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Thread: Clarification of AA battery use with E-3 HLD-4 grip

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    Arrow Clarification of AA battery use with E-3 HLD-4 grip

    Reports of disappointing AA disposable battery performance with the Olympus E-3's HLD-4 grip have been common. We've been in touch with Olympus to clarify this issue.

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    Re: Clarification of AA battery use with E-3 HLD-4 grip

    Quote Originally Posted by Four Thirds User editorial team View Post
    Reports of disappointing AA disposable battery performance with the Olympus E-3's HLD-4 grip have been common. We've been in touch with Olympus to clarify this issue.

    More...
    Just had some more info from Olympus. The 'Japanese' AA alkaline battery issue has been further clarified - they meant Japanese brand batteries, not batteries only available in Japan. I'm going to investigate the different Japanese heavy duty alkalines available and will report back in due course.

    There was also an explanation for not recommending NiMH batteries and this is mainly due to a perceived safety issue with batteries that have damaged covers. This can reveal the metal underneath, potentially causing a short circuit. I wonder if this is a safety regulation in Japan which we're not aware of here?

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    Re: Clarification of AA battery use with E-3 HLD-4 grip

    On a diffferent note I had a battery issue with my Fl-36 Flash last year. It will not run on rechargeable CR-V3 batteries (the ones printed on the inside of the battery compartment)! I spent 30 on a pair and charger, not a huge amount I know, however still very annoying. I challenged Olympus and got brushed off completely, even having a pop at the supplier for referring to the CR-V3 as a direct replacement for the LB-01 without listing its restrictions was a waste of time. I eventually found a couple of Battery websites which specifically excluded the batteries for use with the FL-36 and FL-50 flash units. So if they can have it then why can't Olympus specify that they are not suitable?

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    Re: AAs with E-3 HLD-4 battery grip update

    I've just bought a set of Sony Stamina Platinum Alkaline AAs (bought from my local (Sainsburys) supermarket, but my E-3's AA battery holder still had a set of Duracell Ultra M3s in it from the last time I tried AAs.

    To my surprise, although the red battery low warning sign came on almost immediately, I was able to to continue shooting normally, without switching the camera off, for at least ten minutes. I ran off 50 frames, mostly singles, but also a burst of continuous mode shots, with review on, part of the time using live view, too.

    From memory, the last time I tried th Duracells the camera switched off after just a handful of frames. The only difference between now and then is that I've upgraded the firmware.

    The red battery low warning symbol still isn't confidence-inspiring, but I can at least now be confident that Duracell Ultra AAs are definitely usable for emergency use.

    I've got a set of Panasonic OxyRides on the way and I will try the Sony Stamina Platinums shortly and report back.

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    Re: Clarification of AA battery use with E-3 HLD-4 grip

    After using a set of Sony Stamina Platinum AAs this morning, I don't see that much difference to the Duracell Ultra M3s. Basically the battery low warning light comes on after about 5-10 shots, but you can continue shooting for some time. I haven't yet had the camera shut down after 50-odd shots, with some live view and continuous mode shooting included. The warning is not exactly confidence-inspiring, but at least I know that I have a reasonable shooting capacity with AA alkalines of the heav-duty type.

    Next I will test with standard alkalines and, when I receive them, Panasonic OxyRide batteries.

    Ian
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    Re: Clarification of AA battery use with E-3 HLD-4 grip

    Promising, and dissapointing. Atleast we know it does work, in a practical sense, just so long as whent he emergency arises, there is a shop carrying the right brand of batteries
    Phil

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    Re: Rechargeable CR-V3's

    Quote Originally Posted by Life of Brian View Post
    On a diffferent note I had a battery issue with my Fl-36 Flash last year. It will not run on rechargeable CR-V3 batteries (the ones printed on the inside of the battery compartment)! I spent 30 on a pair and charger, not a huge amount I know, however still very annoying.
    The sites I've seen advertising RCR-V3 (rechargeable CR-V3) batteries do state that they only have 1/3-1/2 of the capacity of a normal CR-V3 battery, so they aren't designed for demand applications. There are some RCR-V3 batteries out there that are higher capacity, but for price/performance nothing beats NiMHs (especially Eneloops since they retain their 85% charge over a year of sitting on the shelf, unlike normal NiMHs which would be dead).

    I don't believe Olympus suggests using the RCR-V3 in their manuals so you can't blame them.

    If you had asked in the forum before making your purchase, you could have gotten your answer before wasting the money.

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    Re: Rechargeable CR-V3's

    Is this thread saying that you cannot use NiMH AA cells in the HLD-4. My experience is worrying. I received my HLD-4 about 2 weeks after my E3. It worked OK with my only BLM-1 but when I tried with 6 fully charged NiMH AA cells the displays showed a flashing low battery icon and after 4-5 seconds shut down completely. I purchased some new Duracell batteries and had the same outcome. As I have not had any replies from Oly technical online support I telephoned technical support and after listening to my problem the very helpful guy said immediately that the HLDE-4 is faulty and that I should return it to my supplier. This I duly did after phoning them first and eventually recieved a replacement (that's a whole new story -fotoSENSE UK!!). Now with the NiMH cells the icon flashes low still but does not shut off. I intend running these flat with use but at the moment I am more focused (sorry) on getting to grips (sorry again) with my new camera. My simple mind did a few sums and reasoned that 2700mah cells should give 90% of the usage of 2 x 1500mah BLM-1s. My experience with non OEM batteries is bad so having 2 spare Oly batteries in my bag is not good economics when relatively cheep NiMH cells should do the job almost as well. Roll on Li-ion rechargable AA cells.

    Mick L

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    Re: Rechargeable CR-V3's

    Quote Originally Posted by OM4ti rules View Post
    Is this thread saying that you cannot use NiMH AA cells in the HLD-4. My experience is worrying. I received my HLD-4 about 2 weeks after my E3. It worked OK with my only BLM-1 but when I tried with 6 fully charged NiMH AA cells the displays showed a flashing low battery icon and after 4-5 seconds shut down completely. I purchased some new Duracell batteries and had the same outcome. As I have not had any replies from Oly technical online support I telephoned technical support and after listening to my problem the very helpful guy said immediately that the HLDE-4 is faulty and that I should return it to my supplier. This I duly did after phoning them first and eventually recieved a replacement (that's a whole new story -fotoSENSE UK!!). Now with the NiMH cells the icon flashes low still but does not shut off. I intend running these flat with use but at the moment I am more focused (sorry) on getting to grips (sorry again) with my new camera. My simple mind did a few sums and reasoned that 2700mah cells should give 90% of the usage of 2 x 1500mah BLM-1s. My experience with non OEM batteries is bad so having 2 spare Oly batteries in my bag is not good economics when relatively cheep NiMH cells should do the job almost as well. Roll on Li-ion rechargable AA cells.

    Mick L
    Sorry for the late response. Basically, NiMH batteries don't work with the HLD-4 grip. Since posting the article that links to this thread, and updating the firmware in my E-3, I have found that heavy duty AA Alkaline disposable batteries are good for emergencies and around 50 or so shots. But you need to get premium heavy duty alkalines, not just ordinary Duracells, for example. You will need Ultra M3s from Duracell, or Sony Stamina Platinums, etc. I got significantly more life out of a set of Panasonic Digital Xtreme Power Oxyride AAs, a special formulation alkaline battery. But even with six of these, I definitely got less than I would have done with a full charge from a single Olympus BLM-1 lithium ion battery.

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    Re: Clarification of AA battery use with E-3 HLD-4 grip

    Now that E3 v1.3 firmware is out, did anyone tested AAs with the HLD4 and noticed any improvements?

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