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How long does a BLN-1 battery last?

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by OzRay, Jun 6, 2014.

  1. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    A bloody long time! I spent the documenting a maintenance activity at Yallourn Power Station (Australia, Victoria), which involved, amongst other things, three hours in a helicopter photographing another helicopter and I took 1428 photos, including some video, and when I'd finished, the battery indicator was still showing two thirds full. I did very little chimping and turned off the camera when not taking shots. And on a side note, the IBIS and 4/3 lenses proved their weight in gold. I'll post more on the assignment once I've gone through the photos and videos, and have approval to post results.
  2. Ricoh

    Ricoh Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 2, 2013
    About 1000 charge/discharge cycles, although the data sheet that accompanies the battery says 500. Remembering that partial charge/discharging count towards that number. Like everything, there is a tolerance on the figure, and the manufacturer is probably erring on the low side to ensure it doesn't get claims about misrepresentation. If you looked at data to 3 sigma you'd might well see a population that give twice the upper figure quoted, or higher.
    Remember too that it's chemistry, and the reversible reaction is thermally activated, so climatic conditions will have an effect. Why batteries have a finite life I'm not sure, but it does suggest that it's not fully reversible, which leads me to conclude that impurities in the mix react with the reagents, causing a net loss. Just a guess. Does anyone have a definitive answer to the life issue, i.e. why the finite charge / discharge cycles?
  3. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    I meant that I was able to take over 1400 photographs and the battery was still indicating 2/3 charge left (though I don't believe that). All reports by reviewers etc have indicated that on a full charge, the battery can take around 350 photographs.
  4. janneman

    janneman Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 6, 2012
    Jan (John) Kusters
    I tried some -in the end unconclusive- experiments with the battery life of my E-M5. As others wrote elsewhere, it seems to be more about how long the camera is active than the number of shots.
    I kept notes on charging, time 'in waiting' and number of shots, and did not find any system; my average was 250-300 shots on a charge, but there were times when it went down to 150, and times I passed 1200 shots.
    When I started to take notes on how long the camera was active (a lot harder to keep track of) it became much clearer; always between 2 and 3 hours... The 1000+ shots were always serial shooting, planes, birds, road sequences from a riding car, stuff like that, with the camera set to 11 frames/s. And the low numbers came when I used the camera on a microscope; always on (I use the LCD for my basic view through the microscope) but only every now and again one picture.
    I resorted to switching the camera off between shots, it has become a reflex by now. Next question, how long before I wear out the on/of switch :smile:
  5. dko22

    dko22 Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 26, 2010
    Stuttgart, Germany
    it's much more useful to time how long the camera is actually on in many cases (other than things like video or flash use which will of course drain the battery more quickly). I hardly ever get as many as 100 shots because I usually chimp every single exposure and can spend quite a long time composing the shot. For one minute per photo, which doesn't seem much to me, that would give probably around 120-150. Those who get over 1000 quite obviously are doing burst shooting or instant grab shots!
  6. arch stanton

    arch stanton Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 25, 2012
    Motor drive/rapid clicking will bump you up well over the 300 shots - I had ~1000 at a wedding with 200 or so flashed shots (fl300r with it's own batteries, not the clip-on). 1400 is great going though.
    For the record I'm not parsimonious, I chimp most of the shots. But I turn the camera off at the switch whenever I'm not using it rather than letting it standby.

    I have a spare and have stopped worrying about battery life on my em5 - they last more than a day whatever I do. If I'm shooting >500 shots, it's fast enough the battery copes and I charge again overnight. If you spread it out over several days, I suspect you'll be much closer to 300 shots and a dead battery.
  7. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    I was certainly doing short bursts (1 sec) at 11 fps because of the conditions. But what's good to know about this is that for the likes of sports photographers, 350 shots would be woeful; however, knowing that you can shoot +/- 1400 makes the camera viable. Mind you, it probably wouldn't work for Nikon/Canon shooters, as they tend to chip constantly, from what I observed over the years. ;) 
  8. barry13

    barry13 Mu-43.com Editor Subscribing Member

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
    I got 600+ shots with a Progo battery at a 2 hour concert, no bursts. Battery was still showing 2/3.


    Sent from my iPad using Mu-43
  9. tyrphoto

    tyrphoto Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 25, 2014
    Seoul | NYC
    Last night, went to a 3+ hour concert with my EM1 and a Ricoh GRD3. The EM1, kept on the whole time (sleep setting set at one minute) lasted me 689 shots and about 3 hours with mixed usage of single shots and bursts, EVF and LCD usage. It petered out at the very end with about 20 minutes left to go in the concert.
  10. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    I wonder how CIPA does their battery testing as they rate the battery at 350 shots? Reviewers take this figure without question and then report that battery life is woeful. Pity more real world test aren't done by informed reviewers.
  11. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    I am still getting a handle on battery life in my E-M1 and E-M5's, which so far has not been too bad, but I will say that Olympus battery guages goes from full to empty very quickly. My older E-PL2 and E-PL5 gave little warning, and I had their guages set to +2. I liked my D300 guage, and battery life, as it gave a bit more warning, and allowed me to shoot over 1200 images with power to spare. But, it is easy enough to carry a spare, and the E-M1 seems reasonable so far.

  12. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    I specifically bought a spare Olympus BLN-1, after the fiasco with the aftermarket ones and, as it turned out, I could have managed the day with the one battery and possibly the crappy aftermarket batteries as a backup. That said, when you're doing something like this, you want to be absolutely confident in your gear, as stuffing up a professional job because of lack of a spare battery makes you look pretty woeful. I also had my E-3 as a backup camera just in case.
  13. Reflector

    Reflector Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 31, 2013
    By chance were you powering off frequently or exclusively using the EVF to frame shots with it setup to turn off using the eye sensor?? From what I've read from Ming Thein's E-M5 usage, he had phenomenal battery life when he frequently powered off the camera, but inclusive of chimping. I've been getting something like 400-ish shots to 2/3 bars across several sessions with practically half or all my shots reviewed. However that's with powering off the E-M5.

    I assume from those reviews, the camera is left on and left to the idle timer that lets it go into sleep.
  14. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    As I said, I was powering off when not shooting and exclusively using the EVF (the LCD is permanently turned off, so the eye sensor isn't used). Mine is also set to go to sleep in one minute, if I forget to power off, to ensure that it doesn't needlessly use power. But that's how I think everyone should be treating their cameras, in order to maximise battery life. Just because it can stay on, doesn't mean that it has to stay on all the time.
  15. Reflector

    Reflector Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 31, 2013
    Sorry about skipping the first post, I skimmed the topic and saw the 1,400 number and that seemed familiar to me. By EVF and eye sensor, I mean do you have it so the EVF is powered off (With the LCD) with the eye sensor?

    The E-M5 and E-M1 seem to perform real well in battery consumption when the EVF is primarily used. In contrast, supposedly the RX100M3 has terrible battery life when using the EVF according to the numbers Sony released. I wonder if this is related to Olympus optimizing the E-M5 and E-M1 for EVF operations over LCD operations.
  16. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    I don't use the LCD at all. The E-M1 is set to operate only through the EVF, with sleep at one minute and the camera physically turned off whenever I'm not shooting. I'd say that the EVF would use a lot less power than the LCD, being so much smaller and probably designed to be a low power device.
  17. Reflector

    Reflector Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 31, 2013
    To clarify:
    Is your E-M1 set up so that when you don't have anything in front of the EVF, it powers off?
  18. yakky

    yakky Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 1, 2013
    The 2/3 indicator is more like 1/4 indicator on my various Oly bodies. That said no complaints about battery life. I also like that I can pick up an Oly camera six months later and it hasn't killed the battery.
  19. fsuscotphoto

    fsuscotphoto Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 15, 2013
    St. Cloud, FL
    I don't know how you all do it but I'm lucky if I make it through the day without all three of my batteries in the camera. Maybe the last one won't be used much, but it's probably going in.
  20. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    No, I'm not sure that you can even do that, it's either on or off, as far as I'm aware.
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