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What Does It Mean When Your Camera Says Battery Exhausted? 

 September 19, 2021

By  Phil Borges

There are no two words that shutterbugs hate more than ‘Battery Exhausted’. Now, if it’s just a matter of charging and you have an extra in the bag, it’s all good. But what if it’s more than that? Let’s see what you can do about it and find out why does my camera says battery exhausted.

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If you are using a Sony camera, battery exhausted means it needs to be charged or that the terminal is unclean. The other reason why the battery is exhausted is due to bad handling. If you have a Nikon coolpix camera battery exhausted message, it could mean that the battery is drained or the door cap needs to be replaced or that the battery settings on your camera need to be adjusted. In some cases, you might just need to take out the battery and memory card and put them back in. 

Depending on the brand, there could be more than a couple of reasons why your camera is giving you the ‘Battery Exhausted’ message. What does battery exhausted mean? Once you know what those conditions are, you will not only be able to sort out your existing predicament but also be able to avoid repeating such mistakes in the future. Let’s take a look at the scenarios that lead to this result.

Camera Battery Exhausted:Understanding the Process

You would think this message is self-explanatory but if you switch on your camera, whether it is a DSLR or a digital camera, and see a message saying ‘Battery Exhausted’. The first question that comes to mind is what is the meaning of battery exhausted? There are a couple of reasons why. Now, this differs based on the manufacturer.

In some brands, battery exhausted meaning could be that the door cap of your battery is damaged. In that case, you can take it to the authorized repair center and replace it.

Sometimes, it is just as simple as a rechargeable lithium-ion in the camera being seriously low or almost depleted. The battery is dead and you need to charge it. What you saw was the device firing a warning shot.

To charge it, typically you must remove the battery from the camera and connect it to the AC adapter and the charging cable to a wall socket. These cables will come with the camera. You can also buy them on the internet. You will also get a USB cable with most cameras which allows you to plug it into a computer and charge it.

The exhausted battery error message is actually quite common in some brands like Nikon. While one possibility is that the battery might have drained, it could also be that you are dealing with a defective battery. So, remove it from the camera, charge it to its full capacity and check it by placing it in the camera again.

If you are dealing with a healthy battery that lost charge, all you need to do is charge it and the camera will switch on normally. If it turns on and camera says battery exhausted error message, there are a couple of things you can do. We will talk about it in a minute.

Sony Camera Battery Exhausted

When you are dealing with Sony camera, there are several maintenance faux pas that can get it to that exhausted battery situation. And charging the camera’s battery properly is the key to keeping it from getting there. With respect to the battery charge, there are two messages you will see. They are:

‘Sony Battery Level High’
‘Sony Battery Exhausted’

Remember that when you switch your Sony camera on, it takes approximately a minute for the battery indicator to show up. That is where you will see either of these messages when applicable. There are some operating and environmental conditions to take into account when looking for the Sony camera battery indicator. 

Low Temperatures

The performance of a battery is badly affected when it is exposed to low temperatures. If you have ever noticed, when you are in cooler regions, the battery lasts for a shorter period of time. To avoid this, you must keep the batteries close to your body and make sure it is warm. Do not keep it exposed when you are shooting. Just take it out and place it in the camera right away.

High Temperatures

Similarly, the battery pack has an adverse reaction to extreme heat. Apart from the weather, you must also make sure that it is never left exposed to heat in a car or is in direct sunlight. By the way, your battery must also never come into contact with water.

Charging and Cleaning

Also, remember to clean the battery terminal because that might also lead to error messages and malfunctions. Use a soft cloth or a cotton swab to clean the terminal. And when you are charging the battery make sure the room temperature is in the range between 50 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit. If you are charging it with a USB cable connected to your computer, remember to remove the camera before you switch off the former.

To make sure the battery is safe from these external environmental factors, you must store it properly. To make sure you don’t get the battery exhausted message, you must charge the battery and drain it completely at least once a year. Then you must remove the battery and keep it in a cool and dry place (you know we’re not talking about the refrigerator, right?).

If you haven’t managed to exhaust the battery completely before storing it, you can keep the camera in slideshow mode and leave it till it dies. And during this process and while storing it, make sure the camera is away from metals  (like the keys in your pocket) to prevent staining of the terminal and the possibility of a short circuit. Keeping it in a plastic bag is not a terrible idea.

Sony cameras come with an auto power-off function. So, if you don’t use the camera for a little while, it will switch off on its own. Sometimes when it switches back on, it is possible that the battery time is not visible on the screen. In that case, you just need to press the DISP button.

'Sony a6000 Exhausted Message or Battery Exhausted Sony a6000 message' - With Sony a6000 battery exhausted cases, try charging the battery and turn on the camera. If this does not help you may have a defective battery. 

Nikon Camera Battery Exhausted

Nikon 27126 EN-EL 14A Rechargeable Li-Ion Battery

The Nikon EN-EL 14A is your tank of a battery, never running out no matter how long you go without plugging in. So if that means overnight or two days, then so be it. You can leave the charger in your bag knowing this sucker will always do its duty. And thanks to an improved "fuel gauge" on your camera's LCD screen, it'll tell you exactly what's up and when to grab some juice.

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When you are dealing with a Nikon battery exhausted, there are a few things you can do.

Battery Settings

You must ensure that the battery settings are the way they are intended. Otherwise, you see the error message. You can fix it by following these instructions.

  1. 1
    Switch on the camera and go to ‘Menu’.
  2. 2
    Go to Setup and choose ‘Battery Type’.
  3. 3
    Select the model of battery you are using and press ‘OK’.

Ideally, this should work.

Replace the Batteries

The second solution is to replace the batteries. This must be done if the batteries are completely depleted and cannot be revived. There was a time when this was a common problem among Nikon users and they chose to go from lithium batteries to alkaline models. 

Then you must make sure that the new batteries are properly charged for the recommended amount of time which is typically six to eight hours. But be sure to check the battery capacity beforehand.

With Nikon, you must also ensure that the charger is connected in the right order. This is common to some Nikon Coolpix battery exhausted not charging. Start by connecting the USB cable to the adapter. Then connect the adapter to the wall outlet while making sure that the camera is switched off. And in the end, you must connect the USB cable to the camera.

It is still best to consult a professional for problems like what does battery exhausted mean on a camera brand to get some advice on suitable batteries.

Reboot

Sometimes, all you need to do is take out the memory card and the battery. After a few seconds, put them back in and charge the camera battery. Remember that these solutions are only for chargers that are recommended by Nikon. There is no guarantee they will work with universal adapters that are not approved by the company.

And finally, of course, as mentioned in the beginning, you must check the door cap.

About the author

Hi, I'm Phil Borges.. thanks for reading.. My wife says I can't shut up about batteries so to save my marriage I've started this blog .. where I'd be ranting about batteries! Please leave a comment if you have any questions, I'm happy to help!

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