Battery

How To Extend Camera's Battery Life

You are ready to go out to shoot (special events) and after few shots, your camera is dead. Have you ever been into this kind of situation? Well, I have. Luckily, I always carry an extra battery with me but it may not be the situation every time and with everyone. It is always a good idea to carry an extra battery with you but it is also equally important to learn how to make the most use of battery you have in your camera and extend its life. So, today, I thought I would write something about saving and extending camera's battery life and make the most use of it. Your camera may have some specific or different settings than what I have listed here but these are some key points which you can follow to manage your camera's battery life. And they are...

DSLR-Battery.jpg

1. Turn off your camera's wireless and Bluetooth connection if you are not using it.

2. Try to frame your shot by looking through viewfinder rather than using live view mode. Activating live view mode and displaying shot in your screen consumes lots of battery power.

3. You can also turn off automatic sensor cleaning every time you turn on or turn off your camera.

4. If you have a habit of keep pressing shutter release button half way down even when you are not taking picture, it tries to focus and refocus objects and that drains a lot of battery by using camera motor to move lens components.

5. You can turn off Image Stabilization, also called Vibration Reduction (VR), feature on your lens while using camera on tripod. Camera uses lots of energy to move internal lens components to make use of VR technology and turning it off while on tripod extends battery life.

6. If you are a kind of person who needs to take time off between shots (usually nature or wildlife photographers), try turning off camera between shots and save some battery.

7. If your camera's Autofocus is set to continuous focus (AF-C), it tries to continuously track and focus your subject by moving tiny motors inside camera. Every time those focusing components move, it uses battery power. This is very useful feature if you are shooting sports but may not need it if you are doing nature, portrait or wedding photography. You can use Manual or AF-S focus mode instead while shooting non-moving subjects.

8. Shooting in RAW (picture mode) all the time consumes lots of energy. You might not need to shoot RAW for family vacation pictures (JPEG might work fine) but may need it for professional job like taking wedding pictures or some other projects. So, try to shoot RAW only when you need it and save some battery.

9. Charge your camera's lithium ion battery to full between each use. Study shows that charging lithium-ion battery to full every time even if it is not completely depleted extends battery's life.

10. If your camera displays image for review right after taking picture, you can turn off image review feature to save some battery. You can still preview it by pressing playback button whenever necessary.

11. You can also set monitor off delay feature to minimum value if it is available in your camera settings. This menu defines a period after which the LCD display will be turned off when you do not use any buttons. LCD monitor on the back of your camera is used for playback, menu navigation, camera information, image review and live view mode. This big colorful LCD screen consumes lots of energy and reducing the monitor off delay time can boost battery life.

12. You can also reduce the brightness of LCD screen to save battery.

13. If your camera has power saving mode, you can turn it on as well. It will save your battery by disabling some of heavy power consuming features that you may not use it very often.

14. Use external card reader to transfer your files rather than plugging your camera directly to the computer.

15. And finally, if you think your battery is draining faster than it should be (under normal circumstances), consider replacing them.

It might have negligible effect on your camera's battery life if you implement just one or two methods that I mentioned above but if you can manage to implement all of them or most of them, it will certainly have greater impact collectively to extend battery's life and save some battery for the time when you need it the most.

Travel Photography Tips

This post is written by Guest Contributor, Champ Ocampo. If you are also interested in writing a guest blog, please reach out using the form in the Contact page.

Traveling is almost everybody’s dream, whether out of country or simply just out of town.  Aside from passport and plane ticket, camera is one of the most important things to carry while traveling. It is SOP to have a camera to capture all the memorable moments at a certain place. Can you imagine traveling without a camera? How will you be able to brag to your buddies that you have already been here and there and everywhere without photos as a proof? So, camera is really as important as your passport and plane ticket. Some travelers only bring point and shoot cameras for light packing purposes. But some do bring DSLRs for quality photos. Obviously, you cannot pack light with DSLRs. Variety of lenses will add you 2 to 3 kilograms on your baggage. Imagine you have your normal lens, your ultra wide angle, your macro lens, your telephoto plus accessories in a bulky camera bag. I bet you prefer to hand carry your camera bag than check it in.

Here are some tips to travel light with your DSLR:

1. Bring only one DSLR body: If possible, try not to bring a padded strap (Black Rapid or Quick Strap Sling types).

2. Bring only one lens: A 17-50mm f/2.8 will do the job (18-55mm f/4.5-5.6 kit lens will also work). You can do both portrait and landscape with this amazing lenses.

3. Battery Charger: Do not forget to bring a universal adapter.

4. Shoulder type DSLR bag: Obviously, this type is smaller and much lighter than backpack types.

And here is the list of extra stuff you want to carry when traveling,

1. SD/CF Cards

2. Battery

3. ND Filters – Good for tropical countries to capture greener tree leaves and perfect blue skies. ND8 is highly recommended.

4. RF Remote Shutter Button – This will allow you to have a complete family picture. You do not have to shoot your wife and kids or your wife shooting you and your kids. Just mount it on a stable flat surface (we can always look for an alternative to a tripod) and keep shooting using the remote.

So we can now leave other camera stuffs home. We have to be very practical when it comes to select stuff when traveling in order to avoid excess baggage. After all, capturing priceless moments is the most important thing to remember.

MB-D11 Multi Power Battery Pack For Nikon D7000

If you are shooting all day long event, wedding for example, with your Nikon D7000, MB-D11 may come very handy. MB-D11 multi-power battery pack simulates almost all the buttons of your Nikon D7000, gives you an extended battery life and provides an easy, comfort and stable holding of your camera in different orientations. Specially if you shoot portrait photographs most of the time, MB-D11 Battery Grip can make your life more easier. It will give you a nice grip and provides stability for a long day shooting. MB-D11 comes with two battery trays giving you an option of using either one Nikon EN-EL15 battery or AA batteries. You can also have a battery backup in the camera body as well.

MB-D11 Front view

MB-D11 Front view

The MB-D11 has a vertical shutter release button, shutter release button lock (you can lock the shutter release button to prevent an accidental press), main command dial (rear dial) and sub-command dial (front dial) that you find in a D7000 and it functions similar to the camera button as well. It also includes a multi-selector and an AE-L/AF-L button for an Autofocus exposure lock. The battery pack has the same magnesium alloy body and the weather/dust resistance as the Nikon D7000. The grip area and the bottom area is covered in a rubber and the bottom has a screw hole to use a tripod. Nikon D7000 itself has a nice grip around the camera body but MB-D11 adds an extra grip for your camera. It is made out of very high quality materials from Nikon products and it feels solid and sturdy with your camera.

MB-D11 Battery pack attached to Nikon D7000

MB-D11 Battery pack attached to Nikon D7000

I have seen some photographers who do not want to use it with their camera just because they look and feel ugly.  But personally, I think it adds a lot of benefits giving an extra battery life and an emergency backup for a long day shooting until your next recharge and it is well worth to spend $239.89 (price on Amazon as of writing this article).

The Nikon MB-D11 grip is a high quality accessory that improves the handling and the comfort of the D7000 to such a great degree that you don't want to take it off of your camera once you start using it. It makes the camera fit into larger hands even better and it's build quality matches the camera with a nice rubber grip which is very soft and feels good to hold.

MB-D80 Multi-Power Battery Pack

If you are shooting all day events using Nikon D90 or D80, MB-D80 might be your best friend. MB-D80 battery pack simulates many buttons of your Nikon D90 and D80 camera, gives you an extended battery life and provides easy, comfort and stable holding of your camera in different orientations. Specially, if you shoot portrait photographs most of the time, MB-D80 Battery Grip can make your life much easier. It will give you nice grip and provides stability for a long day shooting. MB-D80 runs on either one or two EN-EL3e batteries or six AA-size batteries. Nikon has listed AA-size alkaline, Nickel Metal Hydride (Ni-MH), lithium and nickel-manganese as a compatible batteries for MB-D80. However, it is not compatible with non-Nikon EN-EL3e batteries.

MB-D80-with-battery.jpg

The MB-D80 has a vertical shutter release button, main command dial (rear dial) and sub-command dial (front dial) which matches to the camera and it functions similar to the camera buttons as well. It also includes an AF-E lock button for an Autofocus exposure lock. In addition, you can also lock the shutter release button to prevent an accidental press.

Nikon D90 or D80 itself has a nice grip around the camera body but MB-D80 adds an extra grip for your camera. It is made out of very high quality materials from the Nikon products and feels solid and sturdy with the camera.

Even if there are lots of features and advantages of using it, some people are complaining about the softness of the shutter release button on MB-D80 grip. If you are used to with the camera shutter button, you may feel shutter release button on MB-D80 is little softer than real camera button and can have a chance of pressing it all the way down when you are just trying to press only halfway down for an Autofocus. But, I am sure you will be used to with it once you start using it more and more.

Nikon D90 with MB-D80 Multi-Power Battery Pack

Nikon D90 with MB-D80 Multi-Power Battery Pack

Some people think it looks bulky on their camera and don't want to use it. But personally, I think it adds great benefits to the camera by giving an extra battery life and an emergency backup for a long day shooting until the next recharge.