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Trekking for 2+ Weeks with an EP-2

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by dwrz, Dec 9, 2010.

  1. dwrz

    dwrz Guest

    I occasionally go on 2-4+ week treks, often to places without a power source (or with limited time at a power source). I have a Pentax K200D which accepts AA (I use and carry a lot of lithium AA) and is very energy efficient. However, I'm almost exclusively using the m4/3 camera now (an EP-2) and I'm tired of carrying around the weight of the Pentax. I'm also in the military, which often brings up the power problem, plus (I'm not Combat Camera) also means that even the Pentax does not get taken along.

    How would I be able to take the camera with me and keep it powered up? I take a good amount of photographs and video and also use the electronic viewfinder. Does anybody have any experience with this problem, either with m4/3 or non AA dSLRs in general?
  2. Kosta

    Kosta Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 29, 2010
    switch all the standby modes to minimum time, and ensure you turn off c-af. that and constant power cycling seems to drain the battery for me. i'd pack a spare battery or two and i know some stores sell hand crank battery charges - which might be a good case of RSI. i noticed some things you could use at a shop in the local shopping centre (that you can also buy online) Save Energy - aToMik Green
    • Like Like x 1
  3. dwrz

    dwrz Guest

    Thanks for the advice! That is some interesting gear. Would it be realistic to be able to charge the battery off of it? I would have no problem cranking for some 5 minutes (maybe up to 10) every night if it meant fresh batteries for the next day.
  4. shrimp123

    shrimp123 Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 9, 2010
    airdrop batteries?
    (was in a joking mood)

    ( i went on a 2 week trek to yosemite last fortnight. i took E3 with 6x batteries)
    issues/solutions :
    1. batteries drain *fast* in low temperature. I tried to keep them warm, wrapped in double lining woolen.

    2. Charging cannot be done/hard on the way. hand crank/solar/etc have tried. none worked for me. However, i did ocassionally find a car parked who would plug in my car battery charger. Kinda helpful.

    3. water damage : in this weather, make *sure*, double sure that there is no moisture on the battery/contacts. It will destroy your camera. I have lost a e300 to moisture. It was wet... started it up... took 10 photos in a sequence... moisture build up inside.... and booobooo

    4. wrist strap/belt buckle/backpack harness : this is the most neglected one... make sure you have at 2 of these options availble. you never know.

    wish : there was a AAA-->battery adapter and/or a *good* gasoline charger.

    and enjoy your trek.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. dwrz

    dwrz Guest

    Ugh. That's kind of what I was fearing. :( 

    Wish: weatherproof m4/3 that uses AA. :( 

    Thanks for the tips, though!
  6. flash

    flash Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 29, 2010
    1 hour from Sydney Australia.
  7. dwrz

    dwrz Guest

    It's not perfect... but it is worth considering. Any experience with it?
  8. shrimp123

    shrimp123 Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 9, 2010
    $159? I can buy 5 batteries for almost same price+weight....
    and most of the trek for me was couldy :( 
  9. e.besana

    e.besana Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 16, 2010
    Tarrytown, NY
    Hi dwrz,
    I use the E-P2 as well and have a few replacement batteries from Maximal Power. These batteries are working well for me and seem to last longer than the original. I've read some reviews on them about not fitting well but never had that problem myself. The link is below.

    Amazon.com: Maximal Power DB OLY BLS-1 Replacement Battery for Olympus Digital Camera/Camcorder (Black): Camera & Photo

    Much like yourself, your equipment must be kept warm and dry to survive and perfom at its best out in the elements. Maybe a vest to keep the batteries on your body.

    best of luck. -eb
  10. dwrz

    dwrz Guest

    Thanks-- I've get two of those batteries already. They last pretty long but I am worried that by the third week they would still be too drained to power the camera...

    Is there a number somewhere on how long the batteries will stay charged and how many shots/video time you can take on a battery?
  11. nzimmers

    nzimmers New to Mu-43

    Dec 31, 2010
    not sure on the number of shots, but the L-ion batteries you have are very low self discharge, so 6 months of storage won't see them even partially drained.

    They are temperature sensitive - if used cold they will not put out the same capacity as they would warm.
  12. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Yes, it's called the CIPA standard.
    • Like Like x 1
  13. Fred49

    Fred49 Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 24, 2010
    hiking with EP2

    I do 2 weeks hikes without seeing civilization, at first i was using solar charged AA batterie and P&S,
    to improve quality , i bought in 2008 the lightest DSLR available : olympus 420.
    I now use an EP2 with 14-42 and i will probably use the 14-150 next time.

    For 2 weeks i do about 1000 photos while hiking
    So 3 batteries is enough even when i did a hike with +/- 5°C for 2 weeks.
    But when i have low temperature i keep the EP2 on my chest and spare batteries in my clothes when hiking, and in my sleeping bag at night.
    If i still wanted to recharge i would need 2 batteries + solar charger ( so i could charge while hiking ) it would be heavier


    usualy i go for 2 weeks hiking without resupply and 1 or more weeks doing short hikes / tourism after going back to a town, in that case i send a cheap generic charger "poste restante" so i can recharge after my hike.
    • Like Like x 1
  14. dwrz

    dwrz Guest

    Thanks, Fred. I need to figure it out-- I think I'm burning through my batteries faster (might be due to EVF). I'm thinking of making the jump more and more. Any idea how you would charge the batteries with a solar charger?
  15. Vivalo

    Vivalo Olympus loser

    Nov 16, 2010
    I don't see your problem. Why not just to take enough batteries so they will definitely last, say 5 or 6 batteries. They are very cheap (10-20 $ each) and not that heavy to carry around.
  16. dwrz

    dwrz Guest

    That seems like the likely option. I just need to test how many shots I burn through on one battery and also how much they last on a charge in cold weather. It's a bit of a pain because if there was an AA option I could take just one battery type (that's what all my other trekking devices are powered with) but overall I guess it is justifiable.
  17. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Also note that most batteries do slowly discharge over time, so you won't necessarily get the same number of shots at the end as at the beginning. With clones, this can be even more significant. I have a one BLS-1 clone which will completely discharge on its own in 3 or 4 days without any use at all.

    I'd start with the number of images you expect to take (also important for how many memory cards you need), and then work backwards. As others noted, turn the camera off religiously when you're not using it, and avoid the EVF, IS and image review when not necessary.

    Happy trekking!

    • Like Like x 1
  18. dwrz

    dwrz Guest

    I'll have to definitely work that out. This discussion has helped me a lot, I think I will probably be ditching the Pentax in these coming months.
  19. John M Flores

    John M Flores Super Moderator

    Jan 7, 2011
    Maybe you shouldn't ditch Pentax quite yet. K-x takes AAs. Very light package with lithium ions, and the last time I used a set I got over 1,000 shots before the batteries died.

    With Pentax's vaunted pancakes, it's not that much bigger than an E-P1:

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    Olympus E-P1 with Panasonic 20/1.7 vs. Pentax K-x with DA40/2.8 by john m flores, on Flickr
    • Like Like x 1
  20. dwrz

    dwrz Guest

    That photograph is pretty convincing. Still, I don't have much cash these days and I would like to choose one system so I can just buy lenses. I've been pretty happy with the Pentax but these days it has just not been seeing much use anymore. :\
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