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Thread: Carrying a fresh battery

  1. #1

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    Carrying a fresh battery

    Does anyone have any tips for keeping a fresh battery handy?

    I remember in the olden days, we used to tape a couple of the old metal 35mm film cans with screw-on tops to our camera straps, and keep fresh rolls of film in there. So when our bag was at the other end of the room, another roll of film was at our fingertips.

    The modern equivalent is swapping in a fresh battery (I make sure my memory card has plenty of space), but I can't find a clip or anything for putting one on my camera strap. Something like a film can, but a little bigger, would probably work.

    Cheers,
    Rick

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    Re: Carrying a fresh battery

    This may sound amazingly low-tech, but how about in your pocket or camera bag? Luckily I shoot 1D series, and couldn't flatten a battery in a single day if I tried!

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    Re: Carrying a fresh battery

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    This may sound amazingly low-tech, but how about in your pocket or camera bag?
    That's what I do now, but there are some disadvantages: in the bag (a Domke), it's in a section with the charger, some cables, and my manual release, so can require some digging. And I have to remember to stick it in my pocket, then return it to the bag. If I had a holder on the strap, similar to the wireless remote, it would be foolproof. Perhaps if I could become less forgetful. . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Luckily I shoot 1D series, and couldn't flatten a battery in a single day if I tried!
    I'm trying to work in that direction: I ordered a heavier battery from SterlingTek, based on your recommendation in another thread, so maybe it will be less of a problem. And being Li-ion, I should be able to recharge before exhausted.

    Cheers,
    Rick

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    Re: Carrying a fresh battery

    Personally I find the best way to carry my spare battery is in the MB-D80 battery grip attached to my camera.

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    Re: Carrying a fresh battery

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill44 View Post
    Personally I find the best way to carry my spare battery is in the MB-D80 battery grip attached to my camera.
    I have thought about a battery grip. I didn't want it when I had the kit lens, but now my walking-around lens is an EF-S 17-55 f/2.8, which is 23 oz/650g. The 500D is only about 17 oz/500g, so the battery grip might improve the balance with the heavier lens.

    Cheers,
    Rick

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    Re: Carrying a fresh battery

    Hi Rick,

    I'm a bit puzzled - unless you're shooting in Antarctica, most cameras should give 600 -700 shots from a single battery. Are you not getting this many? Are you shooting more than this in a day?

    Even back on my 350D / 20D days battery life was just never an issue.

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    Re: Carrying a fresh battery

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Hi Rick,

    I'm a bit puzzled - unless you're shooting in Antarctica, most cameras should give 600 -700 shots from a single battery. Are you not getting this many? Are you shooting more than this in a day?

    Even back on my 350D / 20D days battery life was just never an issue.
    Perhaps I'm just paranoid from the days of NiCad batteries, but I try to let batteries mostly discharge before putting them on the charger. Since my charger for the camera doesn't have a "recondition" function, like the recharger for AA and AAA Li-ions, I worry that they'll lose capacity.

    Cheers,
    Rick

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    Re: Carrying a fresh battery

    One of the advantages of the L-Ion batteries is that they have no "memory" so you can charge them at any point in their discharge cycle, and preferably not when they are fully discharged for some reason.

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    Re: Carrying a fresh battery

    Lithium-Ion batteries will give you longer service if you keep them charged. Running them to (almost) exhaustion and then recharging actually reduces the number of shots you can get over the lifetime of the battery.

    I carry spare batteries for all my equipment. I went to Home Depot and bought one of the cell phone carriers by Husky. These are nice for carrying batteries and spare cards, in addition to the elastic loop for the tiny flashlight. (I carry a laser pointer in mine.) Just make sure you put your Li-Ion batteries in a ziplock bag or some such. They contain a tremendous amount of energy and do bad things when shorted out.

    Pops

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    Re: Carrying a fresh battery

    Quote Originally Posted by rick55 View Post
    Perhaps I'm just paranoid from the days of NiCad batteries, but I try to let batteries mostly discharge before putting them on the charger. Since my charger for the camera doesn't have a "recondition" function, like the recharger for AA and AAA Li-ions, I worry that they'll lose capacity.

    Cheers,
    Rick

    Hi Rick,

    Current thinking (no pun intended) is that it's better to top up Lion and NiMh batteries well before they're completely discharged (as per Bill & Pops advice) - off memory I think they like to be GENTLY completely discharged once in a while to minimise the slight memory effect, but I haven't read up on them recently.

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    Re: Carrying a fresh battery

    Even more low-tech than carrying the extra battery is having an extra camera ready. It could be a point and shoot, you just want something available even if it isn't your best camera. I try to charge my battery before a long day of shooting, mine can sometimes last two days before I am near depletion.

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    Re: Carrying a fresh battery

    Thanks for the good points and tips: I guess I have been thinking outdated about batteries. So I'll change the way I use the batteries. And look for the cell phone carrier (thanks, Pops). It will be much better to consistently have a battery I don't have to change than to be prepared with a fresh battery.

    I'd certainly like to have an extra camera, per Shadowman. My wife has a Canon SD1100is, which is a pretty capable P&S. She's going to upgrade sooner or later, and I'm hoping she'll let me have her cast-off. It would be great to have something I could carry in a pocket, and it would be a nice back-up camera.

    Cheers!
    Rick

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    Re: Carrying a fresh battery

    I use a pair of Optech pouches which were designed to hold CF cards but, can fit in a Canon battery for my 40D also. I can just grab a pouch and know that I am supplied with CF cards and a battery backup. Unfortunately, Optech doesn't seem to distribute this pouch any longer. Perhaps that was the reason I got such a good buy on my second pouch from Amazon.com. Perhaps you could find a battery pouch you can use on Optech's web site.

    http://optechusa.com/

    BTW: despite the great life of a battery in my 30D and 40D cameras, I would not go shooting without a spare battery for each camera I carry. The batteries are not expensive (I also use third party batteries and have found no difference) and they are relatively light weight and can be switched with ease. I have not had a flat tire in years but, I have a spare tire in my car, just in case.

    My general working method is to recharge my battery after every use and to format my CF cards as soon as I have downloaded my images.

    BTW: I was just walking through the cell phone section of a large electronics store and saw many cases which were designed for the smaller cell phone models and which should be great for carrying a spare battery or two.
    Last edited by rpcrowe; 14th February 2010 at 03:54 PM. Reason: Added new information...

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    Re: Carrying a fresh battery

    Quote Originally Posted by rpcrowe View Post
    I use a pair of Optech pouches which were designed to hold CF cards but, can fit in a Canon battery also.
    The pouch sounds like a great idea: I'll look at them.

    Quote Originally Posted by rpcrowe View Post
    BTW: despite the great life of a battery in my 30D and 40D cameras, I would not go shooting without a spare battery for each camera I carry. The batteries are not expensive (I also use third party batteries and have found no difference) and they are relatively light weight and can be switched with ease. I have not had a flat tire in years but, I have a spare tire in my car, just in case.

    My general working method is to recharge my battery after every use and to format my CF cards as soon as I have downloaded my images.
    I'll definitely carry a spare batteries. I got new batteries from SterlingTek (lightning fast service), which have better specs, and I'll be switching to regular recharging. The pouches sound like a good way to keep the contacts away from metal.

    Cheers,
    Rick

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    Re: Carrying a fresh battery

    Quote Originally Posted by rick55 View Post
    The pouch sounds like a great idea: I'll look at them.



    I'll definitely carry a spare batteries. I got new batteries from SterlingTek (lightning fast service), which have better specs, and I'll be switching to regular recharging. The pouches sound like a good way to keep the contacts away from metal.

    Cheers,
    Rick
    Protecting contacts... The problem with my third party batteries is that they do not come with a protector plate. However, since I have a spare battery for each camera, I use the protector plate that came with each OEM battery for each spare. This works fine since I obviously don't need the protector plate for the battery which is in my camera.

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    Re: Carrying a fresh battery

    Quote Originally Posted by rpcrowe View Post
    Protecting contacts... The problem with my third party batteries is that they do not come with a protector plate. However, since I have a spare battery for each camera, I use the protector plate that came with each OEM battery for each spare. This works fine since I obviously don't need the protector plate for the battery which is in my camera.
    That was my plan, but it didn't work out. For what it's worth, the battery from SterlingTek doesn't fit the Canon protector plate very well: not well enough to be confident it won't come loose. I'm not concerned about the contacts in the camera, since it has that bayonet-ish connection (LP-E5 for Canon 500D), but I don't trust the battery plate on it rattling around in a bag. So a pouch will be a good choice.

    Along similar lines, when I ordered a battery charger from Thomas Distributing, they offered a deal on Maha battery cases, so I ordered some. They're great, and hold either AA or AAA. Much better than the small ziploc bags I used before.

    Cheers,
    Rick

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    Re: Carrying a fresh battery

    You may not like this idea, but it has worked for me on other things before. Try a large prescription bottle. Some of them are large enough, and you can duct tape it to your strap.

    I told you that you may not like it.

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    Re: Carrying a fresh battery

    BriPhi,

    What's not to like? If it works for you then do it with happiness. Everyone has there own style. Just take the label off before going through customs.
    Last edited by Shadowman; 16th February 2010 at 09:23 AM. Reason: Added text.

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    Re: Carrying a fresh battery

    Quote Originally Posted by BriPhi View Post
    You may not like this idea, but it has worked for me on other things before. Try a large prescription bottle. Some of them are large enough, and you can duct tape it to your strap.
    Shadowman's right: what's not to like? I'll just have to find a couple where the child-proof caps aren't so good I can't remove them.

    Cheers!
    Rick

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    Re: Carrying a fresh battery

    Many of the child-capable caps can be defeated by working over the cap with a cutter. Depending on the type, you might use a small file, or a pair of wire cutters or even fingernail clippers.

    Pops

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