Save yourself some headaches with proper camera battery maintenance!!
I decided to write about camera battery maintenance as much for others as to be a reminder to me.
This is something if you forget you will end up paying the price when you can least afford to do so. I have had a couple close calls for batteries running low when out shooting or even hiking when my headlamp dimmed.
Batteries run our lives, or at least many things in our lives.
Whether it is the smoke detector, cell phone, calculator, camera, flash, flashlights, laptop or so many other things.
They all have batteries and if the battery is not happy neither will you be!
NOT just for camera batteries
I try to follow a system to check, charge or change my batteries on a regular basis. It sure helps when I remember!
The problem is that some batteries need more care than others.
Battery Maintenance for various devices
- Phones, laptops, tablets are easy to charge – plug in leave a few minutes or an hour and they are done. If they stop holding a charge then all you can do is replace the battery. There is little else you can do to renew the battery. Some places will rebuild your battery pack but that can be as expensive as buying a new one.
- Other batteries like a smoke detector just need to be changed twice a year and they will be happy
- Flashes require a little more work. I have a system that once a month I will turn on my flashes and cycle them for a few minutes so that the electronics stays powered up. Then after the cycling of the flash I will charge the batteries. I have a few battery chargers that I use. One takes all day to cycle and charge (5 hours) and the others will top up in as little as 5 minutes to charge a set of AAA or AA’s.
- My flashlights I have switched to rechargeable batteries. Depending on how often the flashlight is used determines how often they get charges. But I make sure I charge all my flashlights at least twice a year.
- Cameras I charge before every job and then at least once a month if I have nothing on
- My cameras, like most cameras, now use a battery packs. I never liked these when I first started using them but have fallen in love with them. For me I charge camera batteries before I am going to use a camera and / or once a month. I also have a AA insert that will power the cameras should I have a problem with the battery packs but this is only for emergencies. The battery pack does not seem to last near as long as the battery.
One problem with the camera and flash batteries happens when you trust the battery indicator on the equipment. The other day I was shooting with a camera and the indicator said full, no need to take time to charge up the batteries as I charged them just a few days before. Three pictures in cold weather and it was dead. Remember the indicator is a guide only, to be safe charge.
Camera battery maintenance tips
So what should you do to be safe?
- Check your non rechargeable AA batteries at least once a month to make sure they are charged. If you are not using something like a flash for a month or two remove the batteries. This will stop them from draining.
- A bad rechargeable battery – If you have a bad battery get rid of it, one bad battery in a set can cause huge issues.
- Camera batteries – buy a second battery and a in car inverter so you can charge while driving. Great for road trips or for multiple locations or days.
- Check your camera / flash batteries before a big shoot, charge up.
- If shooting in the cold keep one set of batteries warm. Do not use heat for this!! Putting the batteries in an inside pocket is enough.
- Carry extra AA batteries. I trust my rechargeable AA’s but feel a lot safer with extras. Also buy good rechargeable batteries. They are worth the money!
- If you have emergency lights (flashlights, emergency exit lights, etc) in your house, business or car, check the batteries every couple of months.
With a little preparation and battery maintenance your batteries will hold a charge when you need them the most.
Who are we……….
Paterson Photography Ltd. has served southern Alberta since 1985. Mike has done work for many individuals, companies and organizations. With work published locally as well as internationally and photos in collections around the world Mike has been taking pictures longer than many photographers have been alive.
Paterson Photography Ltd. offers a variety of courses, workshops and adventures around Canada. From our classes at our Lethbridge studio, our one on one classes, group classes, adventures and more you will love learning your camera. Mike has been teaching for many years. Offering courses through his studio on location and online. Visit our web site, E-mail or call for more information.
Paterson Photography Ltd. is the only custom photo printer in Lethbridge and area. We offer prints from wallets to wall size on a variety of media. No cheap, poor color poster prints – all our printing is done on archival photo media at the highest resolutions. We print for many individuals, companies and groups that want quality prints that look amazing.