SD14 Battery Life

rmaki

Member
Am I the only one having a battery life issue with the SD14? Starting with a fully charged battery, I have gotten as few as 18 shots and no more than about 75 shots before the low battery indicator begins to blink. I have had this problem with four different batteries and two different SD14 bodies. I generally shoot with AF and OS both on, and I usually remember to turn off the remote shutter function when I no longer need to use it. I have read several reviews of the SD14 where users claimed that they got anywhere from 200-300 shots from a fully charged battery. Why not me???
 

tc95

Well-Known Member
I had that issue with one of my 4 SD14's....I purchased the grip for it and never had an issue again...since then I have two gripped camera's and one two not gripped...

Also, I started buying the Minolta replacement batteries that are the exact same type just most of them have the gold tabs instead of the steel...something with the steel tab'd batteries that have issues...

Good luck..... Tony C. :z04_cowboy:
 

Arvo

Well-Known Member
Remote shutter? You mean IR one? This drains batteries really fast, because SD14 doesn't go into sleep mode this way :(
 

rmaki

Member
Remote shutter release

Yes, I was referring to the IR shutter release. I'm aware that it continues to drain battery power if the camera is left in the remote shutter release mode, even if the camera itself is turned off. For that reason I make a concerted effort to switch out of that mode whenever I no longer need to use it, but sometimes I forget. My batteries still exhibit short life if I never put the camera into the remote shutter release mode. Thanks for your input.
 

sattvakarma

Member
Though i have not got 300 or above pictures from a new, fully charged battery...i have managed a decent 150 odd...

The most amazing number of pictures shot from a single battery is about 700 or so?? I remember reading this figure in a forum...though i am not sure if its just a one off incident or if it can be duplicated consistently by others???

From my experience...the best bet is to stick to the original Sigma batteries. Best power source. Period.

I have tried the clones...some from Amazon and some purchased locally. They just cannot be compared to the Sigma original battery in terms of performance. Poor is the word. Though they are really cheap...sometimes 1/10th the cost of an original Sigma battery!

And the higher capacity ratings published on these clones is just rubbish. (I started buying and experimenting them because of these published ratings!)

When i really have time to kill...i will probably do an in depth profiling of the discharge characteristics of these batteries to see how much they really offer.

I decided to stick to the original Sigma batteries :)
 

rmaki

Member
Sigma Batteries

Thanks for your input. Two of the batteries that I use are original Sigma batteries, while the other two are another brand. I haven't noticed any performance difference between them.
 

sattvakarma

Member
You are welcome!

Also, i would be interested in knowing the make of your non-sigma batteries, where you bought them and the price you paid for it.

Provided its ok with you to share this info. on the forum.

Thanks and best wishes!
 

rmaki

Member
Sigma Batteries

I bought CTA brand batteries online from Cameta Camera for $14.95 in 2008, and I bought Power 2000 brand batteries online from BestBatt.com for about $14.50 sometime within the past two years.
 

Arvo

Well-Known Member
Does your camera go into mini-sleep mode after some seconds? In that mode you have to touch shutter button to wakeup camera (which behavior is actually annoying, but cannot be turned off). (Using IR remote it doesn't.) If your camera doesn't enter into mini-sleep mode, then something is hindering that - I would suspect OS. My only OS lens (18-200) for example caused camera to not able to turn off at all, while in sleep mode.

Do you use continous AF mode? (I don't)
How long are you set live preview time? (Mine is 2sec)
What is LCD contrast and brightness? (Low)
How often you turn LCD on for review? (Rarely)
Have you focus confirmation beep enabled? (No)
What firmware have you installed? (1.05)
Are you using flash? (No)

What is your usual shooting temperature? If below zero (C) for example, then battery capacity is much less than at room temperature

Does charger used (you should have two) make any difference in battery life?

Can you check battery life, using non-OS lens and MF mode, without live preview (and without flash)? This should give more than 18 images for sure (and makes you a better photographer :)). If it doesn't help, then something is wrong with your camera(s) or battery(s).

What about different kind of batteries, to my Sigma original lasts much more than cheapest clones (which in addition tend to discharge over time, even not in use - and one of these doesn't work anymore after 3-4 recharging cycles). I've read that best would be Pentax D-LI50 orignal battery, it has usually even bigger capacity than Sigma one (otherwise they are identical). And find some better charger :)
 

rmaki

Member
Sigma Batteries

Yes, my camera enters sleep mode automatically, even when OS is turned on.

I do NOT usually use continuous focus.

My image preview time is set for 2 seconds.

LCD contrast is set to medium and brightness is set to normal.

I only occasionally use the LCD to preview images.

Focus confirmation beep IS enabled.

Firmware version 1.08.

I shoot mostly outdoors, so I don't use flash often.

I shoot most of my photos from spring through fall in the USA, so temperatures are moderate to warm or even hot. I'm rarely out shooting in near freezing temperatures.

I have used three different battery chargers - two Sigma units and one other brand.

The problem occurs with two different SD14 bodies used in similar conditions.

The batteries are rated at 7.4v. I used a multimeter to measure the voltage on a freshly charged battery, and it read 7.7v. I also measured a battery after the cameras battery indicator began to flash, and it read 7.4v. Is it possible that the camera's circuitry is somehow misreading the voltage and giving me false low battery indications?
 

sattvakarma

Member
I've read that best would be Pentax D-LI50 orignal battery, it has usually even bigger capacity than Sigma one (otherwise they are identical). And find some better charger :)
Thanks for this info. :)

I was not aware of this...and only knew that Minolta NP-400 was parts compatible with the Sigma BP-21 Li-ion battery.

Have you tried it in real? The above mentioned Pentax battery as a replacement for the Sigma BP-21??
 

sattvakarma

Member
I have used three different battery chargers - two Sigma units and one other brand.

The problem occurs with two different SD14 bodies used in similar conditions.

The batteries are rated at 7.4v. I used a multimeter to measure the voltage on a freshly charged battery, and it read 7.7v. I also measured a battery after the cameras battery indicator began to flash, and it read 7.4v. Is it possible that the camera's circuitry is somehow misreading the voltage and giving me false low battery indications?
I am inclined to suggest that your batteries are probably the culprit. Try a new unit.
(If you have friends with Sigma gear...borrow a battery to test and be doubly sure before a purchase!)

And with Li-ion chemistry batteries...always buy the freshest stock of batteries. The battery life countdown starts from manufacture date...irrespective of use :) ...and best way to keep them going for long is maintaining them at about 50% charge when not in use.


Additional notes with reference to this conversation:

When it comes to batteries...the open circuit voltage is BUT one of the variables involved in ascertaining the charge capacity of a battery.

It CANNOT be relied upon exclusively to predict charge capacity.

Most accurate way to test battery charge capacity is under load...or discharge state. Most battery power sources for professional/industrial use will specify this testing parameter...to judge/decide end of life for the battery unit.

Unfortunately, for small disposable batteries (portable applications)...it is difficult to do such a test as parameters are not mentioned...and they are cheap to be simply disposed off and new units purchased :) ...from the manufacturer's perspective that is!

If one is really inclined...the test parameters can be calculated from the battery chemistry reference documents and the specifications of the battery under test. You can then perform the test to see how good the battery charge capacity is...
 

Arvo

Well-Known Member
Thanks for this info. :)

I was not aware of this...and only knew that Minolta NP-400 was parts compatible with the Sigma BP-21 Li-ion battery.

Have you tried it in real? The above mentioned Pentax battery as a replacement for the Sigma BP-21??
No, I've not used D-LI50 personally. Like I said, I have read that on some forums :)
 

Arvo

Well-Known Member
Is it possible that the camera's circuitry is somehow misreading the voltage and giving me false low battery indications?
Of course - but quite unlikely for two different cameras.
(Same for chargers - one could be faulty, but two?)
It was known story for SD10, where weaker capacity battery set with higher output voltage (different technology) lasted much more - but I've not heard similar things about SD14, esp considering that many SD14s allow take much more pictures than yours.

Sure you can clean you batteries and cameras battery contacts (pencil eraser comes handy), it is possible that some buildup there lowers voltage.

Otherwise your shooting conditions and camera settings are quite similar to mine, thereby I would bet on batteries being faulty.

One more thing - do you use multiple lenses? It could be that (somewhat faulty) lens is drawing abnormal current from battery too.
 

ambaker

Active Member
I purchased a couple of cheap batteries from China on €Bay. They had a higher storage rating than the original battery, and last measurably longer. I've had them for about a year, and so far so good.
 

sattvakarma

Member
Hello,

Just wanted to add some information to this thread which ought to be useful to members...

Arvo, what you read on some forums about the Pentax D-LI 50 battery as a suitable replacement for the Sigma BP-21 is CORRECT :)

Just wanted to experiment for myself and in the process got some batteries from Japan as a friend was traveling and willing to do the shopping for me :) ...and i really needed some new batteries for my SD14!

The Pentax D-LI 50 battery works with my SD14 flawlessly!

In all respects visually and mechanically, it is identical to the Sigma BP-21...and even fits seamlessly in the SD14 battery compartment. (The much cheaper (ridiculously cheap!) clones that i also have, fit a little snugly...and need some persuasion when it comes to taking them out!)

The Pentax battery capacity though is rated higher than the Sigma BP-21...it is 1620 mAh@7.4v compared to the 1500 mAh@7.4v for the Sigma.
Can't really say how much of a difference that will amount to in real life use...at the moment that is.

Additional Info:

I have purchased an original Pentax accessory...comes in a little white box with an instruction manual. And the description on the battery and the printed manual say its Pentax Ricoh Imaging Co....so i presume its one of the latest batches in production...as currently that is how the Pentax entity is known after changing ownership...more than once in the recent past that is...the previous owner being Hoya Corp.

I have also purchased the Sigma BP-21 battery. Which also comes in a little box and instruction manual...the box following the same branding scheme as the SD14 packaging.

Prices paid:

Pentax D-LI 50 @ 6280 Japanese Yen.
Sigma BP-21 @ 6550 Japanese Yen.

For those interested in making purchases...the same are available much cheaper in the US online camera stores...

Hope this helps!
Cheers,
Sattva
 

Arvo

Well-Known Member
I purchased Pentax D-LI 50 some months ago either and it's working very well for me too. I can't directly compare its performance to Sigma one - my short shooting sessions are usually not exhausting either battery power, but both last more than some cheap noname 3rd party batteries.
 
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