K-x Battery Experience

Started Nov 1, 2009 | Discussions
kevs0001 Regular Member • Posts: 115
K-x Battery Experience

I know there are other K-x battery threads, but I thought I'd start a new one as I've done a fair amount of testing with different battery brands.

I picked up a K-x last week in Toronto (replaced a K10D) and am having all sorts of issues with batteries.

I've been trying the camera with rechargeable NiMH batteries. I'm up to eight different sets with varying levels of success. Some of the sets are quite old, others purcahsed brand new with the camera. Here's a quick run down.

Kodak 1600mAh (5 years old) - they work but I never get a green indicator, orange only and then red (depleted) usually as soon as I turn the camera on.

Kodak 1850mAh (3 years old) - same situation as the Kodak 1600mAh but I can get a few shots off before the depleted warning.

Power2000 1800mAh (2 years old) - turn off and on a few times and I get a green indicator most times but occasionally get an orange indicator. I have not seen a depleted indicator with these batteries and have successfully used then get take a fair number of photos.

CamPower 2500mAh (1 year old) - varying levels of success with this set, usually the camera will indicate green when first on, but then drop to orange under load (movies). Turn the camera off and back on, and I get green again. Take another movie, see green during and after the shoot.

Sony CycleEnergy 2500mAh (1 year old) - these batteries I've had the most success with. I've only seen the orange indicator once, right after turning the camera off from a green indicator. I've been using these batteries mostly as they seem to be the most consistent.

UltraPro 2500mAh (1 year old) - not even recognized, the camera has never turned on with this battery model no matter how long I wait or turn the camera on and off and back on again.

GP ReCyko+ 2050mAh (brand new - 2 sets) - I almost consistently see a red depleted indicator when I turn on the camera with both these sets. In most cases it takes a number of off-on-off-on's to get these recognized. I have been able to get a few shots off if I see an orange indicator when the camera is first turned on. I'm most upset that these batteries don't work because they are rated about the best available.

I've checked to insure battery power using a meter and trying the sets out in a 360FGZ flash - they all work fine. I've also tried the camera with both Auto and NiMN battery settings. Lastly, I've even depleted sets of batteries and used a different changer to recharge the batteries and still have issues. The situation seems almost random which is a concen.

Waiting even a few seconds for the camera to 'recognize' the battery type before turning it on is a concern especially if I'm in a situation where I need to change the batteries quickly to continuing shooting.

The biggest concern is that I can't trust the battery level indicator. I can put in a freshly charged set of batteries, turn on the camera, turn it off and back on again (so it actually turns on this time - why do I need to turn it on twice?), see a full green indicator. Take a few shots, maybe a video, turn the camera off, turn the camera back on and now I see an orange, half full indicator. Turn it off and back on again and see green again. I've even seen it go from green to red which results in the Battery Depleted error and then I have all sorts of issues getting another set of batteries to work.

I also had an issue with two hot pixels that would show up in videos. I was able to 'correct' these by using the pixel mapping tool in the camera.

Overall I like the camera, images are fantastic, size is perfect, but if I continue to have issues with the batteries it will have to go back.

-kevs

Atindra Veteran Member • Posts: 7,408
Re: K-x Battery Experience

Better to use newer versions of batteries and not too many years old. One reason is technology has advanced so older version need not be compatible. Another reason is Ni-MH batteries tend to loose efficiency with time and charge cycles.

I read few threads about battery issues of K-x and what I feel is K-x is set for very narrow and standard specification of battery outputs any battery not falling in this narrow window will not work with the camera. I dont know why is that though.
May be power requirement of the system were such.

There are lot of generic batteries and most of them are underperforming and never give output of printed parameters-these are not trustworthy. It doesnt mean they wont work with other cams. K-x has its specified needs, though it works with AA batteries but it doesnt mean that any AA would work with it. I think Pentax should clarify this. Pentax should give details about power input specifications.

I dont know whether K-x fits CR-V3 or not but they are better options than Ni-MH. Li-ion batteries have consistent output, no memory effects, higher charge retantion, longer life etc.

I would keep Lithium AAs spare and use Eneloop or Energizer batteries.

My K100D works with Ni-MH AAs but performance varies with battery brand and output parameters. Kodak's 2400mAh batteries only give 50 shots with full charge and that too many times camera shows batteries depleted and once you switch off and on again it works for 10-12 shots. While CRV-3 works awesome, a pair of CRV3 gives me about 500 shots. I am looking for rechargeable CR-V3s but they are again not consistent and no major reliable brand makes rechargeable CR-V3.

Atindra

Atindra

 Atindra's gear list:Atindra's gear list
Pentax K-70 Pentax smc DA 18-135mm F3.5-5.6ED AL [IF] DC WR Pentax 55-300mm F4.5-6.3 ED PLM WR RE
Atindra Veteran Member • Posts: 7,408
Correction!!!

I saw recently Energizer has launched a rechargeable CR-V3 for about 30 USD.

Not used personally yet.

Atindra

 Atindra's gear list:Atindra's gear list
Pentax K-70 Pentax smc DA 18-135mm F3.5-5.6ED AL [IF] DC WR Pentax 55-300mm F4.5-6.3 ED PLM WR RE
wll Veteran Member • Posts: 4,821
Re: K-x Battery Experience

Yep, know the feeling.

Just sent my K-x back to B&H because of the same problem. Love the little camera, just want batteries to work.

If the next one I get has this problem, I will send it to Pentax USA to fix.

I love the great ratings it is getting because of the ISO and DR are so good. It also focuses very, very quickly.

Should be a great little available light machine.

wll

tiny17 Forum Member • Posts: 74
Re: K-x Battery Experience

If someone wants to send me a set of batteries which completely fail to work in your camera, I will test them in mine. If they work in mine (which seems to have no battery problems) then we know your camera is broken and should help resolve in peoples minds that there is a bad batch going around.

OP kevs0001 Regular Member • Posts: 115
Re: K-x Battery Experience

I read few threads about battery issues of K-x and what I feel is K-x is set for very narrow and standard specification of battery outputs any battery not falling in this narrow window will not work with the camera.

If so then Pentax should have considered using a rechargeable lithium-ion battery to eliminate the possibility of power issues in the case of using substandard batteries. The D-LI50 from the K10D/K20D would have been a good choice.

In my mind, if a manufacturer has elected to go with a technology such as standard AA batteries, the product should work with all AA batteries. That's the whole point of using an open, standard, easily available technology.

If the K-x is being marketed in the entry class of DSLRs, then Pentax must be expecting new DSLR users. They surely can't expect a new user to know all the ins and outs of which batteries are best for a particular camera based on specifications, posted publicly or not. And we all know we can't rely on salespeople, especially when it comes to Pentax equipment. It's very likely that the new user will purchase the cheapest rechargeable batteries they can find - and they should work with camera.

There are lot of generic batteries and most of them are underperforming and never give output of printed parameters-these are not trustworthy. It doesnt mean they wont work with other cams. K-x has its specified needs, though it works with AA batteries but it doesnt mean that any AA would work with it. I think Pentax should clarify this. Pentax should give details about power input specifications.

I agree, it's important to upgrade rechargeable batteries from time to time (Everyone hear that? Toss out those old 750mAh AA batteries!). I think it's also important to purchase quality batteries. I have some cheap ones from factory outlet stores which I know are not going to work as they either don't hold their charge, or the charge they do hold is too weak.

I purchased two brand new sets of GP ReCycko+ batteries to use with the K-x. The ReCyko+ batteries are rated as one of the top rechargeable batteries currently on the market. They have high capacity retention and can be recharged more times than previous generations. One would assume these batteries would work without issue on the K-x.

In my opinion, and this is just my opinion as I have absolutely no proof, I think there is a power source flaw with the K-x. I don't think the flaw is in the design of the camera, I think it's affecting certain manufactured batches. I hope to see if this is true when I take a trip back to the store where I purchased the camera, with my rechargeable batteries in hand, to try them out on other K-x's they have in stock, including the demo model which is likely from a different manufactured batch (I may even hit a number of different stores).

And a quick side note, one other complaint I have with the K-x. The SR motor noise when you're taking movies. If you're shooting in a quiet setting, turn off SR or it's all you'll hear in the video. I guess this is one of the drawbacks with having in-body stabilization.

-kevs

mauritsvw Senior Member • Posts: 1,042
Re: K-x Battery Experience

I don't know whether the Kx has a unique problem with batteries, but it is common knowledge that Pentax AA cameras since and including the K100D only work satisfactorily, as far as rechargebles go, with the Eneloop kind of battery which keeps its charge for longer. Other examples are Uniross Hybrio and GP Recyko.
--
Maurits

 mauritsvw's gear list:mauritsvw's gear list
Pentax K-5
viking79
viking79 Forum Pro • Posts: 14,157
Re: K-x Battery Experience

mauritsvw wrote:

I don't know whether the Kx has a unique problem with batteries, but it is common knowledge that Pentax AA cameras since and including the K100D only work satisfactorily, as far as rechargebles go, with the Eneloop kind of battery which keeps its charge for longer. Other examples are Uniross Hybrio and GP Recyko.

I regularly got 1200+ pictures with my K-2000 on a set of AA lithium disposable cells. Nothing unsatisfactory about that. With rechargeable 2000 mAh cells (precharged sanyo eneloops) I got about 600 to 1000 shots.

I imagine video will suck the charge much faster (it does in my K-7). If you are having problems with battery life, try taking a pencil with an eraser and carefully clean the contacts in the camera and on the cells using the eraser.

Eric
--
I never saw an ugly thing in my life: for let the form of an object
be what it may - light, shade, and perspective will always make it
beautiful. - John Constable (quote)

See my Blog at: http://viking79.blogspot.com/ (9/9/09)
Flickr Photostream: http://www.flickr.com/photos/28177041@N03/ (updated daily)
See my PPG Shots: http://www.pentaxphotogallery.com/erictastad (8/31/09)

 viking79's gear list:viking79's gear list
Sony a7R Samsung NX1 Samsung NX 30mm F2 Pancake Samsung NX 85mm F1.4 ED SSA Samsung NX 60mm F2.8 Macro ED OIS SSA +5 more
Richard Murdey
Richard Murdey Veteran Member • Posts: 3,013
Re: K-x Battery Experience

Why not use Sanyo Eneloop? That should solve the issues. Certainly expecting the camera to work on ancient 1600 mAh NiMH is asking a lot. Capacity isn't the only thing, voltage and voltage stability are also important.

That said I think Pentax should have used a Lithium Ion battery in their entry level dSLRs like everyone else. It's my one major gripe with the K-x design. The old "AA good, custom battery bad" line that Imaging Resource and other reviewers used to bang on about in every review really makes no sense in this context. A dSLR with live view and video recording needs a lot of juice and NiMH don't have acceptable power density, end of story.

This may be the Achilles heel of the K-x. I remember one of the early reviews noting the batteries drained really quickly. Pentax advertises 640 (420 with 50% flash CIPA standard) on 1900 mAh NiMH. Not great, and I imagine video will eat batteries something insane ... it's clearly so bad that Pentax doesn't even quote battery life for video recording!

 Richard Murdey's gear list:Richard Murdey's gear list
Nikon D750 Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 2,8/21 Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 2,8/25 Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 2/35 Carl Zeiss Planar T* 1,4/50 +13 more
OP kevs0001 Regular Member • Posts: 115
Re: K-x Battery Experience

as far as rechargebles go, with the Eneloop kind of battery which keeps its charge for longer. Other examples are Uniross Hybrio and GP Recyko.

Two brand new sets of GP ReCyko+ batteries do not work with my K-x. Best luck I've had was with Sony CycleEnergy.

It was the AA batteries that were pushing me away from purchasing the K-x in the first place. I've always preferred proprietary lithium-ions because of their convenience (buy an extra one and you're good to go), but I figured with the performance numbers Pentax was indicating with AAs on the K-x I could run with two sets of AAs and not have any issues.

So I bought the K-x, with the two brand new sets of batteries.

Things have not worked out as planned...

-kevs

tiny17 Forum Member • Posts: 74
Re: K-x Battery Experience

Which I believe is due to a bad batch, since there are those of us with awesome battery life and no problems on a pre-charged set of enloops.

Vinh Pham Le Junior Member • Posts: 25
Re: K-x Battery Experience

I have the same problem with my K-x and 2 sets of Panasonic 2000 mAh. Power on/off some times then had the green indicator, orange after 2 shots and red while all batteries work ok with flash AF200.

I thought might have some bad batteries in 2 sets, I tested and sellected better 4 of them, full charge with 80 pictures without flash + 1 video 2min. Some people took better with Eneloop but under standard any way.
Should Pentax issue firmware to fix this problem?

OP kevs0001 Regular Member • Posts: 115
Re: K-x Battery Experience

Which I believe is due to a bad batch, since there are those of us with awesome battery life and no problems on a pre-charged set of enloops.

I agree, I also believe the battery issues are due to a bad batch of cameras.

Well, I'll soon know if Eneloops work in my K-x. I have some on their way, courtesy of a nearby friend who has an extra set for me to try (charged and ready to go). I should have them in my hands any minute now.

How many shots on average are you getting with your K-x on a full charge with the Eneloops?

-kevs

tiny17 Forum Member • Posts: 74
Re: K-x Battery Experience

Well I haven't even had my camera a full week yet. I just took a set of Enloops out of the package and popped them right in my camera when I got it.

I've taken over 200 pictures - some with flash, probably 20 or so HDR. A few with cross processing, and then probably 80 in rapid fire tests. I've also shot over 20 minutes of video. Finally, I have messed around with the menu's, settings, live view, etc very extensively.

While the battery indicator will still show green on power up, if I do something like HDR or video, it will dip to orange, but go back to green when I switch to a more basic mode. I have not seen red yet.

Now for those who get worried over an orange battery status during intensive things, Pentax should poll the battery less in the next firmware update, that would take care of that 'problem'. I really couldn't care less about what the indicator says, as long as I get plenty of powered on time with my camera out of a single set of batteries. At this point I have done enough on my single set (which again was pre-charged, which is not a full charge) that I am very happy. It is comparable to my my nice P&S which uses lithium, of which I always thought had wonderful battery life. Yet this single set is still going, so I can only become more pleased the longer past my expectations they hold out.

My offer is still on the table. Someone offer to send a set of their non-functioning batteries to me, and I will test them in my K-x. If they don't work, then we know the K-x is pick. If they do work, then it seems likely that there is a bad batch of K-x's floating around.

AronG New Member • Posts: 3
Re: K-x Battery Experience

I picked up a new K-X on Friday, Saturday afternoon installed the brand new lithium batteries that came with the kit, played for less than 5 minutes with menus, took 4 shots and the camera announced the batteries were drained and shut down. I then installed new Duracells, turned on, indicator saying fully green charged battery, took 2 shots and shut down. I re-installed the original lithjiums and went throught this scenario many more times, taking 2 - 10 shots at a time before death and rebirth. The battery menu item indicates auto selct battey type or specifically lithium, either way makes no difference in performance. The indicator regularily goes from fully charged to dead battery in 2-3 shots, is this really a battery issue? After all, I can turn off the camera wait for 3 seconds and then turn it back on to take more shots with a fully charged indicator before it shuts down... so what is the deal?

Please help......I like the camera. but I won't live long with this battery issue

AronG.

eruditass
eruditass Senior Member • Posts: 1,056
Re: K-x Battery Experience

Thanks for your impressions!

Please post and read here:

http://www . pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-dslr-discussion/77835-k-x-owners-nimh-batteries-results-please.html

OP kevs0001 Regular Member • Posts: 115
Issues, returns and serial numbers

Your experiences don't sound that different from mine.

As I've stated previously, I suspect some sort of hardware issue with certain batches (maybe only one batch?) of the K-x. I can't see this being a firmware issue, although I'm no engineer, because it's not affecting all the K-x's that are out there. In fact, as you rarely hear from those that don't have a problem, the number of cameras affected may be quite low and limited to those that are mentioning it on the various Pentax forums.

Regardless, there's an issue that I think Pentax needs to address.

For what it's worth, and not much I'll add, I'd suggest you take your camera back to the point of purchase and ask for an exchange, maybe even a refund. Take your batteries with you to try in available stock. Also check the serial numbers to see if you can find stock with a different run number. I haven't done this myself yet so I can't confirm which serial numbers are having issues. I would also ask the retailer if other purchasers have returned their cameras for the same reason. I plan on doing all this tomorrow when I return to my point of purchase.

For those that are having problems, we may want to start comparing serial number runs. Maybe share the first 8 digits of our serial numbers.

Mine: 34340451XXXXX

-kevs

eruditass
eruditass Senior Member • Posts: 1,056
Re: Issues, returns and serial numbers

That's being done in the thread I posted above:

http: pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-dslr-discussion/77835-k-x-owners-nimh-batteries-results-please.html

around 3434 people are having problems, but no one has posted working SN's yet so we can't really tell.

kevs0001 wrote:

Your experiences don't sound that different from mine.

As I've stated previously, I suspect some sort of hardware issue with certain batches (maybe only one batch?) of the K-x. I can't see this being a firmware issue, although I'm no engineer, because it's not affecting all the K-x's that are out there. In fact, as you rarely hear from those that don't have a problem, the number of cameras affected may be quite low and limited to those that are mentioning it on the various Pentax forums.

Regardless, there's an issue that I think Pentax needs to address.

For what it's worth, and not much I'll add, I'd suggest you take your camera back to the point of purchase and ask for an exchange, maybe even a refund. Take your batteries with you to try in available stock. Also check the serial numbers to see if you can find stock with a different run number. I haven't done this myself yet so I can't confirm which serial numbers are having issues. I would also ask the retailer if other purchasers have returned their cameras for the same reason. I plan on doing all this tomorrow when I return to my point of purchase.

For those that are having problems, we may want to start comparing serial number runs. Maybe share the first 8 digits of our serial numbers.

Mine: 34340451XXXXX

-kevs

OP kevs0001 Regular Member • Posts: 115
K-x Eneloop Experience

As stated by a number of posters to this thread, Sanyo Eneloops are the way to go with the K-x.

Since I didn't have any Eneloops, I sent an email around to a few buddies and found someone who not only had a set, but was willing to drive by and drop them off.

Since my initial tests of eight brands of NiMH batteries posted earlier, I've now tested two more including the Eneloops.

Sanyo Eneloop 2000 mAh (about 6 months old) - Batteries were fully charged as per the owner and confirmed charged by reading the volts via a multimeter. I put the batteries in, waited about a minute (I was getting excited and couldn't wait any longer), turned on the camera and nothing. Turned it off, waited 30 seconds, back on, and got the depleted battery warning, camera turned off by itself. Waited around 15 minutes with the camera off, turned it back on, received an orange battery indicator and was able to get a few shots off and a short movie. Turned the camera off, and then back on a few minutes later, received the battery depleted error. Subsequent 'ons' resulted in the same error. I decided to 'top up' the batteries in a charger even though I confirmed with the meter that the voltage was the same as when I first tested the batteries (before the few shots and movie was taken). Batteries charged for about 10 minutes using a slow charge Sony charger, and then indicated they were fully charged. Put them back in the camera, on, off, back on again, orange indicator, a few shots, off and back on, red - battery depleted.

No name battery (silver with 'Battery' written in black and an orange top) 2500 mAh (around 1 year old) - After leaving them in for 2 minutes and then turning the camera on (nothing happened), off, waited 5 seconds, and back on again the camera quickly indicated the batteries were depleted and then shut down the camera. I took them out, put them back in, waited, turned the camera on, nothing. Tried a few more tries, nothing. Inserted the Sony CycleEnergy (the most usable of all the batteries tested so far) waited, turned on the camera, nothing, turned it off, back on, got a screen of white lines, no text, just lines and the blue light indicator on the top. Quickly turned the camera off (did I break it for real now?), waited 5 minutes, turned it back on with the Sony batteries still inside and it came on showed an orange indicator. Took a few shots, received the battery depleted error and the camera shut down.

The testing with these two sets of batteries was conducted with the battery type set to NiMH.

Enough testing for today... I'm off to the point of purchase first thing tomorrow morning. I'll post an update then.

Cheers.
-kevs

OP kevs0001 Regular Member • Posts: 115
Re: Issues, returns and serial numbers

johnnyz86 wrote:

That's being done in the thread I posted above:

http: pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-dslr-discussion/77835-k-x-owners-nimh-batteries-results-please.html

around 3434 people are having problems, but no one has posted working SN's yet so we can't really tell.

Excellent, I'll add my name to the list over there and continue to post updates here.

-kevs

Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads