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Samsung Digimax Battery Review

Samsung Digimax Battery review

|  Samsung Digimax Battery in Batteries and Chargers
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Samsung Digimax Battery reviewThere is no disputing digital cameras have come a long way in the last few years. However, one area in which many struggle to compete with their film-based counterparts is battery-life. All too often, just as you want to take that once in a lifetime shot, a 'battery depleted' message appears on the LCD and the camera shuts down defiantly.

The obvious solution is to carry a spare pair of batteries, or as we're looking at here, buy a special external battery pack. Samsung produce their own series of digital cameras, so it wasn't surprising that they should develop this type of accessory. What was slightly surprising is the good compatibility they've included for other manufacturer's digital cameras.

Digimax Battery Specification

  104mm x 43mm x 19mm
140 grams
DC 3V (SBP - 3603)/ 5V (SBP - 3605) / 6V (SBP-3606)
Battery Cell capacity
Capacity 3600mA
Charging time
Around 90 Minutes
Pendant /attached to camera / worn on a belt
Fuel gauge
3 Level LED
Cell type
Lithium-Ion Cell
AC Adaptor
Input (100 - 240V, 50/60Hz) Output (DC 9V 1.1A)
Connection cable
Red (4.8), Blue (4.0), Green (3.5)

This list may not be entirely up to date. It was included in the packaging of the Digimax battery, and doesn't include cameras like the Minolta Dimage 7i which we found through our tests that it works fine with. It also only applies to the Digimax Battery SBP-3606. For other voltage models of the Digimax Battery, please see the Verdict.

To use this battery pack with the various cameras mentioned below, Samsung have provided three wires. A red, blue and green one, each suitable for various manufacturers products.

Manufacturer   Models
Digimax-350SE, 410, 340, 230, 330, 130, 210SE, 220SE
ePhoto 1280, 1680, 307, 780, 780c, CL18, CL20, CL30, CL30Click, CL34, CL50, Smile
Powershot A30, A40
QV11, 100, 120, 200, 300, 2000UX, 2300UX, 2800UX, QV3EX, 5000SX, 5500SX, 70, 700, 7000, 7000SX, 770, 780, 8000SX
PhotoPC550, 600, 650, 700Z, 750Z, 800, 850Z, 900Z, 3000Z, 3100Z, PC80Z
Photosmart 318, C200/200xi, C215, C315, C618, C912
DC-20, 25, 40, 50Z, 80, 120Z, DC-200, 200Plus, 210AZ, 215AZ, 220Z, DC-240Z, 240iZ, 260Z, 265, 265Z, 280Z, 280JZ, 290, 290Z, DC-3200, 3400, 3400Z, 5000Z, DCS-315
Contax N Digital, Samural 1300DG
Dimage S404, RD3000, X, RD-175+24-85mm, Dimage 2300, 2330Z, 3D1500, E201, EX1500, Dimage RD3000, S204, 5, 7, V, VX
Coolpix 750, 775, 800, 880, 900, 900S, 910, 950, 990, 995, 5000
C-120, 1000L, 1400L, 1400XL, 2000Z, 2020Z, 2040Z, 21, 2100UZ, C-2500L, 3000Z, 3020Z, 3030Z, 3040Z, C400L, 410L, 420L, 4040Z, 700, 700UZ, 800L, 820L, 830L, 840L, 860L, C900Z, 920Z, 960Z, Z1, E-10, 20N, 100RS
EL-200, 2000
PDC-300, 640, 700, 1100, 2300Z, 3000
RDC-2, 2E, 100G, 200G, 300, 300Z, 4200, 4300, 5000, 5300
Allergertto M1, M60, PDR-M1, M3
2500, 2800, 3500, 8000

Lithium-ion batteries are typically light and this Digimax, with its plastic casing is no exception. It's almost light enough to put in a pocket and forget about. There are several ways in which the battery can be stored while in use.

Samsung Digimax Battery reviewSamsung Digimax Battery reviewOn a camera like the Minolta Dimage 7i, it made sense to have the battery attached to the tripod socket. It's easy to fix this provided holder into position, and then slip the battery inside.

Samsung also provide a smart black leather case with a belt clip if you don't want to attach the battery to the camera. This case can also be attached to a tripod, as the camera can't be attached to the tripod when the plastic holder is being used.

Samsung Digimax Battery reviewIncluded in the box is a mains adaptor which plugs straight into the battery. Whilst being charged, a variable number of the red LEDs will light up. LED 1 is lit when the battery is 10% charged, LED 2 for 40% and LED 3 for 90%. Total charging time is approximately 90 minutes.

When in use, you can check the remaining battery capacity by pressing the central button. If LED 1 lights there is 0-30% power remaining, LEDs 1+2 31-70% and all LEDs lit 71-100%.

Samsung Digimax Battery review Samsung Digimax Battery review Samsung Digimax Battery review
Choose the cable suitable for your camera. Attach the cable and battery to the camera. Go take some photos without having to worry too much about batteries.

In testing the performance of the Digimax Battery we combined it with the Minolta Dimage 7i. For each battery-type the camera was left on continuous mode with the flash going, using a 1Gb Microdrive at room temperature. Whilst it is unlikely anyone would shoot like this, it provides a fair comparison between each battery type.

We are comparing the Digimax against two popular standards of battery.
The first, the Friwo 1400 mAh Ni-MH are our office workhorse batteries and are a typical battery. They've been subjected to a lot of charging and use, so won't be performing as well as they did when new.

Then we have the high performance 2000 mAh Ni-MH. These are quite expensive batteries and are among the most powerful AA batteries currently available. They were also a fresh pair having only been used a couple of times since being opened.

Battery Number of shots taken
Friwo 1400 mAh Ni-MH AA 312
2000mAh Ni-MH AA 932
Samsung Digimax 1001

Both the 2000mAh Ni-MH and the Samsung manage to offer over double the number of shots taken with the 1400 mAh AAs. The Samsung pulls ahead of the 2000mAh, but it is surprising just how close the 2000mAh comes.

Note: These numbers may seem high to any Dimage 7i users. That is because there was none of the usual playing-back, pausing, focussing and menu operation that you'd do when using the camera normally.

We've only looked at the Digimax SBP-3606 here, there are also SBP-3603 and SBP-3605 models available. These are suitable for cameras requiring a different voltage to that of the SBP-3606. If you require information on compatability for these two battery packs, please check the link at the bottom of Samsung's Digimax battery page.

Costing around 50 from on-line retailers, the Digimax SBP-3606 is good value for money. A set of 2000mAh batteries and quick charger would cost around the same but not offer some of the versatility the Digimax can. For example, when attached to the Dimage 7i, the battery can be used as a makeshift extra grip.

If you're looking for an external battery pack for your power-hungry camera, the Digimax range is worth checking out.


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