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What drains batteries? Battery management tips?

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by TwoWheels, Apr 9, 2015.

  1. TwoWheels

    TwoWheels Mu-43 Top Veteran

    679
    May 28, 2014
    British Columbia
    Evan
    I'm preparing for a trip that will have me away from power for a few days. So I decided to test the collection of batteries I have to see which are the best as the battery life for the GM1 is fairly abysmal. I don't know exactly, but I'm guessing I typically get 100-150 shots per battery and at times less. I put my GM1 on a tripod with my P14 lens and put it in time lapse mode shooting raw (or does it default to jpeg in that mode?) I set it to take a photo every ten seconds so the camera was on the entire time. Well, 2 hours 20 minutes and 860 shots later, it finally died. I was astounded. I would be thrilled if I got 1/3 that many shots and anywhere close to 2 hours of power-on time from a battery while traveling and shooting.

    So now I'm wondering what part of the camera operation draws the most power. Is it powering it on and off? Does the sleep mode (with the switch still on) drain the battery? Is it focusing? Based on this limited test, it doesn't seem to be powering the display, taking a picture, or writing to the card. Any ideas why I got so many shots from this battery compared to what I typically see? :confused-53:
     
  2. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    One of the biggest drains on any device is usually the LCD screen, EVFs less so. This has been proven with the latest high pixel density laptops, such as the Apple Retina screens, as they consume much more power than lower pixel density screens. I'm assuming that your time-lapse shooting didn't involve the LCD being on all of the time. When you're normally shooting and looking at the LCD screen, it can be on for a surprisingly long time, including viewing the results, which will dramatically reduce battery life.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. TwoWheels

    TwoWheels Mu-43 Top Veteran

    679
    May 28, 2014
    British Columbia
    Evan
    I also thought the LCD was one of the main power draws. But since it was taking another shot every 10 seconds, the LCD screen was on the whole time.
     
  4. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    Then that's interesting.
     
  5. fredlong

    fredlong Just this guy...

    Apr 18, 2011
    Massachusetts USA
    Fred
    The lcd is a big power draw. Your test only used it for 10 seconds per shot. I would guess that's below average usage.

    Try your test again with 60 second intervals and no power saving. I'd guess you'll still get about the same amount of time with fewer shots.

    Fred
     
  6. bassman

    bassman Mu-43 Top Veteran

    678
    Apr 22, 2013
    New Jersey
    Scott
    In your time lapse test, you only focused once. Even if the camera checked focus with each shot, the lens motor never had to move anything. Not generally true in normal use.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  7. HarryS

    HarryS Mu-43 Top Veteran

    918
    Jun 23, 2012
    Midwest, USA
    I also did that time lapse experiment with 1 minute and 4 minute intervals on my EPL5. Can't turn the LCD off on that camera. Approximately the same battery life for both situations, which was roughly 3 hours.

    I agree that what draws added power is a bright LCD screen and running the focus motors on an AF lens.

    If you want your GM1 battery to last as long as possible, turn the camera off until you need it.