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D70 Battery life- am I losing my mind or my charge?

Discussion in 'General Technical Discussion' started by AFS, Aug 16, 2005.

  1. Hi there.
    Since January 6th, i've been a happy D70 owner and I've had somewhere between 15,000 and 15,300 shutter releases.
    I've got a weird question about my battery life though.
    Lately, it seems, my battery life has gone completely out the window. Instead of getting my old 1500-2000 shots per charge (18-70 DX and occasional 50/1.8, a good amount of indoor flash), I've been getting a much smaller number.
    I tend to keep my battery well charged. I'll make a mental note to recharge it when that first little thing goes away, and i'll usually stick it on when the second part goes away. I know that means the battery is on its last bit of charge.
    So, for many months, my D70 and I were quite happily shooting away, and with nearly 4000 shots taken in just a week in italy, I only ran the battery down to any change in the batt. meter twice. LOTS of full power flash there, too. I continued to have excellent battery life even until may and June. By then I was using a 70-200 VR with VR on, but that didn't affect my battery that much, I was still getting near or over 1000 shots per charge.
    Well, I got a 24/2.8D and that didn't help the battery life that much, but I still used the VR lens most of the time. I took less than 500 shots in June, my shutter finger was starting to hurt.
    So when July rolled around, I was shooting 80% with the 70-200. Still very good battery life. But sometime after the 4th of July, I started having worsening battery life. In the past month, i've charged my battery quite often, and I've shot under 2,000 frames in that time. almost zero with the internal flash. By the time I sold my 24/2.8 and got my 17-35 AFS, I couldn't use the internal flash at all due to the sheer size of the lens. I charged my D70 battery shortly after I got the 17-35, and I had to charge it again the other night after somewhere between 400 and 600 shots, with NO af assist lamp, NO internal flash....I was using my SB600 for AF assist and flash.
    I'm frankly mystified. I get blinding focus speed with both of my current lenses, and I haven't used the VR much in the last 2 weeks, and even then I haven't used VR-ON too much.
    Is my battery going bad? Or is it something else?
    Maybe its my imagination, maybe its the heat.....
    or maybe it is my brain going bad :) 
    Thanks in advance.
  2. Most rechargeable batteries need to be completely discharged between chargings to last very long. The battery in my laptop says that is not necessary, but those batteries only last about 1.5 years. I don't know if the Nikon batteries should be completely discharged between chargings or not.

    On my electric shaver, I always discharge the battery completely before charging by letting the shaver run until it stops when the battery is getting weak. I have gotten 8-10 years out of one or two of these.

    I'm careful not to recharge my D70 battery until it's getting very low.

    This may be your problem. Maybe someone on this forum knows for sure.
  3. I've been a reader of many D70 lists and forums and this is about the first battery problem I have heard. I am over 60K images on my D70 and the battery is still strong.

    If you have to replace it, they are not very much.
  4. Chris101


    Feb 2, 2005
    It's a lithium ion battery. These are known for the amount of power they store in a small space, and for their lack of recharge memory. You don't have to discharge them before recharging. In fact they benefit from leaving a charge in them for storage.

    Here is a web page about how to get the most out of them: http://www.batteryuniversity.com/parttwo-34.htm

    Harrison, I suspect it's time to go battery shopping. :( 
  5. Harrison,

    I agree with Chris and the link he provided is a good article regarding lithium battery technology. The symptons you describe are similar to all lithium batteries I managed to "kill", but it usually takes close to 1.5-2 years for that to happen, at least for me. The overall life of the battery is dependent on the usage and it seems you may have surpassed it :( 

    Good luck,

  6. aw darn.... I killed my battery! I'll see if it keeps getting worse and if so, might as well get another. I have about $100 waiting to be spent :) 
    I hope the D200 takes EN-EL3 batteries..... :) 
    Thanks for all your help.
  7. JeffKohn


    Apr 21, 2005
    Houston, TX
    I never got anywhere near 1000 shots from a battery charge on my d70. 400-600 sounds about right to me. I think a big part of what determines how many shots you get is how you have the meter timeout configured and whether the camera spends much time with the meter "idling".
  8. I Agree with Jeff. All sorts of things can reduce number of images on one charge. Photo Preview, Flash, how long meter stays on, VR lenses, etc. But unless you have dramatically changed your shooting style I am sure you have a very good feel for how many shots you get on one charge.

    Soo.... sounds like you may just need a new battery.

    I have a D70s and so far so good. So far I just charge battery once/week or so. Of course, you probably take many more pics than me. But hey, since you are getting a new battery you can get the new EnEL3a I believe and get even a few more shots out of one charge.
  9. Chris, thanks for this reference. It explained what I have been wondering about since I got the D70. The D70 manual says nothing about how to optimize battery life.
  10. stm69


    Aug 10, 2005
    Mark brings out some good points on some stuff that can drain a battery faster. In my personal experience, my batteries (both the original and the OEM one that I bought) last a darn long time. Two things that I've seen drain a battery fast however, looking at pictures a long time, and leaving the flash up. Leaving the flash up means that it's constantly charging, and it sucks juice fast.

  11. I've used the built-in the absolute least ever in this time, strangely enough.....and I haven't significantly changed my shooting style, not since a while before the battery problems.
    I also realized my cell phone battery seems to be experiencing the same phenomenon....I used to be able to unplug it at 6:30AM one day, take it with me to school (on silent), bring it home, talk a while, use it at my father's house (before I got a charger for there too), take it to school the next day, and get it home with some charge left. Now, I've unplugged it at 10, used it a bit more than before, but not much, and had it drained about as much as my old 2-day pattern, within 14 hours.
    Could something be wrong with the electrical system here in the wall outlet where i've been charging both?
  12. Chris101


    Feb 2, 2005
    They're probably just dying concurrently. Is your cell battery also Li+?
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