My first impressions - and some info...

Started Jul 28, 2001 | Discussions
Jim Popenoe Regular Member • Posts: 241
Re: About batteries...

Wayne,

Any sleuthing your technician can do would help, and many on the forum would be grateful if you let us know what you discover. Battery performance is something I want answers about before I purchase a Dimage 7.

Some D7 owners on the forum say they are doing just fine with NiMH and getting over 100 photos per set. Others are running out of juice in 5 minutes or less. I assume everyone (or most everyone) is being honest. So why the different results?

Some possibilities are 1) different usage patterns, 2) bad batteries and 3) bad cameras. These are TESTABLE hypotheses (but not mutually exclusive). Let's hope owners get busy sleuthing and find their problems. Many people need to be more conservative with the LCD. A few may have bad batteries and/or bad cameras.

NiMH are supposed to maintain a nearly constant voltage, but if they have not been properly conditioned and the current load is high, the voltage may fall below a threshold that the camera cannot accept. I find that my NiMH batteries are functional much longer after conditioning in my Maha C204F charger. A voltmeter can be used during operation to determine voltage output vs. time and camera load, and to discover the threshold voltage at which the camera shuts down.

It may be the the heavy load of the D7 brings down the voltage more than with other cameras, but no one has yet posted data by which to judge this idea. Specifically, we need to know the current demand of the D7 by the LCD, by the EVF, by the flash charger, and by the D7's other electronics before and after power save goes on. Armed with all of this information, owners can better judge the likely cause(s) of the power problems they are posting on the forum, and potential buyers such as me can better decide if the D7 is inherently flawed or just, so far, poorly understood.

Jim

Mike Roberts Senior Member • Posts: 1,350
Re: About batteries...

Where did you get the pack? They got a website.? How much?

Thanks

Mike Roberts

talon New Member • Posts: 11
Re: About batteries...

url of 1800 mah batteries

http://thomas-distributing.com/gp150aahc-u4.htm

I found out that if you set the D7 to auto switch between the EVF and the LCD, the battery life was drastically reduced. I did not try just the LCD only. Plus the autoswitching is a little annoying. I will either use the LCD or the EVF, exculsivly. My two sets 1800 mah batteries were new and have always been fully charged.

T.

Jim Popenoe wrote:

Wayne,

Any sleuthing your technician can do would help, and many on the
forum would be grateful if you let us know what you discover.
Battery performance is something I want answers about before I
purchase a Dimage 7.

Some D7 owners on the forum say they are doing just fine with NiMH
and getting over 100 photos per set. Others are running out of
juice in 5 minutes or less. I assume everyone (or most everyone)
is being honest. So why the different results?

Some possibilities are 1) different usage patterns, 2) bad
batteries and 3) bad cameras. These are TESTABLE hypotheses (but
not mutually exclusive). Let's hope owners get busy sleuthing and
find their problems. Many people need to be more conservative with
the LCD. A few may have bad batteries and/or bad cameras.

NiMH are supposed to maintain a nearly constant voltage, but if
they have not been properly conditioned and the current load is
high, the voltage may fall below a threshold that the camera cannot
accept. I find that my NiMH batteries are functional much longer
after conditioning in my Maha C204F charger. A voltmeter can be
used during operation to determine voltage output vs. time and
camera load, and to discover the threshold voltage at which the
camera shuts down.

It may be the the heavy load of the D7 brings down the voltage more
than with other cameras, but no one has yet posted data by which to
judge this idea. Specifically, we need to know the current demand
of the D7 by the LCD, by the EVF, by the flash charger, and by the
D7's other electronics before and after power save goes on. Armed
with all of this information, owners can better judge the likely
cause(s) of the power problems they are posting on the forum, and
potential buyers such as me can better decide if the D7 is
inherently flawed or just, so far, poorly understood.

Jim

OP Wayne DeWitt Senior Member • Posts: 1,259
Re: About batteries...

Jim Popenoe wrote:

Wayne,

Any sleuthing your technician can do would help, and many on the
forum would be grateful if you let us know what you discover.
Battery performance is something I want answers about before I
purchase a Dimage 7.

Some D7 owners on the forum say they are doing just fine with NiMH
and getting over 100 photos per set. Others are running out of
juice in 5 minutes or less.

That person has either a seriously defective camera or a bad cell. I get 1/2 hr.+ of continuous use with a lot of reviewing of photos, autofocus and occasional flash use.

I assume everyone (or most everyone)
is being honest. So why the different results?

My suspicions are the same as another posters - the current draw is dropping the voltage below a threshold setting. I suspect that just using the EVF without the LCD will decrease the overall draw and keep a set of batteries in service much longer. I'm also wondering about the consistancy of the batteries. I use a MAHA 204F and I've noticed that sometimes one pair of batteries finishes charging in a significantly shorter period of time than the other pair. With most of my sets the difference is less than 5 minutes, others seem to be much longer (I have to start timing them). I'll have to swap sides also - I don't know the circuitry of the charger, it might just supply more current to one side.

Some possibilities are 1) different usage patterns, 2) bad
batteries and 3) bad cameras. These are TESTABLE hypotheses (but
not mutually exclusive). Let's hope owners get busy sleuthing and
find their problems. Many people need to be more conservative with
the LCD. A few may have bad batteries and/or bad cameras.

"Bad" batteries may be common. We all know that they are not all the same. One weak cell will drop the entire load. BTW - I bought a set of batteries a couple of weeks ago and one was a dead short (1.5Ω).

NiMH are supposed to maintain a nearly constant voltage, but if
they have not been properly conditioned and the current load is
high, the voltage may fall below a threshold that the camera cannot
accept. I find that my NiMH batteries are functional much longer
after conditioning in my Maha C204F charger. A voltmeter can be
used during operation to determine voltage output vs. time and
camera load, and to discover the threshold voltage at which the
camera shuts down.

When I have time (not this week) I'm going to run several sets to shutdown and check their voltages. I'll bet that the batteries that fail with the LCD enabled have a higher remaining voltage than those used with only the EVF.

It may be the the heavy load of the D7 brings down the voltage more
than with other cameras, but no one has yet posted data by which to
judge this idea. Specifically, we need to know the current demand
of the D7 by the LCD, by the EVF, by the flash charger, and by the
D7's other electronics before and after power save goes on. Armed
with all of this information, owners can better judge the likely
cause(s) of the power problems they are posting on the forum, and
potential buyers such as me can better decide if the D7 is
inherently flawed or just, so far, poorly understood.

Will you volunteer your camera? I promise not to put too many holes in it. I worry about subjecting my camera to voltage from a converter/dc power supply - I don't want to fry it. Someone else will have to plot the actual current draw. Maybe if I get the Minolta battery pack I can hook it up and run tests.

Wayne

 Wayne DeWitt's gear list:Wayne DeWitt's gear list
Minolta DiMAGE 7 Nikon Coolpix P510 Nikon Coolpix P7800 Nikon D800 Kodak DCS Pro 14n +2 more
Tom Crowning Veteran Member • Posts: 3,426
Re: About batteries...

Wayne wrote:

I suspect that just> using the EVF without the LCD will decrease the overall draw and> keep a set of batteries in service much longer.

[ATTENTION: subjectivity alert] after playing arround with the D7 for 2 days using EVF only (not auto, LCD only used for checking some of the pictures) seems to reduze the power needs of the camera a lot.
tc

OP Wayne DeWitt Senior Member • Posts: 1,259
Re: Some moer info...

Hi Bryan,

I had come to the same conclusion as you did. What I didn't understand is that the EVF turns off when I turn on the flashlight. An I.R. proximity sensor alone should not have behaved that way.

Wayne

Bryan Biggers wrote:
Hi Wayne,

The way that these sensors work is that there is an IR emitter and
sensor pair. Probably the emitter is behind one of the little
windows to the right of the EVF, the sensor behind the other. When
an IR reflective object approaches (and just about everything
relfects near IR, which is why even glasses work), some of the
light from the emitter is reflected into the sensor. The reason
that the flashlight worked is probably just because it too
reflected some IR. The actual light emitted is probably a pattern
of pulses so that ambient IR does not trigger the EVF. Just cheap
stuff, the same as you might find in an IR TV remote control.
Bryan

And for the people who asked about the nature of the proximity
sensor for the EVF I have a puzzling observation. It turns on the
EVF when an object is about 2" away from the eyepiece. I placed a
flashlight (torch to some of you) up against the eyepiece, the EVF
came on. When I switched the flashlight on the EVF went off. Think
you got it? Think again! I then passed my eyeglasses in front of
the sensors (there are 2 windows), the EVF turns on when my glasses
are held in front of the sensors (without my head being in them).
It also turned on when I passed transparent cellophane in front of
them. Very curious indeed. Could they have gone to the trouble of
haveing a proximity sensor AND a light sensor incorporated? The
dual-window setup would lead me to believe that it's a proximity
sensor. But then the question is how is it accomplished? I.R.
radiation? If it's a specific band it may reflect off of the glass
and the cellophane the same as it would off of your face. Wouldn't
explain the flashlight reaction though.

 Wayne DeWitt's gear list:Wayne DeWitt's gear list
Minolta DiMAGE 7 Nikon Coolpix P510 Nikon Coolpix P7800 Nikon D800 Kodak DCS Pro 14n +2 more
Bryan Biggers Veteran Member • Posts: 3,569
Re: Some moer info...

Wayne wrote:

Hi Bryan,

I had come to the same conclusion as you did. What I didn't
understand is that the EVF turns off when I turn on the flashlight.
An I.R. proximity sensor alone should not have behaved that way.

Wayne

Maybe light from the flashlight swamps out the reflected IR signal. There is some IR in the flashlight light, and the IR filters over the detector are just plastic and not prefect either.
Bryan

 Bryan Biggers's gear list:Bryan Biggers's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7 Olympus PEN E-P3 Olympus OM-D E-M5 Olympus PEN E-PM2 Olympus E-M5 III
Jim Popenoe Regular Member • Posts: 241
Re: Some moer info...

Wayne wrote:

Hi Bryan,> > I had come to the same conclusion as you did. What I didn't> understand is that the EVF turns off when I turn on the flashlight.> An I.R. proximity sensor alone should not have behaved that way.> > Wayne>

I suspect that the IR emitter emits pulses of a certain pattern, and the internal firmware is programmed to respond to pulses of that pattern from the IR sensor. If the sensor responded to continuous IR, the EVF would be on all of the time in sunlight, which would waste the battery. I suspect that, as with sunlight, the camera recognized the continuous IR from your incandescent flashlight bulb and switched the EVF off. Just my guess.

Jim

OP Wayne DeWitt Senior Member • Posts: 1,259
Continuous Autofocus and "hunting"...

Comment has been made about the continuous autofocus mode and the inability of the camera to "lock on". Reading the manual and using the camera leads me to believe that it is working as intended. The manual states "When the shutter-release button is pressed partway down, the autofocus system will activate and continue to focu until the exposure is made. This mode is not meant to "lock on", it is continuously scanning in a narrow range in order to be able to track movement. I may not get to test it for a few days but it appears that by being continuously active it may in fact be "anticipative" of movement and more likely to be in a "zone" of focus when movement occurs. Just conjecture - gotta test it.

Wayne

 Wayne DeWitt's gear list:Wayne DeWitt's gear list
Minolta DiMAGE 7 Nikon Coolpix P510 Nikon Coolpix P7800 Nikon D800 Kodak DCS Pro 14n +2 more
OP Wayne DeWitt Senior Member • Posts: 1,259
Re: Some moer info...

Probably a good one. I may have overridden the program or drove down an automatic gain circuit in the receiver before descrimination of the signal. Guess the poster who complained about it shutting off with the sun over his shoulder nay have had something - have to check it out. Thanks.

Wayne

Jim Popenoe wrote:

Wayne wrote:

Hi Bryan,

I had come to the same conclusion as you did. What I didn't
understand is that the EVF turns off when I turn on the flashlight.
An I.R. proximity sensor alone should not have behaved that way.

Wayne

I suspect that the IR emitter emits pulses of a certain pattern,
and the internal firmware is programmed to respond to pulses of
that pattern from the IR sensor. If the sensor responded to
continuous IR, the EVF would be on all of the time in sunlight,
which would waste the battery. I suspect that, as with sunlight,
the camera recognized the continuous IR from your incandescent
flashlight bulb and switched the EVF off. Just my guess.

Jim

 Wayne DeWitt's gear list:Wayne DeWitt's gear list
Minolta DiMAGE 7 Nikon Coolpix P510 Nikon Coolpix P7800 Nikon D800 Kodak DCS Pro 14n +2 more
Mike Fitzgerald Veteran Member • Posts: 9,542
Congratulations and commiserations...

Wayne wrote:

Well, I finally got my camera today. That and a stray cay chewing
on myarm has been the highlight of my day.

... and happy hunting! ;> )
Mike

So many cats... so few recipes...

Randy Regular Member • Posts: 191
Re: My first impressions - and some info...

Wayne wrote:

Well, I finally got my camera today. I only had to call FEDEX half
a dozen times and then go into my neighbor's garage to find it!
That and a stray cay chewing on my arm has been the highlight of my
day. Now my impressions:
1. Lightweight plastic-feeling comments: sorry don't agree. This
camera is tiny, it's about 2/3 the size that I expected. Lesser
mass equals lower weight, it feels perfect. I don't have a problem
with anything feeling "cheap" about the camera. The two plug-in
jack covers at the back could have been better-done. And the 4-way
toggle protrudes a little further than necessary, feels a little
loose, will probably last forever.
2. Tripod socket misplaced: agree - but. The proper place for the
socket would have had it in the middle of the batteries - it's a
compromise that I can live with.
3. Poor balance: disagree. Yes it is a LOT heavier on the left
where everyhing is located. But have any of you handled a medium
format camera with an L-grip? The proper way to use a camera is to
cradle it in the left hand and only use the right for steadying,
firing and film advance (where is that lever?). This camera feels
perfect in my hands - as far as balance is concerned.
4. Plasticy-handgrip: agree. They really should have spent an extra
dollar and used a better covering material. On the other hand the
size is perfect for me (I never did become accustomed to the new
grossly-oversized 35mm grips).
5. Heat: yes the grip does get warm. Haven't really shot with it
yet - don't know if it will irritate me or not.
6. EVF: Love it! I wear glasses (-2.25 and -2.75) and can see the
whole screen, the edges appear o.k., haven't had time to look for
blurring. It does blackout during extreme changes of illumination.
I found that the switch to B&W approximates the light level where
the rods takeover for the cones in my own vision. In a darkened
room (before my eyes accomodate) I can see more through the finder
than with my normal vision (just a little more - this isn't a night
vision device). As far as refresh rate - not a problem for me.
7. Stiff zoom: sorry, it feels ideal to me. It's moving several
lens groups on cams within the lens, tighter can mean tighter
tolerances inside. I never liked sloppy zooms.

I haven't had time to play yet - as I said it was an adventure just
finding the camera (3 hours and half a dozen neighbors houses - and
none of them admit to owning the damn cat that mauled me).

Some answers to questions others have asked and some other info:
1. Mine came with a Minolta USA warranty - I don't know WHAT the
rest of you got.
2. The video out does not recognize camera orientation - do a
vertical and you need to lay the t.v. on it's side to see it -
major bummer to me. If you include this feature why not do it right?
3. Macro. The camera has a minimum horizontal field width at the
macro 200mm setting of 2". Add a +3.8 diopter (Minolta #2) and this
becomes 1.2". Add a +10 diopter (Hoya) instead, and you're around
0.85". The guy who wants to do jewelry - get a Minolta #2 and a
ring will fill the entire field of view. Reversed Nikon 50mm
enlarging lens vignettes very badly (damn!) you're down to a field
width of about 0.3" but only half the sensor is covered. My
reversed 50mm camera lens covers almost the entire field (about
75%) and the width is about 0.6" - the 24 vignettes very badly. The
best bet for me is to limit use to the regular diopters.
4. The lens feels nice and tight. It extends a great distance
(relative to it's size) during zooming, but never gets wobbly like
the newer 1:1 macro lenses for 35mm. This is good, since locking on
the bayonet lenshood requires a bit of force. The heavy 35mm lenses
attached during the macro tests didn't seem to stress the lens at
all - but I don't advocate attaching anything that heavy (8-9 oz.)
onto the end of this lens.

My one gripe so far having to do with the ergonomics is that during
manual focussing my fingertips contact those of the hand wrapped
around the grip - this is a small camera and the clearances will
take some getting used to. Also, when I dropped the batteries into
their holes they almost jumped back out - they installed some hefty
springs in there!

I may have a theory about the autofocus problem at 200mm - camera
shake! While I was playing around I noticed one or two times when
the lens racked itself in and out before locking, I also noticed
that I was offbalance and shaking. It is a 200mm equivalent -
shooter steadiness will have an impact on the autofocus being able
to lock on. When I braced myself it locked on a lot quicker.

My overall opinion: This camera is just plain NEAT!
Now I've got to sit down and read the manual (has about 2-3 pages
of warnings before you get to any information!) tonight. Starting
tomorrow I'll probably be gone for a few days (maybe weeks?) while
I play. Hope you guys have fun with yours also.

Wayne

http://computers.cnet.com/hardware/0-2295745-8-6689321-1.html?tag=sd

http://computers.cnet.com/hardware/resellers/1,10231,0-2295745-311-6235167,00.html?tag=st.co.2295745-8-6689321-1.txt.2295745-311-6235167
http://www.cnet.com

Joo Veteran Member • Posts: 4,111
Re: Continuous Autofocus and "hunting"...

Interesting theory... perhaps this is part of whats contributing to the shorter battery life....

Joo

Wayne wrote:

Comment has been made about the continuous autofocus mode and the
inability of the camera to "lock on". Reading the manual and using
the camera leads me to believe that it is working as intended. The
manual states "When the shutter-release button is pressed partway
down, the autofocus system will activate and continue to focu until
the exposure is made. This mode is not meant to "lock on", it is
continuously scanning in a narrow range in order to be able to
track movement. I may not get to test it for a few days but it
appears that by being continuously active it may in fact be
"anticipative" of movement and more likely to be in a "zone" of
focus when movement occurs. Just conjecture - gotta test it.

Wayne

 Joo's gear list:Joo's gear list
Canon PowerShot G1 X Canon EOS M Canon EOS-1D Mark II Canon EOS 5D Canon EOS 5D Mark II +3 more
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads