Getting the most out of your batteries, particularly when you are dealing with outdoor shoots in cold weather can be quite overwhelming. In reality, these units would last for a fraction of the amount of time that they are normally rated for. This can turn into a serious problem when you are entirely relying on this approach to keep your gear going for an entire shooting day.
Fortunately, there are certain methods that will help you to extend the battery life of your devices so that they will be able to last longer on set. The authors of the Video Gear Weekly series Rich Harrington and Robbie Carman provide “Five Essential Tips and Tricks” for getting the most out of your batteries in the following quick tutorial.
The first tip may sound obvious, but it’s definitely worth noting. Try to keep your batteries in a warm place when shooting in cold weather, especially when you are not using them. Having a heat pack warmer in your backpack, or simply keeping your camera battery in your pocket will do the trick and will help you to save some extra energy.
Depending on the camera system you are using, it’s a good practice to test your equipment in those extreme conditions in advance to avoid surprises on set. You can do that the day before your actual shoot starts so that you’ll know exactly how long your battery will last. This way it will be easier for you to calculate how many of those units you will need to keep your gear running for a whole shooting day.
Another great tip is to turn off all the features on your camera that are not in use. For instance, the wireless feature in most recent mirrorless cameras drains a lot of power, so don’t be surprised if your battery wouldn’t last as long as you expect. In most situations you won’t need these features enabled, especially when you are shooting in cold weather, so turning them off will definitely help you to increase the battery life.
Further, set the Live View feature to turn off at a shorter interval, or you even switch off your entire camera between the takes. These minutes might not be that many, but they quickly add up on a 10-12 hour shooting day. And most importantly, as soon as you think you have enough batteries, buy some more.
Some extra fully charged units in your backpack won’t do you any harm and will eventually help you to avoid unforeseen situations when you will need extra power to complete successfully the job on set.
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