Cold weather issues with the D700

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by vincent_adams, Feb 16, 2011.

  1. Hey guys, I took my D700 out the other day here in Austin, Texas when it snowed for a quick shoot, and two of my freshly charged batteries (3) presented as completely empty! The battery that did work displayed 80% empty as well! My D700 literally wouldn't turn on with the first two batteries but worked with my third battery. I was only out in the cold for about a minute before I tried and failed with the batteries, what's the deal? Do you believe this is a battery issue, or a D700 issue? After going back inside and trying the batteries later, all three displayed as 100% charged! Any recommendations here? Special battery for the cold? Special camera covering? I'm stumped.
    -Dusty Boot
  2. There isn't anything wrong with your camera. Batteries don't work well in the cold....I've had similar issues. I keep my camera under my jacket until I'm ready to shoot & keep an extra battery in a pocket close to the heat of my body...
  3. How cold was it? I was out a couple of times for an hour or so each at -15C and -20C and the battery did not drop down to less than 50%
  4. Pretty annoying when you want to take that once in many lifetimes picture on say the peak of Everest...
  5. When I do eventually get around to climbing Everest, I will take a good film camera...just to prove it really happened :)
  6. Something's not right here. You did say Austin, TX. I understand 'fresh charge' but are the batteries fairly new or long in the tooth and have they been cycled extensively? What does your 'Battery life' meter show? Hard to imagine Austin serving-up anything that would stop a freshly charged, good battery dead in its' tracks...but like they say, 'Don’t mess with Texas!'
    We recently spent a long day in the hills amidst single-digit to low-teens F. The D300/EN-EL3e didn’t miss a beat and didn’t get any special warming treatment.
  7. Definitely something strange. I had my D90 w/70-200mm VR out in -15C with wind and snow for a couple of hours
    with the kids snowboarding/tobogganing and didn't have any battery issues. I didn't even run one empty (MB-D80 grip
    with 2 freshly charged batteries.)

    Are your batteries genuine Nikons?
  8. There is a chance (if you had a humid-like room) and went directly outside that a bit of frost may have gotten inside your camera -- that may be what happened, along with the temperature drop could give your D700 reason for the low-battery reading.
    [...if you go to mountain tops, take a Leica or Nikon FM2n body for battery = more of a chance at images.]
  9. Imagine cold in Austin Texas? Have you been to Alaska and Canada? People do take pictures there with Nikons.
    If your batteries were not original Nikon brand, then perhaps they were subsrtandard quality, or too old or at the end of life?.
    If this is real problem then use the vertical power grip with additional batteries, e.g. 8 of AA size.
  10. How cold was it? Well below zero? Something isn't right. many users,including myself routinely carry Nikon DSLR's out in zero to 20 degree (Fahrenheit) cold, without any ill effects.
  11. It's nowhere NEAR cold enough in Austin for you to be having problems with a fully charged battery, unless they are damaged/worn out. I agree with Frank--if fully charged batteries can't perform at the actually warm temp of +30F, they might be at the end of their life. I routinely use my D300 in temps that are below zero here, and even leave my camera out in my car all winter. No issues. Freezing (i.e +32,) is not cold. When it's 32 below zero, you can expect battery issues.
    Kent in SD
  12. I have travelled across Iceland, at temperatures around -10 for over 10 days, shooting in freezing rain and sleet and the bitter cold of the arctic night, and my D700 batteries worked fine. True, by the end of the day they would both (I had the grip as well) verge on nearly empty, but that was it...
    Maybe they weren't full when you started? Maybe you used the preview alot? Maybe you had VR lenses and ended up using the VR all the time? These are some factors which may have attributed to your battery drain, but I would not expect that to be to the extend you mention...
  13. Curious, are these nikon batteries or 3rd party?
  14. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Another question is how old those batteries are. Lithium-ion batteries will gradually lose the ability to hold charge over time. EN-EL3e batteries over 2, 3 years old can become ineffective in cold weather. My wife has some camcorder Li-ion batteries that are over 10 years old; they still have like half the capacity under warm conditions. Some are dead after 4, 5 years.
    Might consider getting 1 or 2 new batteries if you are going to use your camera in cold weather frequently.
  15. It snowed a couple of weeks ago and it stayed in the 20's, BEAUTIFUL!
  16. I'm guessing the batteries might be defective, I will replace them.
  17. It is not normal that three batteries would all be "defective" if they are genuine Nikon batteries. As others said, they also should have worked IF THEY WERE CHARGED BEFORE GOING OUTSIDE. If you were using depleted batteries, I suppose there is a chance the cold knocked out what was left if they were just sitting out on a picnic table or something.
    Having shot a lot in Iceland and northern Alaska and in the Arctic Sea, I am confident saying a fully charged battery should last for a reasonable number of shots when in sub-freezing temperatures before you need to take it out and replace it with the battery inside your jacked. Once switched, if you warm up the cold battery, it can usually be used again for a while. In about 10 degrees a battery lasts me about 1/2 hour of constant shooting (e.g., wildlife shots where you take a ton of photos in a short time).
    Before replacing all the batteries, why not charge them all again and see how long each holds the charge in the camera while using it again. Maybe they really weren't charged to start with. And when will it really be that cold in Texas again? :) Just trying to save you unnecessary expense of replacement if possible.
  18. Before replacing all the batteries, why not charge them all again​
    And if possible also try another charger, there seem to be some "not so good" chargers around, which say a battery is charged fully while it is not...
  19. I live in South Dakota and take pictures year around with my D50 and never had any issues with my batteries.
  20. Kinda beating a dead horse here now. Safe to say Nikon and their battery's work quite well in all conditions, even in the frigid cold of Texas :p Mine worked perfectly fine in -40C. Top LCD didn't appreciate the temperature, but physical operation was perfectly fine.
    To the fellow who wanted to take a film camera up to Everest: Film doesn't exactly fair well in the cold, worse than most digital cameras. Issue number one is that film becomes very brittle in the cold; issue number two is you are restricted to a small number of shots before having to load a new roll... Inside your tent would be a fine sanctuary, but I can't see this being a fun task while on a slope, especially with wind blowing snow into the back of your camera. I've seen great shots on some of the highest peaks, including everest, with cameras like the Panasonic LX-3.
  21. I took a four hour trek in the White Mountains last year, D700 out all but maybe fifteen minutes, in -10 temps, changed the original battery walking out, still at 30%. Like some said, battery, charger maybe, not the camera.....

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