OMD Star Trails Battery Life & 3rd party Battery

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by tradesmith45, Jun 4, 2013.

  1. tradesmith45

    tradesmith45 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 13, 2012
    After a recent trip, I started learning how to shoot star trails. Found several helpful posts but also worry about OM-D battery life. So did some tests using my intervalometer set to give a 359 sec. exposure every 360 sec.

    First the good news. With everything you can turn off set to off (IS, AF, screens, MF assist, AF Illuminate, Noise Reduction, Full Time AF, Face Priority, Frame Rate Normal, etc.), I got 52-53 exposures from a fully charged 6 mo. old Olympus battery or 5 hrs 5 min. Ran 2 tests at about 65F & one @ 45F. No difference in battery life.

    Now the bad news. In 3 tests, the Wasabi 3rd party batteries only gave 21-22 exposures or 2 hrs 5min. These were charged in the Wasabi charger while the Olympus batteries were charged in the factory charger.

    So the factory batteries will easily last long enough at least in mild conditions to shoot star trails when fully charged & camera set to its lowest power consumption state.

    That last condition is important. By accident, I left IS on for one test & that alone cut battery life by about 60%.

    Really cold conditions are likely to significantly reduce battery life. If I find that does happen, I'll try using a rubber band to hold a small chemical hand warmer on the camera battery door to keep it warm.

    Hope you find this helpful!
  2. RobWatson

    RobWatson Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Tethered shooting and external power ... not so hard so why is that not part of the MFT standard? Such a useful feature set I can't understand why it is not there.
  3. WasOM3user

    WasOM3user Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 20, 2012
    Lancashire, UK
    Many thanks for carrying out the test and providing people like myself with the information it's much appreciated.

    I do like the quality of the feedback on this forum:):)

    Looks like I'll be sticking to Olympus batteries.....
  4. sinclair

    sinclair Mu-43 Veteran

    No tethered option, but my GF5 has an external power option. If I did have tethered or better yet, computer control of the shutter, I'd be doing stop motion of LEGOs with my son.
  5. tradesmith45

    tradesmith45 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 13, 2012
    As i understand it, currently the only way to get ext. power to the OM-D is through the Power Grip!?!?!? It has a socket for an external AC adapter.
  6. tradesmith45

    tradesmith45 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 13, 2012
    I to would love it if I could remotely control the OM-D from say my iPad.
  7. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Monkey with a camera.

    May 19, 2013
    Thanks so much for doing the test and letting us know!!! 5hrs and change sounds damn good to me! :)
  8. sevenil

    sevenil Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 22, 2011
    Look for the Triggertrap App - it may be what you're looking for (although I have only read about it and have not used it personally}
  9. tradesmith45

    tradesmith45 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 13, 2012
    Thanks for the heads up. The good news is this does support Olympus cameras!

    Best I can tell, this is an advanced intervalometer/wireless remote. It does not provide remote viewing of what the camera is seeing which is the main feature I'm looking for for feathered shooting.

    None of the demo time-lapse stuff I saw got my juices going.
  10. atnbirdie

    atnbirdie Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 13, 2013
    Even using TriggerTrap, the iPad/iPhone, must be connected to the camera with a cable.
    Look at the wireless Vello remotes. They work with the EM-5, are programmable, and so can take shot series like these.
  11. quatchi

    quatchi Mu-43 Veteran

    May 17, 2012
    Munich, Germany
    Thank you for the test and sharing here! But know I want to see the image... :)
  12. tradesmith45

    tradesmith45 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 13, 2012
    Yup, I got a Hahnel Giga T Pro. Works great. Haven't tried it that far but supposed to have a range of 300'. The intervalometer works at that range too supposedly.

    Must admit, it makes me nervous to have a remote that requires batteries. I'm still living in the film daze -:)
  13. atnbirdie

    atnbirdie Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 13, 2013
    Another option for battery power if you are not moving around (e.g., star trails, etc.) is to make an adapter to tap into a portable 12V car battery or jump start battery. This design could also be adapted to an AC adapter. I used a cheap (Progo) battery case for the "plug" into the camera. See my thread here:
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