Tired NiMH AA's or Camera going?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by -hh, Dec 12, 2006.

  1. -hh macrumors 68020


    Jul 17, 2001
    NJ Highlands, Earth
    Hi All,

    Just got back from a quick weekend in Cologne, Germany. Took the "old reliable" Canon A80 (4MP, takes 4 x AA's) and fortunately, took two full sets of NiMH batteries for it.

    Mechanically, the camera's still working fine, but...

    At only around 150 photos, mye first set of batteries went flat. Wasn't using strobe, so no excuse there.

    Only 150 photo's is easily half, possibly 1/3rd, of the battery life that I've gotten from this combination in the past. The second set of batteries didn't seem to be much better...initially claimed to be flat immediately upon putting them in the camera, even though I just charged them last Wednesday.

    I suspect that my NiMH's are going bad, but it seems odd that I'd have two different brands seem to be going bad at the same time (even though they were purchased at around the same time).


    1) Since the camera seems to be otherwise working OK, does it seem plausible that it "suddenly" became a power-sucking monster?

    2) Is there an easy (but effective) way to determine how good/bad a particular NiMH battery is?

    3) Any other suggestions?

  2. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    I've got the one of those A80's. great little camera.

    One easy way to test batteries is with a flash light. Measure the "burn time" before the light goes out. Of course you would need to test with brand new battery and then compare to your old set. You could also rig a test setup using a (say) 4 watt power resister and a volt meter the plot voltage over time. But more people own flash lights then volt meters. But eaither way you ned a new set to compare with.

    You could test the camera by trying some alkaline AA cells but you would need to compare that with how long the camera lasted using alkaline AA cells when new to see if it changed.

    The other thing to remember is Nimh batteries self discharge as soon as you take them out of the charger. So maybe on this trip you had them packed away after charging but before using them and they lose charge in storage. I always keep a set of alaline batts for backup
  3. failsafe1 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 21, 2003
    With your photo trip did you keep your camera on more than usual? Did you focus more than usual? When I use my 1D and need to AF more than usual my battery goes down quicker. Another possibility was weather. Was it colder than usual? Cold can zap batteries quick. Can you refresh your NIMH batteries? Some have this capability some don't.
  4. -hh thread starter macrumors 68020


    Jul 17, 2001
    NJ Highlands, Earth

    All good points, but not really any "leads" on what the problem could have been. I'm usually very good about keeping the camera off, etc, and in this case, I know that I took very few flash photo's, etc. The weather was a bit chilly, but I actually had the camera in a jacket pocket rather than a fanny pack, so this would tend to keep it from getting as cold.

    Refreshing, as in a full cycle like used to be done for NiCads?


    PS: a fun utility I found today:

  5. rbald1 macrumors newbie

    Aug 31, 2009
    I'm new here, and this is a bit off the beaten path, so forgive my newness! I have a NIMH application in an RC airplane that powers the radio system. It is a 5cell AA configuration therefore 6 volts. I normally charge these batteries each week prior to flying, and am using a combo NIMH/Lipo/Nicad charger that lets me adjust the Mah to the battery and battery type being charged. The other day, I set the Mah on the charger for the battery to be charged, in this case a 2100 Mah battery pack. The battery wouldn't charge, and the charger will not charged if the polarity is incorrect. It was good, but still wouldn't charge. If the voltage of the battery is good, the charger again will sense the voltage, and not charge. I switched the mode to check the voltage and was shocked to see the voltage was 16.23 volts! IMPOSSIBLE! So I got another battery just like this one, checked it, and the voltage was 5.6 volts, charged it for a few minutes, and the voltage came up to 6.1 volts, so I feel the charger is good. Tried a 4cell AA 1500 MAH NiMh pack, volts were 4.5, it charged on to 4.9 in about 20 minutes so it appears the charger is functioning. So I plugged the booger battery back in, unplugged and plugged back in the charger and still got the 16 Plus volts out of this battery. CAN SOMEONE TELL ME WHAT IN THE WORLD IS GOING ON HERE! I'm not sure if answers to this are auto.emailed to me or not, but the email addy for me is rbaldwin1@sc.rr.com. RC PLANES ARE EXPENSIVE! I DON'T NEED BATTERY MISHAPS IN THE AIR! THANKS PEOPLE!

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