You’re deep in the middle of a shoot when, suddenly, you’re filled with a sense of dread because the tiny red “low battery” symbol has reared its ugly head. The backup you usually carry was left behind at your home or studio, and making the most of your battery has instantly become priority number one.
Not all hope is lost if and when you find yourself backed into this particular scenario. Below are seven life saving tricks that can extend your camera’s battery to its fullest capacity:
1. Power down all wireless connections
Features along the lines of Wifi, GPS, and Bluetooth have become standard on most advanced DSLRs. However, these non-essentials can take quite a toll on the stamina of your camera. When you see that your battery is running low, be sure that you turn off any frivolous features that you may not be putting to use; they could very well be the culprits wasting away your precious battery life.
2. Tune down camera brightness
Dimming your monitor can conserve energy. Simply dimming down the brightness to what’s absolutely necessary for viewing can serve as a means of prolonging your battery without sacrificing any of your camera’s bells and whistles. Be sure to use your camera’s histogram so you’re still getting correct exposures if you do choose to dim the lights on your screen.
3. Go without sensor cleaning
As SLR Lounge explains, many cameras are automatically programmed to clean the internal sensors each time the device is turned on or off. For a short period of time, the sensor will remain in working order without the sensor cleaning on. Turning off this option could give you the extra bit of power you may need to make it through a shoot.
4. Ditch any camera stabilization options
One of the biggest battery drainers on a camera lies within your camera/lens stabilizer. If you’re switching between lenses in the field, prioritize stabilizers on your longer telephoto lenses. The option is less essential with wide angle lenses and prime lenses.
5. Disable the LCD image review on DSLRs
In a pinch, minimizing the use of your camera’s LCD screen can dramatically extend battery life. If you can’t get by without reviewing your images, you can also often control the amount of time an image shows up on the camera’s screen. Even reducing the LCD’s image playback from 10 seconds to 2 seconds can make a significant difference.
6. Shut down your camera
This tried but true strategy is simple enough; just turn to your off setting between shots. Newer cameras are much more efficient at saving energy than older models, so the age of your camera might make a difference concerning what course of action you take when trying to keep your camera alive.
7. Keep track of your battery’s health
Just as other equipment needs to be periodically replaced, camera batteries eventually need to be retired. Most cameras have a battery info option included among the menus; use the data provided to determine whether it might be time to cycle out the battery you’re using.
Hopefully, you never find yourself in a dire situation where you need to use all of these tips!