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  • 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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  • #2
    Re: Clarification of AA battery use with E-3 HLD-4 grip

    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?

    Ian
    Founder/editor
    Four Thirds User (http://fourthirds-user.com)
    Digital Photography Now (http://dpnow.com)
    Olympus UK E-System User Group (http://e-group.uk.net)
    Olympus camera, lens, and accessory hire (http://e-group.uk.net/hire)
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    • #3
      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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      • #4
        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.

        Ian
        Founder/editor
        Four Thirds User (http://fourthirds-user.com)
        Digital Photography Now (http://dpnow.com)
        Olympus UK E-System User Group (http://e-group.uk.net)
        Olympus camera, lens, and accessory hire (http://e-group.uk.net/hire)
        Twitter: www.twitter.com/ian_burley
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        • #5
          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
          Founder/editor
          Four Thirds User (http://fourthirds-user.com)
          Digital Photography Now (http://dpnow.com)
          Olympus UK E-System User Group (http://e-group.uk.net)
          Olympus camera, lens, and accessory hire (http://e-group.uk.net/hire)
          Twitter: www.twitter.com/ian_burley
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          • #6
            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
            All the best,
            Phil

            www.stickmanphotography.co.uk | www.customcreative.co.uk

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            • #7
              Re: Rechargeable CR-V3's

              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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              • #8
                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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                • #9
                  Re: Rechargeable CR-V3's

                  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.

                  Ian
                  Founder/editor
                  Four Thirds User (http://fourthirds-user.com)
                  Digital Photography Now (http://dpnow.com)
                  Olympus UK E-System User Group (http://e-group.uk.net)
                  Olympus camera, lens, and accessory hire (http://e-group.uk.net/hire)
                  Twitter: www.twitter.com/ian_burley
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                  • #10
                    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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                    • #11
                      Re: Clarification of AA battery use with E-3 HLD-4 grip

                      Originally posted by say123 View Post
                      Now that E3 v1.3 firmware is out, did anyone tested AAs with the HLD4 and noticed any improvements?
                      Not yet, but it turns out that my HLD-4 developed a fault anyway and has since been replace since that article.

                      Ian
                      Founder/editor
                      Four Thirds User (http://fourthirds-user.com)
                      Digital Photography Now (http://dpnow.com)
                      Olympus UK E-System User Group (http://e-group.uk.net)
                      Olympus camera, lens, and accessory hire (http://e-group.uk.net/hire)
                      Twitter: www.twitter.com/ian_burley
                      Flickr: www.flickr.com/photos/dpnow/
                      Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/ianburley/

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                      • #12
                        Re: Clarification of AA battery use with E-3 HLD-4 grip

                        someone had commented on this forum (china 4/3 forum) that olympus HLD4 design is 'bad'.

                        He disassembled the HLD4 and replace with new diodes and claims it works better. However, this is quite an old thread, but something to think about.

                        http://www.four-thirds.cn/forum/view...hlight=&page=1

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                        • #13
                          Re: Rechargeable CR-V3's

                          Originally posted by mikefellh View Post

                          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.
                          Sorry I did not keep track of this thread and noticed the above.

                          Quite incorrect, Olympus do not make any mention of not using "rechargeable" CR-V3's in their FL-36 Manual, I checked and informed Olympus of it at the time. The reply was less than curteous although I would make alowances for translation. After my purhcase I checked with one or two other websites and they specifically stated they would not work with an FL-36/50. I think before making bolshy statements you should check before starting off with "I dont believe" . "I dont know" would have been nearer the mark.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Clarification of AA battery use with E-3 HLD-4 grip

                            I don't have six freshly charged NiMHs at the moment, only four - so I have put these four and two half -used alkalines into my HLD-4 and fitted it to my E-3. The battery level was in the red and switching to live view shut the camera down.

                            I then thought I'd try the same batteries and HLD-4 with an E-30 - and it worked much better. The battery indicator started off full green, though this dropped to half power after a minute or so. Switching to live view didn't crash the camera either.

                            I'm charging up another set if NiMHs, so I'll try the E-3 and E-30 with the HLD-4 again tomorrow.

                            Ian
                            Founder/editor
                            Four Thirds User (http://fourthirds-user.com)
                            Digital Photography Now (http://dpnow.com)
                            Olympus UK E-System User Group (http://e-group.uk.net)
                            Olympus camera, lens, and accessory hire (http://e-group.uk.net/hire)
                            Twitter: www.twitter.com/ian_burley
                            Flickr: www.flickr.com/photos/dpnow/
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                            • #15
                              Re: Clarification of AA battery use with E-3 HLD-4 grip

                              Has anybody tried the Olympus Battery Holder (PS-LBH1 W) that holds 3 CR123A batteries and is supposed to be used in place of the BLM-1? Does it work better than the AA's in an HLD-4?

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