Nikon D700 Battery Drain

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by peter_kervarec, Jan 21, 2012.

  1. Hi All
    I have had a Nikon D700 for at least three years I think. Same original Nikon battery and never any issues with the battery until yesterday after using many dozens of times.
    Previously I could photograph a full wedding and come home with just a quarter bar gone eg 3/4 battery left. Yesterday I had to replace the battery 2/3rds through the wedding with my fully charged genuine Nikon spare. At the end of the wedding, it too only had a 1/4 charge left - another hour and I would have been in trouble.
    Nothings changed, I havent turned anything off or on and the battery meter says the batteries are still as new.
    Has anybody experienced this or have any suggestions ?
    Thanx in advance
  2. Do you have access to another charger, even perhaps at a friend's or a camera store, to rule it out?
  3. The Nikon battery is one thing that does not include a warranty. When one goes south -- it is time to purchase a new one. Taking only two batteries to a wedding is pure risk. What would have been your plan if your second battery was not in good shape?
    Suggestion: buy 3 or 4 Nikon batteries to take along for your next wedding shoot.
  4. Lithium batteries have a lifetime of about three or four years whether or not they are used regularly. So it makes sense that both batteries are starting to fail.
    As for that lifetime meter, I've never heard of anyone seeing anything other than "New" on the life-meter. I wonder if it actually measures anything.
    Like Jerry said - buy a few more new batteries.
  5. Since the open contacts batteries were banned in Japan, we could have difficulties to find new and original batteries in the future for the D700 camera. or the D300/D300S.
  6. Frank, according to Nikon UK those batteries will be available for a long time yet.
  7. Check your battery status, that charge and condition, in the menu.
  8. Extra cold weather?
    Personally, I'd definately try Jim's suggestion of a different charger. As the En-el3e's are 'smart' batteries, I'm never sure whether the conversation between battery>charger>camera etc is fully reliable if one of the components is 'iffy' about the other 2! Thus...
    ...........'the battery meter says the batteries are still as new'... something's surely lying!
    Jerry's 'buy another 3 or 4 batteries, is a good idea, at an outlay of around £30 each @ current prices, especially if you intend to keep the D700 for another 4-5 years.
    From my experience with modern batteries, both car and camera, is that there is no longer a long, gradual tail off in performance. When they go, they go fast.
  9. Tom, the lifetime meter does work - after a fashion. I had a genuine Nikon En-El3e that had gone completely; wouldn't hold a charge or anything. I split the case apart and replaced the cells with those from an obsolete Sanyo camcorder battery of the same size, voltage and capacity. Once reassembled the En-El3e/Sanyo hybrid worked like new, and is still working, except the lifetime meter now reads "0!" in red. Seems to make no difference to the actual performance of the battery and the charge meter works normally.
    Incidentally, Sanyo are one of the main makers and suppliers of Li-Ion cells worldwide, so I had no qualms about using the cells from one of their batteries. There's no special mystique about Li-Ion cells, and they're all pretty standard. It's only the monitoring circuit and chip that varies between makes. In fact there's no real reason why there shouldn't be just 3 or 4 different types of standardised battery for digital cameras, just like with dry cells or rechargeables.
  10. They'll still make those batteries as long as users need them.
    Are you allowing the batteries to discharge all the way between re-charges? That is NOT a good idea. I got 4 full years out of an EL3 in my old D50. I charged it every time it got down to half or two-thirds (unless I was out shooting a lot). Li-Ion batteries need to be treated very differently from older technology.
    Also, storing them in the cold is very very bad.
  11. Peter, the conventional wisdom with Li-ions is to let them discharge to at least 30% capacity before recharging them. Also, most chargers don't completely recharge the battery to its utmost capacity, even though it says 100%.
  12. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Since the open contacts batteries were banned in Japan, we could have difficulties to find new and original batteries in the future for the D700 camera. or the D300/D300S.​
    Frank, EN-EL3e batteries are not banned in Japan; in fact, Nikon makes it very clear that they will continue to produce such batteries. Nikon cameras since the 2002 D100 all the way to the 2009 D300S use EN-EL3 family batteries. There are a lot of existing camera that require them. There are also a number of outside battery manufacturers that continue to produce EN-EL3e clones.
    What the Japanese regulation does not allow is further sales (in Japan) of new equipment that use such batteries. What they don't want is to increase the demand of those batteries. As people gradually retire their old DSLRs, the demand and usage of EN-EL3e batteries will be phased out slowly.
  13. 3-4 years is a good rule of thumb. More use = lower number of years. Actually, it's charge/discharge cycles, and 1000 is a good number for those. Your mileage may vary. I put the purchase date on my batteries so I know which one will be going next.
    I believe you could build a "battery life" tester, but I suspect those available on the market are not of very high quality -- a good one would be upwards of $100 methinks, as it would need to accurately measure and integrate delivered current (at the rated value) over time to determine how much charge could be extracted from the pack, and then compare that to the specification. Even that would not give you a "lifetime" number, only the amount by which pack capacity had degraded. That would involve a micro, some current measurement circuitry and a display/keypad to enter battery type or capacity values.
  14. Hi there everyone
    thanks for your responses.
    Jim I have 2 different chargers and used them,
    Jerry I dont take that many images to warrant taking more than one extra. I can easily get up to 400 images normally off one,
    Tom I think and hope your answer is correct,
    Frank Robert and Hans thanks for that info,
    Mike currently summer here temps around 20-35C but on wedding day about 24C,
    Rodeo Joe I am not as adventurous as you ! ,
    Peter, no I charge as required, if I have 3/4 battery before a wedding, I charge it regardless.
    Thanks again, I will buy some newies and see what happens.
  15. Sorry i missed the last posters,
    Rodeo Joe, Shun and Peter thank you for your contributions and I will take on board all advice,

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