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John Mitchell

Battery life-expectancy

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Just wondering, how long do your camera batteries last? I have several NP-FW50 batteries for my Sony cameras that are now 5+ years old, and they have started to give up the ghost. Interestingly, I don't fine that the expensive Sony batteries last any longer than the much cheaper after-market ones that I bought on ebay.

Edited by John Mitchell

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I don't know about that particular battery, but in general lithium chemistry is age limited while nickel chemistry is cycle limited. Nickel batteries are good for a certain number of charge/discharge cycles, then start to fail. Lithium batteries don't mind being charged repeatedly, but start to lose capacity after a number of years.

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12 minutes ago, DJ Myford said:

I don't know about that particular battery, but in general lithium chemistry is age limited while nickel chemistry is cycle limited. Nickel batteries are good for a certain number of charge/discharge cycles, then start to fail. Lithium batteries don't mind being charged repeatedly, but start to lose capacity after a number of years.

 

That's what I'm finding -- my older lithium batteries now take less time to charge and they get exhausted quickly.

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I'm still using 10-year-old batteries with my Canon 5D2 and they show no signs of failing.

 

Alan

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The Sony batteries, particularly for the little RX100 series, are very bad at holding a charge and recharging time. 

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11 hours ago, Ed Rooney said:

The Sony batteries, particularly for the little RX100 series, are very bad at holding a charge and recharging time. 

 

Mine are quite good at holding a charge. The bigger ones (NP-FW50) for the Nex and the A7 are really bad at holding a charge. At first I blamed the bodies, but they're just as bad just sitting in the bag.

I was wondering if the chargers have anything to do with it.

 

wim

 

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3 hours ago, wiskerke said:

 

Mine are quite good at holding a charge. The bigger ones (NP-FW50) for the Nex and the A7 are really bad at holding a charge. At first I blamed the bodies, but they're just as bad just sitting in the bag.

I was wondering if the chargers have anything to do with it.

 

wim

 

 

Good question. I still use the Sony plug-in charger that came with my NEX-3, which is about seven years old now. Perhaps the charger is failing at this point. I never charge batteries in-camera. Guess I should experiment. I've no idea how long chargers last.

Edited by John Mitchell

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18 hours ago, Inchiquin said:

I'm still using 10-year-old batteries with my Canon 5D2 and they show no signs of failing.

 

Alan

 

How about the NP-FW50 batteries for the NEX-6 (if you still use one)?

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I've not done tests so no hard data, but I  also suspect  that the cheaper after market batteries are similar to the Sony originals. However you do read scare stories about laptop batteries bursting into flames!

 

I paid a bit extra for a  Duracell camera  battery last year, but don't see any difference there either. I always charge in camera, often using my largely defunct NEX6 to charge the batteries for the a6500.

 

I've been experimenting using the camera as a scanner recently, and that really does flatten the battery quickly, as you need to spend ages adjusting and focusing for every shot. The latest Sony raw processor includes a remote control facility that enables you to see what the camera is doing on a laptop screen.  I don't know if this is compatible with the a6500, or if you need to hard wire it, or if the camera will operate when attached to external power,  but I need to find out!

 

 

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9 hours ago, wiskerke said:

 

Mine are quite good at holding a charge. The bigger ones (NP-FW50) for the Nex and the A7 are really bad at holding a charge. At first I blamed the bodies, but they're just as bad just sitting in the bag.

I was wondering if the chargers have anything to do with it.

 

wim

 

 

It's odd, Wim, that I have a reverse experience to yours; my larger Sony batteries do somewhat better. I've tried more than one way of charging . . . and as you said, the backup batties sitting in my bag don't hold a charge well either. I see it as a weak point in the system. 

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5 hours ago, John Mitchell said:

 

How about the NP-FW50 batteries for the NEX-6 (if you still use one)?

 

 

To be honest I hardly use it these days. Whereas about 95% of my Canon images are good enough for Alamy, probably no more than 40% of the NEX ones are good enough without me biting my nails over the possibility of failure. I mostly use it now for personal pics. So although I've had it 5 years I've only taken 1800 pics with it. The batteries show no sign of deteriorating but since I don't use it much I often top up the charge every now and then even if it doesn't need it, so I can't really tell how it would perform in anger.

 

Alan

Edited by Inchiquin

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46 minutes ago, Inchiquin said:

 

To be honest I hardly use it these days. Whereas about 95% of my Canon images are good enough for Alamy, probably no more than 40% of the NEX ones are good enough without me biting my nails over the possibility of failure. I mostly use it now for personal pics. So although I've had it 5 years I've only taken 1800 pics with it.

 

Alan

 

Not been my experience Alan, I've never (tempting fate, touch wood etc) had a QC failure using either the Sony NEX6 or A6500 and I have uploaded thousands of photos taken with them. Mind you I don't use Sony zoom lenses at all now, preferring my collection of old film camera glass and a couple of after market fixed focal length lenses. They are markedly superior. 

 

I also have a Canon 5DII, and a couple of L lenses, but it's so heavy that it rarely leaves the house. I would say that the sensor in the a6500 is better than that in the 5DII, certainly with respect to shadow noise, although the photos from the FF Canon do look great when circumstances allow.

 

 

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I've noticed that an off-brand battery for my 5D2 has a decidedly non-linear discharge curve, at least according to the camera meter. It tends to give less warning of running out than the official battery does. I suspect that may be due to the nature of the protection circuitry built into the battery pack.


As for lithium batteries catching fire, there are two states to avoid: absolute maximum charge, and deep discharge. At absolute maximum charge the chemistry is inherently unstable as it is holding all the energy it can cope with, so most chargers are calibrated to stop charging before absolute maximum capacity is achieved. At the other end of the scale, if the battery voltage drops too low (deep discharge), elemental lithium can form within the cell. Pure lithium is highly reactive, and even a small amount can cause a fire. Battery packs contain protection circuitry designed to disconnect the battery before it can go into deep discharge.


That is why it is recommended to store lithium batteries with about a 50% charge: it avoids the stress that is placed on the chemistry by a full charge, and minimises the risk of the battery approaching deep discharge while in storage.


Apologies for the long post: sometimes I start to babble a bit. 🙄🤐

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No no, David. That's the kind of info I hate but need to know. 🙁

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7 hours ago, Inchiquin said:

 

To be honest I hardly use it these days. Whereas about 95% of my Canon images are good enough for Alamy, probably no more than 40% of the NEX ones are good enough without me biting my nails over the possibility of failure. I mostly use it now for personal pics. So although I've had it 5 years I've only taken 1800 pics with it. The batteries show no sign of deteriorating but since I don't use it much I often top up the charge every now and then even if it doesn't need it, so I can't really tell how it would perform in anger.

 

Alan

 

Interesting. My experience with the NEX-6 has been quite different. I'd say that duds are usually my fault rather than the camera's. The 16-50 can definitely be a finicky lens, though. I still use the NEX-6 quite a bit, although I find the a6000 that I bought last year to be a big improvement. Not sure what you mean by "how it would perform in anger."

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39 minutes ago, John Mitchell said:

 

 Not sure what you mean by "how it would perform in anger."

 

 

Serious use when it needs to pull out all the stops and produce guaranteed results.

 

Alan

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6 hours ago, Bryan said:

 

Not been my experience Alan, I've never (tempting fate, touch wood etc) had a QC failure using either the Sony NEX6 or A6500 and I have uploaded thousands of photos taken with them. Mind you I don't use Sony zoom lenses at all now

 

 

The sole reason I bought mine was to have a camera I could slip into my pocket, which means that the Sony 16-50 is the only lens I can use with it.

 

I did try an RX100 Mk1 first but that was nowhere near good enough for QC (secondhand so might not have been at its best) and also, with no viewfinder, I found that I just couldn't keep it steady while looking at the rear screen (I have the same problem with smartphones).

 

My problem with the NEX might be that I'm too conditioned to crisp images from the 5D2, and it may be that some of the NEX pics I reject might get through QC, but I'm very protective of my QC record and I would rather not take any chances.

 

Alan

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6 minutes ago, Inchiquin said:

 

Serious use when it needs to pull out all the stops and produce guaranteed results over a sustained period..

 

Alan

 

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1 hour ago, Inchiquin said:

 

Serious use when it needs to pull out all the stops and produce guaranteed results.

 

Alan

 

Thanks. Got it now. I was thinking more in terms of overall life-expectancy of the NP-FW50 batteries -- i.e. how many years they can be expected to remain in good condition under "normal" use. It sounds as if yours is still going strong after five years, which is a positive sign. The Battery I got with my NEX-6  isn't performing all that well now, but I've used the camera a lot more than you have, though nothing like Bryan.

 

Crisp is good. 😏

 

 

Edited by John Mitchell

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9 hours ago, Bryan said:

I've not done tests so no hard data, but I  also suspect  that the cheaper after market batteries are similar to the Sony originals. However you do read scare stories about laptop batteries bursting into flames!

 

I paid a bit extra for a  Duracell camera  battery last year, but don't see any difference there either. I always charge in camera, often using my largely defunct NEX6 to charge the batteries for the a6500.

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks. Using the NEX-6 as a charger sounds like a good idea. I'll give it a try. It could be that old my Sony charger is wearing out. Perhaps a lot of the cheapo replacement batteries are actually made in the same factories as the Sony ones. Who knows these days. None of my cheap batteries have burst into flames yet, which is a plus.

Edited by John Mitchell

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1 minute ago, John Mitchell said:

This looks like an interesting option, and the charger is quite inexpensive on ebay.

 

I have that  one for the NP-BX1's for the RX100. However I now use one of these. And I use the equivalent for the bigger batteries also.

Recently I have used this one for the NP-BX1 as well and I have ordered one for myself. It looks like the original Sony charger for the A7 NP-FW50 batteries, but smaller. The inside looks similar too. I will do some more testing when I have all 5 lined up. Hmm maybe I should learn how to test batteries first. 😁

 

wim

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When I'm out and about far from a power socket, I charge my batteries with a usb charger connected to a portable compact powerbank. This way I can shoot away while a flat battery is being charged in my shoulder bag.

 

Usb charger:https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Dual-Battery-Charger-for-Sony-NP-FW50-Battery-Alpha-a6500-a5000-a6000-NEX-7-5-3/183729273513?hash=item2ac71e3aa9&enc=AQADAAADAFjVrDbVsZ8oH%2F8PNHtt9VX4%2Fw7FZcmMuqsX8uaFEduVNCMAphpdMnyKjL0DjX2OdpbQKOwGCQ9TAfG0vMSE2YdNBZm5oCoJMbFWBm7ox%2FSJoVl6dka9M24xrKuzzLucwQio3Z3kjAfI5OP%2Fe0VPpv5%2BmegOAOm1agqqdSRvjez3zLiInQulhJ4naJl%2BDlAC3hzLIBr3VfvF65isx4Ss3fr0pvfSggrKxqzTUFX%2FDjlHhPjM6ys8awuoQIHDKwQTrGcQv3haIOj8eoBq7fqPQB%2BNPjdSKICMyUBgVTgxldBiv5zqk01fWs5wNP3L0keOBsdT1pXN4OTYLQvsLpx%2FautqCyA8CfeZXo1VjrtovE4l6VGBny5QM3pR6%2BTwCPA7DU%2ByyVtYyFj%2F%2BOFaOtWHP2hOTkmZan4H2RmyDM1OIPNWx%2BrF0dzdsjn0Ya9%2Bw4bzWepkf9%2F%2B7vklpPLXtMTft3uYwkYNoUuMSmcu34bwQ%2BaSYWaw%2BwU0LSsNVgqL8qOZmtjYzwnbsBZjocWhOspqDoGkEfl2RdnCiq15fBtKoFcV3R6aP02cqyQNFFJEI1nYEO4KeFa%2FV00Sswi%2FkXX9Z61xiQsyG6GgXipPUK1IgbjYDJacdL121boDd5ADbU1nIH628E15uSdNvtS1hNt0M15XDLaRt2uzBQS%2F1hoYK4xsMzXtPU5kQauitxHLoMBAqFHNqdYi8p7G9MUKikRqM3BcxRgAzu3UsSzylq%2FpQsm4%2BuDy%2BlEJBCmsV1fJznSWG9MKKd7qTP9F06L5R9n3SLkJr%2BRscv1UlECBnMzmEoeGfif%2FYxgPzj%2F3%2FDzbadmqqdcjFOU4%2Fnt7puzQkRT9rYFMFeKwiZHxoD%2B37I53fgip5DsTY8a%2BOBNyDFWAeCsm8MDDzickGS2uSGQRKNLEx%2Byi1vjZY7K9vfJ0%2Bzg6yUEfTQPBSKCoU%2Bb%2FkmuRcHHMjNsZz492zkwKqMwmyAYlr6c6SQiJbuhmHyr5LVr9t7GOiQ7uQGD%2F1BdKbnoueBaTfw%3D%3D&checksum=1837292735139202c5c57a9740b89d0245676514b7c9&frcectupt=true

 

Power bank: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Ultra-thin-Portable-Power-Bank-External-Battery-Charger-For-Mobile-Phone-2-USB/153351148020?hash=item23b470d1f4:m:mGicwQLydWuAxhImqvM3ULg

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1 hour ago, wiskerke said:

 

I have that  one for the NP-BX1's for the RX100. However I now use one of these. And I use the equivalent for the bigger batteries also.

Recently I have used this one for the NP-BX1 as well and I have ordered one for myself. It looks like the original Sony charger for the A7 NP-FW50 batteries, but smaller. The inside looks similar too. I will do some more testing when I have all 5 lined up. Hmm maybe I should learn how to test batteries first. 😁

 

wim

 

So many chargers, so little time...

 

I believe Sony rates its NP-FW50 batteries at 1020 to1080 mAH. However, I notice that some cheaper replacement NP-FW50 batteries claim to be 1500 mAH. I wonder if that makes a difference when it comes to chargers -- e.g. I'm not sure if my original Sony cradle charger (or in-camera charging) would be able to properly charge a 1500 mAH battery. Also, I wonder how Sony cameras react to these supposedly more powerful batteries. Perhaps it's best to stay away from them.

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11 hours ago, John Mitchell said:

 

I believe Sony rates its NP-FW50 batteries at 1020 to1080 mAH. However, I notice that some cheaper replacement NP-FW50 batteries claim to be 1500 mAH. I wonder if that makes a difference when it comes to chargers -- e.g. I'm not sure if my original Sony cradle charger (or in-camera charging) would be able to properly charge a 1500 mAH battery. Also, I wonder how Sony cameras react to these supposedly more powerful batteries. Perhaps it's best to stay away from them.

 

 

I've seen so many cautionary words about cheap replacement batteries that I always buy the manufacturers' own, even though my budget is limited.

 

Alan

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