E-M1 battery life


Mu-43 Hall of Famer
Jan 29, 2010
South Gippsland, Australia
Real Name
Ray, not Oz
Yes you are right, disabling the sensor means that the LCD is totally off when the viewfinder is on.

What is frustrating is that when the eye sensor is on, but the info button has been pressed so that the LCD is completely black, the LCD is still left on, wasting power. Go into a dark room to confirm this. It seems as if this could be fixed in firmware? In fact there could be an option to always switch off the LCD if the viewfinder has been activated. This would save a lot of power, and I can't see why it would cause any inconvenience.
That's why I disabled the eye sensor completely, I never use it. I think Olympus made it work that way to speed things up for users who do use the eye sensor.

But you DO loose the ability to use the touch feature of the SCP. It's just so fast and easy to touch and rotate a wheel to make changes. This is the one thing I can't shake from my Nikon/Canon shooting. They don't have touch screens but I'm used to using that LCD to make certain changes.
I've quickly transitioned from using the LCD for setting changes, other than when I want to access the menu, now that I've forced myself to use it that way.


Mu-43 Rookie
Oct 20, 2012
Sweden, Västra Götaland
As other have mentioned, the power consumption is mainly due to turning on the camera.

There has been a long discussion on the German forum, http://www.oly-forum.com/, but I can't find the thread anymore.
Reinhard Wagner has a long text about the power consumption for the E-m1 which he also published here, http://oly-e.de/download/docs/em1dok.pdf

It's in German but a QAD Google translate:
The power consumption of the camera is in milliamperes (mA) measured. The battery of the E-M1 BLN-1 has a capacity of 1220mAh, so it can be a maximum of 610mA over two hours be delivered. Since the camera has a protection circuit in it, which prevents total discharge of the battery is approximately 10% Less.

Power requirements of operating modes
Camera LCD =320mA
Camera LCD dimming =310mA
Camera LCD off with backlight =310mA
Camera LCD off, backlight off =300mA
Camera viewfinder =330mA
Viewfinder VF4- =400mA
Live Time Exposure =260mA
Dark Frame (noise reduction) =240mA

So it is, as far as the demand for electricity is irrelevant whether you have
the viewfinder or the display photograph, if you display the on
Dark off or let run along.

Additional power consumption:
Image stabilizer is active (eg viewfinder stabilization) =60mA
Short shutter lag =60mA
Internal flash is charging =270mA

Additionally needed for auto focus:
MFT Zuiko 17mm f / 1.8 =30mA
FT Zuiko 14-35 f / 2,0 =10mA - 270mA
FT Zuiko 150mm f / 2.0 =10mA - 70mA


Mu-43 Top Veteran
Dec 26, 2013
Long Beach, CA
I solved the problem by buying more generic batteries, as they are quite inexpensive. I have about 10 generic batteries and 3 or 4 charges, and only 2 original Olympus batteries that came with my E-M1 and E-M5. I need that as I can shoot more than 2,000 frames a day when I am out on a serious shoot.

Having said that, I do turn the camera off as soon as I know I won't be shooting for another few minutes. I think that's a good habit.

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