brian


01-08-2010, 01:10 PM   #9
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I've gotten perhaps 50 shots from my K10D, after the battery indicator goes to half. This is without flash and very little chimping.

I've come to regard it as having two settings, full and "Oh, my God, where's my spare battery?"
01-08-2010, 01:13 PM   #10
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since the battery is the same in the K10 and K20 I assume the software also is.

On my K10 it can go from showing full to dead and unable to take photos within 20 shots.
01-09-2010, 05:16 AM   #11
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Depends upon what you are doing!

I assume full means more than 50%, half means less than 50% and empty means your running very low until it refuses to run and the screen says battery depleted. I have looked at the Pentax maintenance manual and it gives the battery consumption when you do different things.

The TWO biggest by far functions are the FLASH and the AF motor. Both together thy take a massive 6A. A battery has to be in good condition to supply this. Taking a picture, processing etc takes about 0.5A. So if running low, if possible, manual focus and no flash.

I always take the number of shots claimed from a battery with a large pinch of salt. The third party battery supplies make the task and cost of having a spare available a "no brainer".
01-09-2010, 05:43 AM   #12
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I think the camera indicator is similar to a lot of cell phone battery life indicators, in that they read full until they are just about ready to turn themselves off. 1/2 on my K20 is the same as yours, about 8 to 10 shots left.
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