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General photography questions and answers: Discuss Nikon EN-EL15 battery life and charger....Having had no problems (no reduction in life expectancy or capacity) at all with the EN-EL3e batteries in the D300s, ...
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Old 06-08-2013, 16:04   #1 (permalink)
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Nikon EN-EL15 battery life and charger.

Having had no problems (no reduction in life expectancy or capacity) at all with the EN-EL3e batteries in the D300s, even after 30K shots, and nearly 3 years of shared use, I have been pretty disappointed with the EN-EL15s issued with the D800. Since new they have never really lived up to the Nikon quoted number of shots. Although I have not been able to fully test that as I have only taken 3800 shots over 10 months on the D800. Shared between 2 EN-EL15s and a set of AA cells this would equate to at best 1800 shots per battery.

I tend to keep one battery in the camera as a backup if I run out of power in the grip during use, and change batteries in the grip. Given that Li-ion batteries have a good 6 month shelf life only degrading to around 90% after that time I would expect the battery in the camera not to have done too much work, and that is the case as it is swapped out very infrequently.

The only time I have fully run the camera at full tilt I got around 600 shots from the EN-E15. This was using only one non 'VR' equipped lens and an external flash, picture review switched off and only checking the odd shots in difficult conditions.

One of the batteries already shows a lifetime degradation to level 1 (they go from 0 to 4) after 7 months. It has the date serial number 201207XXX which has been mentioned elsewhere on the net as having problems. The other is 201206XXX and seems to be OK for the moment.

However, I am now met with a new problem. The faulty battery only took a charge to 84% according to the D800 meter, and I could not get more. The exacerbating problem is that the other (good?) battery will only charge to 75%. I am suspecting the MH-25 charger. Charger and batteries alike have been well cared for, the same as the EN-EL3e's.

There are already murmurings out on the net about the EN-EL15 batteries mainly in the D800 and I intend to take this up with Nikon but would like to hear any experiences from other members with these batteries in any of the relevant cameras.

I should add that this is not related to the safety recall that Nikon made on the batteries as of April 1012, as they are not included in the relevant serial number set.

Thanks for taking the time to read...
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Old 06-08-2013, 16:14   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Nikon EN-EL15 battery life and charger.

Hmm I have one battery, about 13,000 shutter clicks on my camera. (yeah yeah I should get a spare or two and keep on thinking about the battery grip...)

battery age still shows 0, at 65% charge after 452 shots.

I don't remember what Nikon's specs said about battery life. Now I noticed when I was playing around with the camera after getting, that it ate batteries faster than my D200. (EN-EL3).

In general I've been satisfied with the number of shots I get, though. I usually top them off at half to 3/4 empty. Only once have I actually ran the camera out of juice.
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Old 07-08-2013, 21:21   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Nikon EN-EL15 battery life and charger.

Thanks for the feedback Loyd. I guess I look at the battery as the lifeblood of the camera and have always carried a reserve, similarly always carry spare flashgun/strobe-light batteries. It's just a peace of mind thing. The grip worked for me on the DX camera using heavier lenses and I so went for a grip on the D800. The advantage of these cameras over the D3 / D4 is that the grip can be removed if necessary. The grips also allow use of AA cells which are pretty universally available if I should find myself somewhere where I cannot recharge the battery.

You seem to be getting good use out of your camera and battery. I would be interested to know the serial number of the battery you have if it's not too much trouble. As yet I have not contacted Nikon. I hope it is not the camera reporting low charge, it seems OK on AA cells though.
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Old 07-08-2013, 21:36   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Nikon EN-EL15 battery life and charger.

Sure, no problem.

20120608 IF1219

if i'm reading that right the first part is the date of manufacture. impressively not encoded so normal people can't read it..

I notice when I'm using AF and D series lenses it uses batteries more if I'm doing a lot of focusing/seeking.. I imagine the screw drive isn't as efficient as AF-S... I also note that using a non VR lens I get more shots. Only stands to reason..

I'm unsure about getting a battery grip. It's a lot of money..

I have one on my N90S film camera and love it there.. having the shutter button for portrait oriented shooting is just awesome. But I'm happy enough with how many shots I get out of one battery that I don't really yearn to spend the money on it.. Maybe if i was going on an extended camping trip and wouldn't have access to a lot of electricity (but there are car chargers and inverters...)
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Old 08-08-2013, 17:55   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Nikon EN-EL15 battery life and charger.

I have had no problems with mine! I bought a spare on ebay and had no probs with that either!
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Old 09-08-2013, 10:06   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Nikon EN-EL15 battery life and charger.

Thanks for your help Loyd, and the feedback Des.

Out of interest I thought I would see what happens if I discharge the batteries but didn't want to waste shots on the exercise so I set the D800 to 'use' power without leaving 'Live View' on and risk degrading the sensor (re: marcinklysewicz's comment degrading your camera and getting hot pixels). So I just left the meters permanently on ...

The camera gets slightly warm
The battery discharges at around 22% per hour, so it seems that if you are busy but do not give enough time between shots to allow the meters to turn off, the maximum for a full battery is 4.5 hours.

Camera left ON but meters turned off the battery discharges at 1% per 2 hours, which gives about 8 days standby time if not switched off.

Recharging the batteries after this, the 101206 battery returned to 75%, and the 201207 battery returned to only 79%.

Nikon suggest I send everything to them or ask a shop if they would be prepared to charge a battery for me. Fortunately I'm still within the UK guarantee period - 1 year.

I'ld like to spark another discussion (maybe another thread) - why do UK residents pay more for their products than in the US and yet only get 1 year guarantee (EU 2 years, US 5 years I think). What did we do wrong?
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Old 09-08-2013, 10:11   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Nikon EN-EL15 battery life and charger.

Quote:
Originally Posted by grease spot View Post
I'ld like to spark another discussion (maybe another thread) - why do UK residents pay more for their products than in the US and yet only get 1 year guarantee (EU 2 years, US 5 years I think). What did we do wrong?
Rip off Britain! When I first bought Lightroom the pound/dollar rate was over two dollars to the pound and the Adobe USA site listed LR for $199. When I tried to buy I was redirected to the Adobe UK site where LR cost £149.
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Old 10-08-2013, 08:02   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Nikon EN-EL15 battery life and charger.

Graham is right its rip off Britain! Every item that I buy now I ask for a discount sometimes it works sometimes it dont, my last major purchase they would not budge an inch but in the end they threw in a 32 gb sd card so I was happy!
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Old 10-08-2013, 10:29   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Nikon EN-EL15 battery life and charger.

Technically:
Quote:
A spokeswoman for the DTI says: "There is a common misunderstanding that the EU Directive requires a two-year guarantee to be given, but that is not the case. UK law in practice provides better protection for consumers than the two-year minimum required by the EU - consumers are able to pursue relevant claims for up to six years (five in Scotland)"
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Old 10-08-2013, 16:04   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Nikon EN-EL15 battery life and charger.

That's good to know Mark but I think you'll find that most shops do not know this and would refuse anything brought in outside the guarantee date. It is true that consumer rights in the UK are far better than here, but that does not give the UK any excuse not to implement a statutory 2 year guarantee on behalf of consumers to allow them to return goods for repair without question.

The operation here is very different as you may well be aware. Using withholding payment as a means to getting a satisfactory job is not allowed. Equally if you have not paid for an item then you do not own it in order to get it fixed under guarantee. Lawyers are needed to deal with most situations, so it is a bit of a hassle (if not expensive) getting things cleared up but it is getting better. There is a group of activists in the UK that is trying to get consumer rights in Europe to the same standard as in the UK with an eye on completion by sometime in 2015. This is being driven mainly by Internet purchasing so that any goods bought through an EU site will be forced to provide the same level of service that we expect in the UK, and that credit card purchases will also be protected as in the UK.
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Old 17-08-2013, 11:06   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Nikon EN-EL15 battery life and charger.

Hi grease spot, I have 2 D800 batteries and as yet not had a problem with them although I haven't counted how many shots I get with either before needing to recharge mainly as I have been on the dreaded DIY for the last 3 months. but I am now though 'trying' to use the D800 they way you would a film camera; specific shots rather than 'machine gunning'. my 2 are 201206 and 201209 dated.
I did take Lcraft's advice (was I wise? ) and by Thom Hogan's eBook, in there he suggests that D800 batteries are charged beyond the light stops blinking and the battery has cooled down suggesting that only then is the battery fully charged.
Re the Battery Grip Lcraft, I bought one for my D700 but not used it in ages as I was disappointed that you still had to take the grip off to change the battery in the body, so have not ventured to looking at one for the D800.
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Old 17-08-2013, 17:55   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Nikon EN-EL15 battery life and charger.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cmajor335 View Post
I did take Lcraft's advice (was I wise? ) and by Thom Hogan's eBook, in there he suggests that D800 batteries are charged beyond the light stops blinking and the battery has cooled down suggesting that only then is the battery fully charged.
Re the Battery Grip Lcraft, I bought one for my D700 but not used it in ages as I was disappointed that you still had to take the grip off to change the battery in the body, so have not ventured to looking at one for the D800.
I would like to think you were wise. How did you like the book? I found the writing style to be straightforward.

That is how my batteries get charged. They sit in the charger overnight usually. Only on one occasion have I grabbed the battery before it was cooled after charging because I had to be somewhere right now..

I've also read about the frustration of having to take the grip off the camera to change the internal battery.
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Old 17-08-2013, 18:57   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Nikon EN-EL15 battery life and charger.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lcraft View Post
I've also read about the frustration of having to take the grip off the camera to change the internal battery.
I have to say that I don't find it frustrating to take the grip off. But then again, I only use the grip when I'm doing a studio shoot as I don't want the extra weight and bulk when I'm out and about.
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Old 18-08-2013, 11:29   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Nikon EN-EL15 battery life and charger.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cmajor335 View Post
... Thom Hogan's eBook, in there he suggests that D800 batteries are charged beyond the light stops blinking and the battery has cooled down suggesting that only then is the battery fully charged.
Thanks for the feedback cmajor335 (music related or military??). After some research I found that Li-ion batteries, although reasonably easy to charge in terms of circuitry, they are very fussy with temperature and exhaustion - they can go under the safe limit if left in a device that does not respect this and effectively disconnect itself from the battery. Thereafter the battery needs a special charger. They cannot (should not) be charged below freezing. They will hold their charge very well for a long period without recharging. They will suffer if trickle charged - after a complete charge the battery, if left in the charger, is allowed to decay and then a boost charge is given if the battery drops below a certain power level. A Li-ion charger will take the Li-ion battery to the maximum charge point in 2 stages. The first is around 95% charge and then the charging regulator will bring the battery slowly to 100%. I believe that this is the point at which the Nikon MH-25 light stops blinking. Overnight charging has in the past made no difference to a charge that completes in just over one hour. Both have come up to 100%.

The first battery to show deterioration happened in April, only 6 months after purchase and only after a maximum of 2k shots. This recent failure to charge both batteries to 100% occurred after I returned from holiday. One battery took over 5 hours to stop blinking. I removed it from the charger and it only showed 85% charge in the camera. I then charged the other battery and that only came up to 73% after the charger's lamp stopped blinking - the usual hour or so. For the moment I suspect the charger until I can get the batteries charged elsewhere.

Interestingly the Nikon guide delivered with the spare battery recommends charging the battery and then discharging it in the camera before storing for long periods. It also recommends several other procedures that if you take them at face value contradict each other and probably provide a suitable get-out. I will say Nikon UK were reasonable with the phone call I made.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dabhand16 View Post
I have to say that I don't find it frustrating to take the grip off. But then again, I only use the grip when I'm doing a studio shoot as I don't want the extra weight and bulk when I'm out and about.
Graham, I think the D300 / D700 grip is THE best grip Nikon have made (not including the grips for film cameras). It is very easy to fit and remove, but because of the new regulations with regard to exposed contacts on power supplies these had to be changed. The D800 and I suspect all the newer grips have a 'card slot' type connector that looks very fragile. When I saw it for the first time I thought 'there is a weak point for breakages' if the grip is removed and fitted regularly. Nikon have made this less risky by using a moveable receptacle in the grip so that if you get it slightly off while mounting/dismount the grip then there is some slack. The guide pin on the D800 grip is made of metal instead of plastic which should guarantee better location. The D800 grip is more comfortable for my hands however, but because of the contact slot I try not to fit/remove it too often and just use the battery in the grip.

Just a tip if people do not do this already - fit/remove the grip with the camera upside down (grip on top) it goes a lot easier and is less likely to damage any contacts. Since doing this with the D800 I now do this with both cameras - much more comfortable.
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Old 18-08-2013, 12:38   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Nikon EN-EL15 battery life and charger.

Thanks for the info Grease Spot, the name is musical, the first 'proper scale I leanrt on the guitar and the numbers are the Gibson semi acoustic I would like, te cost though is about the same as a D800 we know which one won
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Old 18-08-2013, 13:31   #16 (permalink)
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Re: Nikon EN-EL15 battery life and charger.

You just made me remember, I had better check the D300 I put away some 6 months ago with a full battery charge; It's ok, battery only dropped a third of it's charge
unfortunately the OH didn't want the seriousness of a DSLR so I bought her a Coolpix.
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Old 18-08-2013, 13:43   #17 (permalink)
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Re: Nikon EN-EL15 battery life and charger.

Quote:
Originally posted by Lcraft:
How did you like the book? I found the writing style to be straightforward
Sorry Lcraft, in the heat of the moment forgot to answer your question, yes it seems a bit heavy going as he gets right down to the nuts and bolts, got to about p200 so far. We'll have tostart another post on this though I fear
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Old 18-08-2013, 18:02   #18 (permalink)
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Re: Nikon EN-EL15 battery life and charger.

Yes they are heavy! (D800) My last 2 holidays I just packed a coolpix P7700!
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Old 26-05-2014, 20:42   #19 (permalink)
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Re: Nikon EN-EL15 battery life and charger.

Long time since this thread was active but I thought I might add a followup:-

The battery that charged to 85% and would never charge beyond 85% was, by chance, left in the camera with the camera switched on for about a week and I noticed at the end of the week that it stayed showing 1% for a very long time. Out of curiosity I left it for a few more days until eventually the camera showed a flashing battery warning, and I recharged it - straight up to 100% !

The other battery would never really charge beyond about 76%, but today I accidentally left the camera in Live View until the battery went completely flat - no indicator at all. Usually this is not recommended by Nikon. Now the battery charged to 97%, and that is probably because I had not allowed it to cool as suggested in earlier posts. Very strange behaviour from Li batteries, as usually it is not necessary to deplete them to recharge them and it is normally recommended to keep them charged, but in these instances depleting the battery (possibly because of a very quick or complete depletion) and then immediately charging them seems to have recovered the state of the cells.

I had been offered replacement cells without question, by the supplier when I next return to the UK (posting Li batteries attracts a premium handling charge these days!) but that seems unnecessary now.
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Old 26-05-2014, 21:59   #20 (permalink)
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Re: Nikon EN-EL15 battery life and charger.

Interesting Graham. I was under the impression that you did not have to run Li batteries down as part of the charging and care cycle too. FWIW, I usually run my batteries down until the indicator starts flashing and when they are charged up they always show 100%. I've got 4 batteries for the D300 and D700 and cycle them around to try to keep their usage the same.
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Old 26-05-2014, 22:59   #21 (permalink)
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Re: Nikon EN-EL15 battery life and charger.

I've got two EN-EL15's now. There was no break-in for me. Just charged and used. Went to 100% with no problems, and they seem to both get about the same number of shots more or less. I'm frankly amazed how well this camera does with battery power. I recall AA batteries used in my Nikon 9500 and 9900 coolpix would be good for 70 - 90 images tops..


Doesn't do as well as my D200 did, but my goodness for as many pixels and gigabytes the D800 has to process and write out I'd say it owes no apologies..
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