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internal battery problem a6400


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Every time I turn on my a6400 it asks me what language to select, and then date and time are not set and won't hold the setting when I turn the camera off again. I tried plugging it in all night and leaving a fully charged battery in it for a few days but it is still doing it. Updated firmware, initialised setting as well. Is there an internal battery which may be not working? The camera is less than 2 years old, it doesn't seem that this should happen. Is it worth returning it for a repair I will have to pay for or am I better off living with having to set the language every time I want to take a photo? Or maybe it is an easy fix I can do myself? Any help gratefully received.

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1 hour ago, Beeboss said:

Is there an internal battery which may be not working

There is one, or a special capacitor fulfilling the same function. There seems to be something wrong with the power supply curcuit of your camera.

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Is there a list somewhere of which Sony cameras have internal batteries or "special" capacitors somewhere? 

Cameras going all the way back to the 1980's that had internal batteries to maintain the date, etc. were always horrible about even mentioning the existence of these batteries.  If you were lucky, the user manual would say something like "If the date function blinks when the camera is turned on, return the camera to a factory authorized service center" -- or something like that. 

So my guess is that the answer to my question is "No", but I'm not the only one asking!!!

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As far as I know - and I might be wrong - every camera of all manufacturers has such a battery/capacitor to maintain setup data for some time without a main battery, or with an empty battery. Only a service manual will show the details and the things are not user maintainable these days.

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On maintaining the date and time

This camera has an internal rechargeable battery for maintaining the date and time and other settings regardless of whether the power is on or off, or whether the battery pack is charged or discharged.

To charge the internal rechargeable backup battery, insert a charged battery pack into the camera, and leave the product for 24 hours or more with the power off.

If the clock resets every time the battery pack is charged, the internal rechargeable backup battery may be worn out. Consult your service facility.

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29 minutes ago, XKAES said:

 

To charge the internal rechargeable backup battery, insert a charged battery pack into the camera, and leave the product for 24 hours or more with the power off.

If the clock resets every time the battery pack is charged, the internal rechargeable backup battery may be worn out. Consult your service facility

 

Given that my camera is less than 2 years old (and now out of warranty) is it worth sending it back for a repair which may cost goodness knows how much?  It seems to  me that the internal battery shouldn't be designed to need a factory repair after just 18 months- either an exceptionally bad design or some kind of faulty part.  

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I have a few Yashica Samurai cameras from the 1980's.  Very nice cameras, but their internal battery -- a 2025, just like in a lot of computers and other gear -- die after about ten years.  They are NOT recharged by putting in a new main battery (a 2CR5).  A new 2025 costs about $2.  Yashica charged about $100 to replace the battery -- when they were still in the camera business.  Good luck finding a repair shop that will even TOUCH a Yashica Samurai today -- let alone a service manual.  I figured out how to do it and it takes about 1/2 hour.

Some internal batteries are soldered in place -- same with some computers and other gear -- and very hard to find.  Some companies don't want you to replace the battery.  You can guess why.

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4 hours ago, LiveShots said:

On maintaining the date and time

This camera has an internal rechargeable battery for maintaining the date and time and other settings regardless of whether the power is on or off, or whether the battery pack is charged or discharged.

To charge the internal rechargeable backup battery, insert a charged battery pack into the camera, and leave the product for 24 hours or more with the power off.

If the clock resets every time the battery pack is charged, the internal rechargeable backup battery may be worn out. Consult your service facility.

Do you have some proof of this?  That would be nice to see.  But even rechargeable batteries can only be recharged so many times.  The they need to be replaced.

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33 minutes ago, XKAES said:

Do you have some proof of this?  That would be nice to see.  But even rechargeable batteries can only be recharged so many times.  The they need to be replaced.

I got this from the user manual

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2 hours ago, LiveShots said:

Maybe give them a call and explain the issue, maybe they can give a lower quote over the phone

well they are in another continent than me. also if i am going to get it repaired it will probably be by sony (i am waiting to hear what their service dept says about it)

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1 hour ago, XKAES said:

have a few Yashica Samurai cameras from the 1980's.  Very nice cameras, but their internal battery -- a 2025, just like in a lot of computers and other gear -- die after about ten years.  They are NOT recharged by putting in a new main battery (a 2CR5).  A new 2025 costs about $2.

yeah i wish sony had used one of those. 10 years!! happy days

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2 minutes ago, Beeboss said:

it should last more than 18 months of light use you would think

 

You are absolutely correct.  This indicates that it might be a different problem.  And if it's under warranty, let Sony fix it.

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1 hour ago, Beeboss said:

it should last more than 18 months of light use you would think

 

Are your main batteries original Sony batteries or made by a 3rd party. If the latter did you try leaving a fully charge original battery in the camera for 24 hours per the manual.

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12 hours ago, LiveShots said:

Just as I thought:

"If the clock resets every time the battery pack is charged, the internal rechargeable backup battery may be worn out. Consult your service facility. "

The internal battery does NOT last forever, and cannot be recharged indefinitely, and then you are "up the creek".

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So back to my original question --

Is there a list somewhere of which Sony cameras have internal batteries or "special" capacitors? 

It would seem the answer in NO, as I suspected.  I also suspect that all of Sony's cameras have internal batteries -- and they all wear out at some point.

I have nothing to add about this "special" capacitor speculation, other than it's speculation until I hear otherwise.

My a850 manual says the same thing as the a6400 manual (above).  If the date/time keeps resetting, even with a good battery -- contact a service facility, AKA, DEAD INTERNAL BATTERY.  It never actually mentions that there is an internal battery, as the a6400 manual does, but that is what they are referring to.

Edited by XKAES
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46 minutes ago, XKAES said:

The internal battery does NOT last forever, and cannot be recharged indefinitely, and then you are "up the creek".

Yep I guessed as much. At this point I am really unhappy that my 18 month old camera needs to be sent back for a repair which will cost me goodness knows how much for a problem that has been created by Sonys bad design or a malfunctioning part. It is not as if I have even used the camera that much. I will never buy another Sony product! 

Thanks for trying to help

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12 hours ago, LiveShots said:

Are your main batteries original Sony batteries or made by a 3rd party. If the latter did you try leaving a fully charge original battery in the camera for 24 hours per the manual.

That is the one thing I haven't checked so many thanks for suggesting this. I don't even remember if it came with a battery or not but I think I have some genuine sony batteries knocking around. I don't really expect it to work but I am going to try anyway.

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Don't let this sour you on Sony.  Every other camera manufacturer does the same thing -- all the way back to the 1980's.  But I agree, it stinks. And it's not just cameras.  I've got a very nice Dell laptop with a dead, internal, $2 battery.  Dell won't tell me where the battery is, nor will they fix it.  Am I going to throw out a perfectly good laptop because of a dead $2 battery?

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One thing to keep in mind is that the DEAD internal battery issue may or may not be a problem for you at all -- when your battery dies, and it will.

It depends on your camera and your shooting needs.  Let's start from the best case, and work down to the worst case.

In the best case, you have a camera where the internal battery only keeps track of a couple of things, like the date and time.  If you never use the date and time, etc. then you can continue to work as normal -- even with a dead internal battery.

A more problematic situation is where the battery keeps track of several features, such as custom settings, file type/size, exposure settings, etc.  With a dead internal battery these will reset to the factory default.  If the factory default works for you, or if you only need to change one or two settings from the default when you turn the camera on, you might be more than willing to work with a dead internal battery.

The worst case scenario is where a dead internal battery will not let you use the camera at all.  It will not turn on with a dead internal battery.  I have no idea how many cameras are like this, but I know it is the case with the Yashica Samurai cameras.  The only option is to have the internal battery replaced -- assuming you can find a place to do it -- or do it yourself.

So a DEAD internal battery results in a continuum from "No problem at all" to "Not that big a deal" to "What a pain" to "AAAAAARRRRGGGGHHHH".

Unfortunately, the owner's manual probably won't be too much of a help in determining where you will end up on the continuum -- or when -- but you should check it out anyway.

Edited by XKAES
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