Revisiting an old problem: battery issues for M8 or M9
Old 06-07-2013   #1
raid
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Revisiting an old problem: battery issues for M8 or M9

It has been discussed in the past, but I think it is useful to bring back this topic.
Has your M8 or M9 showing signs of low battery when in fact the battery was not low?

Is it only for off-brand batteries when this happens?

Does this fault occur when you turn off the camera before the red blinking light turns off that the image has been saved?

How did you manage to overcome this problem? Did you throw away your off brand batteries? Did you allow the battery to run low/empty in the camera? This may have been Jaap's suggestion, I recall.

Did this battery issue go away with newer firmware?

Could it be that Leica battery chargers do not like off brand batteries, and using non Leica chargers may work better with off brand batteries?

What is it??????????


Which firmware are you now using? How can we get a different firmware?


In my case, all was fine with the M8 and the M9 while I was in Pensacola using both cameras with any of the batteries that I have, but taking with me the M9 with several back up batteries may have caused this problem for me. Maybe I was using one battery only in the past, so I let the battery die off.

Anyways, this is an important issue for M8/M9 users, I think.

Please give us your feedback.
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Old 06-07-2013   #2
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Quote:
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Is it only for off-brand batteries when this happens?
In my experience, yes.
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Old 06-07-2013   #3
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There are users of off brand batteries who have reported that their cameras work fine with them.
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Old 06-07-2013   #4
kbg32
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Raid, some work fine for awhile before they fail. It's catch as can. I have and had a few that show they are fully charged, but in the camera, show they have hardly any power left.
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Old 06-07-2013   #5
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Keith, is your recommendation then to have me not use the off brand batteries at all as they are "time bombs", so to speak?
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Old 06-07-2013   #6
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I have seen reports that off-brand batteries work best when charged either in the original M8 charger (oh no!) or in the chargers that often come packaged with the batteries from Far Eastern source.
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Old 06-07-2013   #7
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Raid,

I had this exact issue with my old M8. One original leica battery and one off-brand.

The leica batt, no issues.

The off brand, two issues:

1. One time, the battery simply died, mid shot, camera made a weird noise.
Turned it off, put a fresh leica battery in, camera came back, no issues, but a worrying issue. About 20-30 shots after the battery indicator showed the last bar, I made it a habit to store the used battery, replace with a fresh one, then when I got home, put the used battery back in, and leave the camera on until it went dead....which leads me to the second issue.

2. If I half-used an off-brand battery and re-charged it, it would consistently give me 1 bar on the indicator, even though it came fresh off the charger. However, if I followed the procedure indicated above, and allowed it to drain fully, then charged it fully, battery functioned as expected, and indicator worked properly.

Cheers,
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Old 06-07-2013   #8
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It's the off brand batteries. The workaround is simple, charge them full, use them till they are flat before charging again. Never use the midway then recharge as that will cause this problem.

They are cheap enough that I bought a handful spare to use as backups. I test the third party ones before going out for any important event. I have two original batteries that I use otherwise.
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Old 06-07-2013   #9
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So I need to leave the M8 or M9 on, with the off brand batteries, until they are dead. Then, charge them and use them until they are dead again.
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Old 06-07-2013   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raid View Post
So I need to leave the M8 or M9 on, with the off brand batteries, until they are dead. Then, charge them and use them until they are dead again.
Worked well for me!
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CANON 1Ds
Old 06-07-2013   #11
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CANON 1Ds

Raid
I don't know if this applies, but the original manufactured charger for my 1Ds requires full discharge (called refresh) before beginning a full recharge.This is to help full recharge and no battery memory loss.
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Old 06-07-2013   #12
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Hi Randolph,
I will start to discharge the batteries before charging them.
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Old 06-07-2013   #13
kbg32
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I have had two off brand batteries die in the camera. I don't remember the brand. Both times I pulled the camera out of my bag and the camera was very hot to the touch, and the battery no longer had power. They were fully charged. I threw them away responsibly.
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Old 06-07-2013   #14
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I think that I will throw away my off brand batteries. Why risk harm to the camera.
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Old 06-08-2013   #15
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Quote:
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I think that I will throw away my off brand batteries. Why risk harm to the camera.
You are thinking correctly my friend.
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Old 06-08-2013   #16
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I thought the old "memory" issue with batteries was a thing of the past? If not does it also apply to Nikon batteries (D90)??
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Old 06-09-2013   #17
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It is not gone. Off brand batteries do not work well with the M8 or M9.
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Old 06-09-2013   #18
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You are always suppose to let NiCad batteries or other rechargables die before recharging. (even cell phone batteries) When you charge a 1/2 charged battery it wont fully charge. The same works with auto batteries. If you jump off a car battery the alternator will NOT fully charge the auto battery. It has to be put on a trickle charger to get back a full charge.
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Old 06-09-2013   #19
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This is what Leica says in their M9 instructions:
"Lithium ion batteries can be charged at any time,
regardless of their current charge level. If a battery
is only partly discharged when charging starts, it is
charged to full capacity more quickly."

The instructions do say they should be drained completely a few times initially, and then every 25 cycles or so:

"A new battery only reaches its full capacity after it
has been fully charged and – by use in the camera –
discharged 2 or 3 times. This discharge process
should be repeated every 25 cycles."

I have not updated to the most recent firmware; I think I'm one upgrade behind. I have 3 Leica batteries. They have all been working well, though 1 for sure (possibly 2, I'm not scientific in rotation), never shows a 100 percent capacity (closer to 97% going by the green bar). I don't drain them completely each time.

It is somewhat awkward to drain them completely, as there is some capacity left when it says the battery is empty so the camera must be shut off. Shutting it off, turning it back on, and then shooting some more is possible (at least a few shots). Again, this is not with the most recent firmware.
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Old 06-09-2013   #20
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It is not gone. Off brand batteries do not work well with the M8 or M9.
As PKR said this is not a matter of the old charge level memory effect NiCad and NimH batteries suffered from, because onwards from now we deal with Li Ion batteries which don't require to be fully discharged to be charged again, as long as you've offered them the proper full charge/full discharge cycles when new.

This is a matter of how the chip which is inside the battery circuitry "talks" with both the charger and the camera firmwares.

Installing chips in batteries is a trick used by cameras (and all other electronical devices) manufacturers to lock things out so that you must buy OEM spare batteries.

Using third party batteries having hazardously coded chips inside can expose you to such problems, mainly the one you had to face when in Italy, that is, a fully charged battery detected as an empty one by the camera firmware, and a camera which won't want to switch on.

The M9 belongs to the most expensive digital cameras available, so trying to save a few pennies on no-name spare batteries can sound a bit odd, especially when traveling in a very nice place where a large amount of photos is expected to be taken.

For my D700 I am using a set of two original Nikon EN-EL3e batteries. Actually the D700 is a great energy saver and one battery only was enough for one week of shooting in Italy and two 4GB cards filled with uncompressed NEF files (310 files, total). I didn't even have to put the second battery in the camera. My hat is off to Nikon, really.

But this also depends a lot on how you are using the camera.

You can try to set the M9 custom settings so that energy will be saved to the utmost (set the screen luminosity down, limit the reviewing time to 2 seconds, disable all the useless bells and whistles, don't shoot in C mode, and resist the temptation to always look at the photos on the camera screen with many zoom-in operations, etc etc).
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Old 06-09-2013   #21
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I had no trouble with cheap batteries on the M8 but with the M9 I can only get oem batteries to work.
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Old 06-09-2013   #22
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I have two OEM batteries, and I somehow got 6 used non OEM with a buy.

Raid


Quote:
Originally Posted by Highway 61 View Post
As PKR said this is not a matter of the old charge level memory effect NiCad and NimH batteries suffered from, because onwards from now we deal with Li Ion batteries which don't require to be fully discharged to be charged again, as long as you've offered them the proper full charge/full discharge cycles when new.

This is a matter of how the chip which is inside the battery circuitry "talks" with both the charger and the camera firmwares.

Installing chips in batteries is a trick used by cameras (and all other electronical devices) manufacturers to lock things out so that you must buy OEM spare or new batteries.

Using third party batteries can expose you to such problems, mainly the one you had to face when in Italy, that is, a fully charged battery detected as an empty one by the camera firmware, and a camera which won't want to switch on.

The M9 belongs to the most expensive digital cameras available, so trying to save a few pennies on no-name spare batteries can sound a bit odd, especially when traveling in a very nice place where a large amount of photos is expected to be taken.

For my D700 I am using a set of two original Nikon EN-EL3 batteries. Actually the D700 is a great energy saver and one battery only was enough for one week of shooting in Italy and two 4GB cards filled with NEF files.

You can try to set the M9 custom settings so that energy will be saved to the utmost (set the rear LCD luminosity down, limit the reviewing time to 2 seconds, disable all the useless bells and whistles, don't shoot in C mode, and resist the temptation to always look at the photos on the camera screen with many zooms-in etc etc).
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Old 06-12-2013   #23
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Quote:
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Is it only for off-brand batteries when this happens? How did you manage to overcome this problem? Did you throw away your off brand batteries? Did you allow the battery to run low/empty in the camera?
In my experience, and based on everything I have heard so far, it is only third-party batteries that do this. It's only the level indicator that does not show the correct level in my experience. I simply keep using the battery/camera as normal and change the battery when it runs out or at a convenient time. There has never been any other problem.

Quote:
Could it be that Leica battery chargers do not like off brand batteries, and using non Leica chargers may work better with off brand batteries?
I use both Leica and third-party charges and batteries interchangeably, the only issue is that the level indicator in the camera can only be trusted with the Leica batteries. It's the control electronics in the battery (or lack of it), not the charger.
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