Power management with camera batteries

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by kundalini, Nov 1, 2007.

  1. kundalini

    kundalini Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I have two questions concerning power management and one with power surge. I am getting conflicting answers from various sources and want to know what you guys do.

    The camera main battery and it's backup. The latest therory I've heard is to mark your batteries 1 & 2 / A & B, whatever. Run the main for the days shoot or certainly well before the charge blanks. Recharge it and if necessary put in the secondary to finish the job, but do not recharge the secondary until necessary. After the primary is charged, exchange the batteries. Continue this process until the primary is depleted (dies). Buy another secondary and use the formerly secondary battery as the primary and continue with these steps on and on.

    The therory is that, even though ceilings aren't set with todays batteries, life expectancy is limited. By not using and continually recharging the secondary, it's life will be extended. True or false?

    Second question has to do with switching power on/off. I've been told to keep the camera continually powered on during a session. The constant on/off will adversely affect the life expectancy of the battery. True or false?

    Third question has to do with possible electrical surges that may occur when changing lenses. This is nothing I have any awareness of, but have concerns. Do you turn the camera's power off when switching lenses. I just have a concerns of static charge killing the CPU contacts on the body or lens.


    As always, thanks for you input.
     
  2. Sideburns

    Sideburns TPF Noob!

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    1- false. Each time you charge/discharge, that counts as PART of a cycle. If you only use it one quarter and charge it one quarter...that's one quarter of a cycle...Charge it when you use it...

    2- The on off will not affect the battery life either...I dono why that makes any sense...*shrugs* I just leave mine on cause it's convenient and it goes into sleep anyways.

    3-Always turn off the camera when switching lenses. It's just bad news. The sensor could be charged, which means it's suckin in dust.
     
  3. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    2- May affect the life of the switch though. If you use a battery grip there's no need really to switch it off. But as above it won't affect battery life. Also after a few seconds a camera should go into standby and I would say it could comfortably run for weeks like this. Nothing is running that uses much power.

    3- The sensor could what? It's behind a shutter and dust would not penetrate it. Also shutters being titanium would limit any static charge on the sensor from extending into whatever that bit that has the mirror in it is called. (the body?) Also there's no need to worry about electronic surges. Microcontrollers are pretty bullet proof in comparison to other electronics, and even if there would be higher voltage terminals in the camera (focusing?) they wouldn't be on unless you're holding the finger on the shutter.

    That said it probably is not a good idea to test this to destruction, but I doubt any harm would come from it, and I've "hot swapped" my lens quite often.
     
  4. Big Mike

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

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    I wouldn't worry too much about the batteries. Use them, charge them, buy new ones when you need to. Off brand batteries (sterlingtek) are very affordable so it's not a big loss if you do manage to shorten it's life.

    I have heard that it's best to turn the camera off when changing lenses...mostly because of the dust issue, but I haven't seen any hard proof of that. However, I have been doing that for years and I don't have to clean my sensors very often.
     
  5. sabbath999

    sabbath999 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Great posts guys, thanks. I don't know anything about battery cycles on these power hungry digital beasts.
     
  6. kundalini

    kundalini Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    It will be a pleasure to tell my friend he's a full load of it. Unless anybody else wants to chime in on the contrary.

    Thanks
     
  7. Big Mike

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

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    I don't know for sure...but I'm sure there may be some truth to what he's saying. But in a real world scenario...I don't think it's worth the hassle for the small difference that it would make.

    When I buy batteries or memory cards, I usually write the date on them...just so I know how old it is. This way, if it fails, I can try to judge whether it's age or just junk.
     
  8. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    There is some truth from an engineering standpoint in number 2, but it doesn't apply to cameras. Certain electronic devices contain larger capacitors (no not a flash they are slowly charged) and poor design can lead to sudden massive surges of inrush current when the device is turned on to charge the capacitor. This could degrade the life of some Lithium batteries which are not built to handle sudden current surges. NiMha batteries are though. But again this doesn't apply to most devices.
     

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