January 20, 2011: Photo retailer Alan Small (Taree Camera House) has called for an international standard to be established for camera battery charger indicator systems.
‘Like so many things in an increasingly confusing world, there are dozens of methods of indicating that a battery is being charged, or when it is fully charged,’ said Mr Small.
‘There are orange lights, red, yellow and green indicators, flashing, or steady, and in some cases no lights at all to indicate when the battery is fully charged, even though the power may still be connected.
‘That in itself could be inherently dangerous.’
Alan Small said consumers did not understand the signals emanating from chargers, and often reported a faulty battery or charger when this was mostly not the case. This could lead to futile and costly back-to-base trips for repairs which weren’t required.
‘In my view the international standard and therefore minimum requirement for the charging of lithium ion batteries should be: Steady red LED – power connected. Flashing orange LED (separate indicator) – battery is being charged. Steady green light – the battery is fully charged.
‘If in the interests of sophistication, the maker wants to vary the speed of the flashing orange light to indicate the degree of charge in the battery, well that’s fine, but it would still comply with the required international standard in terms of visual indication. Adopting such a standard would contribute to ease of use and customer satisfaction and safety, ‘ he said.
‘There are so many complications for consumers now they are all joining the “I-just-don’t-get-it club”,’ Mr Small quipped. ‘The things industry people take for granted can be a minefield for many consumers, and I think this call for careful design simplicity should flow to all areas of photographics, and in fact right across industrial design.
‘The easier and more rewarding we all make the chain of events for the people who keep us all afloat, the more they will likely spend on the great hobby of image-making,’ he told Photo Counter.
‘We must never take their interest and needs for granted,’ he said.