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Take out or leave battery in digital SLR's?

Ian Rance , Feb 21, 2012; 07:12 a.m.

My D70s can sit for a few weeks with a charged battery inside and the battery will still read as 'mostly full' when I next come to use it. My D7000 seems to use the battery even when the camera is not in use and after a few weeks of not being used it shows a much reduced battery level (almost empty). I think that something in the newer camera is pulling power when idle.
So as to not be caught out with a flat battery I was considering leaving the battery out of the D7000 - but will that make it forget things like user settings and the time? Is it best to leave the battery in or take it out if the camera is not to be used for a fortnight or so?

Thanks, Ian


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Dwight Sipler , Feb 21, 2012; 07:52 a.m.

User settings are typically stored in flash memory, which doesn't require power to maintain. The clock has a separate battery, which will last for several months. When the main battery is inserted in the camera it charges the clock battery.

If you're planning to store your camera for a year or more, you will likely have to reset the clock, but not the user settings.

Daniel Johnson , Feb 21, 2012; 07:54 a.m.

As far as I know, pulling the battery for an extended period won't erase your user settings and time. So yes, if I wasn't going to use the camera for several weeks, I would take out the batteries. But do check your manual--it should give specific advice.

ross b , Feb 21, 2012; 08:18 a.m.

I would just remove the battery then since it's going to go dead anyway. I have a D200 which I rarely use and I don't think about the battery. If it's dead when I get home I take it out and if it's still good I leave it in. Sometimes I go 3 to 5 months without using it. I have two batteries.

Chris Letts , Feb 21, 2012; 08:30 a.m.

As for batteries, my D200 also goes for months sometimes without use (unfortunately) and I never take out the battery, nor does it ever go flat.
The main reason for taking batteries out of appliances not being used is so that they don't leak and wreck them. I doubt that applies to camera batteries.
In passing, I also read somewhere that if you don't use an electronic flash regularly, you should take it out and fire it off once a month or so, which I do.

Bruce Brown , Feb 21, 2012; 08:46 a.m.

Ian: There is no reason whatsoever that your D7000 batt should drain so rapidly while the camera is stored "off" ... sounds like something is very much not right.

Ted Raper , Feb 21, 2012; 09:11 a.m.

Camera manuals (and I have read a LOT of them because I've owned a lot of different cameras) are never specific about when to remove the battery from lack of activity. Routinely, they all just say something like "for extended inactivity the battery should be removed" but none of them ever define what "extended inactivity" is. Two weeks? Two months? Two years?

I've worked around electronics for many years so I pretty much agree with what Chris says - taking them out is a precaution against leakage destroying the camera; that's never happened to me. I own several cameras and leave the batteries in them; never had a problem. But my personal strategy is if I'm not going to use the camera for months (like my two film cameras) I do remove the batteries. My D300 will go a couple months with no use, and hardly any battery drain.

Jos van Eekelen , Feb 21, 2012; 09:19 a.m.

Rapidly losing charge can be battery specific. Do more than one battery show this behaviour? I have about 8 (Canon BP511) batteries, one of them loses charge very rapidly. let's say in a couple of days to one week while the others remain charged for months.

Peter Hamm , Feb 21, 2012; 10:10 a.m.

I've noticed this on the D50 and D90 that I have owned. I just charge the battery up, if I'm not using it a lot, when it gets down.

Remember that Li ion batteries LIKE to be charged often, from what I've been told. So just take it out every few weeks, charge it up for an hour or two, then put it back in.

Also, when the charger indicates full charge (not just true of DSLR batteries, but others, too) it's NOT yet at full charge, wait a little.

C.P.M. van het Kaar , Feb 21, 2012; 12:23 p.m.

I take my batteries out of my camera, and store them in the refrigerator ( at 4% Celsius), 'cause this expands the lifespan of the batteries, and before use i let them get back to room temp. for an hour .
When storing for longer periods its best to store them this way at 40 - 50 % charge ( so not fully charged).

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