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The secret to long battery life – Top 15 Tips!

The secret to long battery life - Top 15 Tips!

October 5, 2021

If you’ve got a mirrorless or compact camera, then you may be wondering how to get longer battery life from your batteries. Mirrorless and compact cameras often eat through battery power quicker than a DSLR does, but Angela Nicholson has 15 top tips to help you keep shooting for longer.

Whether you’re shooting stills or recording video, these tips can help you extend your cameras battery life, which can be particularly useful when shooting in cold weather!

Engage ECO or Power Save Mode for better battery life

Engage ECO or Power Save Mode for better battery life

1. Engage Eco mode

Most mirrorless and compact cameras have an Eco, Economy, Power save or Power management mode which, when activated, instructs the camera to go to sleep or shut down after a specific period of time of it not being used. In most cases you can set the time frame and selecting a short time such a s 1 minute saves battery power.

Optimise power saving settings

2. Optimise power saving settings

In some cases, there are a few additional power saving options that are worth investigating. For instance, with Panasonic S-series cameras, you can set the camera to only got to sleep if the control panel is displayed or in any display mode.

Switch the camera off when you're not using it for longer battery life

Switch the camera off when you’re not using it

3. Switch the camera off when you’re not using it

Even if you have power save mode engaged, if you’ve finished shooting and you’re heading to a new location or setting up another shot, why wait for the camera to turn off automatically? Save even more power by turning off the camera between shots.

4. Turn off pre-AF

When Pre-AF is activated, the camera attempts to focus even before you half-press the shutter release. That can be handy, but it also consumes power, so to conserve it, turn this mode off unless you need it.

5. Set rear screen to control panel mode

If you primarily use the viewfinder to compose images, it’s worth setting the rear screen to show the control panel as this consumes less energy than showing the live view.

6. Minimise Wi-Fi use

While it’s useful to connect your camera to your phone to enable to take remote control and transfer images, it’s a power-hungry operation so minimise it as much as possible.

Turn off auto transfer for longer battery life

7. Turn off auto-transfer

I love using Nikon’s SnapBridge to transfer images automatically to my phone, but turn it off via ‘Connect to smart device’ in the camera’s menu to conserve battery life.

Turn off remote control mode

8. Turn off control with smartphone mode

Sony cameras have the option to remain connected to a paired smartphone at all times, which saves you diving into the menu when you want to take remote control via your phone. However, it drains the battery more quickly than when the option is turned off.

9. Use the viewfinder or rear screen?

Some cameras use more battery power when the viewfinder is used to compose images while others drain the battery quicker when the rear screen is used. According to Sony, for instance, the A7 III has a battery life of 610 shots when the viewfinder is used and 710 when the rear screen is used. For the Lumix S5, however, Panasonic quotes a 440-image battery life with the viewfinder and 470 images with the rear screen. So it’s worth checking the claimed battery life in your camera’s specification sheet to see whether it’s better to shoot using the viewfinder or the rear screen when energy levels are critical.

 
Reduce the viewfinder refresh rate

10. Reduce the viewfinder refresh rate

A high refresh rate is a bonus when you’re photographing a moving subject, but if you’re out for a day of landscape photography, you don’t need it. Setting a lower refresh rate will extend the life of the battery.

Use the optical viewfinder for longer battery life

11. Use the optical viewfinder (if you have one)

If you have a Fujifilm X-Pro series camera such as the X-Pro3, you have the option to shoot using an electronic or an optical viewfinder. Switching from the electronic to the optical viewfinder extends the claimed battery life from 370 to 440 images.

Buy reputable batteries for longer battery life

12. Buy reputable third-party spare batteries

As tempting as cheap batteries may be, they don’t tend to last as well as the camera manufacturer’s or those from a reputable brand such as Hahnel. If your batteries are several years old, then battery life is likely to have dropped.

Carry a USB power bank

13. Carry a USB power bank

An increasing number of cameras can charge their battery in situ and be powered via a USB connection. This means you can shoot for longer if you carry a fully-charged power bank such as the BioLite Charge 80 PD which can charge a battery such as the Fujifilm NP-W1126S that comes with cameras such as the X-T3, X-Pro 3, X-T30 and X-S10, almost ten times.
 

14. Carry a USB charger

Coffee shops and cafes often allow customers to charge items such as a laptop or smartphone while they have a drink or a bite to eat, so if you carry a small USB charger, you can do the same with your camera. Many cars also now have a USB port for charging devices, or you can use a cigarette lighter adapter to let you charge your mirrorless camera as you drive between locations.

Keep the batteries warm for longer battery life

15. Keep the battery warm

Batteries don’t like cold conditions so if you’re in a cold environment, try to keep your camera and any spare batteries warm. Carry your camera in a well-insulated bag and carry spare batteries in an inside pocket close to your body.


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My Secret Weapon for Creative Sliding Shots

My Secret Weapon for Creative Sliding Shots

If you are looking for a compact and travel-friendly motorized camera slider to add some creative and stable shots to your videos, then you need to check out the Zeapon Micro 2 Plus motorized camera slider.

With its small size and double the travel distance, the Zeapon Micro 2 Plus opens the door to a new world of versatility, especially when used with a tripod. It offers up to 4.5 kg or 9.9 lbs load capacity in horizontal, vertical, or inclined modes, which pushes the limit of consumer motorized camera sliders. The Zeapon Micro 2 Plus also offers three different speeds and a handy phone app for setting waypoints, making zooming in and zooming out super simple.

My Secret Weapon for Creative Sliding Shots 1

You can use it without the optional motor attachment, but I highly recommend that you add the Zeapon Motor Module Micro 2 Slider. In real-world use, I found it pretty easy to operate and quite stable. The size and weight are perfect for travel, and the range is better than I have experienced with some larger sliders.

I only have one small gripe: to get the most out of the slider, you will need a tripod head mount like the Manfrotto Ball Head or a Manfrotto Fluid Video Head and Tripod to take advantage of incline or vertical shots.

To see some footage of the Zeapon Micro 2 Plus in action, check out the video above.

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How to Teach Yourself to See the ‘Secret’ Photo Moments Others Miss

How to Teach Yourself to See the 'Secret' Photo Moments Others Miss

Photographers will sometimes wonder why someone standing right next to them can find the perfect photograph, but they are left wondering how they even saw it to begin with. This short nine-minute video discusses how to learn to see those “secret” moments that can be easily missed.

Alex Kilbee, a British photographer and content creator through his YouTube channel “The Photographic Eye,” has worked as a professional in the industry for around thirty years. In a recent video, he shared ways that can help photographers of all levels unlock the ability to see and capture photographs all around them.

Kilbee’s first tip is to start “searching” which in turn develops our way of seeing. The latter is a topic often written about, however, Kilbee notes that if a photographer is not physically out there, it’s impossible to “see,” let alone achieve a shot. He says that whether photographers have shelves full of the latest equipment or are well versed in photography techniques, at the end of the day it doesn’t matter because a great image can only be achieved if the photographer is willing to go out and search for it.

How to Teach Yourself to See the 'Secret' Photo Moments Others Miss 2
By Alevision.co on Unsplash

Kilbee adds that what is an exciting subject for some, might not be to others, and instead advises photographers to seek out subjects that are appealing to them specifically. Also, he urges views to be open to spontaneous images along the way, instead of going out with a particular picture in mind. This shift in frame of mind can lead to photographs that excite, regardless of the subject.

When it comes to how photographers remember certain moments during which photographs were taken, Kilbee says it can often leave them disappointed when they later review the results. The human senses, such as sounds, noises, the warmth of the sun on the skin, are a part of the experience but don’t automatically transfer across to the image. Photographers shouldn’t rely on these to carry the moment and instead should block them out to be left with just the visual elements of the scene.

How to Teach Yourself to See the 'Secret' Photo Moments Others Miss 3
By Ray Hennessy on Unsplash

When it comes to the composition, Kilbee recommends photographers break away from the more traditional framing where the whole subject is visible and focus more on fragments of a scene instead. Photographing parts of things or even people can help develop a photographer’s way of seeing the world in a unique way which in turn leads to powerful compositions. In this case, the exclusion of elements is just as important as the choice of what is included.

Photographing the whole scene, on the other hand, brings another set of complexities. Kilbee notes that in this situation, the subject carries the weight of the scene, and the photographer has to treat it with attention and love and make it stand out.

Similarly, when working with a subject, the context of the visual story can add another dimension to the photograph as long as those elements are visually expected. For example, seeing a horse in a field or stables, or a boat in a harbor aren’t particularly noteworthy because the elements are where they would normally be found.

How to Teach Yourself to See the 'Secret' Photo Moments Others Miss 4
By Quino Al on Unsplash

If the photographer has a good idea about their composition that could show these contrasting elements, an image like this can take the viewer by surprise and engage them more.

Lastly, Kilbee reminds viewers about the power of choosing the “right” viewpoint. Experimenting with a variety of viewpoints — especially ones that are not within our direct eye line — can show the chosen subject from a perspective that might not be generally expected and it can also show a different look at the relationship between two or more subjects.

How to Teach Yourself to See the 'Secret' Photo Moments Others Miss 5
By Chris Barbalis on Unsplash

The way that a photographer sees the world is unique and Kilbee encourages photographers to nurture and develop it further. He adds that to create the very best images each photographer is capable of, one must retrain their eyes, however as most skills, it simply requires perseverance and willingness to go out and try.

More of Kilbee’s educational and inspirational videos can be found on his YouTube channel.


Image credits: All images sourced from Unsplash and individually credited, with the main header image by Carmine Savarese.

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‘Top Secret’ 1943 Russian FotoSniper Prototype Sells for $170,000

'Top Secret' 1943 Russian FotoSniper Prototype Sells for $170,000

'Top Secret' 1943 Russian FotoSniper Prototype Sells for $170,000 6
Leitz Photographica Auction

The 38th Leitz Photographica Auction recently concluded and several cameras and lenses went from significant sums. Among them was a Leica IIIg and Elmarit 90mm f/2.8, a Carl Zeiss Planar 50mm f/0.7, and an unusual Russian Marine Rifle prototype camera that was once classified as “top secret.”

Supposedly created in 1943 and developed for the Soviet Baltic Fleet Navy, the FS-3 FotoSniper was designed for long=range reconnaissance missions and was equipped with a 600mm f/4.5 lens.

'Top Secret' 1943 Russian FotoSniper Prototype Sells for $170,000 7
Leitz Photographica Auction
'Top Secret' 1943 Russian FotoSniper Prototype Sells for $170,000 8
Leitz Photographica Auction

According to Leitz Photographica, the project was listed as “top secret” and even now, the only vintage documentation the auction house could find for the lens is a copy of a photograph that shows a marine officer testing it.

'Top Secret' 1943 Russian FotoSniper Prototype Sells for $170,000 9
Leitz Photographica Auction

According to the listing, no comparable camera is known to exist and it may be the only example ever made. Its rarity did not go unnoticed, as the original estimate considered its value between €60,000 and €70,000 (about $71,230 to $83,100), but it sold for well more than double its maximum estimation at €144,000, or about $170,900.

'Top Secret' 1943 Russian FotoSniper Prototype Sells for $170,000 10
Leitz Photographica Auction
'Top Secret' 1943 Russian FotoSniper Prototype Sells for $170,000 11
Leitz Photographica Auction
'Top Secret' 1943 Russian FotoSniper Prototype Sells for $170,000 12
Leitz Photographica Auction

Despite that high price, the FotoSniper was not the most expensive piece of camera equipment to sell. Above it were three Leica Cameras — headlined by the Leica IIIg black paint outfit with an Elmarit 90mm f/2.8 — and a Carl Ziess Planar 50mm f/0.7 lens that was originally made for NASA.

The Leica IIIg is described as a “famous” and “beautiful” camera body that has a unique black-painted Summarit 50mm f/1.5 lens along with an equally black-painted Elmarit 90mm f/2.8 lens. The camera and two optics are described as very rare, as it is the only black IIIg model besides examples that were ordered by the Swedish Army in 1959. According to some sources, Leitz Photographica says that this particular model of the camera was made by a Leitz technician as a final test before the Swedish Army version was issued.

'Top Secret' 1943 Russian FotoSniper Prototype Sells for $170,000 13
Leitz Photographica Auction
'Top Secret' 1943 Russian FotoSniper Prototype Sells for $170,000 14
Leitz Photographica Auction

The camera had an estimated high value of €26,000 (about $30,900) but smashed that expectation when it was finally sold for €408,000, or about $484,400. It was the most any item from this particular auction sold for, and was so by over $170,000.

Also of note a Carl Zeiss Planar 50mm f/0.7 lens, which the auction house describes as the “most famous lens produced by Zeiss.” The Planar 50mm f/0.7 was designed to photograph the moon’s far side during the NASA lunar missions. The Leitz Photographica Auction says that it was incredibly fast — about two stops faster than the available lenses of the time. More information about the lens and its history can be read in PetaPixel’s previous coverage here.

'Top Secret' 1943 Russian FotoSniper Prototype Sells for $170,000 15
Leitz Photographica Auction

The lens was slated to begin auction at about €100,000 (about $119,00) and was expected to draw as much as €120,000 (about $142,500), which was a rather notable increase in value versus its original estimated price range of $67,000 to $146,000 when the lens was first reported as becoming available. It broke that estimation handily when it sold for a final price of €180,000, or $213,700.

'Top Secret' 1943 Russian FotoSniper Prototype Sells for $170,000 16
Leitz Photographica Auction

All 469 lots of the 38th Leitz Photographica Auction results can be perused here.

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johnriley1uk’s latest blog : the vicar’s secret garden

johnriley1uk's latest blog : the cameras with the wonderful lenses

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The Vicar’s Secret Garden

13 Jun 2021 7:33PM  
Views : 192
Unique : 177

We were driving past the old Vicarage just after lunch today and noticed that the garden was open as part of the National Garden Scheme. So I turned around, re-parked and we walked up to have a look. The first time I photographed this building was as part of English Heritage’s Images of England project, which was around the year 2000. Today was the first time we saw round the back and the absolutely magnificent garden. From the patio, through to lawns, then paths descending down between the trees and running alongside the stream that I would imagine is part of the moat at Newhall Farm. This hall has been totally renovated since we remember it as a ruin on its little island in the moat. But back to today’s trip. It’s a great idea that owners open up their gardens a couple of times a year, charging a small amount that is donated to charity. It was an unexpected bonus for today and we’ll keep an eye out for other gardens from now on.

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Behind the Scenes of a Secret Malibu Mountain Swimsuit Shoot

Behind the Scenes of a Secret Malibu Mountain Swimsuit Shoot

As portrait photographers, we dream of great models, great light, and a great location. Well, this shoot quite comfortably has all three in abundance and required a helicopter to get there.

I rarely get envy over shoots these days, but it still happens and this is undoubtedly one of them. Michael Sasser, a boudoir and fashion photographer, takes a helicopter with model Kinsey, to a hidden-away mountain location in Malibu for a golden hour shoot, and it is exactly as incredible as it sounds.

Natural light has gone from being in-vogue in portraiture, to getting something of a bad rap. However, with most modern cameras, if you have mastery of your settings and the right light, you can use post-production to bring out the dynamic range and achieve similar results to if you were using strobe lighting. Sasser does exactly that in this shoot and you get to see his post-production workflow too, which helps paint a fuller picture. His images are typically aimed at being balanced, with the model on the darker side, only to them pull their skintones up in post to the correct exposure. The images are stunning and have the dreamy, medium format look I enjoy so much.

You may not have a model with millions of followers, a mountain-side Malibu retreat, or a helicopter available, but the photographic principles seen in this video are certainly replicable. So, sit back and watch from the start of the shoot to the editing of the final images.

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Express newslist: Secret letter on Netaji, Bombay HC verdict on sedition and other updates

Express newslist: Secret letter on Netaji, Bombay HC verdict on sedition and other updates

Express newslist: Secret letter on Netaji, Bombay HC verdict on sedition and other updates | The Indian Express

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