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How to recharge a DSLR battery?

Marcio Santos , Jun 19, 2006; 08:53 p.m.

Yesterday I was reading the contents of the batteryuniversity site. Much information.

I got surprised to learn that Lithium-Ion batteries (those in the Nikon DSLR cameras) should be recharged frequentely and shouldn't have their charge level drop too low or be stored at 100%.

Do you DSLR users think this happens to be true in practice or its just theory? I am curious to know specificly about the D200 batteries from our fellow users.

I was charging it all the way, storing it at 100% and using it until it reaches zero. The site recommends to store the battery at about 40%, avoiding to store it at 100% and never at 0%.

The D200 manual is unclear about methods for recharging. It just warns the user not to allow the battery charge to be kept at 0%.

So, in the real world...how do you store and recharge your battery? And also, how well is it living?



Chris Leck , Jun 19, 2006; 09:59 p.m.

When a battery is at or near empty, I charge it. It then goes into my camera bag until rotated back into use. This could be a few hours or, sometimes, a few weeks. I have some EN-EL3 batteries that are well over three years old and working fine, so I've been using the same routine with the EN-EL3e batteries for the D200.

Chris Leck , Jun 20, 2006; 02:31 a.m.

My guess is that the Nikon manual is 'vague' because this is not rocket science, at least from the user side of things. IMO, Nikon has struck an excellent balance between battery life and the fact that most of us can't be bothered to do much but charge them when they are dead.

I use many different batteries for many different applications. I have more chargers than should be necessary in a simple world. I applaud Nikon for providing easily-maintained, high-capacity batteries -- and all at a reasonable price.

Walter Schroeder , Jun 20, 2006; 06:35 a.m.

Marcio I never "store" my batteries. I only have one extra battery which I recharge and keep in the bag with the camera. This way I always have a backup battery in case I need it. For me personally I get nothing out of a battery that lives longer but can not be used, just stored.

Marcio Santos , Jun 20, 2006; 04:29 p.m.

Walter, by 'store' I mean to leave the battery unused for some time. So, you do store your batteries. Sorry if I wasn't clear at the beginning.

"I guess I'd follow the Nikon manual"

RM, that's exactly the problem. The manual says close to nothing. It's too vague, as our other fellow pointed. It just says "recharge the battery for 135 min". It doesn't suggest any routine for making the product (battery) life cycle longer.

I don't know much about the site. It must be lead by some Phd guy. Actually I just read it because of suggestions of photo.net members.

I guess a 3 year old battery seems good. I will consider the suggestions from our fellows.

BOB S (N.E. MASS) , Jun 20, 2006; 05:16 p.m.

I guess I've got to agree with Chris. What's the point of having a backup battery or batteries if they're only 40% charged? Is your objective capturing the most photos in a shoot or maximizing your battery life? If the former, charge 'em and keep 'em so they're ready for the max number of photos. If the latter, go the 40% route. Isn't it that simple or am I missing something? As always (I'm a retired engineer, not a scientist), it's the difference between optimal (the best under constrained circumstances and consequnces) and optimum (the best, hang the circumstances and consequences. Keep 'em charged and keep the shutter ready-to-go!

Cheers- Bob

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