Dead battery syndrome is a common problem with Nikon D200 and D80 model cameras. Users who have issues with dead battery syndrome seem to be lighting up discussion boards and flooding Nikon threads across the Internet. Fortunately, there are several easy solutions for this problem.
Dead battery syndrome occurs when a user loads a fully charged battery into their Nikon camera, only to receive a low battery warning. After shooting a few image frames, the camera shuts down as if the battery were dead. This problem seems to be most prevalent among users of the Nikon D 200, indicating that it may be a firmware issue.
Among users who have experienced dead battery syndrome, several solutions seem to work. These solutions include cleaning the contact points on the camera's battery chamber and the battery, cleaning the contact point on the lenses and lens mounts, performing a hard camera reset, upgrading the camera's firmware or sending the camera to Nikon for repair or replacement.
For newer cameras still covered by the camera's sales warranty, sending the camera to Nikon for repair is the preferred solution. Although the user will be without a camera while her model is sent for repair, this option ensures that the camera will receive a thorough inspection by the company. If the consumer attempts to clean the camera's contact points on her own, she could damage the camera and invalidate her warranty.
Cleaning Contact Points
For consumers who do not wish to send their camera to Nikon, or for whom the camera is out of warranty, a simple fix may be to clean the contact points. One method for cleaning contact points is to buff them with an eraser. However, this is not the ideal way to clean contact points. One reason is that the eraser bits can fall into the camera and damage it. A better solution is to use a non-oxidizing cleaner called "DeoxIt" (see link in Resources). If dead battery syndrome is the result of dirty contacts, this method should take care of the issue.
In cases where software issues are the cause of dead battery syndrome, an upgrade to a newer version of the firmware may resolve the problem. Newer firmware updates are available from the Nikon website (see link in Resources). Additionally, resetting the camera back to the factory settings may improve the situation. To perform a hard reset, select the "Reset" button under the menu features on your camera's LCD display.