Two Battery Pentax

Two Battery Pentax
My Pentax SHORT battery life!?

My Pentax * ist DS 6.1MP Digital Camera has an abnormally short battery life! He spent by 3 sets of AA batteries in two days. Is this normal? Are there other ways to improve battery life?

Hello Tyler, You would be lucky to get up to 100 shots with AA alkaline batteries in a * ist DS. The * ist DS manual recommends using them only for emergencies. The best battery to use is CR-V3, which are lithium. That's what comes with the Pentax DS. CR-V3 A replaces 2 AA, so instead of 4 AA batteries will have to use 2 CR-V3. CR-V3 battery, you can expect more than 1,000 shots, depending of course on how much you use the pop-up flash and how much time you spend looking at your photos on the LCD screen. CR-V3 batteries can be expensive to buy locally, so I monitor eBay to get good deals on large lots. I rarely spend much more than about U.S. $ 3.00 including shipping battery. Buying foreign brands of CR-V3, that I never see in stores is a good way to keep the cost, and seem to work as well as the big brands. Another option is the AA lithium battery, you will get a bit less life than with the CR-V3 but far more than AA alkaline batteries. By the way, I advise not to use rechargables in the DS. Here is why: 1) AA NIMH rechargables have too low a voltage, and the * ist series did not have a mechanism to convert the voltage to the required level (last K series does). With low voltage, you can expect at random, strange malfunction, which differ from one camera to another. Mine, for example (in fact no one * ist D, DS), left open wheel to change the aperture. It worked well once I put in the battery voltage higher. 2) rechargeable CR-V3 (also called RCR-V3) have too high of a voltage. The camera can work well for a while – with auto-focus faster – then you can burn and die. Some people did this for years without problem, it is a roll of the dice. I have taken over 50,000 pictures with my * ist D, nearly all CR-V3 battery, almost all sold cheap on eBay. BTW – another way to improve battery life is to turn off instant review, and only look at the photos on the LCD screen when you really want. Of course will not help if you really want to see them all, but if your shooting style is to keep an eye on the viewfinder while taking many shots, and only occasionally check the LCD screen, will help. Good luck and have fun! Greg

Pentax Kx Battery Test – Part 2 – NiMH Rechargable Batteries