How many spare batteries do you need?

Started 6 months ago | Discussions
Skeeterbytes
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Re: How many spare batteries do you need?
In reply to mep, 6 months ago

A followup question: who's arrived at your destination and switched their camera on, only to discover the battery is back home, in the charger?

FWIW I'm raising my hand as I type. Since I have more than one camera bag, I tend to keep spares spread among them when not traveling away from home, when I need them all. Will add it's kind of a pain to have to travel with an OEM and an aftermarket charger.

Cheers,

Rick

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uRebel Rob
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Re: How many spare batteries do you need?
In reply to mep, 6 months ago

As others mentioned, it depends on your shooting style, methods, and mode, but...

As a general rule, I want CIPA rated 1000+ photos. For my GX7, that's 2 spares, while for the D5100 that's one spare.

However, I'm thinking of increasing by one extra for each camera plus another charger. On vacations and "local tourist-ing" shoots, I've used all but one bar on my last battery, and then spent that night charging all the batteries, and repeating the next day. It would have been much easier if I had one more battery and charger. I do time lapse photos, though, so these days I can get 4000+ photos. Note that on my GX7, leaving it on seems to use almost as much power as taking photos (LCD/EVF + sensor on all the time), so you can run out of juice even if you don't take thousands of photos.

Your cameras share batteries, which is a great bonus. I'd have looked for a total of 3 spares, and not worried about another charger (since you already have two). If you bring both cameras, switch between the two often (especially without turning off the other), and go on all day shoots, go with four. (depending on costs, of course) If you rarely take both cameras, or don't go on all day shooting trips, two spares might but more than your needs. And you can also pull the battery from the other camera if really needed, too.

What ever you decide, number your batteries. (Dating is a good idea, too, but if you buy them all at the same time, it's a little redundant.) Rotate through the batteries so they all get used, and store lithium batteries at least 70% charged.

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duartix
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Re: How many spare batteries do you need?
In reply to mep, 6 months ago

mep wrote:

I am wondering how many batteries do you need for a camera. I have a EM10 and a PL5 which both use the same battery.

What would you do?

I wouldn't ever even bought two, one serving for both cameras would have been already appropriate. If you are anything like me (and I can't use two cameras simultaneously), you already started with a spare battery before you even went shopping. One battery will last me more than one week, three batteries (for two cameras) would get me through a whole vacation...

Unless you are venturing into the rain forest week in, week out, I don't see the need for all that extra power. How often do you really travel?

BTW, have you given any thought as too how much chargers you'll be using, and what your battery rotation protocol is going to be?

P.S. If you are mildly interested in video then what I said before may need some adjustment, but then again, if you are mildly interested in video then why on earth would you be carrying two Olympus bodies???

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Eric Nepean
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Re: How many spare batteries do you need?
In reply to duartix, 6 months ago

For in city shooting, I only take one spare. For backpacking and canoeing, two is my minimum.

Depends on your shooting style however, and your camera.

I would say calculate how many shots you want to take in your longest trip from home, calculate how many batteries and add 1.

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Airmel
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Re: How many spare batteries do you need?
In reply to mep, 6 months ago

You should obtain as many battery packs as you can use regularly, but no more. Lithium Ion devices, such as the BLS-5, age significantly regardless of use. The clock starts ticking as soon as they are manufactured.

Some papers on the subject suggest a loss of 20% capacity per year, so it is stupid to purchase spare packs which sit on the shelf unused. Use them today and enjoy their superior performance to other battery technologies. Then, in a couple of years when they have lost a significant portion of their capacity, replace them.

I typically use four packs per camera body (E-M1 with battery grip), which equates to two in use and two in reserve.

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Trevor Carpenter
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Re: How many spare batteries do you need?
In reply to mep, 6 months ago

1 in each camera, 4 spare

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n3eg
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Re: How many spare batteries do you need?
In reply to mep, 6 months ago

I have one in the camera, two in the bag, and one at home on the charger.

I've only gone to the second battery once.

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BBbuilder467
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Outdoors/hiking
In reply to Trevor Carpenter, 6 months ago

With one body, I keep 3 batteries to maintain a comfortable rotation. 1 battery is in the camera and 2 fully charged spares. That way I never have to be concerned about how charged the in-camera battery is.

Add the fourth for a second body and that allows for both cameras having fully charged spares if needed. It's not unusual for me to find both bodies need batteries at the same time.

Lengthy set-ups and long exposures with ND's can really deplete the battery life, so I always carry 2 spares. I've done this so long that I know what to anticipate, including the weather. I can pace myself, if need be.

That's a total of 3 batteries for 1 body or total of 4 for 2 bodies.

I spend nearly all my time outdoors hiking mountain trails for hours and miles at a time. I have to have spares. If I were more casual, I might not even need a spare.

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JohnLock
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Re: How many spare batteries do you need?
In reply to n3eg, 6 months ago

2 spares for me.

JL

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Guy Parsons
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What I need and what I use are different things....
In reply to mep, 6 months ago

Lots.....

Nah, not that many.

Out and about for a quiet day I carry one spare. When on holidays in places with lots of shots looming I carry two spares but so far never have quite had to use the second spare.

The front two are cheap clones and came with the useful end caps. All BLS-1/5 and all get cycled through E-PL1/E-PL5/E-P3 and use either charger or a clone charger and no problems.

I label the dates when I get them so I can track any deterioration. The 2010 batteries still seem to work fine.

I'd probably pay and keep the two extras, but arrange to cycle them all through the cameras over time. Never let one just sit and never get used.

Regards.... Guy

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Jacques Cornell
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2 or 3 for a 3-hour event gig
In reply to mep, 6 months ago

mep wrote:

I am wondering how many batteries do you need for a camera. I have a EM10 and a PL5 which both use the same battery. I ordered two spare batteries (one for each camera) but in a fluke the company doubled my order and is sending me 4 batteries. I am trying to decide whether to go ahead and pay for the extra two, so that I would have two spares for each camera or to return the second set.

Weddings and other events are high-volume gigs. I'll typically shoot 400-600 photos in a moderately intense 3-hour job, using two batteries and still having one in reserve.

How much do you shoot in an active day?

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dv312
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2 each or ...
In reply to mep, 6 months ago

if money is tight, 3 for both

I have 3 for both my EPL5 and EM10 and that suffices

I'm bummed that the EP5 cannot share the same battery

Otherwise I'd have 4 for 3 cameras

Cheers

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43Shooter
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Re: How many spare batteries do you need?
In reply to mep, 6 months ago

mep wrote:

I am wondering how many batteries do you need for a camera.

It depends on the spare battery. I buy cheap third-party batteries that are half as good for one-fifth the price. Since I generally don't shoot several hundred pictures in a day, this works for me. I have two spare batteries.

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Martin.au
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Re: How many spare batteries do you need?
In reply to mep, 6 months ago

mep wrote:

I am wondering how many batteries do you need for a camera. I have a EM10 and a PL5 which both use the same battery. I ordered two spare batteries (one for each camera) but in a fluke the company doubled my order and is sending me 4 batteries. I am trying to decide whether to go ahead and pay for the extra two, so that I would have two spares for each camera or to return the second set.

What would you do?

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mpalis

I have one spare battery as part of my normal kit, but I hardly ever need it. If I'm doing a few days away, then I'll need it around the end of the second day typically.

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mrc4nl
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Re: How many spare batteries do you need?
In reply to agentul, 6 months ago

agentul wrote:

2 at the least, 3 or more if you plant to use the camera for a few years after it's discontinued (and it's made by a company that likes to have one battery type per camera model, like Panasonic).

i can use my old gf3 battery in my gx7, no problems. just less capacity.

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Onyx S21
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Re: How many spare batteries do you need?
In reply to Michael M Fliegel, 6 months ago

Only ever buy 1 spare battery just in case i either leave camera on all day or forget to charge the battery. I have so far rarely used it

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Gregm61
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Re: How many spare batteries do you need?
In reply to mep, 6 months ago

mep wrote:

I am wondering how many batteries do you need for a camera. I have a EM10 and a PL5 which both use the same battery. I ordered two spare batteries (one for each camera) but in a fluke the company doubled my order and is sending me 4 batteries. I am trying to decide whether to go ahead and pay for the extra two, so that I would have two spares for each camera or to return the second set.

What would you do?

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mpalis

I use 4. They are all numbered and I use them in succession so they're all basically the same level of use all the time.

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LMNCT
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Re: How many spare batteries do you need?
In reply to mep, 6 months ago

I need fewer batteries than I have.  All my batteries are marked with a silver-ink pen so they do not get confused with batteries from other camera bodies.  Better to have too many than not enough.

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