|Home >> Ask Olympus October 2007|
I haven't seen much information about battery condition. The battery icon in the viewfinder blinks when the battery can be charged, but what about the icon on the LCD?
Also, about charging the battery: I don't use my camera weekly or even monthly. Is it OK to put the battery on the charger even if the battery is not fully drained? Just to give it a quick charge?
Answer: Olympus digital cameras indicate battery strength by displaying a battery check icon on the LCD display and on the viewfinder display in some models. The icon is displayed briefly whenever the camera is turned on. (It may be necessary to press the shutter button halfway down to see the battery icon on the viewfinder display.) When battery power is low, the icon will blink repeatedly until the battery is drained.
The battery check icon is shaped like a AA battery, regardless of the type of battery used in the camera. Depending on the amount of power remaining in the battery, some or all of the battery icon will be shaded, or “filled in.” However, this shading does not represent a real-time measurement of battery power. Rather, if the battery icon is completely shaded, it means the battery has power and the camera is ready for use. If the icon is partially shaded, it means that the battery requires charging. If the battery is completely drained, the camera will display a large “battery empty” icon on the LCD and will not be able to shoot or display images.
Rechargeable batteries shipped with Olympus digital cameras are not fully charged and should be charged with their bundled battery charger before first use. Always remove batteries before storing a camera for a long period. After a long storage, recharge the batteries fully before using the camera.
All rechargeable batteries do exhibit gradual performance degradation over a period of many charge and discharge cycles. Typically, battery power is reduced by about half after 500 charge and discharge cycles. (Please refer to the bundled product documentation for the battery life estimates of specific models.) When operation time is significantly reduced, it’s time to replace the battery.
The question of whether or not to “quick charge” partially charged batteries depends upon the type of battery. If rechargeable nickel-cadmium (NiCd) or nickel metal hydride batteries (NiMH) are repeatedly recharged before they have completely drained, they will function with only a portion of their original capacity. This phenomenon is called a “memory effect” because the batteries behave as though they have “forgotten” that they can discharge beyond the point at which they were recharged. The effect is much more pronounced with NiCd batteries. To get the maximum use out of a NiMH battery, it's a good idea to fully discharge the battery before recharging and, when recharging, always charge the battery to its maximum capacity.
Rechargeable lithium-ion batteries are less susceptible to “memory effect” and may be “topped off” with a quick charge virtually any time.
Here are some general guidelines to help you get the best battery performance for your digital camera:
- A digital camera’s power consumption varies greatly depending on usage and operating conditions. The following operations consume battery power quickly: using Live View; pressing the shutter button halfway in shooting mode; performing auto focus repeatedly; displaying images on the LCD for a prolonged period of time; maintaining a connection to a computer or printer.
- Olympus rechargeable batteries are designed for use with specific models of Olympus battery chargers. Do not charge them in any other charger, and do not use the charger to recharge non-Olympus batteries. Do not use the charger as a power source for the digital camera.
- When inserting a battery into a battery charger, make sure the polarity matches the charger's. In other words, the “positive” and “negative” ends of the battery must be pointing in the correct direction. Improperly inserted batteries cannot be charged.
- Do not charge batteries in an extremely cold or extremely hot environment. The optimum environmental temperature range when charging batteries is generally between 10 degrees Celsius and 30 degrees Celsius (50 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit). Outside this range, a decrease in battery performance may result. Refer to the documentation bundled with the battery charger for specific recommendations.
- The B-90SU NiMH Battery Quick Charger can hold and simultaneously charge up to four AA NiMH rechargeable batteries. If only one or two batteries need to be charged, place the batteries in the two outside slots. These are “quick charge” slots and will charge the batteries more quickly than if the batteries are placed in the inside slots. Quick charge is only possible if no batteries are inserted in the inside slots.
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