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...
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.