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Managing your battery stock

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by owczi, Sep 8, 2015.

  1. owczi

    owczi nareteV 34-uM

    I thought I'd share some tips on managing your batteries. This is from an Olympus user, but probably applies to Panasonic as well. Feel free to add more tips and hacks. I know most people work out their own methods.

    Camera batteries:

    - If you shoot for extended periods of time (like whole day of sports or events), get 4 or 5 batteries. You can buy them over time.
    - Get an extra charger, or two. Last thing you want is to stay up all night to charge them one by one.
    - For chargers with Figure 8 plugs (C7) like Olympus, get Apple charger prongs: https://www.mu-43.com/threads/40243/ or similar. No more dangling cables and you can plug them straight into the wall.
    - Label your batteries (say, number them) and use them in the right order. This way you'll always know how many you have left and when to start recharging. You'll also know which ones are empty (below the number that's in the camera).
    - Carry two little battery bags or boxes with you, one for fresh ones and one for empty ones
    - When you buy a new camera, buy it with an extra battery (less financial damage with a bigger purchase), this way when you go through two bodies you'll have at least 4 batteries already, that's if they are still compatible.
    - When shooting with a grip, always set the battery priority to the grip battery (Oly at least), and keep replacing it. you'll be left with the body battery as a backup, and with some training you'll be able to replace the grip battery almost while shooting, without taking your eye off the viewfinder.

    The subject of third-party batteries may come up - this is up to you. I use original batteries only - my choice and I'm not changing it. I've had a cheap battery swelling up in my old iPhone overnight until it looked like a blowfish and cracked. I also tested the first BLN-1 clones: DSTE, non-decoded and their capacity was useless, but this was over two years ago, maybe things have improved since.

    Flash batteries:

    - Also label your flash batteries. Flash will use 2 or 4 AAs - label them by sets, like A1..A4, B1..B4 etc - you will know what's what if you borrow batteries for some other device, and you will ensure the sets are charged together and will thus age together.
    - For flash, use Sanyo Eneloop Pro (sold as Sanyo XX until recently). Their self-discharge rate is amazingly low. Charge them and forget about them, absolute win if you only use your flash occasionally. There are other similar brands.
    - Some flashes have battery holders (batteries slot into the holder, not the flash) - buy an extra holder and put spare batteries in it.
    - Buy an emergency set of high performance, non-rechargeable AAs, Lithium or something. Drop it in the bag and forget about it. It's for emergencies, you see.
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  2. Ricoh

    Ricoh Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 2, 2013
    My technique is simple - spare batteries are in little zip lock bags, labeled 'Next', ' Next-1' etc. no confusion. I place a red coloured rubber band around the exhausted battery and place in the zip lock bag the replacement came from. No guessing what needs recharging, and the order for subsequent use.
  3. ThomD

    ThomD Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 1, 2013
    SF Bay Area
    Rule one for me: never close the battery door on the camera unless there is a card and battery in there. :) 

    I use these for storage. I drop in a post it with the last full charge date so I can keep stock rotation clear.

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  4. tyrphoto

    tyrphoto Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 25, 2014
    Seoul | NYC
    This is my battery and SD card solution.

    Green purse is for full batteries, yellow for depleted batteries. I got these purses for free at a traditional Korean outfit company. Each one can hold 6 batteries (2 extra for my E-M5 Mk.II, 2 extra for my Fuji X100T and 2 for my Ricoh). I also have one in red for carrying USB and Lightning cables as well as a couple of the Apple dongles.

    The USB brick is a 15,000mAh charger that can charge my iPhone, iPad as well as my Fuji X100T in a pinch. It also powers my Fuji SP-1 Instax printer.

    The 8 Eneloop batteries are for when I'll be using strobes.

    The Ruggard SD card holder has 4 slots on each side for a total of 8 card slots.

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    Last edited: Sep 8, 2015
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  5. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Legend Subscribing Member

    Jan 3, 2014
    I have all my batteries numbered so that I can rotate thru them and not use the same battery over and over. I also use the battery holders by Think Tank and put them in with contacts down for charged batteries and used ones go in with contacts up. I use the ones that hold two batteries and will keep one in my pocket for fast changes and after I use the 2nd battery will swap it out for another one with two fresh batteries when there is a break in the action.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. barry13

    barry13 Mu-43.com Editor Subscribing Member

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
    In addition to numbering my batteries, I also write the year and month they were purchased on the battery, so:
    A. I know if they're under warranty
    B. I can track how long they last. If a cheap battery (I'm using Progo) lasts over a year, it's a good deal.

    • Like Like x 1
  7. tkbslc

    tkbslc Super Moderator

    My method:

    Is it charged?
    If Yes: Use it.
    If No: Charge it.

    Is it having any problems?
    If Yes: Toss it.
    If No: Keep using it.

    I like to keep it simple..... :) 
    • Like Like x 2
    • Agree Agree x 2
  8. PacNWMike

    PacNWMike Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Dec 5, 2014
    Salish Sea
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2015
  9. bassman

    bassman Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 22, 2013
    New Jersey
    The Bassman
    I also use the "contacts-down for charged and contact-up for empty" technique, but many of the batteries are in OpTech media cases. They're just big enough for an OM-D battery.
  10. PakkyT

    PakkyT Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jun 20, 2015
    New England
    I go with a decidedly low tech solution. For my Li-Ion camera batteries I simply have little cards (index card thickness) a bit smaller than the batteries. One one side I wrote "CHARGED" in red and on the other side I wrote "DEAD" in black. I simply rubber band them onto my batteries. When I need to change a battery, fish out one with CHARGED showing. Put that battery into the camera and the one I just took out I take the card and rubber band from the battery I just installed and rubber band the little card onto the battery with DEAD showing. Pretty simple.

    For AA batteries, I have yet to see a charger that the batteries don't go in all the same way. Likewise I have yet to see anything with my Oly gear where the batteries are not installed with half facing one way and half the other way. So my solution is when they come off the charger they go into the holder (works if you rubber band them together as well) in the same orientation that they were coming off the charger (all the positive button tops are on the same side). When they come out of a camera, flash, etc. I put them into my holder case (or rubber band together) exactly how they came out, with 2 of the 4 (or 1 of them when only two batteries are used) of the button tops in one direction and the other half facing the other direction. So with a glance I can see if they are fresh out of the charger (ready to use) or fresh out of the device (dead).
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Lcrunyon

    Lcrunyon Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jun 4, 2014
    I have four batteries for two Oly cameras (meaning one spare for each) and I've found that I've usually been able to get by with one freshly charged battery for a single excursion of shooting. I've never needed more than two in a single day. In fact, it generally works out rather well that after a day of shooting, I have one (or two, if my wife is using the other camera) drained or nearly drained batteries to charge for the next day.

    My Canon (from which I also have a spare) has twice the battery life, so I usually have some life left over after an excursion, so I either have to charge it as is or let it drain out and swap it out during the next outing of shooting. So, the extra life hasn't really been utilized.

    I also invested in a charger that works in the car, for emergencies. I've forgotten to charge and/or pack a spare before on long trips.
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