You invested your hard-earned money (maybe thousands) in a camera, so protect your investment with the use of the manufacturer’s batteries specifically made for your camera model. Battery companies make excellent products for most consumer electronics, but third-party batteries won’t last as long as the camera manufacturer’s and typically start to degrade and affect your camera’s capabilities much quicker. The extra cost of the manufacturer’s batteries will be offset by how much better they will operate.
If your camera has an automatic power-saving feature, then make sure it is selected. Whenever you’re traveling a number of hours to a photo shoot destination or must spend significant time setting up equipment and positioning a subject or object, select the shortest period of time for this feature, so it automatically stops taking power from the batteries.
The way you use your camera also contributes to shortening the life of its batteries. Only activate those features and functions that are absolutely necessary for the type of photos you are currently shooting.
LCD screen: Use the viewfinder instead. Your camera may allow you to deactivate the screen entirely. On compacts without this function, select the dimmest brightness setting.
Zoom lens: This applies specifically to compact cameras that have a motor to operate the zoom mechanism.
Photo viewing and deleting: It’s an automatic response to want to view your photos via the LCD, and show them to others. It’s also understandable that you might want to trash immediately any wasted or terrible image. Wait until you transfer your photos to a computer or tablet for viewing, deleting and editing.
Automatic photo preview: Many cameras will automatically show the last photo for a few seconds on the LCD screen. If your camera allows it, then deactivate this capability or reduce the preview time to its shortest duration.
Half-press of shutter release for auto focus: Many photographers rely heavily on this feature, pressing the shutter release button halfway as they search for and compose an image. To save your batteries, separate these two tasks: compose your image to your satisfaction first, and then activate auto focus.
Shooting in RAW format: Some photographers, professionals specifically, must record RAW files of their images to have complete editing control in a computer. For the great majority of photographers, however, low or medium resolution JPEG files are more than adequate, and this format will help to prolong the life of the batteries.
Be aware of the weather where you are shooting. If you’re in a cold climate, then don’t leave your batteries in your camera for an extended period of time, as the cold temperature will drain the power. Carry the batteries in a pocket near your body, so your body heat keeps them warm.
Isn’t digital photography technology wonderful? It is until you forget that all those technological capabilities require power and the only power source is those little batteries in your camera. Don’t be so concentrated on being creative that you forget the practical considerations of photography, such as batteries. It’s easy to waste battery power if you don’t manage the use of your camera correctly and that can cost money. Keep these 5 tips in mind and your batteries will last longer and you’ll have to buy fewer of them.
In addition, use the following features as little as possible as they can drain the batteries quickly.
Image credit: scanrail / 123RF Stock Photo
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