I have bought the *istD and the vertical grip. Using it always with fully charged batteries I expected the camera to work longer. Suddenly I experienced a very strange behavior. The cammera very soon /after some 100 shots/ reports that batteries are depleted (even though they are not) when both release buttons are on. At such condition it even starts a non-stopable series of shots (not recording on card) which can only be determined by taking out of the batteries in the body. After some minutes without shooting it reports that batteries are full. I am using the alcaline AA batteries.
Anyone has a clue what that all could mean?;-(
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Re: *istD Problem with Vertical Grip
Digital cameras require a large 'surge' of power when performing things like processing an image and saving it to the memory card.
Alkaline batteries work best when used in a device that draws power at a steady rate. They do not work as well when asked to provide a surge of power. Your batteries are indeed not dead, but they are sufficiently depleted that they can no longer provide that surge that the camera requires. Take them out and put them in something like a TV remote or a radio. They probably have quite a bit of life left.
NiHM and Lithium based batteries are much better at being able to provide the amount of current needed right up until they go dead.
The 100 shots you got out of your Alkalines is at the high end of what you can typically with Alkalines in your camera. The continuous shooting could be a symptom of the batteries getting low.
Another option to those previously listed are AA Lithium batteries which are cheaper than CR-V3's and last nearly as long. They are not rechargeable though.
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I think the extent of the instructions is on the Nikon USA web site. Here it is
"The Nikon MB-40 Multi-Power Battery Pack accommodates eight AA (alkaline, lithium, or Ni-MH) batteries, or the Nikon EN-EL4 Rechargeable Li-ion Battery.
The MS-40 Battery Holder comes with the MB-40. With the MB-40 attached, film can be advanced as fast as 8 fps.
When using the EN-EL4 battery, the Battery-Chamber Cover BL-3 must be used.
The MB-40 is also a vertical grip, and features a vertical grip shutter release, an AF start button, and Multi-selector and Command Dials for more comfortable and responsive shooting."
The battery grip is likely defective. Bower is not know for their high quality, but rather their afford-ability. If it is under warranty, I would recommend returning the unit and requesting a replacement from either the manufacturer or the retailer from which you ordered it. There is no setting in the menus to enable the vertical shutter release on the grip.
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Is this battery grip a Canon or aftermarket accessory? Have you mounted the camera to a tripod if so what lens do you have on the camera? Are you using the adapter for the use of AA's or are you using the LP-E8 battery pack? Are you using the camera in portrait position or landscape?
Here is why Canon has had in the past some problems with battery grips but I thought it was a solved issue maybe not on the entry level DSLR's. What happens is there is enough flex between the body and the grip to break connection and yes it seizes up. Most Rebels will have a plastic lens mounting flange which will also flex with the weight of a lens (longer focal lengths). Also with the longer focal length lens it has more a tendency to flex the battery grip if mounted on a tripod. Holding in the portrait position the weight of the camera is actually pulling away from the contacts so there is a whole series of little possibilities. If it's a Canon accessory then it's a warranty thing if it's aftermarket Humm not sure should have something on it but, the quick fix is to keep tightening the mounting screw/wheel. I know that wasn't the fix you wanted but hey just telling the way it is.
I also had this problem with this same exact camera. i took it apart and cleaned everything with no luck. what i ended up doing was buying a vertical grip for it rather than throw away the camera. the vertical grip has a button on it that will work. i got mine from amazon it came with 2 canon OEM batteries and was only 100$ shipped. and the best part is after using the vertical grip all day i came home and was playing with it and noticed me cameras shutter button started working "i'm not saying this will also make your start working again" but it might and if it doesnt you can use the button on the grip.
ni-cad or ni-mh rechargeable batteries all have charging cycle life and will fall in effeciency. in saying that, batteries used for some time will be not be as powerful as the new ones, and over or under charged batteries also wouldn't give you expected power.
i guess the CR123A you replaced is a new one, so it has the desirable voltage and current.
LCD itself and the driver actually do not require a lot of power, but the camera does, which draws away from the battery.
i have yet to recieve the b-grip for my *ist so i can't tell you if i have the same problem. i do have a thought on the matter and an interest in the fix as i have a grip on order. have either or both of you upgraded to firmware 1.1? that is not listed as something the firmware update remedies. however, i understand that manufacturers often include fixes for less conspicious problems without listing them. if you haven't upgraded it's worth a shot, you have nothing to loose as long as you use FRESH batteries. hope i helped. have fun shooting.
Not sure if you try fresh Alkaline battery. Try it if you havn't already.
Fully charged batteries, how do you know it fully charged? The "charger said so"?
Your batteries or charger might give you a fault peak reading. Try fresh battery or AC adepter and go from there.
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.