Today’s DSLR and point and shoot cameras are designed for maximum efficiency. A few practices and mistakes, however, could lead to faster battery drainage than indicated by the manufacturer.
Most inexperienced photographers are guilty of one battery sin or another. Luckily, such adverse behaviors are easy to correct and the positive effect will be experienced immediately.
Stop Using the LCD Screen
One of the simplest changes you can make to prolong the lifespan of your DSLR camera battery is to stop using the LCD screen. The viewfinder is a much better idea. Most cameras have knobs and buttons that can be used for the purpose of mode and setting adjustments. You don’t have to access those through the LCD screen.
Getting used to the viewfinder will take some time. The benefits, however, are many. Using the viewfinder gives better support to the camera, which reduces the risk of shaky images. In addition, the LCD screen could be difficult to see in bright light.
The LCD screen is one of the biggest battery killers on a professional camera. Making this transition will quickly show you just how much battery power can be saved.
Don’t Use the Flash When You Don’t Need it
The flash is the second biggest battery drainer that you should learn to use sparingly.
Always try to take a photo with the flash turned off. Needless to say, there will be situations in which flash illumination will be inevitable. In such instances, you may want to consider an external source of light that’s not powered by the camera itself.
Turn Off the Features That You Don’t Need
Professional DSLR cameras come with multiple features that are turned on by default. Go through the list to find out which ones are unnecessary.
Wireless connectivity that is on all the time will drain the battery. There’s no need to have wifi or Bluetooth connectivity on by default. Use these only when you need to do an image transfer.
A few other modes and functions you may want to consider turning off include the image stabilization, automatic sensor cleaning and the image review or playback.
Good Battery Maintenance and Proper Charging Practices
The way you take care of the battery itself will also determine its lifespan.
Batteries tend to drain faster in cold weather. If you’re doing outdoor shoots during the winter or in cold weather, you may want to find a way of keeping the batteries warm until they’re needed.
When the camera is stored away for a prolonged period of time, it’s best to take the battery out. Batteries stored inside the body will drain faster than the ones that are stored separately.
Finally, remember that waiting for a battery to drain 100 percent before recharging it is not necessary. This is simply a myth that many believe would result in a longer battery life. Camera batteries, however, come with a technical specification. It provides indication of the number of hours of use that you can get out of the battery. Whether it’s fully drained or not, the number of hours will remain unchanged.
Rechargeable batteries in the past were affected by partial recharges. Today’s high quality photographic equipment is not the same.
A battery’s lifespan can be extended but sooner or later, it will have to be replaced. The older a battery is, the less capable of holding charge it will become. In this instance, you may want to buy a second new battery. There’s no need to get rid of the old one yet. Having two batteries with you, however, will enable you to complete a photo shoot even if an old one gets drained too fast.