Besides the fact that some of the latest Sony’s mirrorless cameras like A7II, A7RII, A7S are totally dominating the market, as any other camera system, they also have their fair share of flaws and weaknesses. Whether it’s overheating issues or mediocre battery life performance, there are a few technical considerations that still need to be enhanced and polished up.
As usual, the point here is to find the possible workarounds and get the optimal performance out of these devices rather than looking for flaws and technical imperfections. In the video below Toby Gelston gives us some insightful tips and tricks on optimising the battery performance of these otherwise extremely powerful filmmaking tools.
The original Sony NP-FW50 battery is well-known for its middling performance as it barely keeps most of the Sony’s compact cameras alive for more than an hour, so speaking of serious filmmaking work out in the field you will definitely need a handful of these to be able to get through a full shooting day.
Of course, there are some alternative third party solutions you can get, yet if you really want to keep the small factor and move quickly from location to location the original batteries are still a viable option. The question is how to optimise the camera performance while still utilising these. Well, here are a few recommendations you can apply right off the bat.
In the first place, turn on the Airplane mode. The camera is constantly monitoring for WiFi signals and powering the NFC reader, which negatively impacts your battery life, so by enabling this mode there should be a noticeable difference in the battery’s performance.
Furthermore, make sure that Display Quality of your camera is set to standard. The high option should give you a brighter and crisper image along with faster refresh rate which again impacts negatively your battery life. It’s also recommended to switch your Monitor Brightness to Manual and set the levels accordingly. Avoid utilising the Sunny Weather option as the LCD becomes very bright which is another factor responsible for drawing additional power.
You can also reduce the camera’s processing power by turning off Noise Reduction and Dynamic Range Optimization as these are also impacting negatively your camera’s battery life. If you are using your camera for stills at some point of your shoot Turn Pre-AF OFF as in this mode the camera focuses before you half-press the shutter button. This is another way to achieve better power management and thus get longer battery life.
And last but not least, turn off Audio signals thus eliminating the annoying audio beeps that may also interrupt your recording. Of course, the best way to save battery is to power off the camera between takes as this is another well-known technique to save power resources and achieve longer runtimes.
If you are still not satisfied with your battery’s performance then you should definitely look for any other more reliable power solution. Either way, these tips and tricks are still going to be beneficial and will impact positively your overall battery performance in many situations and will do the job most of the time.