The following is a guest post by Steven Kellett, exclusive to pixelogist.me! Thanks, Steven!
Photography has become an increasingly popular career, hobby and love for many people. Most amateur photographers think of the image processors in their digital cameras as the real core of their systems, but without a strong battery that processor is just a flake of silicon.
Rechargeable camera batteries have evolved from the older Ni-Cd technology to the newer Ni-MH, Lithium Ion (Li-ion) and Lithium polymer versions. Most modern DSLRs and high end cameras now come with Li-ion batteries, and these advancements in battery technology come with new suggestions for maintenance.
The older Ni-Cd batteries were heavier, drained more quickly, and were prone to something called “memory effect” which would cause the battery to reduce its operational time to fit its typical charging schedule. With Ni-Cds you always wanted to wait until your camera battery was dead flat before swapping them out. Neither Ni-MH nor Li-Ion will develop memory effect, and they don’t like to be completely discharged, so there’s no reason not to keep them topped off.
Treat Them Gently
Ni-Cds were infamous for being intolerant in regards to being dropped; modern batteries don’t like it either. Avoid dropping your camera battery on a hard surface, and do your best to insulate the batteries so that they do not get banged around too much.
Keep Those Covers
Most new camera batteries come from the factory complete with a plastic cover. Keep that cover, and keep it on the battery when not in use. It protects the contacts by keeping them free of dust and dirt.
Li-ion and Ni-MH batteries like to remain charged. Always carry at least two batteries and swap them out regularly. If your camera is going to sit on a shelf for a long period of time, remove the battery.
Keep Them Warm
When any battery gets cold, it raises its internal resistance. Keep your camera batteries in tip-top shape by keeping them warm. If you’re going to be spending an extended period of time shooting in a cold location, keep your spare batteries in your pocket and swap them out frequently.
To get the most pictures out of a fresh set of batteries, there are a few simple steps you can take while working from convenient electricity.
Reduce LCD Screen Time
Nothing will burn through a battery quite like using LiveView or having your camera settings set so that the LCD screen is on for long periods of time. If your camera has an optical viewer, then turn off the LCD screen all together and frame through the eyepiece.
Keep Your Finger Off the Shutter Button
Every time you depress the shutter button in a modern DSLR, it triggers a number of power-hungry processes, the biggest of which are the focusing micro-motors in the lens. The more focusing work your lens does, the faster you run out of battery power. If your camera has continuous focusing, turn that feature off if possible.
Delete Photos When You Get Home
Scrolling through your photos and deleting the ones you don’t like in the field also shortens your battery life. Save sorting and deleting your photos for when you get back home and have access to plug-in power.
With proper care a good camera battery will last for years. By being power conscious, you can make sure that most of the charge is used to actually capture those special moments instead of running the LCD screen and focusing motors. Happy shooting!
All images on this post are licensed under Creative Commons – licensed for Reuse/Sharing
By Steven Kellet. Steven is the owner of www.ElectronicsWarehouse.com.au, a discount source for a selection of batteries and battery chargers.
Thanks for sharing all this information, Steven! Caring for batteries is something that new photographer’s wouldn’t really think of, but when you consider the importance of the battery – a digital camera wouldn’t work without one – you start to realize how crucial this bit really is. Some excellent tips listed here – I certainly learned a bit – and I hope to get more posts done by you right here on pixelogist.me! Thanks
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