R5 Battery Life Poll for birders and other telephoto lens users

How many shots per charge do you get


  • Total voters
    10

AlanF

Stay at home
CR Pro
Aug 16, 2012
8,226
10,228
My R5 is super: not had a single freeze, focusses fast and accurately, and delivers sharp images. But, as usual for me, the battery life is short. I don't spend much time chimping, it's set to eco mode, the rear LCD is always off and I use just the viewfinder, airplane mode is on and I have disabled everything that I can think of that would use power. I tend to take short bursts of 3-4 shots or less. My main lenses are the RF 100-500mm or adapted 100-400mm II or 400mm DO II. Yet, whereas early discussion here had people getting 1000s of shots per charge, I now get a couple of 100 only.

All comments by those who don't use telephotos are welcome even if you don't vote.
 

GreenViper

I'm New Here
CR Pro
Jan 29, 2014
15
38
UK
Testing my R5 last weekend, I had the 400DOii with 2x extender, back screen on, IS on about half the time. Shot about 700 frames over about 90 mins. Battery from full to 38% so seems to be a lot more than you. 6 days unused and then about 50 shots over half an hour today - 100-400II with 1.4x IS on. Now at 26%
 
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docsmith

EOS R
CR Pro
Sep 17, 2010
1,045
485
R5, primarily with the 500 f/4 ii or 100-400 ii. Some review. Burst a bit longer than yours, but not much. Electronic first shutter and Electronic shutter mostly. New NH batteries. I am 12,000+ shots in and very consistently 1100-1600 per charge.
 
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Feb 15, 2020
507
348
I don’t use long telephoto lenses with IS... but I leave IBIS on the entire time I’m shooting and don’t turn the camera off for very long. Usually take 1000-2000 shots with a battery grip + 2 batteries and it drains only to 50%.

A wedding photographer friend of mine is getting about the same as me..

Definitely doesn’t sound right to get only a couple of hundred shots? Unless your usage is very similar to the CIPA battery life testing method?
 
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YuengLinger

EOS R6
CR Pro
Dec 20, 2012
3,460
1,900
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Good topic, AlanF, as battery life has been a puzzle for many R5 owners.

We do need some way to measure and compare, but with the R5's many options, I'm not sure that just number-of-shots reveals enough. Two days ago, for example, I had time throughout the day to sit with the R5+100-500mm on a tripod--no IS. The rig was set up pointing out of our breakfast-nook window at birdfeeders, a birdbath, and loquat tree. This meant that anytime I had a chance and saw birds, I could sit on a footstool and wait for good shots.

At first I was using EFCS, but after lunch I thought to try just ES (as suggested by Whistling Wings' latest video about photographing tiny birds). By late afternoon I had taken 1040 shots and my battery still had about 40% left. Of course many of the shots were taken in bursts of 5-15, but I did spend more time than I ever had in a single day looking through the EVF. When I had to cook, do yardwork, or play with my son (home with a cold), I turned off the power.

I was using ECO mode.

(And, btw, I had my first ever issues with freeze-up! Three times, while not shooting, but just going from back-display to EVF. Very strange. All happened in the morning but not again after that.)

So, no IS, but lots of EVF and display use. I never have Wi-fi, etc. on--just what is required for capture and review.

But if I'm out walking for 90 minutes, with IS enabled, I can be down to 50% after only taking several hundred shots.

I don't think it's how many shots we take, but how we are using the body+lens. I think we can only use number of shots to determine if one body is using more than another if both bodies are configured and used in the exact same manner for the same amount of time.

Have you tried several different batteries with the same results?
 
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Feb 15, 2020
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Good topic, AlanF, as battery life has been a puzzle for many R5 owners.

We do need some way to measure and compare, but with the R5's many options, I'm not sure that just number-of-shots reveals enough. Two days ago, for example, I had time throughout the day to sit with the R5+100-500mm on a tripod--no IS. The rig was set up pointing out of our breakfast-nook window at birdfeeders, a birdbath, and loquat tree. This meant that anytime I had a chance and saw birds, I could sit on a footstool and wait for good shots.

At first I was using EFCS, but after lunch I thought to try just EC (as suggested by Whistling Wings' latest video about photographing tiny birds). By late afternoon I had taken 1040 shots and my battery still had about 40% left. Of course many of the shots were taken in bursts of 5-15, but I did spend more time than I ever had in a single day looking through the EVF. When I had to cook, do yardwork, or play with my son (home with a cold), I turned off the power.

I was using ECO mode.

(And, btw, I had my first ever issues with freeze-up! Three times, while not shooting, but just going from back-display to EVF. Very strange. All happened in the morning but not again after that.)

So, no IS, but lots of EVF and display use. I never have Wi-fi, etc. on--just what is required for capture and review.

But if I'm out walking for 90 minutes, with IS enabled, I can be down to 50% after only taking several hundred shots.

I don't think it's how many shots we take, but how we are using the body+lens. I think we can only use number of shots to determine if one body is using more than another if both bodies are configured and used in the exact same manner for the same amount of time.

Have you tried several different batteries with the same results?
Very interesting. I wonder if lens IS uses more battery than IBIS? Sounds like it?
 
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Joules

doom
CR Pro
Jul 16, 2017
1,633
1,978
Hamburg, Germany
But if I'm out walking for 90 minutes, with IS enabled, I can be down to 50% after only taking several hundred shots.

I don't think it's how many shots we take, but how we are using the body+lens. I think we can only use number of shots to determine if one body is using more than another if both bodies are configured and used in the exact same manner for the same amount of time.

Have you tried several different batteries with the same results?
Aren't there settings for continously having AF working (not talking about servo) and continously having IS working in the Canon mirrorless bodies? I haven't seen that statet explicitly on this thread but it seems like on of the most relevant settings in comparing battery life, along with WiFi and screen brightness. The actual act of taking a shot and compressing it for storage doesn't seem to impact battery life all that much as evident by the immense difference between the CIPA numbers and what users experienced on this thread.

Couldn't you R5 owners at least quantify the speed at which the battery drains by charging it full, putting the camera into electronic shutter and pointing it at a wall, then fire it for 20 minutes or something at 20 fps (using a locking remote trigger for example) and compare how much the battery percentage changed? (Edit: Does the burst speed remain constant if no card is inserted? if so, that could be great to control that variable). If that's the same for everybody, it is not just the camera dumping energy into something due to some undesired setting, but behavior plays a role as you mentioned. Otherwise, you could list the settings and focus on the ones that differ.
 
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YuengLinger

EOS R6
CR Pro
Dec 20, 2012
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When walking with the R5+100-500mm, I stop, then hold the lens up and watch a bird through the EVF, often tapping the shutter button halfway down to maintain AF and be ready any moment. I'm in ECO mode, but then I bring the camera down and walk with it immediately, but I guess the IS+IBIS remains working for a time. And I do have the camera set now to require a manual switching between EVF and back display, otherwise when walking I do sometimes activate the EVF by just having it near my shirt (though that happens less with the 100-500mm because I don't carry it over my shoulder, but by its foot in my hand).

The controlled 20 minutes or so of ES might be worth a try. No ECO mode. Would we be on a tripod? If so, wouldn't IS+IBIS be working much less hard?

On the other hand, I'm not sure that having IS+IBIS off has a huge impact. IBIS turns off, yes, and that might be very power-hungry, but IS is still on, just used differently--to keep the IS element fixed in place instead of shifting about as it does when the lens is detached from a body.

So, could be differences from body to body due to circuitry issues, could be the way the camera is used (which has to be the biggest x-factor), and could be some batteries just aren't as good as others, even if they are the same brand. Three big variables with sub-variable.
 
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Joules

doom
CR Pro
Jul 16, 2017
1,633
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Hamburg, Germany
The controlled 20 minutes or so of ES might be worth a try. No ECO mode. Would we be on a tripod? If so, wouldn't IS+IBIS be working much less hard?

On the other hand, I'm not sure that having IS+IBIS off has a huge impact. IBIS turns off, yes, and that might be very power-hungry, but IS is still on, just used differently--to keep the IS element fixed in place instead of shifting about as it does when the lens is detached from a body.
I was just wondering what might be a better way to determine where Alans 'problems' are coming from. As he sais, battery performance is below what others experience regardless of lens. So that would point to the body as the common factor. Although of course he reported below average battery life on DSLR bodies in the past so another common aspect is the man behind the camera. Perhaps he is just so attractive that the electrons get sucked right out of the battery without the camera doing anything.

The more likely explanations to me would be that there's one or a few settings in the camera that rapidly drain the battery, or that Alan's use cases just differ a lot from other people's and therefore strain the IS more for example. The first case (as well as your speculation about electrical sample variation in the body) could be ruled out by running a controled test without the human element. So putting the body on a tripod seems like a good idea. I just tested it on my 80D and without the card inserted it just fires away in H+ until the buffer is full, then slows down to steady shooting intervals.

Your previous testing has already done a great service in highlighting the shutter shock phenomenon (as Canon lovingly calls these things), so I'm not suggesting you put any time into this. I was just curious if perhaps a more conclusive means of investigating this could be available than polling the small set of R5 telephoto users active on this forum.
 

AlanF

Stay at home
CR Pro
Aug 16, 2012
8,226
10,228
Joules
Just firing away on a tripod would give an artefactually high number of shots. I want to know real world situations with IS on and focussing being done etc. There will be more "noise" in the data because of the different ways we handle the camera, but it's the old story that it is more useful to have a result that reflects the real one with ± large standard error than have an artefactual one with high precision.

Today, to test whether it could be my CFExpress card causing the problem, I switched the setting to use number 2 slot with the SD card. I did get 360 shots with 50% charge remaining, but I was shooting mainly longer bursts without much focussing, liitle use as a telescope, and very little chimping.
 

Joules

doom
CR Pro
Jul 16, 2017
1,633
1,978
Hamburg, Germany
Joules
Just firing away on a tripod would give an artefactually high number of shots. I want to know real world situations with IS on and focussing being done etc. There will be more "noise" in the data because of the different ways we handle the camera, but it's the old story that it is more useful to have a result that reflects the real one with ± large standard error than have an artefactual one with high precision.

Today, to test whether it could be my CFExpress card causing the problem, I switched the setting to use number 2 slot with the SD card. I did get 360 shots with 50% charge remaining, but I was shooting mainly longer bursts without much focussing, liitle use as a telescope, and very little chimping.
Your OP talks about the settings you use, so I assumed the underlying question you were asking here is essentially 'Does your battery life differ from mine, and if so, which setting is responsible?'. Having multiple R5 users shoot a sequence without a human element, so just tripod work with a fixed frame rate, would either confirm that indeed such a setting exitsts by resulting in three very different speeds of battery drainage, or point to the main difference being exterior factors by resulting in virutally identical results.

I just find it weird that your results differs so much. I wonder if it relates to your previous experiences with DSLR or if it is another thing about this new generation of Canon cameras that simply requires either new thinking on the users side or more polish on the manufacturers side. Using servo even for static scenes or paying attention to shutter shock are examples of this, from what I've read so far.

Maybe you aren't asking any such question, so sorry if I just misinterpreted your quest here.
 

AlanF

Stay at home
CR Pro
Aug 16, 2012
8,226
10,228
Good topic, AlanF, as battery life has been a puzzle for many R5 owners.

We do need some way to measure and compare, but with the R5's many options, I'm not sure that just number-of-shots reveals enough. Two days ago, for example, I had time throughout the day to sit with the R5+100-500mm on a tripod--no IS. The rig was set up pointing out of our breakfast-nook window at birdfeeders, a birdbath, and loquat tree. This meant that anytime I had a chance and saw birds, I could sit on a footstool and wait for good shots.

At first I was using EFCS, but after lunch I thought to try just ES (as suggested by Whistling Wings' latest video about photographing tiny birds). By late afternoon I had taken 1040 shots and my battery still had about 40% left. Of course many of the shots were taken in bursts of 5-15, but I did spend more time than I ever had in a single day looking through the EVF. When I had to cook, do yardwork, or play with my son (home with a cold), I turned off the power.

I was using ECO mode.

(And, btw, I had my first ever issues with freeze-up! Three times, while not shooting, but just going from back-display to EVF. Very strange. All happened in the morning but not again after that.)

So, no IS, but lots of EVF and display use. I never have Wi-fi, etc. on--just what is required for capture and review.

But if I'm out walking for 90 minutes, with IS enabled, I can be down to 50% after only taking several hundred shots.

I don't think it's how many shots we take, but how we are using the body+lens. I think we can only use number of shots to determine if one body is using more than another if both bodies are configured and used in the exact same manner for the same amount of time.

Have you tried several different batteries with the same results?
I have the new battery with the camera, which is the best, and several old ones. I think your finding down to 50% after a few hundred shots on your 90 minute walk not far off my experience.
 

shire_guy

I'm New Here
Apr 29, 2020
15
20
Sydney AUST
R5 - only been regularly using for last few months, so very interested in the poll outcome. I am wonder how much impact the temperature has on usage.

Using 100-400 II + 1.4x or 300 2.8 II with both extenders mostly static birding but tried BIF (R5 was great for BIF). I have gradually turned most power saving functions off but have 1 min auto off. I regularly touch the shutter to keep the camera active as the small birds tend not to give a second chance. Ambient temperature here has been in the 24c to 30c range when I used the camera. I change the battery when it gets down to one or two bars left but I reckon I would easily get 400+ shots on the battery. Voted 400-600.

The older batteries are a different story but they are also well used.
 
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JPAZ

If only I knew what I was doing.....
CR Pro
Sep 8, 2012
1,073
208
Depends. Can get well over 500 shots from the NH battery but that number goes down if I do a lot of 12 FPS or more chimping. I use eco mode and turn the camera off when not planning to shoot (power up pretty quick).
 
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