Battery Question (D40)

Joined
Apr 23, 2008
Messages
88
Location
Buffalo, New York
When the battery on my Canon was nearing the end of its life, it would take fewer and fewer photos before needing to be recharged, until finally I'd be forced to buy a new battery. But with my Nikon (a D40), the battery just stops working. Is this normal, or could there be an issue with my camera?

The original battery lasted about 2.5 years, which was fine because I shoot a lot. Then it just died. No gradual loss, just died. When I went to the camera store and asked them see if a new battery would work, they just gave me the battery they used to test it. That was very nice of them, but I have no idea how old that battery was and now 3 months later it did the same thing.

Should I be worried, or should I just pay closer attention to when my battery is getting old?
 

JusPlainCrayzee

Administrator
Administrator
Joined
May 19, 2008
Messages
28,398
Location
St. Louis, Missouri
Normal. I'm not familiar with the D40, so I'm not sure if there's an indicator which shows battery life. In any case, I would just remember to give your battery a charge every couple of weeks, (or more often if you shoot a lot) rather than letting it fully discharge (wouldn't want that to happen during a shoot!)
 
Joined
Apr 22, 2011
Messages
40
Location
Zürich, Switzerland
Sometimes lithium ion batteries, even brand new ones, can simply die without rhyme or reason. I see it a lot with laptop batteries. The chances are that the battery for the D40 is actually comprised of 2 separate cells, and it only takes one of these cells to go bad to render the entire battery useless. If one of the cells in the battery has discharged past a certain amount (normally less than 3V) then safety mechanisms cut in to prevent the battery being recharged. The reason being is that the cell could short circuit internally, and this can lead to fire, or explosion. Also various chemical reactions that take place in an undercharged battery when charging can cause the cells to gradually swell. This swelling could damage the camera if the pressure is enough to break the batteries outer cover.

Having been witness to a laptop battery which exploded due to an internal short circuit I can fully understand these safety mechanisms.
 
Joined
Jun 14, 2006
Messages
538
Location
Bedfordshire, UK
I got my D70 in 2005 and a few months later the battery was recalled and the en-el3 was swapped with an en-el3e. The battery age display is still registereing as 'New' by my D90 - not even one bar loss in the 0 to 5 scale.

You shouldn't be going through batteries that quickly!
 
Joined
Jul 21, 2007
Messages
5,262
Location
NJ
You also have to take into account that wear & tear of lithium ion cells is time-sensitive as well. They simply degrade over time. That's why buying a spare battery together with the camera with the intention to use it when the original one wears out ("in case they're no longer in stock") is not such an effective idea.

In the OP's story this might have been a factor with the replacement that was given, as it was a battery of similar age.
 
Joined
Feb 10, 2009
Messages
1,956
Location
St. Paul, MN
Was the replacement battery a 3rd party battery? I have not had good luck with them. (others have however). A battery failure after 2.5 years does not seem uncommon, after 3 months does.
 
Joined
Jul 21, 2007
Messages
5,262
Location
NJ
Was the replacement battery a 3rd party battery? I have not had good luck with them. (others have however). A battery failure after 2.5 years does not seem uncommon, after 3 months does.
Note that the free replacement was a used battery:

When I went to the camera store and asked them see if a new battery would work, they just gave me the battery they used to test it.
 
Joined
Nov 10, 2008
Messages
3,941
Location
Chicago
Keep topping off the charge. These are not like nicads. I never had a battery go bad and the better Nikons have not only a charge indicator, but a life span used/remaining.
 
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