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Nikon D500 Says Battery Empty with 25% Juice Left: Report


If you’re a Nikon D500 owner who feels like batteries run out of juice faster in the camera than in other Nikon DSLRs, it may not be just you. A new report suggests that the D500 measures remaining capacity differently and doesn’t use up all available charge.

Photographer Martin Beran brought the issue to light in a new report published over at Nikon Rumors.

“I found one surprising issue related to how Nikon D500 measures remaining battery capacity,” Beran writes. “D500 displays lower remains capacity than what other Nikon bodies do.”

Through his experiments, he found that an official EN-EL15 or EN-EL15a battery that shows as completely empty in a D500 is still able to shoot 100 to 200 more photos in other Nikon DSLRs. Here’s a short video he made to demonstrate this “Batterygate” issue:

And although the D500 shows fully-charged batteries as 100% correctly in the battery indicator, partially used batteries always show less charge remaining than on other compatible Nikon bodies (Beran has tested this with the D7200, D750, D810, and D850).

“The less capacity is remaining, the difference between D500 and others is bigger,” Beran writes. “If a battery has about 20-30% of remaining capacity in other bodies, the D500 qualify such battery as empty and does not turn on at all.”

Beran created this chart showing how the remaining capacities of six different batteries were measured in 5 different Nikon DSLR bodies:

Chart by Martin Beran and via Nikon Rumors.

Beran also tested this on multiple D500 units of different ages just to make sure it wasn’t a flaw with a single camera or a single batch from the factory.

After contacting Nikon Service, Beran learned that Nikon isn’t aware of any differences in battery metering between the Nikon D500 and other Nikon cameras.

“My conclusion is that all D500 cameras by design measure remaining capacity of battery lower than other Nikon bodies,” Beran writes. “What makes me confused is the fact that Nikon D500 is not able to fully utilize the capacity of the battery. The number of shots per battery can be about 25% higher if D500 would be able to utilize the battery the same way as other bodies.”