Nikon D300 Camera
Battery Limited Shooting Capacity

Posted in: Nikon D300 Camera
06 Apr 2009

Don’t buy a new digital camera before reading this!

There are few things more disappointing than realizing that your new camera has inadequate battery limited shooting capacity. When choosing a new camera, consider the shooting capacity limit imposed by the battery pack. No matter how incredible a camera’s other features are, and the features of the Nikon D300 camera are awesome, they are not available when the battery is exhausted.

Back in the bad old days of film SLR cameras, you had to buy the film, shoot, and then wait for processing before you could see the fruits of your labor. The work of dealing with the film has been replaced with new work, monitoring and recharging of batteries. If you are thinking about using your new camera under extreme temperature conditions, a digital camera may not a good choice, partly because it has a battery and partly because it contains an embeded microcomputer system. The D300 is rated to operate in temperature 0-40 degrees C and 32-104 degrees F.

There are two useful standards for measuring battery limited shooting capacity of the Nikon D300 camera. The first is an industry wide standard procedure published by the CIPA and the second is a Nikon proprietary procedure. These procedures measure a standard amount of camera use. When camera use is measured the same way, the measurements are a fair method of comparison. The major Japanese camera companies collaborated to create the procedure. And, since they all had a hand in creating it, they can all support it.

In real life, what matters to a photographer is shooting capacity on a single battery charge in the photographer’s work environment. So, keep in mind that these numbers have an indirect relationship to that. They are valuable for comparing one camera to another. The test defines a strict method of use, or protocol, which is related to but NOT THE SAME as real life use of a camera.

Nikon refers to using the video monitor to frame the picture as “Live View”. Use of the video monitor has a significant impact on single charge shooting capacity and the standard test measurements do not include use of “Live View” (See Note 1). Nevertheless, test standards are a good thing for comparison purposes.

Nikon D300 Camera CIPA Battery Limited Shooting Capacity (see Note 2)

Battery Type Number Where Installed Approximate Shots
EN-EL3e 1 camera body 1000
EN-EL3e 1 MB-D10 1000
EN-EL4a 1 MB-D10 2000
EN-EL3e 2 MB-D10 2000
camera body
(see Note 3)
AA 8 MB-D10 1000

It’s really enough to know that the one can compare the CPIA figures with other manufacture’s CIPA figures, especially those of other CIPA member companies (listed in the standard). For the interested, one can find out more at the Camera Imaging Products Association of Japan (CIPA) English language web site. The “Standard Procedure for Measuring Digital Still Camera Battery Consumption” is available in English translation from the CPIA Standards page
and also here on this blog.

Nikon has also developed their own battery consumption measurements and these are useful for comparing one Nikon model to another Nikon model. Refer to the D300 User Manual, page 417.

Note 1.

The Nikon D300 camera is rated for one hour of use using “Live View”. After this period of use, a cool down period is required. Professionals needing more continuous “Live View” time than this should consider using a remote laptop display.

Note 2.

Using the CIPA standard, measurements were performed at 23 deg C / 73 deg F using an AF-S VR 24-120mm f/3.5-5.6 ED lens. Brief description of test conditions: Lens was autofocused to maximum and minimum range followed by one shot at default settings once every 30 seconds, firing flash every other shot, and with “Live View” off.

Note 3.

The D300 supports operation using the internal camera battery and an optional external battery pack (the MB-D10) at the same time. And, the D300 may be set to use either battery supply first before the other is used. This is one intelligent camera!

Charles P Knell, A.K.A. Chuck Knell, Charles KnNell
twitter: @Charles_KnNell     facebook: Charles Knell
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Battery Limited Shooting Capacity