D500 battery life still poor (1 year later)

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Zack C Junior Member • Posts: 27
D500 battery life still poor (1 year later)

My battery life has been poor ever since I got the camera, and I've had the D500 since its release. The camera came with the new 20 battery. I purchased another battery as a backup (also the newer 20 battery) after reading that it takes several charge cycles before the batteries (and camera) perform their best. Well, it's been almost a year now and my battery life is still incredibly poor (so bad in fact that I have 4 batteries now for backup). I'm lucky to get 300-400 shots per charge, and that is with airplane mode ON, no image review, standby display at 6s, touch controls OFF, and minimal review of images. I shoot a mix of landscapes and wildlife, so I'm back and forth between single shots and small bursts. Here is an example of my battery life from the last shoot (from 4 different batteries, all cycled dozens of times now):

Battery 1 - No. of shots: 107; Charge: 41%

Battery 2 - No. of shots: 420; Charge: 18%

Battery 3 - No. of shots: 250; Charge: 51%

Battery 4 - No. of shots: 107; Charge 8% (I was doing a lot of long exposures and using live-view with this battery)

I'm at a loss at what could be draining the battery. I'm at the point where I am considering sending the camera back to Nikon before the 1 year warranty is up. When I first noticed the problem I tried calling Nikon customer service. They told me that I needed to use the new charger that came with the camera, and the newer 20 battery, which of course I was using. They took my information and said they would contact me via email if they had any more information. I never received any further communication from them regarding the issue.

I absolutely love the camera, except for the annoying card errors, occasionally not turning off when switching off the power, premature paint wear/chipping, and the battery life (which I find the most troublesome). I often go on multi-day backpacking trips and even carrying 4 batteries is not enough, especially if I'm doing any long exposure work. I have two D300s bodies that perform exceptionally well as far as battery life goes, and was expecting the same performance, or better, from the Nikon D500. Sadly this isn't the case.

Before I send the camera back, is there anything that I'm missing here? I've read others are getting 1000-2000 shots per charge, I'm lucky if I get 500.

Nikon D300S Nikon D500
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