November 7, 2016

Camera Battery Almost Dead? Here Are 7 Ways to Make It Last Just a Little Longer

You can't get very far on a shoot with a bunch of dead batteries.

There's nothing worse than getting near the end of a day of shooting only to realize that you're low on battery life. We've all been there—sweating, shaking, panicking to figure out how to squeeze out just enough juice to get us through the rest of the shoot. Maybe you forgot to fully charge them, or maybe they just don't hold a charge the way they used to. Either way, this helpful video from SLR Lounge provides 7 tips that will help you lengthen the life of your batteries, even just a little, so you can avoid having to cut your shoot short.

Now, you might be a good, responsible, professional filmmaker who did your due diligence the night before and charged all of your batteries—or you might be a good, responsible, professional filmmaker who just totally spaced it. No judgement here. The fact is that sometimes, for whatever reason, you need just a tiny bit more power to get through your last few shots or to at least make it through the kiss at the end of a wedding ceremony so you can regroup, recharge, and get back to work.

Here are the 7 tips from SLR Lounge:

  • Turn off all wireless connections
  • Turn off stabilization
  • Turn off automatic sensor cleaning
  • Turn off LCD image-review/playback
  • Turn down your LCD screen brightness
  • Turn off your camera when not shooting
  • Replace batteries that aren't lasting as long as they used to

Even though these tips take into account how batteries consume power during a photography shoot, they will still aid you in conserving battery life while shooting video—though it may not be as significant. But when in dire straits, anything helps!

Head on over to SLR Lounge to read their full blog post, which is full of other helpful insight about conserving battery life.      

Your Comment

5 Comments

I'd say this is very basic and I can't imagine someone forgetting to charge the batteries. Not if he or she wants to be a professional.

By the way, there are times when some batteries are bad and you can't count on them.
I think the most important advice is not there. When in trouble, don't try to fully charge the batteries, as they charge faster until more or less 75%, and slower til 100%.
This way you can keep the batteries working. You don't want the camera to run out of power because the batteries are not 100% charged.

November 8, 2016 at 9:17AM

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Turning off airplane mode also does a lot to help save battery life.

November 8, 2016 at 11:26AM

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Gareth Ng
Cinematographer
432

There are some useful tips here -- But (sorry to be a critic) the video itself is so poorly produced and directed that it's nearly impossible to recognize this guy as having any credibility.
I get that this website is called 'No Film School' and that it's just linking to SLR lounge's content, but sometimes a little film education is a good thing.
Let's start with eye lines. If you MUST set up 2 cameras and constantly cut between them (probably to cover mistakes and re-starts), can't we at least try to align the shots so the talent's eye line isn't jumping off-camera, then direct to camera, back & forth-- it drives me crazy when I see amateurs do this, giving no thought to the perception it creates in the mind of the viewer. If the director can't get both cameras on axis to have the presenter look into both cameras, the director should just have the talent look off camera (interview style) for both.
Now, let's talk shot size: the 2nd angle needs to be a 30% change in shot size for the cut to work, or it just feels like a bad jump cut... (Even better if there's a 30 degree change in angle as well, but that will mess with the eye line if the presenter is looking into camera, so it wouldn't help here).
I realize this isn't a piece of cinematic art, it's just a battery tutorial, but it would be nice if the fine folks that created this at least followed a few basic rules of visual grammar for a more effective presentation.

November 8, 2016 at 11:55AM, Edited November 8, 11:55AM

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Jeffrey Norman
Director / Editor
81

My first thought was he should have skipped that second angle all together. Too much fancy for a youtube tutorial. TBH I just skimmed through this video to see all the tips. Didn't really listen to him explain why

November 8, 2016 at 12:15PM

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Frogy
Director / Shooter / Cutter
94

Yep, eyelines and angles - that's how I conserve battery life too.

November 11, 2016 at 6:27PM, Edited November 11, 6:27PM

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