Battery life on a Canon XTi

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Laser180481, Dec 29, 2008.

  1. Laser180481

    Laser180481 TPF Noob!

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    I'm going on a trip to South America next week and I plan on doing a LOT of shooting...possibly up to 6+ hours a day of actually taking pictures. I know I'm going to have battery issues so I'm looking for some help. A couple of options are just buying a few more NB-2LH batteries (the standard Lithium Ion batteries) or investing in the BG-E3 battery grip which can hold (2) Lithium Ion batteries OR (6) AA batteries (although this is recommended for emergencies only from what I've read).

    I really don't want to miss out on some great shots because of a dead battery. I want to know what I need to be safe. To clarify, I will be able to charge batteries at the end of each day.

    For those of you who use battery grips, how much battery life do you get out of those? Otherwise, how many Lithium Ion batteries should I bring with me to be safe for 6+ hours of shooting. Also, are knock-off (ie. non-Canon) batteries any good or do they die quickly?

    I appreciate the help, cheers.
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    As long as you are not using the built-in flash or viewing the screen all day, I would think that one battery will last you all day...so having two (just to be safe) would be good enough. There are a few things to consider, like the use of flash, the screen, IS lenses and even big lenses will all drain the battery faster.

    The off-brand batteries are actually pretty good. I've been using batteries from Digital Camera Batteries Chargers Memory Cards Readers for a few years...they were dirt cheap and last longer than the Canon battery.
     
  3. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I have found that the battery grip is a good investment - it gets that little bit more out of the batteries and also reduces the number of times that you have to stop to change batteries. However be warned that the battery meter is no more accurate and you have to keep an eye on how long you have been shooting - its very easy to go several days without charging only to suddenly run right out of power.
    Personally I would say definatly get the battery grip (the additional portrate view controls are a great addition) and then look to getting 2 backup batteries - either 3rd party or canon make (if you can afford them). That way you always have a set of spare batteries to fall back on. IF you can't get 2 then a single will do as well since you can remove the grip and then run on a single battery which would last you the day should your grip batteries fail in the morning
     
  4. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I forgot to mention that it's OK to run AA batteries in the grip, they are not just for emergencies. I don't know how long a set would last, compared to one or two Lithium batteries, but I'd assume that the AAs would not last as long. However, you can pick up AA batteries just about anywhere in the world.
     
  5. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    the only downside to the battery grips AA compartment (that I find) is that it feels rather flimsy for packing in a bag - when traveling with it I use it to store my spare flash batteries so that it has less change of parts being broken.
     
  6. maulrat

    maulrat TPF Noob!

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    I would suggest having at least 3-4 camera batteries. I just like to be safe. I feel really comfy walking around with 2 spares in my pocket; maybe overkill but worry free. I sometimes find myself pulling out my camera having forgotten that my current battery is 2/3rds drained and having 1 drained battery in my bag that I also forgot to charge. Hey, I'm a newb so its understandable =) XTi batteries aren't cheap if you buy Canon brand or a 3rd party brands from a popular camera shop or Best Buy. However, I was finally saved when I went to Fry's Electronics and picked up 2 Lenmar DLC2L (NB-2L replacements) for $15 a piece! I've noticed no difference between these and my NB-2L batteries. Also be aware that lens image stabilization can aid in draining your batteries.

    I just found out that they sell these batteries for $13.30 on Amazon.com
    [ame]http://www.amazon.com/Lenmar-DLC2L-Replacement-Canon-NB-2L/dp/B00009R8ES[/ame]
    If you buy 2, you can get them for $26.60; Free Shipping and no tax! That's a steal imo.
     
  7. Laser180481

    Laser180481 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for all the information guys. Because budget is tight I've opted with a few Lithium Ion batteries from the place that Big Mike suggested. I bought two 1200mAh batteries for just $20. The standard Canon ones are only rated for 720mAh so new ones these should last quite a bit longer. I'll now be armed with (4) batteries to handle the XTi and the big Canon 28-300L that I've rented for the trip. Thanks again for the help.
     
  8. Laser180481

    Laser180481 TPF Noob!

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    One final question. The original Canon battery that came with my camera is rated at 7.4v 720mAh. The ones I just bought are 7.2v 1200mAh. What's the difference between 7.2v and 7.4v? Will that affect battery life?
     
  9. Laser180481

    Laser180481 TPF Noob!

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    This is just to BUMP this thread back to the top. I'm still wondering the performance difference between 7.2v batteries and 7.4v batteries. Cheers.
     
  10. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    The battery life is the mAh rating...not the voltage.

    I'm not sure if that slight voltage difference will make any difference at all...probably not.
     
  11. McKaso

    McKaso TPF Noob!

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    I would think two to three batteries would get you through the day, but I am a firm believer that you can not have enough batteries. I normally carry five to six with me. Like Big Mike said there is no difference between the voltage 7.2 and 7.4 (see bottom of article) Tips - Batteries, Chargers, Adapters : DuracellDirect.com but there is a difference in the mAh rating. best description I could find What does battery “mAh” capacity mean? - All-Battery.com Forums. Something else to consider is the outlet type that is available to plug the charging unit into if you are traveling to a different country.
     
  12. Laser180481

    Laser180481 TPF Noob!

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    This is some really great information, thanks again for the help.
     

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