Save Your DSLR’s Battery

Over summer Connor and I plan on taking star photographs. More specifically, hundreds of star photographs that can later be turned into a movie of the stars passing by. If you have never seen a time lapse of stars, please watch THIS video — you will be absolutely stunned. Anyway, back to the point, when you’re taking photographs in large quantities, it’s important to preserve your camera’s battery life as much as possible. Here is a quick list of things you can do to help save your battery:

  • Turn off Image Stabilization (or for Nikon users, Vibration Reduction). If you’re doing time lapse photography, you’re hopefully using a tripod, in which case you shouldn’t be using IS anyway.
  • Manually focus. This prevents your camera from having to move the lens’ motor.
  • Abstain from pressing your shutter down halfway for no reason. Many times people, including myself, might like to press the shutter button halfway to simply check metering and such. Don’t do it!
  • Turn off that back LCD whenever possible.
  • Turn off picture reviews. The more you use your camera’s screen, the more battery you waste.
  • Don’t delete your images on camera, wait for the computer.
  • Lower your picture size. If you have an 18MP camera, try stopping down to 10MP. Most cameras allow you to change the quality, and the smaller the picture is the more battery life you save.
  • Use a shutter release cable in place of a 2-second timer. Many photographers, when they don’t have a shutter release cable at hand, will use the 2-second timer in order to prevent camera shake when you press down the shutter button. However, camera’s have blinking lights to indicate that the timer is going, not using these lights saves battery.
  • Don’t keep turning your camera off and on — it wastes battery, and on some cameras the sensor cleaner activates.
  • Enable your camera’s power saving mode. I think all cameras nowadays have this automatically turned on, but some camera’s let you change the time interval at which your camera turns off. Change it to the shortest time interval possible. I know the previous step said to refrain from turning your camera off and on, but your camera’s power saving mode won’t actually turn off the camera, it will just put it into standby mode.
  • Lower your LCD’s brightness. In the chance that you have to use your LCD, a lower brightness will help save battery.
  • Refrain from using flash. Even if the flash is wireless, your camera still has to send a signal, which inevitably wastes battery.
  • Use quality batteries. Simply put, if you own a Nikon, use Nikon batteries. Third party batteries, while costing less, are also worse.
  • Keep your camera warm. Batteries last longer in warmer temperatures. I placed this tip lower on the list, because during many occasions it is often quite tough keeping your camera warm. Most people tend to prioritize over themselves instead of their camera when working in cold conditions.
  • In general, turn off all of your camera’s settings that you won’t be using. (Such as auto-lighting optimizer — or for Nikon users that would be Active D-Lighting).

If you have any other suggestions or tips that you don’t see on this list, please feel free to comment on this post!


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