There are physical differences ...
There are physical differences between the two types of batteries ... so the NP-FM55s simply will NOT work in the A700 body. SONY saw fit to cut a 1.5" groove down the back of the NP-FM500H battery pack and place a matching ridge inside the battery compartment to prohibit use of the NP-FM55.
It was a bit more complicated than I or the consumer support representative were fully aware of. Jeff probably mentioned it, when he wrote the "preview", but it really didn't hit home until I got the camera and began looking at it closer.
Nah, you're stuck buying new batteries for the A700, although the NP-500Hs will work quite well in the A100, so you'll have plenty for it.
BTW: In regards to the VG-C70AM Vertical Grip, the battery compartment is wired a bit differently and clearly distinguishes between the two batteries inside it, using the first battery until fully discharged, then automatically switching over to the second. The A700's charge display clearly displays the status of each battery to you, so you can tell what's up at any time.
Let me tell ya, the SONY A700 is some kind of body. It's a dream to shoot with and people who never considered it as their "next" camera, are having some serious second thoughts.
Money, money, money ... the root!
Remember, Rooz, just like Canon ... it's a money machine.
Where Canon nails ya, is in having to buy IS-in-the-lens ...
SONY gets you in the Battery Division (they make them for other manufacturer's laptops, also). I'm pretty sure it was a cooperative opportunity to make some money, there, too. Personally, I saw this kind of nonsense going on at Motorola when I worked for them. Executives in suits coming down to the manufacturing floor and asking the engineers what could be done to keep everything "proprietary", so the customer had no recourse in a solution. They'd be stuck, unless they want to replace EVERYTHING.
I mean, what better place to get 'em, after the "lens mount" than in the battery location? It's really the only opportunity left, after the proprietary flash unit, too. They already had that covered, way back in 1995. It looks really similar ... but cannot be altered without violating the manufacturer's warranty of the camera and/or the battery.
Puts an extra $100 in the "profit column."
Don't get me wrong, I don't appreciate this kind of RUSE on the public, either. Canon could put IS-in-the-camera body and make a lot of people more desirous of their camera systems ... but the greed factor and their comfort level of where they are precludes this kind of "helpful" thinking. As long as licensing protects and allows this kind of crap to go on ... the consumers and their wallets are just "sitting ducks."
Personally, I cut my losses with Canon, because paying the cost for their IS-equipped lenses is a whole hell of a lot more expensive than a couple of stupid batteries. In fact, one IS-equipped lens' cost alone pays for the two batteries (I, personally, bought three, in addition to the one I got with the A700) I needed for my grip to work.
Oh well, like they say, it's only money. As a general question to everyone: Have you seen any extra laying around, lately? Or are you still using a four-year-old XT-body for this year, too? :confused:
A700 batteries - can't use the A100's...
Well, those (censored) engineers at Sony have done it again. I have the vertical grip for the A700 and removed the two little plastic tabs for the battery groove. The A100 batts physically fit fine now, but won't work in the camera. They don't have the right data stream that comes from the center contact. When you read voltage between the positive and center terminal on the A100 battery, you get a solid voltage. When you read it on the A700 battery, the voltage fluctuates wildly. The A700 has to "see" the right data from these overpriced batteries to work. Nice. Apparently Sony doesn't like losing revenue from knock-off batteries (which work just fine in my A100). Hopefully, someone will develop an inexpensive knock-off that works. Haven't found it yet, though.
In the interim, I did find the A700 batteries at Cameta Camera (thru an Amazon search) for $45 and bought 2. Best deal I could find in Nov. 2007.
Hope this info helps everyone pondering this issue.
Real reasons for the battery change
(This is a follow-up to an old issue)
The new batteries (2007) were required for the "power-meter" feature of the A700, for both itself and the VG-C70AM Vertical Grip. The old battery, SONY NP-FM55, simply cannot be read by this feature and a lot of things happen when the camera decides a battery is exhausted.
In the vertical grip, it switches over to the second battery. In the REMOTE CONTROL software, it declares the A700's battery is at less than 20% and really needs some attention. If they cannot be read, the camera's internal software shuts down the camera.
Anyway .. there is method to the madness. :rolleyes: