Any tips for conserving battery power on a 5D4?

Nov 12, 2016
314
78
#1
I'm going to be shooting in the New Mexico desert today/tonight, with no way to re-charge batteries. This might involve some long exposure night shots, which I know sucks down battery power. Any tips to prolong the battery life otherwise? (5D IV.) So far, my thoughts are:

GPS and WiFi off (I usually do this anyway)
Minimize live view shooting and image reviewing
Don't laugh, but I'm probably going to sleep with my batteries, ie, keep them in my sleeping bag. The temps in the desert can drop down to near freezing overnight, and the last thing I want are a bunch of cold batteries. I'm not too keen on having lithium batteries near me while I sleep, but I don't want to leave them out where they'll get cold overnight. I might even do this with the camera itself so it doesn't suck the warmth out of the batteries when I put them into the camera to shoot, but I'm a little worried about condensation if the camera is warm and I bring it out into a cold environment when I'm ready to shoot.

Any other settings or ideas for getting the most out of the batteries for situations where I'm not able to re-charge? Thanks.
 

Mt Spokane Photography

Spends too much time on this forum
Mar 25, 2011
14,747
229
#2
Turn off Wi-fi and GPS first as you stated that you do. Reduce display time or even turn off the rear LCD, turn off continuous AF, turn off IS. I get thousands of shots for a battery charge with just wi-fi and GPS off, but using live view really reduces the number of shots to a few hundred at best.

I have a device called "Case Relay" which lets you power the camera from a USB Battery pack, so you can extend running time by a large amount, and USB battery packs are inexpensive and can be used to charge phones as well. The case relay boosts the usb voltage to match the camera operating voltage, and has its own small internal battery so you can change usb battery packs while the camera is still operating.

https://www.tethertools.com/product-category/power-management/case-relay/
 

BeenThere

EOS Rebel T7i
Sep 4, 2012
739
99
#3
I'm going to be shooting in the New Mexico desert today/tonight, with no way to re-charge batteries. This might involve some long exposure night shots, which I know sucks down battery power. Any tips to prolong the battery life otherwise? (5D IV.) So far, my thoughts are:

GPS and WiFi off (I usually do this anyway)
Minimize live view shooting and image reviewing
Don't laugh, but I'm probably going to sleep with my batteries, ie, keep them in my sleeping bag. The temps in the desert can drop down to near freezing overnight, and the last thing I want are a bunch of cold batteries. I'm not too keen on having lithium batteries near me while I sleep, but I don't want to leave them out where they'll get cold overnight. I might even do this with the camera itself so it doesn't suck the warmth out of the batteries when I put them into the camera to shoot, but I'm a little worried about condensation if the camera is warm and I bring it out into a cold environment when I'm ready to shoot.

Any other settings or ideas for getting the most out of the batteries for situations where I'm not able to re-charge? Thanks.
Going from cold to warm is more likely to cause condensation than the other way around. Chemical hand warmers are useful to keep a lens from getting condensation. Just put one in a wrap. The condensation is caused by a surface being below the dew point temperature. As far as power goes, bring extra batteries or battery powered charger (these can be heavy), or battery grip.
 
Apr 3, 2013
3,964
36
51
Isle of Wight
#6
Hi Kit Lens Jockey, mihazero.
Might I respectfully suggest a cheaper and considerably more portable solution! :) A couple more batteries, unless of course this is more than an overnighter in which case the solar panel as mentioned above and something like this might be a good idea.

Edit, I guess you will be back by the time you read this so I hope it went well for you.

Cheers, Graham.
 
Jan 26, 2017
247
90
www.flickr.com
#7
I'm late to the party here, but I had the same issue with the 5D IV and asked those questions before! I always carry 3 batteries.

For me, I've found best success with keeping my WiFi and GPS off, and then disabling the touch screen. The touch screen, for me, has been a big eater of battery power. Which stinks, because I love that touch screen. I use live view for almost every photo, so I always struggle with battery power. I try to do 90% of my composition in the viewfinder, and then finish it off in live view on a tripod.

I don't know if anyone else has found this, but I find that (superficially) the LP-E6Ns degrade quicker than my old LP -E6s. Their charge capability has seemed to really degrade for me over time - maybe I've changed a process over time without noticing, but battery life has been an issue for me.
 

Mt Spokane Photography

Spends too much time on this forum
Mar 25, 2011
14,747
229
#8
Going from cold to warm is more likely to cause condensation than the other way around.
It works both ways. Warm air has much more moisture in it than cold air, and when cooled, it cannot hold all that moisture, so it condenses out as water. Heating cold air does not cause water to condense. Thats why photographers in very cold conditions do not keep the cameras in a warm room before going out, the lenses and body will be full of warm and relatively moist air that can cause internal condensation.

If warm air hits a cold surface, the same thing happens, water from the warm air condenses out.

Internal condensation is more serious than a little fog forming on the outside of a lens which can be easily wiped off. Thats why going from warm moist conditions to cold are a concern.
 
Nov 12, 2016
314
78
#9
Ok I guess I should update this. Anyway, when I initially wrote this, I was kind of freaking out because I was hiking out into the desert to stay the night. I knew the photos would be amazing, and the last thing I ever wanted was to run out of batteries. The day before I had used the camera's wifi capability to do just a little bit of remote shooting using the Canon app on my phone, and I was shocked by how fast that drained the battery, so much so that I began to question whether or not the five batteries I had with me would make it through the night. I anticipated doing a lot of long exposure night photos.

Well, ultimately, the camera did great. It didn't even burn completely through two batteries after spending hours shooting that night and during the sunrise the next morning. I can't imagine the new EOS R would have done that well... Makes me think that DSLRs will have a place long into the future where you need a rugged camera that uses very little power in situations where you can't easily charge up your batteries.
 

Mt Spokane Photography

Spends too much time on this forum
Mar 25, 2011
14,747
229
#10
I tried my case relay that I bought to photograph the eclipse last year with my 5D MK IV, adapted to my SL-2, and now it works with my EOS R. I can use a large capacity USB battery and extend the life to much longer, and since the Case Relay has its own internal battery, it keeps the camera going while you are switching USB Batteries. They are relatively inexpensive, even for those with high capacity, and you can use them to recharge or operate a phone as well. It works as a AC power supply as well, just plug it into a USB power adaptor for continuous power.

Battery capacity is no longer very high on my list of concerns.