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DPChallenge Forums >> Hardware and Software >> D300 Battery Life (en-el3e)
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06/09/2008 08:41:29 AM · #1
My dad asked if I would post the following question for him to our forums and see if any of our smart people have an answer:

"As an amateur photographer, I am currently using a Nikon D300 that sits for weeks at a time without use. During any given 30 day period, I have noticed that the battery life drains at approximately 2% per day. That means that every 30 days, my battery has lost about 60-70% of its capacity. For example, since my last charge I have only taken 24 photos, but the battery life is now down to 34% remaining.

Since I donít shoot very often, is this normal for the en-el3e battery to drain that much when not in use? If I purchase an additional battery as a spare, will it also drain that quickly, even if itís not stored in camera?"

06/09/2008 08:54:48 AM · #2
I am not an expert but I have read that Nimh batteries and Li-ion batteries do lose their charge over time and that figure sounds about right to me.
06/09/2008 08:59:09 AM · #3
yes / i tended to leave one in the charger

as i "understands" the issue ...
the internal resistance is very low to allow the surges of current for turn on & flash
so it also sets it for large internal leakage .. which drains the battery quickly
cannot have one without the other .


06/09/2008 10:30:05 AM · #4
Huh. That's funny. I leave my MB-D10 battery pack on my D300 permanently, and those batteries probably get charged ever 5 weeks. When I take them out to charge, my EN-EL3e still has about 75% charge left, even though it's not in use. That seems bizarre. Maybe I'm missing something.
06/09/2008 10:41:01 AM · #5
I seem to remember for ni-mh the rate of discharge decreases as the battery discharges, i.e. if you charge to 100%, the first day it will lose 5%, the next 4%, the next 3% and so on until it gets to about half. I think it was my energizer batteries that suggested not charging to full for the least discharge.
06/09/2008 01:39:58 PM · #6
I'm not an expert on the subject, but as someone mensioned when a battery is inserted in a DSLR the camera circuits are always on tension, meaning there's always some parts of the camera that are consuming energy.

I never seen a similar study for the D300, but I remember seeing a study about the D70 and the battery power consumption with the camera on and off was almoust the same, about 1-3% more with the camera on.

Probably if you have a spare battery of the same kind, even if it looses some power withought beeing inside the camera, it will be less more than the battery on the camera. My D70 spare batteries stays charged more than one month and I don't see any substancial power deduction.
06/09/2008 03:55:44 PM · #7
Thanks everyone for the information.

My son (lkn4truth) made the post for me. Looks like I should buy an extra battery and see how long it will stay charged when it is not in the camera.
06/09/2008 04:07:18 PM · #8
There is an entry in the menu system for battery, one of the fields should tell you if the battery is operating correctly, I think it is at the bottom... yeah, charging life, all the way to the left is perfect, all the way to the right is a shot battery. What does yours say? That might be helpful. I am pretty sure I left my D300 on over night and it was happy to see me in the morning, I might try it again to make sure I didn't just bump the power. :)
06/09/2008 05:31:56 PM · #9
Yes togtog, I already checked that and my battery charging life shows as new (all the way to the left). But thanks for the suggestion.
06/09/2008 05:39:38 PM · #10
Hmm sorry to hear that.
06/09/2008 05:56:51 PM · #11
Have you tried asking the Pros?

The folks here are great, but sometimes you just have to go to the source. :)
06/09/2008 06:39:41 PM · #12
also, if a battery (NiMH, NiCD and li-on) sits idle in higher temps. it tends to discharge faster. How hot is hat area you store the camera in?
06/09/2008 07:37:30 PM · #13
Did you read your manual? Mine specifically states that when not in use, the battery should be removed from the camera and the cover placed on. Left in the camera it will still emit a charge thus wearing the battery out over time. Also, a newly charged battery should not be put immediately into storage, it should be placed in the camera for use. I know I have a Canon and you have a Nikon, but it seems to me that it would still apply.

Just a thought :)
06/12/2008 11:57:32 AM · #14
The bigger ? is, why do you have a D300 that sits for weeks without shooting? I'd give my left n*# for that camera, and I certainly wouldn't let it "sit" for week's. Take that thing out and shoot. That is what the battery is made for..
07/07/2008 09:22:48 AM · #15
News Flash Update - The new 1.03 firmware update for the Nikon D300 corrected the battery drain problem I was experience. I know that I really need to start using my camera more often, but at least now, it won't get a dead battery every few weeks.

Thanks for the feedback everyone...
07/07/2008 09:43:22 AM · #16
Something worth noting, maybe (dive in and correct me if I'm misinforming here), is that while we've learned to allow batteries to run down as fully as possible before recharging, to ensure longer life and better capacity, this relates only to the NiMH and NiCD (nickel metal hydride and nickel cadmium?) types. Lithium ion (L-ion) batteries last longer if they're charged before running down. This applies even if the battery is only just under fully charged, I think.

So, if I'm right and it makes sense and isn't terribly inconvenient, then those who have D300s (counts to ten while wave of envy subsides) and are concerned about the life of their batteries might do well to whip them out and put them on charge as a matter of routine after every use.
07/07/2008 03:59:42 PM · #17
While I don't have a D300 (jealous smirk), with my D200, I notice that this happens to some extent as well.

My latest trend is to shoot more and I try to charge the batteries every time I know I'm going to go out. I keep one in camera, and one as a backup -- the backup is always charged the night before I know I'm going to shoot.

While this isn't perfect, I also have a car charger so I can put on to charge while I drive to wherever I intend to shoot -- and if necessary, leave it charging in the car and come back for it later when it's more charged. I then put the other on the car charger... continue indefinitely from what I've found.

Just my $0.02.
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