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Author Topic: How to better manage batteries  (Read 5399 times)

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« on: November 21, 2010, 13:49 »
0

Maybe it isn't an issue for most of you, who are probably shooting frequently, but  only use my DSLR like once a month, when not traveling.

When I'm going to use it, the battery in it is often discharged.  So I use the backup and recharge the first, even if only one is going suffice for that shooting.  Next time I normally find this backup ran out and replace it by the first one. 

So I wonder what is better for the batteries:
- Charge them only when going to use
- Charge them only when they lose charge completely
- Charge them as soon as they lose charge, even if partially, after a session

The point is not about always having the camera ready, but about what is better for battery life and operation.

In case it makes any difference, I use a Canon 400D and this battery is a Lithium-ion technology.


« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2010, 14:06 »
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I have 3 batteries for my DSLR.  I dont do alot of shooting either (probably one photoshoot/week), but I like making sure I have plenty of battery power.  My general rule of thumb is to recharge once a battery falls below 40%, and I recharge as soon as I return from a photoshoot, otherwise I might forget and find myself with dead batteries for my next photoshoot.  Incidentally I've found non-OEM batteries to be pretty much as good as OEM's these days and cost alot less.

« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2010, 14:08 »
+1
It's my understanding that lithium batteries do not have a "memory". In other words, if you charge them before they are completely discharged, you are not shortening the usage time of the battery. So I don't think it hurts to partially charge them. Usually a few hours before I know I am going to shoot, I charge both of my batteries.

My question for someone more knowledgeable is if you charge your batteries fully a few days before a shoot, do they lose the charge just sitting there? You mentioned that when you are going to use yours, madelaide, that it is often discharged, so maybe this is a question you are asking too?

« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2010, 14:09 »
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I have 3 batteries for my DSLR.  I dont do alot of shooting either (probably one photoshoot/week), but I like making sure I have plenty of battery power.  My general rule of thumb is to recharge once a battery falls below 40%, and I recharge as soon as I return from a photoshoot, otherwise I might forget and find myself with dead batteries for my next photoshoot.  Incidentally I've found non-OEM batteries to be pretty much as good as OEM's these days and cost alot less.

That sounds like a good practice I should get into.

« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2010, 14:49 »
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I also take out the camera and shoot about once a week.
When I'm scheduled for a photo shoot session, I charge both batteries (both originals) the night before the shoot. When I'm not scheduled, meaning just shooting for fun, I just used whatever left of previous charge just because I know in case of emergency, I have an extra battery with me.

I only charge a battery (immediately after a shoot) when it is used 3/4 or almost died.

« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2010, 18:28 »
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I have 3 batteries for my DSLR.  I dont do alot of shooting either (probably one photoshoot/week), but I like making sure I have plenty of battery power.  My general rule of thumb is to recharge once a battery falls below 40%, and I recharge as soon as I return from a photoshoot, otherwise I might forget and find myself with dead batteries for my next photoshoot.  Incidentally I've found non-OEM batteries to be pretty much as good as OEM's these days and cost alot less.


Looks like you are doing it right.
Check this web site:
http://batteryuniversity.com/learn/article/how_to_prolong_lithium_based_batteries

However, I do not do what the above website suggests.
I have a Nikon D700 and two Li-Ion Batteries, 1500mAh.
I recharge them when my camera gives me a warning. I read somewhere that following the camera's warning is best for the batteries.
The battery life is much longer now then when they was purchased. I can take 1300-1500 images with one battery on a single charge.
The last vacation I went on, I did not even use a second battery and I took well over 1800 images with the one battery only.

« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2010, 18:37 »
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As I said, my concern is not having the batteries ready, but making what is best for its life.

If that site Kone posted is accurate, I should recharge them more often:
"Avoid frequent full discharges because this puts additional strain on the battery. Several partial discharges with frequent recharges are better for lithium-ion than one deep one."

2-3 year life?  Gosh, I should be buying new batteries then!

cclapper, the battery that I often find discharged is the one that remains in the camera after a shooting (without further recharging), so it is already "used" and I understand the camera uses it even if off (otherwise it would lose the date/hour setting, right?)

« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2010, 11:11 »
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I would think that camera have to have a separate battery for date/time stuff (or it's stored on some sort of solid-state memory) otherwise we'd lose date/time when we changed batteries. Not sure though.

« Reply #8 on: November 22, 2010, 11:59 »
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I presume the camera loses date/time if batteries are removed for a long time. At least in my P&S it is so. It can stay minutes, maybe hours, without batteries, but at some point it loses date and other settings.

« Reply #9 on: November 23, 2013, 01:58 »
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Use batteries with full charged and use it with normal mode.Always remove battery from camera after use it is a clean process for battery life long.If your battery back up is get lower day by day then before using charge it full and after use it. ; 8) 8) 8) 8) 8)

« Reply #10 on: November 23, 2013, 08:34 »
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I presume the camera loses date/time if batteries are removed for a long time. At least in my P&S it is so. It can stay minutes, maybe hours, without batteries, but at some point it loses date and other settings.

Many (all?) canon dSLRs have a "date time" battery hidden in the body. They last for years but they're also a pain because when they start to die the camera malfunctions without giving any indication of what's wrong and the manual says nothing about it.

Beppe Grillo

« Reply #11 on: November 23, 2013, 09:24 »
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Another point: battery longs less
- if you use long exposure times
- if you use live-view (even live-view tethered to your computer, with Nikon Camera Control Pro for example)
- if you use the monitor (better set it to not show the photo after each shot, but only when *you* want to watch it)
- if you use the camera under low temperatures (outdoor in winter, snow, ice)

« Reply #12 on: January 06, 2014, 04:27 »
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Charge only when its fully drained!

« Reply #13 on: January 06, 2014, 12:28 »
+2
Charge only when its fully drained!


That is true for NiCd batteries but not Li ion of Nimh batteries as far as I know... Except maybe every once in a while.

http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/five-apps/five-tips-for-extending-lithium-ion-battery-life/

(tips 3 and 4)

« Reply #14 on: January 06, 2014, 13:18 »
+1
Straying off topic but I splurged on one of these this past hockey season, I cycle through about 48 AA batteries several times a week.  This recharging station is awesome.   I also has a recondition cycle that takes most of the day to bring new life to batteries that would otherwise be thrown out.  http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/883786-REG/Powerex_MH_C801D_8_Cell_1_Hour_Charger.html

« Reply #15 on: January 07, 2014, 10:57 »
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^^ Thanks for the info, that's good to know!!


 

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