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Lowest battery volts for camera to work?

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December 27, 2004 3:01:23 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

My new KM Dimage Z3 stops working when the battery voltage is just under 1.3
v. At that point there is not even enough power to switch off properly -
the camera stops dead with the lens extended and if I try to switch it on
again it gives up before it is fully initialised so I still can't get the
lens to retract*. At that point my high speed battery charger won't charge
the Ni-MH batteries because they are not discharged enough, and obviously
they have quite a lot of energy still left in them which I can't use. It
stops at the same voltage with alkalines, which I would normally reckon were
only about half used at that voltage. The question: is this normal for
digital cameras using AA cells?

Also when this happens the Z3 asks me to re-set the time and date. This is
annoying - I could easily miss shots I want while I'm doing this quite
fiddly task. My old digital camera hasn't asked me to set the time and date
in 2 years. And it doesn't give me a "last warning" for batteries in this
situation, just the first warning. With alkalines, it does give a lst
warning, but I certainly don't intend to use these much. Once again, is this
something I should learn to put up with or is it wrong?

*Yes I will be buying another set of Ni-MH batteries - in the sales.

--
Tony W
My e-mail address has no hypen
- but please don't use it, reply to the group.
Anonymous
December 27, 2004 7:29:51 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

I don't have that camera, but I do have the Minolta 7Hi that
I use with NiMh batteries. When it gets down do the point
it says the batteries are "low" they really are down a ways and
it takes a while on the charger to bring them back up. I did
run into an interesting thing the other day though that looked
like a battery problem. I also have an external 6v "gel-cell"
type that I use when shooting the kids soccer games etc and
when I plugged it into the external power connector I got a
"low battery" indication (it had just been charged). Disconnecting
it and I still got that with the internal batteries. After plugging
the external connector in and out a couple of times BOTH
batteries gave me good power indications. Apparently, the
connector was slightly oxidized on the contacts and was giving
me a problem with the higher current the camera draws. You
might want to see if you can find a plug that fits your connector
and "cycle" it a few times to see if it is a problem.

mikey

"Tony" <news-reply@t-onywoolf.co.uk> wrote in message
news:nQSzd.7592$Ar5.3981@text.news.blueyonder.co.uk...
> My new KM Dimage Z3 stops working when the battery voltage is just under
1.3
> v. At that point there is not even enough power to switch off properly -
> the camera stops dead with the lens extended and if I try to switch it on
> again it gives up before it is fully initialised so I still can't get the
> lens to retract*. At that point my high speed battery charger won't
charge
> the Ni-MH batteries because they are not discharged enough, and obviously
> they have quite a lot of energy still left in them which I can't use. It
> stops at the same voltage with alkalines, which I would normally reckon
were
> only about half used at that voltage. The question: is this normal for
> digital cameras using AA cells?
>
> Also when this happens the Z3 asks me to re-set the time and date. This
is
> annoying - I could easily miss shots I want while I'm doing this quite
> fiddly task. My old digital camera hasn't asked me to set the time and
date
> in 2 years. And it doesn't give me a "last warning" for batteries in this
> situation, just the first warning. With alkalines, it does give a lst
> warning, but I certainly don't intend to use these much. Once again, is
this
> something I should learn to put up with or is it wrong?
>
> *Yes I will be buying another set of Ni-MH batteries - in the sales.
>
> --
> Tony W
> My e-mail address has no hypen
> - but please don't use it, reply to the group.
>
>
Anonymous
December 27, 2004 11:08:57 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

"Tony" <news-reply@t-onywoolf.co.uk> writes:
>My new KM Dimage Z3 stops working when the battery voltage is just under 1.3
>v. At that point there is not even enough power to switch off properly -
>the camera stops dead with the lens extended and if I try to switch it on
>again it gives up before it is fully initialised so I still can't get the
>lens to retract*. At that point my high speed battery charger won't charge
>the Ni-MH batteries because they are not discharged enough, and obviously
>they have quite a lot of energy still left in them which I can't use. It
>stops at the same voltage with alkalines, which I would normally reckon were
>only about half used at that voltage. The question: is this normal for
>digital cameras using AA cells?

How are you measuring the 1.3 V? Are all cells at 1.3 V when the camera
shuts down, or did you just check one of them? Did you measure the
batteries under significant load, like 1 amp? A plain voltmeter does
not provide a load, and will not detect a high-resistance cell.

If all of the cells will deliver 1.3 V under load, then your camera is
either badly designed or broken. To work properly with AA alkalines,
it should be designed to operate down to about 1 V per cell. At this
voltage, alkalines have delivered most of their usable energy and NiCd
or NiMH cells will be essentially dead.

>Also when this happens the Z3 asks me to re-set the time and date. This is
>annoying - I could easily miss shots I want while I'm doing this quite
>fiddly task.

That's nuts. All of the digital cameras I've used either have a
secondary lithium coin cell that powers the clock, or an internal
rechargeable battery that's charged from the main battery and good for
at least several weeks of clock power. Do you leave batteries in the
camera when you're not using it? This is necessary for the latter
system.

>And it doesn't give me a "last warning" for batteries in this
>situation, just the first warning. With alkalines, it does give a lst
>warning, but I certainly don't intend to use these much. Once again, is this
>something I should learn to put up with or is it wrong?

NiMH cells do drop in voltage very rapidly at the end of life, so it's
common to have little or no warning of them going dead.

Dave
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Anonymous
December 27, 2004 11:43:03 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

"Dave Martindale" <davem@cs.ubc.ca> wrote in message
news:cqpq4p$1ie$1@mughi.cs.ubc.ca...
> "Tony" <news-reply@t-onywoolf.co.uk> writes:
> >My new KM Dimage Z3 stops working when the battery voltage is just under
1.3
> >v. At that point there is not even enough power to switch off properly -
> >the camera stops dead with the lens extended and if I try to switch it on
> >again it gives up before it is fully initialised so I still can't get the
> >lens to retract*. At that point my high speed battery charger won't
charge
> >the Ni-MH batteries because they are not discharged enough, and obviously
> >they have quite a lot of energy still left in them which I can't use.
It
> >stops at the same voltage with alkalines, which I would normally reckon
were
> >only about half used at that voltage. The question: is this normal for
> >digital cameras using AA cells?
>
> How are you measuring the 1.3 V? Are all cells at 1.3 V when the camera
> shuts down, or did you just check one of them? Did you measure the
> batteries under significant load, like 1 amp? A plain voltmeter does
> not provide a load, and will not detect a high-resistance cell.
>
[snip]
> That's nuts. All of the digital cameras I've used either have a
> secondary lithium coin cell that powers the clock, or an internal
> rechargeable battery that's charged from the main battery and good for
> at least several weeks of clock power. Do you leave batteries in the
> camera when you're not using it? This is necessary for the latter
> system.
>

Well, as an example of one that does not fit that description, my Olympus
D490Z apparently has a large cap. in there but no secondary cells. It
is good for maybe 5 or 10 minutes ? (maybe less) with the batteries out
(and they warn you of this in the manual). I am assuming it is just a
large cap to hold it for a short time while you change batteries. My
Minolta on the other hand (7Hi) does have some sort of an internal
battery (that you are supposed to have to send in to have replaced!)

mikey
December 28, 2004 12:09:07 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

"Dave Martindale" <davem@cs.ubc.ca> wrote in message
news:cqpq4p$1ie$1@mughi.cs.ubc.ca...

> How are you measuring the 1.3 V? Are all cells at 1.3 V when the camera
> shuts down, or did you just check one of them? Did you measure the
> batteries under significant load, like 1 amp?

I only started worrying about this because my high speed charger would not
charge NiMH cells that would not work the camera, as they apparently had too
much charge for it to start working. The real problem could well be a dud
charger and I will be returning it to the shop tomorrow!

Certainly the alkalines had not delivered anything like all their available
energy when the camera stopped working. My usual test is to connect a cell
to my multimeter on the 1 A range, which is about 2 ohms. For normal
alkaline cell applications, a cell that will give 0.5 A or so is still
pretty good. This was the case with the cells that were "dead" so far as
the camera was concerned. However I can see that they could be no use if
the camera is asking for 1 A or so.

>>Also when this happens the Z3 asks me to re-set the time and date. This
>>is
>>annoying - I could easily miss shots I want while I'm doing this quite
>>fiddly task.
>
> That's nuts. All of the digital cameras I've used either have a
> secondary lithium coin cell that powers the clock, or an internal
> rechargeable battery that's charged from the main battery and good for
> at least several weeks of clock power. Do you leave batteries in the
> camera when you're not using it? This is necessary for the latter
> system.

I've only had the camera a week. The time and date are lost pretty well
right away when the camera dies because the battery is flat. Maybe it is a
fault? Or maybe it will settle down in time?

> NiMH cells do drop in voltage very rapidly at the end of life, so it's
> common to have little or no warning of them going dead.

OK, seems like that could be the normal situation, in which case I should
treat the first warning as the last warning.

Thanks for the info

--
Tony W
My e-mail address has no hyphen
- but please don't use it, reply to the group.
!