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D200 GREAT!!!!! - but battery poor

Discussion in 'Nikon DX DSLR Forum' started by MarkM, Dec 22, 2005.

  1. MarkM


    Dec 20, 2005
    Tampa Florida
    Hello all, I am new to this, and, thanks to the D200, I have stepped up and away from Canon (although, my A1,T70 & T90 served me well for many years as a freelance wedding photographer). My first digital toys were the Canon S50 and the Nikon 5700. Thanks to Ritz Camera & Fed Ex, I have been playing with my first REAL digital camera, the D200 since Saturday the 17th. I have the SB800 and MC-36 remote cord so far, the 18-200 should arrive tomorrow (still waiting on the grip - sigh) - I must thank my friend and coworker, Joe Martin (also a member here) for lending me his 50 f/1.8d in order for me to play. The camera is awesome to say the least and the built in flash totally impressed me - I used full auto at iso 100 and will post pics as soon as I learn how to use the software to crop & resize - shooting in raw mode resulted in 16mb files - lol. The built in flash appeared perfect as close as 10' to subject - no noticable washout and great coverage at approx. 24' away from subject.

    I was a little surprised that with less than 200 actuations, the battery is down to 13%. I am hoping that the reason for the initial poor battery performance is due to 1) being new and needing to be used completely a few times to cycle it up and 2) excessive use of the LCD display to examine everything the user can adjust - we all know how power hungry the displays can be.

    Anyway, thats all for now, time to play and make room for the lens arrival - lol.

    Happy Holidays to all.

    May the spirit of the season touch your soul and hold you safe
    As the light warms your heart and guides you all into a wonderful new year
  2. RForshey

    RForshey Guest

    Welcome to the cafe, and congratulations for leaving the darkside:wink:
  3. Gale


    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl
    Welcome and glad you here at the Cafe

    Sure hope you will really enjoy your D200 and get the results your looking for.

    Merry Christmas
    Look foward to your images.
  4. i've got a thread on my similarly extremely poor en-el3E performance here... your mileage may be varying for the reasons you stated above, plus some other settings that may not be set yet for the right long term use settings, and so on.
    Unfortunately mine persists through my usual shooting style, which on my D70 gives me a considerable amount MORE than what Nikon claims with even the EN-EL3A. I have the LCD turned to -2 brightness, shorter meter off time than I like, shorter LCD off time, and so on. I've been doing a fair bit of image review, and i'm trying to cut bcak on it and speed it up (center button is set for high power zoom right now) and hopefully my battery life will improve.
    Once I get spares, i'll be testing to see if it is an isolated problem with my battery.

    Congrats on getting the latest and the greatest!
  5. MarkM


    Dec 20, 2005
    Tampa Florida
    Thanks for the welcome. I haven't left the 'darkside' completely, I still own the A1 and T70 as well as miss the T90 - but for the price, the D200 was the only choice.

    I read your post and all the replies, AFS, on the battery issue and as soon as my battery is charged, I will be changing some of the default features just to ensure longest possible battery life.

    I do have one other question about the camera - I do not have the grid feature turned on, but I do have one vertical line visible in viewfinder, centered, from the midpoint, down to bottom - anybody else notice that?
  6. MarkM


    Dec 20, 2005
    Tampa Florida
    oops, nevermind about the line in the viewfinder issue - it appears to be a tracer to the active af node being used - haven't found it in manual yet, but line changes when node is changed
  7. Ken-L

    Ken-L Guest

    nFoto did some tests and it would seem that the "big" battery drain is the LCD.
  8. I have had my D200 for 1 week now, battery has been through 3 full charge cycles. Went shooting today, 276 images, lot's of chimping and menu looking, battery is at 44%. This will put me around 500 images per battery, all compressed NEF, 500mm HSM Sigma lens. Given all the camera is doing, I can easily see carrying along an extra couple of batteries for the cost, when they finally show up.
  9. I set my LCD brightness to -2. It's bright enough at this level. This may improve battery performance.
  10. Gale


    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl
    Well we allllll wanted BIGGGG LCD...
    WE got it sooooooooooooooooo

    Just get 2 more batteries.. :>))))))))

    Don't Worry be Happy.

    We have waited 2 years for this camera. Now we have .

    JUST GO ENJOY IT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  11. Yeah, when you got an LCD screen the size of a movie screen! LOL Power has got to come from somewhere.

    I'll bet eventually there will be a fix for this problem from Nikon at some point. Hopefully, fixable in firmware.
  12. For compariosn, D2H/X battery is 1900 Mah, while the D200 battery is 1500 Mah.

    That is just a touch under 80% of the capacity of the "Big Brother" battery for the EN-EL3e of the D200. We have a very sopisticated set of computer and optical gear in our hands, it takes power to drive it. This is not an issue of a "firmware" fix, but certainly a higher capacity battery would help. In steps the MB-D200 which can take 2 batteries, 3000 Mah. Looks to me like Nikon understands the problem, as evidenced by the notes on Page 207 of the manual.

    I don't understand why people think this is something needing "fixing". So far my battery life is right in line with what it says on Page 207.

    1. Shoot NEF and the battery life goes down, I should check to see if "compressed" vs. "uncompressed" matters in the real world.
    2. Excessive "chimping", and I sure do, drops battery life as well, this will probably decrease somewhat as I get more comfortable with the camera.

    The suggestion of going - on the LCD brightness is interesting, that is another place where an empirical test would be useful in a normal day shooting.

    As Bjorn has pointed out, testing is just numbers, what matters is your real world use, and so far my real world use is matching almost exactly what Nikon states in the manual.

    Now, there may be some defective batteries about or individual cameras with an issue and those do need fixing. Along with this there is also the option of an external power source, such as the Digital Camera Battery, which I originally bought for my D1H, talk about bad battery life. Not the lightest thing in the world, but if you don't want to carry a couple of extra EN-EL3e's around, it does work well. What I don't understand is why Nikon doesn't have the same solution they do for the D70, the holder for CR-3's. That would give the option, in a pinch, for CR-3's without the grip and AA's with the grip.
  13. MarkM


    Dec 20, 2005
    Tampa Florida
    I agree with you Bill, in hindsight, I see that I chose the wrong title to this thread - I did not mean to appear to be complaining (was just trying to offer suggestions as to why some of us were disappointed with 'first charge' performance), and I do not believe I have a faulty camera or a faulty battery. I have many years experience racing electric powered radio controlled vehicles and know the importance of battery cycling to improve performance.

    I have downloaded the latest version of IRfanView including the plug-ins to view all the shooting & exif info and determined that on the first charge of the battery I shot 89 raw images (approx. 3/4 of those with flash) and of course, excessive fiddling with the lcd and menus.

    I am only on my second charge now (I hate how work interferes with play time - dangit!!), this time playing with the 18-200VR, 16 large jpeg images without flash, minimal fiddling with the lcd & menus and have 69% battery life remaining.

    Bjorn is great - I salute and applaud his agressive battery torture tests.

    When I pre-ordered the D200, I also ordered the 18-200VR, SB800 flash, SC 29 TTL cord, MC-36 remote and the MB D200 grip - still waiting for grip to arrive.

    Irfanview version 3.98 with the plug-ins appears to be compatable with the D200 images - now I just need to figure out how to post images and use the other software so I won't be such an ignorant newbie - lol.

    Happy Holidays to all
  14. I have 189 shot so far one charge, lots of playing with screen battery
    meter says 19%

    not I'm going to see about killing the rest of the battery...
    then charge it after it cools from use
  15. caero

    caero Guest

    Have anyone of you d200 owners tried turning off image review (so the image doesn't show up on the lcd just after shooting it)?

    That should save a lot of power on the batteries.

    Trust your photography skills and shoot away. Review them later on the computer :) 
  16. MarkM


    Dec 20, 2005
    Tampa Florida

    Yes, image review is off, on my D200 all review and histogram data was off by default and I left it that way.

    I set the lcd brightness to -2 (from 0), shooting in full auto at iso 100, awb.

    I am going to wait through a couple more charge cycles then use the interval timer - I believe that will wake things up. As we all know, not all battery packs are created equal and, like a chain, they are only as good as the weakest cell in the pack.

    Happy Holidays

  17. I've got mine set up the same way and battery life is equally poor. I struggle to get less than 1k shots on a D2 camera with heavy chimping; the D200 struggles to break 200. Likewise I used to get ~700ish with my D70.

  18. caero

    caero Guest

    Well according to this thread at nikonians the reason why the battery is performing so poor is because the internal clock battery is hogging up the power of the EN-EL3e initially to charge itself.

    A guy noticed this by having the camera with a fully charged EN-EL3e and the camera powered off all night. He noticed that when he turned it back on the next day it was down to 53%. It seems like this will continue until the internal clock battery is fully charged from the EN-EL3e. After that the camera should do a lot more shots.

  19. MarkM


    Dec 20, 2005
    Tampa Florida
    Thanks Sune, very interesting and believable. Today, my meter shows 65% which is 4% drop in 22 hours - and yes, it was EXTREMELY difficult for me not to touch the camera for that length of time.

    Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all
  20. JeffKohn


    Apr 21, 2005
    Houston, TX
    So just how much juice does this internal clock battery require? That sounds excessive to me.
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