Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
03-21-2010, 10:35 AM   #1
Senior Member




Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: south africa, johannesburg
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 228
Frustrating KX battery meter, what to do?

I installed FW v.1.01.00.07 from the Japanese site, yet the battery meter remains horribly unreliable.

With a set of Energizer 2500mAH cells, I got around 250 shots, if that. The meter very quickly showed half, then depleted but the camera ran on for at least another 50 shots before the batteries gave up.

With a new set of Uniross hybrid batteries, (rated 1900mAH) the meter showed depleted after 80 shots. With a different brand of new hybrid batteries, rated at 2100mAH, fully charged, I got 30 shots before the meter showed half charge.

I installed the fresh high capacity Lithium cells that came with the camera and the battery meter showed half charge after 30 consecutive shots! I switched off and restarted a while later and of course the meter is back to showing full charge.

Why the heck can't Pentax just do everything right for a change!!!

03-21-2010, 10:49 AM   #2
New Member




Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Chicago
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 21
You can try to manually set the type of the battery, and test the result. I use eneloop and manually set the battery type, took 800+ photos without any problem.
03-21-2010, 10:59 AM   #3
Senior Member




Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Ottawa Valley
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 223
QuoteOriginally posted by jlaubza Quote
I installed FW v.1.01.00.07 from the Japanese site, yet the battery meter remains horribly unreliable.

With a set of Energizer 2500mAH cells, I got around 250 shots, if that. The meter very quickly showed half, then depleted but the camera ran on for at least another 50 shots before the batteries gave up.

With a new set of Uniross hybrid batteries, (rated 1900mAH) the meter showed depleted after 80 shots. With a different brand of new hybrid batteries, rated at 2100mAH, fully charged, I got 30 shots before the meter showed half charge.

I installed the fresh high capacity Lithium cells that came with the camera and the battery meter showed half charge after 30 consecutive shots! I switched off and restarted a while later and of course the meter is back to showing full charge.

Why the heck can't Pentax just do everything right for a change!!!
Ya, I know what your going through. I to was very frustrated with my battery performance even after upgrading to the new FW version. I since have traced my problem back to my charger. it was not even coming close to giving the batteries a full charge yet it showed that they were fully charged. I was getting maybe a 100 or less shots no matter what batteries I put in. The solution to my dilemma, the La Crosse Technology BC-700 Alpha Power Battery Charger. What a great charger!. I can now see exactly what the mah charge is for each battery and I have other features to revitalize the older ones. To date, it seems to have solved my power issue. The charger is available through Amazon and I believe it's on sale. Hope this helps.
03-21-2010, 12:06 PM   #4
Veteran Member
twokatmew's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Lansing, MI
Photos: Albums
Posts: 509
My Kx is using the latest firmware, and I've been using both Eneloops and Ansmann low-discharge batteries. I've got the Powerex C9000 charger, so I know the batteries are properly charged. I've also changed the Kx's battery setting from Auto to NMH.

The battery meter is still weird, unfortunately. After not too many shots, the meter will show orange with the battery partially depleted. If I turn the camera off and back on, it shows the battery fully charged. After a few more shots, it shows orange again. Only once has it shown the batteries depleted while shooting. (Unfortunately I haven't counted the number of shots.) I just ignore the meter now and keep extra charged batteries with me. (I also try to swap them before the meter goes red, too.)

This is the second Kx I've had, and both behave the same, even though I wasn't using low-discharge NMHs in the first camera. (I returned the first Kx to Amazon not because I felt there was anything wrong with it, but because of a pricing issue.


Last edited by twokatmew; 03-21-2010 at 12:08 PM. Reason: fix typo
03-21-2010, 12:32 PM   #5
Senior Member




Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: south africa, johannesburg
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 228
Original Poster
thanks for the feedback

Hi and thanks for the feedback - so this is a common problem. I have to wonder how Pentax tested the prototype battery meter since the production version is clearly way out of spec (assuming of course that the way it works was not how it was intended to work).

Thanks for the heads up on the charger. I too have noticed that some cells switch off the charger before enough time has elapsed, leaving them undercharged.

Frankly, the quality standards on NiMH cells stinks possibly apart from Eneloops, which no one has complained about but we don't get them here.

I haven't seen the La Crosse charger here, not the Maha either and ordering these things and expecting them to actually arrive at the local post office is fraught with risk due to the thieving nature of some workers in the postal system.


Still, I'll have a look at options of using friends to buy one in the states - it does sound like a good solution.

Good luck and good night.
03-21-2010, 12:41 PM   #6
Pentaxian




Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: GMT +10
Photos: Albums
Posts: 10,893
I find the battery meter unreliable, but get great mileage out of my batteries. Like twokatmew, I pretty much ignore what the meter says and just always keep spares with me.

One feature or bug the new firmware seems to have introduced surprised me recently.

Prior to the 1.01 firmware, when the batteries were running low, the meter would go red and the camera would completely shut down with an abrupt message like 'batteries depleted', even if the batteries still in fact had a decent amount of charge in them. Usually, after removing the batteries, I found they still had plenty of charge in them and I could use them to for example power a flashlight or something for many hours. This was the case particularly with lithiums. So the old power management firmware was pretty conservative - it seems to have defined 'batteries depleted' as 'batteries = 50% charge or less'.

However when a set of eneloops I was recently using ran out of charge, the camera behaved very differently. There was no abrupt 'batteries depleted' message and a system shutdown, but rather a slow, progressive shutdown. I couldn't fire the shutter, but for a while I could play back some of the recorded images, until the playback screen gradually went blank and the camera was then completely dead. And after removing the eneloops, there wasn't even enough charge in them to power a tiny flashlight at all. They were sucked completely dry, but the camera kept partially working pretty much right up to the point where the last milliwatt of available power in the batteries was consumed.

I'll be curious to see how the current eneloops in the camera go in their final moments.
03-21-2010, 01:31 PM   #7
Pentaxian
Clicker's Avatar

Join Date: May 2008
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 3,241
I use to use those energizers, they're only good when you charge and use right away since then i've moved to the "low discharge/pre-charged or Hybrid" ni-mh batteries like Enloopes, i use Ray0Vac Hybrids but most battery test sites i've read always have placed Enloopes at the top of the heap every time.
03-21-2010, 05:11 PM   #8
Pentaxian
Marc Sabatella's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Denver, CO
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 10,686
I'd suggest browsing this forum for the many other threads on the K-x batteries (especially right around the time the camera was originally released). Several ideas being tossed abut there worth checking out.

06-16-2010, 11:31 PM   #9
Banned




Join Date: Jun 2010
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 190
QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote
I find the battery meter unreliable, but get great mileage out of my batteries. Like twokatmew, I pretty much ignore what the meter says and just always keep spares with me.

One feature or bug the new firmware seems to have introduced surprised me recently.

Prior to the 1.01 firmware, when the batteries were running low, the meter would go red and the camera would completely shut down with an abrupt message like 'batteries depleted', even if the batteries still in fact had a decent amount of charge in them. Usually, after removing the batteries, I found they still had plenty of charge in them and I could use them to for example power a flashlight or something for many hours. This was the case particularly with lithiums. So the old power management firmware was pretty conservative - it seems to have defined 'batteries depleted' as 'batteries = 50% charge or less'.

However when a set of eneloops I was recently using ran out of charge, the camera behaved very differently. There was no abrupt 'batteries depleted' message and a system shutdown, but rather a slow, progressive shutdown. I couldn't fire the shutter, but for a while I could play back some of the recorded images, until the playback screen gradually went blank and the camera was then completely dead. And after removing the eneloops, there wasn't even enough charge in them to power a tiny flashlight at all. They were sucked completely dry, but the camera kept partially working pretty much right up to the point where the last milliwatt of available power in the batteries was consumed.

I'll be curious to see how the current eneloops in the camera go in their final moments.
I have a similar problem with my K-X...
The camera warned me "battery depleted", then shut down.... Then without charging the batteries i am using the camera for 2 days more!
But i have the setting to automatically choose battery type..
06-17-2010, 02:16 AM   #10
rkt
Senior Member




Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Germany
Posts: 154
I would believe using Eneloops may help here... I faced similar issues with K200D, where the battery meter would show empty, and then full again after switching on-off ... but this disappeared once I switched to these batts ...
06-17-2010, 03:03 PM   #11
Ira
Inactive Account




Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Coral Springs, FL
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 5,216
Disposable lithiums equal no problems.

And yes, the Eneloops are supposed to be great too, but I'm too lazy

With the disposables, the world is your oyster--for a price.
06-18-2010, 06:54 AM   #12
Veteran Member




Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Toronto (for now)
Posts: 1,749
You can solve all your problems by purchasing a camera with proper batteries.
06-18-2010, 07:28 AM   #13
Site Supporter
Site Supporter
GeneV's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Albuquerque NM
Photos: Albums
Posts: 9,775
The K-x does hit bottom quickly after the battery symbol is less than full, so I carry a spare set of Lithiums, even if the batts in the camera are Eneloops. I know the Lithiums will get me through thousands of shots.

Frankly, I've not found a battery meter on any digital camera from any maker that really means what it looks like it means. When the battery meter says less than full, I take it the same way as the empty light flashing on my car's fuel gauge.
06-18-2010, 08:07 AM   #14
Veteran Member




Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 1,812
QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
I'd suggest browsing this forum for the many other threads on the K-x batteries (especially right around the time the camera was originally released). Several ideas being tossed abut there worth checking out.
Right - there used to be a Sticky thread at the top of this section that has since been move to a Sticky over at Pentax Camera and Field Accessories- which is logically "correct" -
but the problem is that a lot of battery related questions do come up in this section of dSLR discussion -

Here's that thread:

Sticky: Battery for K-x (and other cameras that take AA's)

be nice if we could have that thread stickied here too,
or at least a stickied link to that thread.

Back to the OP - if it's not the charger or batteries* -
then the only thing I can think of for the battery meter behavior is that they often will show a lower state
if the camera had just been used with a high current drain demand -
eg: consecutive flashes, movie or LV -
this would temporarily show a lower indicator -
but would bounce back given a short rest eg: turning off then back on.

I do not normally have high current drain demands so do not see this often -
but sometimes when I have to use consecutive flashes I am also dismayed to see a lower battery indication
- until I rationalize it to the fact I had just been using the K-x with a high current demand task.....

check out Post #57 in Kx in Use - where I summarize my battery usage so far in the K-x -

My experience with batteries (exclusively eneloops with Maha C-9000) 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 13,375 - so that is from 11 changes of batteries)

I average over 1,100 shots/charge

*(the high capacity Energizer 2500mAh are always suspect as they often get damaged and start to self-discharge at quite high rates).
06-20-2010, 06:00 PM   #15
New Member




Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Richmond Hill, ontario
Posts: 6
I recently bought a K-x and have had the same problem. I agaonized over the situation, as the retailer I bought it from had a 14 day return policy and so I had the oppurtunity to return the camera. I talked with pentax support and the suggested that I use at least 2000mah batteries. I went and bought energizer 2300mah and an energizer charger. I charged the batteries. They took abouy 3.5 hours to charge. This was as per the specs for the charger.

I loaded the freshly charged batteries into the K-x and started firing away. I used the flash for more then half the time. I was able to get over 550 shots before the battery indicator turned red.

This satisfied me that the camera was as per the pentax spec and so I decided to keep the camera.

I am running the latest firmware.

As mentioned by others, I also have a second set of 2300mah batteries. The plan is to be able to have some power while the first set is charging.

In addition I have kept the lithium batteries which came with the camera (which didn't last long before the indicator turned orange) as an ultimate backup.

This may sound complicated, but Li-ion batteries do get used up and eventually they die also. So if one bought a second Li-ion battery so as to have the same level of redundancy as I have, the cost would have been much higher.

In this way, I have achieved piece of mind and largely ignore the battery indicator. I shoot until the indicator turns red. Then I swap out the batteries and put the first set on charge. Since the indicator on the K-x is a little premature the batteries are not fully discharged and it only takes 2 hours to bring them to full charge instead of the 3.5 hours it took initially.

Without getting into a long story about battery discharge characteristics, state of charge indicators for Ni-Mh batteries are difficult to design due to the flat discharge curve of these batteries. So don't blame Pentax too much as everyone else who uses these batteries is in the same boat.

The discharge curve for Li-io is steeper so it is easier to work with.
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
batteries, battery, camera, cells, charge, dslr, half, meter, photography, shots
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
K200D Battery Meter Problem Zerreth Pentax DSLR Discussion 34 10-25-2009 10:06 AM
frustrating shutter problems with MX, ME Super h734790 Pentax Film SLR Discussion 5 08-02-2009 10:30 AM
For Sale - Sold: Gossen Luna Pro CdS light meter with battery adapter pingflood Sold Items 2 03-28-2009 04:39 PM
Ist D L new lithum battery = no power on meter oilfield trash Photographic Technique 4 11-08-2008 09:21 AM
K10D and Battery meter fishy Pentax DSLR Discussion 2 07-20-2008 06:31 AM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 09:59 AM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top