E-M5 II battery life abysmal for astro use.

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I realise there is another recent thread on the E-M5 II battery life, but that relates more to "normal" usage.
This time I want to address the specific problem with astro photography.
Basically, setting up the camera for making astro photos usually involves quite a bit of screen time, setting up manual focus, adjusting framing, adjusting exposure. And as a result a large portion of the battery capacity has been used before any serious imaging. And then imaging can involve ten or more exposures using the time lapse feature. And then the battery needs changing.
The biggest problem relates to changing the battery without upsetting the lens alignment on the stars. It could have taken 10 minutes or more just to get the lens pointed in the correct direction, and removing the camera from the mount to change the battery means the alignment is lost, and back to square one.

I want an external long-life battery pack, or even just an external battery holder so I can change batteries without touching the camera.
Does anyone have a fix for that ?
Maybe a dummy battery with a lead to an external battery pack ?
 

wjiang

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The problem will be cold - Li-Ion batteries really don't like being cold.

There are definitely dummy battery options, e.g.: https://www.ebay.com/itm/BLN-1-Dumm...rk-II-E-P5-E-M1-Pen-E-P5-Camera-/113358418699
I think it's just a dumb lead though, so you'll have to find an external battery pack that's the right voltage range. The BLN-1 is of a slightly odd chemistry that has higher voltage than most generic Li-Ions.
 

CO_yeti

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I haven't ran into that issue with my Pen F, but battery life is subjective. The cold could be an issue or your batteries have lost capacity?
 

BosseBe

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I don't have an EM5, but I bought a Jupio battery grip for my G80 and with that the camera will (with right settings) first use the battery in the grip, then switch to the internal battery.
If you change the battery in the grip to a full one, the camera will automatically go back to using the one in the grip.
With full battery charge in both the camera and the grip (and enough batteries) you should have continuos use of the camera.
 
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I don't have an EM5, but I bought a Jupio battery grip for my G80 and with that the camera will (with right settings) first use the battery in the grip, then switch to the internal battery.
If you change the battery in the grip to a full one, the camera will automatically go back to using the one in the grip.
With full battery charge in both the camera and the grip (and enough batteries) you should have continuos use of the camera.

The battery grip would be better, though I would prefer not to touch the camera once it's aligned on a star cluster, especially with a longer focal length, when it's easy to lose it from the field of view.
 
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The temperature was 10C last night, and even with a new original Olympus battery, battery life was a problem.
I think the answer is, as @wjiang suggested, the dummy battery from China (eBay). On searching further I see there is a matching mains power pack too. The description even refers to solving the astrophotography battery life problem.
Which leads to another, short-term, problem. With the current global lockdown, shipping time from China is a month or more.
There is a fix, but not an immediate one.

And thanks to everyone for your comments and suggestions.
 

Reflector

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The problem will be cold - Li-Ion batteries really don't like being cold.

There are definitely dummy battery options, e.g.: https://www.ebay.com/itm/BLN-1-Dumm...rk-II-E-P5-E-M1-Pen-E-P5-Camera-/113358418699
I think it's just a dumb lead though, so you'll have to find an external battery pack that's the right voltage range. The BLN-1 is of a slightly odd chemistry that has higher voltage than most generic Li-Ions.

The camera should be fine if it receives continuous regulated 3.8V per cell (=7.6V for the pack; peak voltage should be no higher than 8.4V, check with a multimeter for a freshly charged BLN-1 off the charger which I suspect is a little higher due to the chemistry), the higher voltage of the BLN-1 only applies for when it is at 100% state of charge.

Otherwise there's Case Relay which is basically a small dummy battery pack along with an inline battery pack with maybe a voltage regulator that then charges the inline pack off USB.
 

11GTCS

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Can’t you just fit a battery grip and plug the normal AC adapter in? Or does the battery grip for the 5 not have that? Obviously need to have an inverter for AC, but if you’re shooting astro what’s one more thing 😂 then your battery life is functionally unlimited
 
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Otherwise there's Case Relay which is basically a small dummy battery pack along with an inline battery pack with maybe a voltage regulator that then charges the inline pack off USB

That looks good, and available locally for an eye-watering $250 NZ.
 
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Can’t you just fit a battery grip and plug the normal AC adapter in? Or does the battery grip for the 5 not have that? Obviously need to have an inverter for AC, but if you’re shooting astro what’s one more thing 😂 then your battery life is functionally unlimited

I hadn't considered a battery grip because of the cost ( of the Olympus one), and I don't know if it has an AC adapter input either.
 

wjiang

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The HLD-6P/HLD-8G battery grip does take the AC-3 wall adapter. I didn't bring it up because AC while out in the field sounded slightly ridiculous. If you live in a reasonably dark area and can run a chord from your house that would be a good option.
 
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11GTCS

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I hadn't considered a battery grip because of the cost ( of the Olympus one), and I don't know if it has an AC adapter input either.

Just checked, it doesn’t, only the E-M1 grips have it. To me it’d be well worth the cost if it had it, makes it idiotproof and no sketchy bypassing the camera electronics required.
 
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Just checked, it doesn’t, only the E-M1 grips have it. To me it’d be well worth the cost if it had it, makes it idiotproof and no sketchy bypassing the camera electronics required.

As @wjiang says above, the HDL-6P does take an AC adapter, but checking eBay again, the HLD-8 battery grip is listed ex Korea for $394 US including postage, which translates to around $800 NZ with exchange rate and taxes. Worse than eye-watering.
 

11GTCS

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As @wjiang says above, the HDL-6P does take an AC adapter, but checking eBay again, the HLD-8 battery grip is listed ex Korea for $394 US including postage, which translates to around $800 NZ with exchange rate and taxes. Worse than eye-watering.

Haha I paid 100 bucks used for mine on E-M1, not cheap but not unreasonable. I’d agree 800 is a bit obscene.
 
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The HLD-6P/HLD-8G battery grip does take the AC-3 wall adapter. I didn't bring it up because AC while out in the field sounded slightly ridiculous. If you live in a reasonably dark area and can run a chord from your house that would be a good option.

I do have mains power to my observation site to run the tracking mount through an AC adapter. And to run a hair drier to keep dew off the lens.
 

ac12

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Is the battery old?

My EM1-mk1 with a Panasonic 12-60, will run FOUR hours, continuously ON, and shooting much of the time.

I have not done time lapse, to see if that significantly shortens the battery run time.
Nor have I had significant experience shooting in COLD temp.
The first time I had a short battery life, I thought it was due to the 45F temp. But, it turned out that the problem was the lens, the power sucking 12-100. With the 12-100, continuous ON battery run time drops to 2-1/2 hours.
 
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Is the battery old?

The battery I had a problem with last night was a new original Olympus one.
It seems that the continuous screen-on time during set-up that is the killer.
 

grcolts

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The HLD-6P/HLD-8G battery grip does take the AC-3 wall adapter. I didn't bring it up because AC while out in the field sounded slightly ridiculous. If you live in a reasonably dark area and can run a chord from your house that would be a good option.
Orion Telescopes sells a portable charger for field use. You could plug in your AC cord from your camera and shoot for hours. Check it out on their website. Here is their website link to the charger: https://www.telescope.com/catalog/s...archForm&siteCode=US&keyword=battery+chargers
It is not cheap but will last for a long time and could be used for other things as well
GQR
 

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