Last Updated on November 18, 2015 by PixelPluck
Top 10 Tips To Improve Camera Battery Life
It is difficult to provide an exact life expectancy of a camera battery. The life of a battery is estimated in terms of recharge cycles. Camera Battery life is affected by different variables such as the amount of use, the environment in which the battery is being used, and the type of Camera with which the battery is being used. The camera battery capacity decreases over time and through its repeated use. If decreased usage time between charges becomes significant then you should replace the battery with a new one.
Read these Top 10 Tips To Improve Camera Battery Life.
- Manual Focusing will improve battery performance. Do not use continuous focus when not necessary as it eats battery power. The motors that move the optical components in order to focus consume a lot of energy. Pressing shutter button to the half way also consumes battery energy.
- Remove the battery from the camera and disconnect the power adapter after charging when the camera will not be in use for more than two weeks. Since the battery pack will discharge over time in storage, it must be charged every two months to extend cycle capacity or else it may fail to charge or hold power in the future.
- The battery should be stored at room temperature ranging between 10℃ and 35℃. You must take into account that the camera’s internal temperature is higher than the outside environmental temperature. Any temperature below this range would decrease battery performance. Operating the battery at a extremely high temperature increases the risk of a battery leakage or even explosion. Particularly when you are shooting very long exposures where the sensor and camera internals become hot.
- A camera battery typically has a lifespan of between 300 and 500 cycles under normal usage and operating conditions. Using the camera in a higher or lower ambient temperature affects the total number of cycles in the battery’s service life.
- Do not store the battery pack in a damp or cold environment! Moisture or a cold environment might speed up the discharge rate. The chemical ingredients inside the battery might degrade when exposed to low temperatures. On the other hand, there’s risk of explosion when exposed to extremely high temperatures. When not in use, remove it and keep it inside a airtight plastic box.
- Avoid frequently plugging and unplugging the power adapter. Put it in charge only once its drained. Every-time you put it for charging is counted as one cycle.
- Do not place the camera or battery pack near a radiator, fireplace, stove, direct sunlight or any source of heat. Temperatures over 60℃ (140℉) might cause the battery pack to explode, leak chemical fluids, or cause a fire.
- Turn off the LCD and use the viewfinder (on DSLR) to maximize the performance. Do not use the LCD to view photos just for fun or to show photos to others unnecessarily.
- Turn off image reviewing if you don’t need it. Also adjust the brightness to the comfortable level.
- Plan for battery consumption. Turn off the features which you don’t need. RAW formats consume more processing power and hence battery depletes faster. Switch of your camera when not in use or apply standby mode if available.
It is not possible to accurately predict the camera battery life because of the many variables involved such as – ambient temperature, format of images recorded, sensor size, how much you are using the zoom motor, whether you are using the viewfinder (if the camera has one) or screen to compose images, whether noise reduction is deployed, whether shooting single shot or continuous, whether you are reviewing your images and/or deleting some of them, age, type and capacity of the battery etc. Each camera/battery/photographer combination is different so you will need to assess the statistics yourself using the manufacturer’s figures as no more than a rough guideline.
The bottom line is ALWAYS CARRY AT LEAST ONE SPARE BATTERY.
Bonus: Learn about the types of Battery to understand how they work.
Nickel Cadmium: It is one of the oldest technologies. They are inexpensive, they can be recharged fast and many times before they lose their capacity. The downside is that they have a low capacity and have a “memory effect”. [“Memory effect” means that the battery can not be recharged to its full capacity unless it is first fully discharged.] This can be problem since in most cases you will want to make sure your battery regardless of its current state is fully charged before going on a photo shooting session. Some chargers solve this problem by first discharging the battery and only then recharging it to its full capacity. But this will take a lot of time and may not be an useful option in most cases.
Nickel Metal Hybrid: This technology is an improvement of nickel cadmium type. These batteries have higher capacity by up to 50% or more. Although it still has a “memory effect” it is less noticeable than in nickel cadmium batteries. The downside is that these batteries can be charged less times before losing their capacity and they also discharge faster when not in use.
Lithium Ion: A more recent technology that solves many of the nickel technology problems. Lithium ion batteries have a higher capacity than even nickel metal. They have no “memory effect” at all (and thus regardless of their current state they can always be recharged to their fullest capacity). The only downside is that they are more expensive than nickel batteries.
Lithium Polymer: This is the latest technology. These batteries have all the advantages of lithium ion and more. They have an even higher capacity and can also be easily manufactured in any shape or form. This allows for much smaller and lighter high capacity batteries and more importantly for batteries shaped to better fit the camera design.
We hope that this post will help you get the best out of your camera battery and improve its life. Feel free to comment below and ask us anything. Share with friends if useful. 🙂
Happy Shooting !! May you never run out of battery.