Question about Pentax *ist D Digital Camera

3 Answers

Battery problem when on computer

Just experienced a problem when connected the computer with the *ist D. Using the original crv3 batteries (taken about 400 shots) I connected the *ist D to the computer (with battery grip on) and the battery indicator depleted light flashed on the screen of the camera and the camera shut down. This was a surprise as the batteries had only taken about 400 shots and I had the battery grip on which had a set of NiMH almost fully charged in it. With the battery grip on I would have thought the camera would use it to power the camera to the computer. I removed the battery grip and inserted a set of charged Nmih batteries into the camera and then the camera worked when connested to the computer. I thought the crv3 must be dead after all, so I checked them with the volt meter and they had 2.84v. This should be enough to run the camera. I checked the fully charged NiMH and they only had 1.315v (2.63v in series) which is less than the crv3. Hmmm. I removed the NiMH from the camera and reinserted the crv3's and lo and behold now the camera works when connected to the computer but without the battery grip. So the camera works with the crv3's at 2.84v but not with battery grip installed with the NiMH batteries. My findings are as follows when connected to the computer: Without battery grip connected: 1) camera works with the crv3 2) camera DOES work with almost fully charged 1.315v (2.63v in series) NiMH With battery grip connected with almost fully charged 1.315v (2.63v in series) NiMH: 1) camera doesn't work with crv3 in camera with NiMH in the battery grip 2) camera doesn't work with NiMH in both camera and battery grip. Now the camera+battery grip did work previously with fully charged NiMH so they musn't take much to drain them past the point of not working when connected to the computer with the battery grip. They still work perfectly well when used for normal shooting just not when connected to the computer at the present charge amount. There must be something about the battery grip that plays havoc with the way the camera reads the amount of power left in the battery as it is OK when the NiMH's are fully charged but not much takes to drain them past that point. Has anybody had this happen?

Posted by Anonymous on

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Re: Battery problem when on computer

There are several reasons NOT to use the camera for that purpose, but if you really insist, you should get the AC adapter. I got mine at the same time I got the camera, for various reasons, including shooting in studio-like conditions. Beside the rapid battery consumption you've already discovered, there are other disadvantages. Remember that the USB connection carries power. There is a very remote but significant chance that a one-in-a-million malfunction could damage the camera, the card or both. It sounds far-fetched, but if there was such a malfunction, your camera could get fried. Image files in the card could get corrupted or overwritten in such an unlikely event. If nothing else, plugging and unplugging the cable eventually wears out the jacks in the camera, and that could be a factor when you sell the camera down the road. Anyone who's been shooting long enough has seen a flash connector on a camera body wear out or break. Same principle. Heaven forbid your batteries should give up the ghost during the process of updating the firmware! The USB connection is provided as a convenience. I'd use it as a last resort only, and so far I haven't had to. A FireWire reader works much faster, better and safer.

Posted on Sep 08, 2005

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Re: Battery problem when on computer

I won't go into detail because I remember there were posts earlier in the year about this. You are right that there seems to be a problem in the battery meter when it comes to the BGI grip (which is never off my camera mainly because I believe it improves the handling generally but of course also for portrait shots you can't beat it) but isn't always consistent. Battery problems really stopped the day my USB2 card reader arrived as that is all I use now. The other issue you may come accross (and I am not sure if it relates to NiMH only) and has been in posts before is the sudden shutdown when the batteries appear exhausted. You might not be at that stage on your CRV3s (which I can atest have an amazing life). The meter says they are full, you might get a couple of shots showing half life left then bam, the *istD shuts down. This may also have something to do with the battery grip too but not sure.

Posted on Sep 08, 2005

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Re: Battery problem when on computer

The cable connector on the *istD looks fairly flimsy to me and I am willing to bet it is not designed nor will it last as many insertion cycles as the CF card socket, also the CF card is much more tightly aligned less chance to damage contacts by inserting at an angle, near impossible. Any card reader is faster that using the cable, the cable is only USB1. You say you are lazy, but gee whiz you must be vey patient waiting for images to download via the cable at USB1 rates.

Posted on Sep 08, 2005

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