Monday, April 14, 2008

K200D Battery Issue is Now Official!?

On Page 37 of the user's manual of the K200D (Page 39 of the pdf file), it is said that "the use of Ni-MH batteries is not recommended as the batteries' voltage characteristics may cause a malfunction", despite that in the same section about batteries for use in the K200D, it briefs about "AA lithium batteries", "NiMH AA rechargeable batteries" and "AA alkaline batteries" Only!(?) Where is CR-V3 lithium battery type? Can't they be used? And, don't Pentax know that CR-V3 Lithiums are having a different chemical formula than those (Energizer) AA Lithiums and generally have a slightly longer life?? Or, is it just that the K200D cannot use the CR-V3 Lithiums? (I don't think so, though).

The most funny thing is that whilst Pentax list out 3 types of batteries for their K200D in their manual, they immediately "do not recommend" 2 types already but left only the AA Lithiums to be the *only* "recommended" choice for use in their camera. So, does all the new K200D users can use "only" the (Energizer) AA Lithiums in their K200D? Hey, Pentax, don't you know that only Energizer make AA Lithiums but nobody else, unlike CR-V3 Lithiums?

In fact, I have always being disagreed with the over-conservative behaviour but actually irresponsible approach of Pentax for over-protecting themselves in their documentation (no matter in their manuals or in their websites) instead of trying to find a good solution to a *real problem*. Years ago, they simply banned all the Rechargeable CR-V3 batteries "one off", although many of those regulated RCR-V3 models should be working perfectly in their "AA DSLRs". Now, this time, they are even dare to say that Ni-MHs are "not recommended". Really funny, but super ridiculous! As I have been "blaming" them for years, why didn't they and don't they just compile a list of compatible battery models OR JUST to bundle an approved model/type of batteries along with a charger, no matter it is Eneloop NiMH (or something else alike that are usable, although NiMHs will surely make the camera slower, particularly for the AF) or even RCR-V3s, even they STILL have NOT found out a solution to improve their circuitry, for the camera's power supply part???

A disappointing finding afterall. This officially provided information does not only reflect the same old widely reported problem will probably be persistent forever, it also reflects the poor attitude, stubbornness and the lack of intention of Pentax in tackling some of the real and well-known problems (even this time it shows that they know very clearly about it) which is just a very stupid thing for them, really. Annoying and Sad!

Read Also:- When 1100 mAh Li-ion RCR-V3s Outperform 2500 mAh+ NiMH AAs


azemerov said...

I would say that battery issue is the biggest issue with K100D/K200D models. It is _SO_ strange not to develop power circuit capable to hold any kind of batteries in the range 5-8 volts.
For me "Pentax" means flexibility in choice of optic and accessories (remember the efforts company put to provide compatibility and flexibility through whole PK-mount line). From this point of view the battery issue is huge nonsense.

Anonymous said...

Great, another issue for Pentax and another orgasm for Ricehigh...

senthil said...

I've been having battery issues with my k200d as well. It eats up its batteries pretty quickly and can hardly last 100 shots (combined flash photography and normal photography) on energizer emax batteries. But it does last mighty long with energizer lithiums. But apart from that, the K200d is an amazing camera.

Anonymous said...

'On Page 37 of the user's manual of the K200D (Page 39 of the pdf file), it is said that "the use of Ni-MH batteries is not recommended as the batteries' voltage characteristics may cause a malfunction"'

This is a very misleading statement!. The user's manual talks about Ni-Mn batteries and not Ni-MH batteries!

Please see

page 39.

In the same page, it is mentioned that Ni-MH are allowed to be used and are economical.

Please read the manual thoroughly before making such comments!

RiceHigh said...

As you should know, the e-manual that I (and other people as well) originally referred and linked to was removed and replaced. Well, there is a good reason why you give us a new link, isn't it?

Anyway, thanks for your "correction"!

Anonymous said...

Sanyo Eneloop Rechargeables. work perfect! last extremely long! PROBLEM SOLVED!!!

Anonymous said...

For a while I used Energizer rechargables, which worked really well on other cameras but on the k200d, the power would just disappear... I ended up having to charge them twice a day! Energizer lithiums work a lot better but it's a much more costly alternative...
But yes, I agree, it is a brilliant camera on the whole!

Anonymous said...

Sanyo HR-3U 2700mAh and ENERGIZER 2500mAh don't work for my k200d at all, GP270AAHC hardly works, but Ansmann 2700mAh special professional works perfectly

Anonymous said...

Wanting to use the 18-250mm zoom as my walk-about lens, and yet wanting image stabilization, I was willing to overlook the poorer test results of the CCD sensor IS instead of lens IS, and the poorer JPEG compression test results reported for the Pentax K200D. I liked the environmental seals and the flexibility of AA cells, particularily the use of inexpensive NIMH rechargeables that were promoted by Pentax and various K200D reviewers.

However, having recently bought the K200D, and after installing a new fully charged set of 4-AA Energizer 2450mAh NiMH cells, I found them to last not much longer than 5 minutes before the camera showed them depleted. After 2 subsequent recharges and further use, I had collectively taken 187 frames (about 1/2 with flash, and some viewing) on these batteries, although I found each recharge provided a longer period of use. When the camera quit, they were immediately removed and measured. The combined 4-cells showed 5.04V no load, or about 1.25V/cell. This represents only a small fraction of the discharge capacity of most NiMH rechargeables.

Pentax's "Tech Support" pleaded total ignorance to this problem, instead recommending the obvious use of lithium batteries, and the naive recommendation of using NIMH with a capacity of 2500mAH or higher.

Sanyo Eneloop 2000mAh hybrids (or perhaps other hybrid pre-charged cells), appear to be a more promising alternative, due to their higher voltage under load, but are difficult to find in Calgary at a reasonable price. Costco carry them bundled either with a charger or with unneeded AAA cells. However, at Superstore I found reasonably priced 4-AA packs of "Presidents Choice" Eneloop look-alikes. I just installed a set, so we will see if these work better. The ability to retain a charge for a long time would just be an additional bonus.

My K200D Operating Manual clouded this battery issue with a disclaimer on the use of NIMH cells, (which they seem to have later revised in their downloadable version) to the use of NiMN cells.

I feel as if Pentax has cheated me. Had they advertised that their K200D would only work properly on expensive disposible lithium batteries, I may not have made this choice. Why would they have not fixed this power supply problem, which seems to have been carried over from earlier designs?

Anonymous said...

Thank you for making this website available to Pentax users. Very informative.

RiceHigh said...

You're welcome and I'm very glad that you find my website useful!

Btw, you're the visitor who has made the 1,000th comment at my site. Congrats! :-)

Coleman Ultra 2500 said...

I am an Electronics Specialist with experience to 1958. I too find the K200D showing a premature "depleted battery" message using 2450 mAh Energizer batteries. After the K200D shows a battery depletion, I removed and checked the batteries using a 2 ohm load resistance across each cell with a accurate, high-end digital voltmeter. Each battery had a reading no lower than 1.24 volts. The nominal voltage of a Nicad or NiMh is 1.2 volts. What I found, the batteries had a huge amount of capacity left. They had not yet achieved the nominal 1.2 volts of the battery. This means the Pentax software is set too high for for a 1.2 volt battery. Pentax needs to get this fixed. I use a Maha MH-C801D charger that charges each battery separately.

Pentax....get your software fixed and issue a firmware update. Do like Garmin does with their GPS units. Make a screen entry allowing user choice between battery types offering a proper setpoint in the software.

D Messing
Nebraska City

dezz said...

Let’s start from pointing out Thant Energizer makes a very poor quality products.
Just because you have tons of rechargeable from them it’s your own fault. You gave in to marketing – deal with it.
Rice – It is a great website and extremely helpful in so many ways. THX
Why do you stick with pentax? And it is not the question like ‘stop complaining move to canon’ just in a way I admire that knowing all that you know you still have pentax.

RiceHigh said...

Read more posts of mine in my Blog and you will know.

Anonymous said...

As someone considering purchasing a K200D, I appreciate your thoughts.

A few comments, however.

I have read repeatedly of users having good success with Eneloop batteries - getting somewhere in the range of 500-700 shots with them. Is this not true?

Also, as "deez" stated, why do you stick with Pentax?

I'll be honest with you - reading through your all your blog posts to try to piece together isn't appealing. Can you give me a short answer?

And, finally, is your basic opinion that the K200D is a junk DSLR or just that it has a few problems?

Anonymous said...

Okay - it was appealing. I've read some of your posts and have come to the following conclusion.

You were/are very happy with manual Pentax cameras, especially their lenses.

However, you believe Pentax's DSLR offerings to date have been flawed and remain a distant third in quality to Nikon and Canon DSLRs. Is this correct?

My problem is that I'm looking at the XSi and the K200D.

The K200D is a much more comfortable fit in my hands and just "feels" better. So even if it does have worse focusing, etc., I think I still might be better off with it unless there it is just a flat out awful camera.

Anonymous said...

Yip, eneloops are the way to go. As I barely use flash on my K200D (because of a selection of primes) I tend to get at least 700 shots per charge. Two sets of eneloops still cost me less than a spare proprietary battery would've cost for another manufacturer's camera.

Jolly said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

the manual says NiMn, not NiMH is not a good choice. got to read the fine print....

Richard C. Lambert said...

Thousands of pages document the tests, inspections and analysis the Japanesechildren's toy batteries

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