Samsung Digital Camera Won't Charge
By Brandon Getty
The joy of a scenic day trip with family and friends can be quickly spoiled by a dead battery in your Samsung digital camera. Oftentimes a dead battery is related to difficulties during charging. Most of Samsung's cameras, including newer models, use a small, rechargeable lithium-ion battery. Though these batteries are widely used for their light weight and long life, repeated drainage, dirty contacts and poor storage can leave your camera's battery fresh out of juice.
On the edge of your battery and inside your camera's battery compartment you'll find several small metal bits. These are known as contacts, and as the name implies, they enable the transfer of energy from the battery to your digital camera. Over time and with regular usage, the contacts can accumulate skin oils, dirt and metal residue, resulting in poor energy transfer between battery and camera or charging dock and battery. Clean all metal contacts of visible debris using a microfiber cloth. For tougher corrosion, use the eraser at the end of a pencil.
Before you run out to replace your camera's battery, plug in your charger without the battery mounted. On most models, a red or amber light will appear indicating that it's ready to accept a battery for charging. If the light doesn't appear, it indicates a faulty charger. Ensure that the power cord is fully connected to the back of the charger, and then inspect it for any tears, fraying or other damage. To purchase a replacement charger, visit the place of purchase or contact the manufacturer.
Leaving your camera untouched for a long while with its battery inside is a recipe for corrosion. Over time, leakage from the inside of the battery can dry and harden onto the contacts of both the battery and the camera. Though light corrosion can be removed in the same way as oil and dirt residue, severe corrosion may cause permanent damage to the metal. Buff the corrosion away with a small piece of aluminum foil and a drop of vinegar. If this doesn't work, the battery will require replacement.
Placing your battery on the charger after a night near an open window or an afternoon in a hot car will usually yield a poor charge, even if the charger indicates that the unit is full. Once placed inside the camera, it will deplete quickly after light use. Storing your camera or battery in extremely hot or cold temperatures will lessen the unit's energy discharge over time. Always store your battery in a dry, relatively cool area to protect your battery's delicate internal parts. If it has recently been exposed to extreme temperatures, let it warm or cool to room temperature before charging.
If you're an avid photographer and have been relying upon the same battery for several years, chances are your unit is nearing exhaustion. Most lithium-ion units become exhausted after thousands of cycles. When placed on the charger, the indicator light may remain red or amber, which means that it's not recognizing the battery. It may also display a green light after a very short time, indicating a full charge. However, the battery will still deplete rapidly if inserted in the camera. Consult your manufacturer or visit a battery retailer to purchase a replacement unit.
Brandon Getty began writing professionally in 2008, with columns appearing in "Thrasher" magazine. He received a Bachelor of Arts in literature from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and lives in Stockton, Calif.