Switching on & off between shots

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by Ricoh, Feb 19, 2014.

  1. Ricoh

    Ricoh Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 2, 2013
    Real Name:
    I tend to switch the camera off between shots to conserve battery power. However, as an electronics engineer, I know the worst thing you can do to electronics (particularly the camera's internal power regulator and associated components) is to switch it on and off repeatedly. If anything is going to die, it's the initial stress at switch on that's going to kill it. I reason with myself that Olympus and other manufacturers have a soft start, and have designed and type proven it for a large number of power cycles, one after the other.
    Any thoughts from others? Do you leave the camera on and let it 'sleep' between shots, or switch off as I do?
  2. greenarcher02

    greenarcher02 Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 13, 2012
    Manila, Philippines
    I usually tend to leave it on (because I forget), but I switch it off when I realize it's been a long time since it was on and if I know that I won't be taking any shots anytime soon.
  3. Itchybiscuit

    Itchybiscuit Photon Mangler

    Dec 10, 2013
    Glasgow, Scotland
    Real Name:
    I leave it on and carry a spare battery.

    I understand what you're saying about the initial switch on 'shock' to the system. There has to be a safe limit - everything else seems to have a built-in obsolescence (tv's, washing machines, cars) so why wouldn't our cameras?
  4. Fri13

    Fri13 Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 30, 2014
    It is specifically teach to engineers in schools to use components what has required features but not more. You don't place more robust part than needed because cost is too high in most devices. That's why devices often break just before or after the warranty ends as some parts used have such specs for lifetime.

    So when you want to sell "Pro" model, it more likely has few parts what last longer.
    This example is with Apple computers that they use more high quality semiconductors than PC manufacturers.
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  5. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    I neither switch off nor let it sleep : always set sleep to be the longest setting allowed.
    I get decent battery life anyway, and have spare batteries.
  6. Hagane

    Hagane Mu-43 Regular

    May 31, 2013
    Limburg, Netherlands
    I also often switch the camera off between shots and I'm pretty sure that my beloved E-P5 won't leave me because of electronics or shutter failure but because of G.A.S..... :rolleyes:
  7. b_rubenstein

    b_rubenstein Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 20, 2012
    Melbourne, FL
    Sleep mode. These things will last longer than you want to use them. It's a camera, not a Faberge egg.
  8. Vivalo

    Vivalo Olympus Loser

    Nov 16, 2010
    With E-P1 I switch off between shots because I can't tell if it's in sleep mode or off. With E-M5 however, I have learned to leave it on because I can see and feel from the switch if the camera is in sleep mode.

    Lähetetty minun GT-I9300 laitteesta Tapatalkilla
  9. Wisertime

    Wisertime Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 6, 2013
    Real Name:
    With EP1 I program the extra FN button to turn off the display to save power between shots. With the EM5, I leave it on unless I plan on walking a bit before taking more shots and carry extra batteries. Ironically enough, I used to turn off my DSLR's more often between shots to save power....now in hindsight, that seems so silly and I'd love to have that battery duration again.
  10. alex66

    alex66 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 23, 2010
    If its in my hand its on, in the bag on the shelf off, it would drive me nuts to keep switching on and off but then I have 9 batteries between 2 G3's so not likely to run out.
  11. Mikefellh

    Mikefellh Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 7, 2012
    Toronto, Canada
    Never had an issue with cameras on/off vs sleep. Compared to other electronic devices, cameras aren't operating at 100% most of the time anyway...most of the time they go into limbo waiting for you to press a button.

    If I think I may take another picture in the next few minutes I'll leave it on and let it go to sleep.

    If I don't think I will it gets shut off.
  12. Ricoh

    Ricoh Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 2, 2013
    Real Name:
    Whilst out on Wednesday this week, and that's exactly what I did, I left them on (i run two bodies) or in sleep mode, and off when I'd finished. I carry three batteries shared between two cameras.
    As said previously, one aspect of design is about selecting the appropriate component(s) for the application. Cameras are not required to be 99.999 reliable, so their components are not de-rated as would be expected in aerospace.
  13. b_rubenstein

    b_rubenstein Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 20, 2012
    Melbourne, FL
    Components rated, based on environmental conditions (primarily temperature) as either commercial, industrial or military. De-rating is done based on load and sustained operating temperatures. For high reliability applications, (in the US) components would be screened to an appropriate MIL-SPEC.
  14. gr8Shot

    gr8Shot Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 13, 2013
    I have to switch my E-M1 off. The front and rear control wheels are too easy to knock by mistake. Off is the only solution.
  15. Jeff1:1

    Jeff1:1 Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 2, 2013
    Mine is sleep mode 3 minutes and off after 20 minutes. I usually switch it off if I won't be using it for more than half hour - parties. Walking in woods or city I leave it on and let auto shut off take over (less of me fiddling with it) - to recover I switch to off position then on. Once after a few days I found the switch in on position and no issues, again just switch to off position then on.
  16. 0dBm

    0dBm Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 30, 2011
    Western United States
    Yeah, the MTBF is generous. More so for the pro models.
    The MTBF of the ON/OFF switch on modern digital cameras may not be as long. There is where some cost-cutting measures are eminent. Just compare the switch on pro models to their lesser siblings. I've noticed a difference in robustness between the D3, D700, and D80 that I have owned.

    I customarily leave my GX1 and GH2 on sleep while on more casual shoots.
  17. mgs

    mgs Mu-43 Rookie

    Nov 30, 2013
    Bay Area, CA
    Real Name:
    While I agree with your other points, this point is incorrect, most of the parts that go into Apple computers are not particularly better than the components used in PCs and are often the same, especially the CPU that goes in. And the factories that make Apple also make other OEMs computers often using the same/similar internals.
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  18. Reflector

    Reflector Mu-43 Veteran

    Aug 31, 2013
    I consider the powering down my E-M5 a situational thing. If I don't feel like I'll miss any shots with that second-and-some of startup time then I'll power down if I don't want to use that much of the battery. I carry 3 on me (A spare, one in a grip and the E-M5 itself) and I cycle them out all the time. Running out of a battery on a single day of shooting isn't that much of an issue for me. Abeit I'd wish for a faster startup time on the E-M5, I'm too used to the instantaneous power-on-and-shoot capability of DSLRs. This is one of my few disappointments with the E-M5 as I can operate the rear switch with one hand and have it in a shooting holding but the camera still hasn't powered on yet.

    Sometimes it isn't just "a few more parts" but modifications of components that have stress points (="Weight Gain" "More Costly Material" "Different Components" "Reinforcing Stressed Areas" etc)

    I mean even in industrial machinery there are components that are designed to fail at a certain point in their lifecycle and they're known as wear items. They can't be made with indefinite lifespans or relatively long lifespans without becoming very costly (For you as well). Frankly some of them you really can't do anything without some handwaving of materials from science fiction.

    The road cyclists that intentionally use ultralight parts should know this after they suffer a massive front fork failure when they push their bikes. They suddenly hit the design limit for the weight fast and it shatters on them.

    The ultralight backpacking guys should know this too. They have much lighter equipment than the usual backpacker and some of it really needs to be treated with care given how much fragility they have with removing all the weight from structural components of items. (Tent supports, stove legs, etc.)

    So it isn't necessarily the case of "planned obsolesce." There's many reasons as to why things are made less durable and price is only one of them.

    I could debate the legitimacy of this in so many ways inclusive of how Apple doesn't put in internal fillets on the inside of the aluminum chassis to reduce stresses that transmit to the system planar ("Motherboard") and that the direct mounting onto the chassis is actually a terrible idea but I won't.

    Apple does make computers that are better than the typical consumer trash, but that'll be the typical "low end" PC manufacturer. That doesn't mean the "semiconductors" are superior by any bit. They use commodity parts as much as anyone else does for components. All the current gen Apple products are as much of "PCs" as much as a Dell is a "PC" in hardware architecture when you're looking at the CPU and GPU.

    There are business computers that are designed with 5-10 year lifecycles (Not "designed obsolescence." Intentionally making these things fail means you suddenly owe several million on a contract...) out there. Do most people want to buy these things at the prices they're sold at? No. They won't even think about it and then they'll complain the price is 3-5x compared to a consumer version and complain about the bulkiness. Then you can go up to the next step of ruggedized hardware designed to withstand neglect (I really wouldn't say "intentional abuse") and that'll laugh at everything.