Startrail photography and battery life.

2 years 5 months ago #615891 by gmatviuk
Hello dear people! I am absolutely new to the world of time lapses and star trail photography. I haven't yet done it but its been in my bucket list for a while. 
I haven't had the chance to do it before, and since ill finally be able to in a couple of weeks I've been trying to inform myself a lot about it but there is one thing I am failing to comprehend:

I have a canon 6d, with one original battery and 2 replacement ones. I do not have a bettery grip. 
I have an intervalometer and a sturdy tripod. 

My question is, how in the world do people manage to change the batteries mid-shooting? If I have my intervalometer set and it iss continuously shooting, but I realise after a couple hours the first battery starts to die, how can I change the battery and continue with the shot without messing things around?

I do not believe everyone who does this possesses a battery grip? and if, its just 2 batteries, which would last for max 4 hours and a bit more... But I am aiming for 6 hours of shooting, like most people recommend. How can I achieve this? I will be shooting somewhere at the Teide mount in Tenerife. (If anyone has tips about locations that would be greatly appreciated too!) 

I can't find any answers concerning this online. I will not be buying a battery grip, so this is my only option (to switch batteries mid-shooting)

Thank you kindly, in advance! 


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2 years 5 months ago #615896 by Ozzie_Traveller
G'day mate

I do heaps of startrails pics and firstly - you do not need an intervalometer ... just the camera working as it's designed to do is 100% okay. However, the battery issue is one that cannot easily be overcome

The simple & easy way of doing it is ...
a) fully charge your battery, leave it for 1/4-hour and recharge again to top up the charge;
b) before dark, set lens to wide-angle, focus to infinity, cancel AF and sticky tape focus ring to prevent accidental movement in the dark, cancel long-exposure NR [use menu], plug in remote control device;
c) set the camera to i) continuous, ii) shutter speed of 20 seconds , iii) aperture @ max F-stop, iv) ISO-400 to 1600
d) 20 mins after sunset, set up camera on tripod, aim as needed, take 1-shot to confirm aiming direction etc, The image will be greatly overexposed - don't worry about it just now - it's just a check image to ensure all's well with direction & focus
e) 30 mins after sunset, start shooting, activate remote control, lock so that continuous shooting commences, listen for 2-minutes for 'click - click - click' and once you're happy go and have a cuppa somewhere closeby

With the Pentax [some time back] I could get 1000 x 20sec images before the AA batteries failed. With my current Panny FZ-200 I can get from 300 to 500 x 20 sec exposures, depending upon which battery I am using [age of battery here]. What it means is that [for example] 360 exposures x 20 secs each = 120 minutes which is plenty long enough for a good startrail. Anything longer than 120 minutes will be a bonus.

When computer reviewing your images, some of the early ones will be overexposed badly - so select your starting 'base' image from one that gives some 'blue-hour' background to establish the scene, and then let the remaining exposures fill in the actual startrail

ps- the software I use to stack is from "startrails.de", created by Achim Schaller, a keen photographer - astronomer, and it is excellent software ... have a look at it

Hope this helps
Phil from the great land Downunder
www.flickr.com/photos/ozzie_traveller/sets/


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2 years 5 months ago #615897 by Ozzie_Traveller
G'day mate

#2 ... just as a sample here's a recent one ... 400 images stacked via 'startrails.de' software

Camera is the panasonic FZ-200 superzoom / bridge - not a dSLR  :)

Phil


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2 years 5 months ago - 2 years 5 months ago #615906 by effron
Power pack and battery insert. I can shoot about five to six battery lives per pack charge....
This and a good power pack....... www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1241253-R...ay_camera_power.html

Why so serious?
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2 years 5 months ago #616081 by gmatviuk
That is extremely helpful!! I do not know about the battery life from a 1 year old canon 6d (LP E6) battery, and how long will it last.
What if it dies too soon? could I still replace the battery and continue with the shooting, or is that not doable?


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2 years 5 months ago #616082 by gmatviuk
I am not planning on getting a battery pack for the moment as I mentioned below... although that power pack does seem extremely helpful! Its a pity that I can't afford that for the moment. Would have been a good option!


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2 years 5 months ago #616086 by effron

gmatviuk wrote: That is extremely helpful!! I do not know about the battery life from a 1 year old canon 6d (LP E6) battery, and how long will it last.
What if it dies too soon? could I still replace the battery and continue with the shooting, or is that not doable?


I tried a battery change out a few years ago doing star trail stacking, and screwed up the shot. Hardly  moved the camera and it still messed up the alignment. Had to settle for about ninety 30 second shots, was planning on 200 to 250. (wasn't using an intervalometer that night)  I know some have done it, I'm probably a klutz....

Why so serious?
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2 years 5 months ago #616243 by Ozzie_Traveller
G'day mate

May I suggest that you actually do some startrails images and see how many shots you get before the battery goes flat - before worrying about extra clobber like a battery pack, be it an expensive nikon one, or a DIY one created by yourself. I am sure that the one-battery in good condition will give you enough to prodice a beaut image

ps- I have made up DIY battery packs before using balsa wood fitting the battery compartment along with very carefully inserted terminals connected to a large external battery ... took several tries before I got it 'right' & needs the battery compartment door to be cut slightly for the wire to exit ... but needs must when needed. Not for the faint hearted

Phil


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2 years 5 months ago #616244 by Troponin
^^^agreed.  Give it a shot first and see how well your battery does. Battery usage varies based on what you are doing with the camera. Weather can also have an impact.

that being said, the batteries in the a6000 are terrible, but don’t know until I would try.


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2 years 5 months ago #616249 by effron
Yup, try it. Turn off review, that'll get you another 40 to 50 percent on battery life!

Why so serious?
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2 years 4 months ago #617821 by gmatviuk
Well I can't do star trails here since I live in the middle of the city... I might try just on location and hope for the best! let it become my first time at it. 


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