It's that time of the year again... (battery usage)

Discussion in 'Digital SLR' started by Helen Edith Stephenson, Oct 27, 2005.

  1. I've been getting good battery performance from my Pentax *ist DS all
    summer long, but now the nights are drawing in and I've been taking
    advantage this week of twilight coinciding with the rush hour to shoot
    traffic trails.

    This evening I got through two sets of rechargeables and only had 35
    frames to show for them! One set of rechargeables has a question mark
    against it, but the other set usually performs admirably. Between them
    they managed about 20 minutes of open-shutter time, and as I've got
    noise reduction turned on, they probably spent about another 20 minutes
    taking pictures of the CCD to subtract from my exposures.

    When you consider that 200 daytime exposures probably result in about a
    second of open-shutter time, maybe this sort of battery performance is
    only to be expected, but it's still frustrating, as was the camera's
    refusal to work on the 2nd set of batteries when I loaded them while the
    camera was attached to my tripod. I ended up taking the camera off the
    tripod, turning it right upside down and reinserting the batteries
    before it deigned to work.

    With bonfire night approaching, I'm thinking that I should take a backup
    film camera with me to the firework shows. I might like to do that
    anyway because I've got an 18-28 that works as a super-wide-angle when
    attached to a film camera <g> and I like the effect of fireworks shot on
    a super wide angle. The decision to shoot on film or digital should
    surely not have to come down to battery performance, though.

    One thing I will do for firework displays is turn off noise reduction. I
    couldn't live with all that wasted time while it "exposes" its CCD to
    subtract from the "real" exposure during the limited time that a
    fireworks display usually lasts for. The mere act of turning off noise
    reduction could result in significantly better battery performance. I
    certainly hope so.


    Helen Edith Stephenson <helen at baronmoss dot demon dot co dot uk>
    Helen Edith Stephenson, Oct 27, 2005
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  2. Helen Edith Stephenson

    Brian Baird Guest

    If you don't mind less than perfect dark frame subtraction, you can take
    one reference frame at the beginning and/or end of the process. Then
    you can layer this dark frame over your exposures and subtract the
    noise/hot pixels from them. This will work best if the temperature is
    fairly consistent and the length of time between reference "dark" frames
    isn't too long.
    Brian Baird, Oct 27, 2005
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  3. Helen Edith Stephenson

    Pete D Guest

    It is possible that the camera is seeing a slightly lower voltage and
    reporting that the batteries are low. I have had this happen and dropping
    them into something that discharges the batteries fully before charging has
    them performing much better.
    Pete D, Oct 27, 2005
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