Battery Problem on Nikon D800: major battery drain & flashing green light when turned off!

Started Mar 6, 2014 | Questions thread
(unknown member) Veteran Member • Posts: 3,985
Re: Battery Problem on Nikon D800: major battery drain & flashing green light when turned off!

CGPhoto1 wrote:

I just brought home the Nikon D800 a week ago and have been thoroughly disappointed in the battery life. In about 20 shots a full battery was already depleted to about 80%. I turned off the camera by the next day, the battery was completely dead despite being off. I used to be able to get approx. 1,200 shots easy on my D7000 before I felt the need to charge the battery - I could last a weekend trip on one battery easy. The D800 gets about 200-350 before wiping out.

I shoot weddings and have done so on my D7000 and only needed to carry a spare battery as a back-up, most of the time never actually using it (and we're talking shooting all day long). I finally upgraded to the Nikon D800 and while I love the shots I'm getting, I'm incredibly nervous with my upcoming weddings that my camera will go "dead" during an important moment... I'm tempted to send the camera back and ask for a replacement as I've tried three different batteries and the drain was terrible with all of them. I'm convinced it's the camera and not the battery/batteries.

Also, I'm not sure this is related, but the camera has a flashing green light in the bottom righthand corner that blinks when in the Off position. I've read it has something to do with the memory card so I switched it multiple times and it still continues to flash (until the camera goes completely dead). Could the poor battery life and blinking green light be related???

Is this indeed a defect or if this is going to be an ongoing issue, what are some remedies for extending the battery life and/or the amount of shots I can get in a session?

Thank you!!

It is of course difficult to diagnose issues by remote control, but since the behavior is clearly incorrect I can propose a couple of ideas for trouble shooting.  In any case, this is the procedure I would attempt if it were my camera.  Some of this stuff may not be necessary, but it's all quick, easy , and free.  I suggest that you do ALL these things at the same time and see if the behavior changes:

1) Perform a two button reset (QUAL and +/- buttons simultaneously for a couple of seconds) and leave it that way.  Might want to reset the shooting menu banks too.  In my experience returning the camera to factor new settings has frequently been the solution for me when I encounter some odd issue.

2) Remove all the memory cards and set the custom function (f11) to "Enable" to allow taking an image without a card installed.  Don't know if the reset returns the card slot setting to overflow or not, but if it doesn't then set it up that way.  That should eliminate any bad card sort of issue, but may not rule out a camera body save issue.

3) Set the custom function to turn off image review (c4).  Also set the custom function to turn off the meter in the shortest time allowable (c2).  Set LCD illumination (c10) to off.  Set auto focus assist (a8) to off.  Hopefully that gets most of the big stuff that might be using current turned off.

4) FULLY charge the battery. That means about 3 hours or so, with a bit of extra added after the flashing charge lite turns solid.  I seem to recall seeing reports of odd behavior that were ultimately related to low battery charge. Still doesn't eliminate a bad battery, but that's about the best you can do.

5)  If you have a battery grip or any other accessory attached, pull it off.

6)  Fire off a dozen shots or so shots without flash and lay the camera down until the next day.

7)  If nothing changes, you should still be in your return window and I'd ship the silly thing back for replacement

Since the green light glows solid while saving images to the card, if you get a solid green light with no card that seems like it might indicate a camera problem. I've never personally noticed a blinking green light under any conditions, but I would suspect that it indicates something similar to a failed attempt in saving to the card.  I understand you have tried different cards, but that sounds suspiciously to me like an issue saving to the card, which I suppose might be a camera body problem.

Just to be certain I understand, you say the green light blinks continuously for long periods of time?  I've not seen either of mine blink for any length of time ever.

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