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Question about EN-EL15 battery in cold weather

Discussion in 'Other Cool Gear, Camera Bags, Camera Straps' started by Mike Buckley, Jan 5, 2018.

  1. I was using an EN-EL15 battery that was fully charged indoors at about 70 degrees Fahrenheit. It's about 7 years old but is indicated by the D7000 to be zero (new) on the charging life's scale of 0 - 4. When I was outside this morning, the temperature was about 10 degrees Fahrenheit. The battery completely ran down in about 15 minutes before even trying to turn on the camera.

    I realize that the manual indicates that the battery is not to be used at temperatures below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, but I've read about people regularly, successfully shooting at much lower temperatures. I've probably never been shooting in temperatures quite as cold as this morning but I've had no problem using either the exact same battery or another copy the same age and condition in temperatures in the 20s.

    Am I expecting too much of the battery?
  2. I've been out at temperatures colder than that and not had the battery run down anywhere near that fast. If it's really cold I keep a second battery in a warm place (in a pocket inside my coat next to my body) and swap them often to keep the one in the camera relatively warm.

  3. I don't think you are expecting to much out of the battery.

    I have been out for hours in temperatures near zero degrees Fahrenheit without battery issues. When it's that cold, I usually keep a back up battery close to my body (so that it doesn't get too cold), but I rarely if ever have to use the back up.

  4. Seven years old and being called a zero (New) by the camera seems contrary to what one would expect. I would assume the battery is going to die soon and pickup a new en-el15a as a replacement.
  5. I have no idea how reliable that charging life indicator is. This is the only camera I have owned that rates the charging life and the only two batteries I've ever used with it have always been rated zero (new). Both batteries were purchased when I bought the camera and are always alternated. Considering that the camera's shutter count is about 66,000, each battery has released the shutter about 33,000 times. Other types of usage such as Live View are also about the same for both batteries because the two batteries were always alternated.
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2018
  6. My experiences and practice mirrors Larry and Glenn's.
  7. I have 5 of them between the D800 and D500. Aside from the "Li-ion 20" issue for the D500 they seem to hold up well. Shot the D800 for 5 days in Iceland in the winter outdoors in similar weather and had no problem with a battery lasting all day. I recharged at night just on principle.
  8. Thank you to everyone for your responses. Very helpful!

    I conducted a test of my two batteries. Both were fully charged at about 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Both were put outdoors in the camera, which was turned off, for an hour. Both were then moved indoors at 70 degrees for an hour.

    Battery #1: Outdoor temperature changed from 19 to 14 degrees. Battery meter decreased from 100% to 39%. After being returned indoors, battery meter increased to 70%.
    Battery #2: Outdoor temperature changed from 14 to 12 degrees. Battery meter decreased from 100% to 87%. After being returned indoors, battery meter increased to 100%.

    Battery #1 is the battery that lost all of its charge earlier this morning in only 15 minutes when it was considerably colder. Clearly, that battery is not performing as well as Battery #2 in cold weather. This may or may not indicate that it is at risk of failing during normal temperatures, but I don't want to take that risk; I'm going to buy a third battery to have on hand just in case it fails.
  9. menbrial


    Apr 30, 2006
    I go out every winter in minus 40F or colder , and for a long period of time , never had an issue with nikon battery , you just shoot less photos on a charge...
  10. Sounds like a rationally constructed experiment with a pretty clear result. A serious scientist would repeat it at least five times to be sure the result is reproducible, but it this case I don't think that is needed. ;) 
  11. I decided later that the test would have been a bit more valid if I had simply placed both batteries outside, not in the camera, at the same time and thus the same temperature. I could have then put them in the camera to determine the reported meters. I could still do that, of course, but as you mention, doing so seems unnecessary.
  12. And there's nothing like double blind testing :LOL: 
    (from an old lecture of mine)

    Threats to validity.pptx_DxO.jpg
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2018
  13. Though I have no idea what double blind testing is, I am certain that not knowing is an excellent example of when ignorance is bliss. :ROFLMAO: 
  14. Assuming that both parties are acting in good faith, i.e. not trying to intentionally cook the data. Blinding (or allocation concealment) is a way to minimize bias in a clinical trial (or any experiment). Specifically, blinding addresses the placebo effect, which can impact both the research subject and the investigator. Placebo effects can occur with drugs or medical devices or surgical procedures. If the outcome of interest is subjective for the subject, for example pain or mood or energy level, wishful thinking will bias the subject to rate the experimental treatment higher. If the assessment of the outcome of interest depends on the judgment of the investigator physician, wishful thinking may subtly influence their interpretation of an X-ray for example. If both the subject and the investigator are blinded it is a double blind. Some clinical trials have the X-rays interpreted by a centralized third party who is not involved in treating the patient and who does not know whether the image is from a control or experimental subject.

    If you are into doc humor...a double blind study is 2 orthopedic surgeons reading an EKG...
  15. I guess battery #1 becomes a summer and indoor battery until performance deteriorates to useless.
  16. I may be wrong but I alway assumed that the charging life scale had to do with the number of times a battery has gone through a charging cycle which is related to (but not a direct measure of) the battery's capacity. In any case, it is good that you ID'd the issue.
  17. Blind wine tasting could pass for a double blind.
  18. only if you've had too much :) 
  19. That's triple blind, or more accurately tipple blind, or Ripple blind :eek: :D 
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2018
  20. There is no such thing as having too much wine.
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