How many spare batteries do you need?

Started Apr 28, 2014 | Discussions
mep Forum Member • Posts: 80
How many spare batteries do you need?

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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Michael M Fliegel
Michael M Fliegel Veteran Member • Posts: 3,679
Re: How many spare batteries do you need?

I just purchased 2 to go along with the one that came with my EM1.  Should be more than enough.  Always carry a spare and extra memory.  You never know....................

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agentul Contributing Member • Posts: 619
Re: How many spare batteries do you need?

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).

Ontario Gone
Ontario Gone Senior Member • Posts: 4,183
Re: How many spare batteries do you need?

I have 5 total. I may not use more than 1 or 2 in cycles at most times, but i would rather have them and not need them, than need them and not have them. I may buy two more eventually as well, third party units for my GX7 are only $10 each and they are close to as good as OEM.

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maremarmar New Member • Posts: 15
One battery for one intense day of shooting (n/t)

No text.

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Klarno Veteran Member • Posts: 4,148
Re: How many spare batteries do you need?

I'm a very conservative, methodical shooter, and in landscape photography I generally don't get my camera out at all if I don't like the light (which happens most of the day). I moved up from two batteries total to three on my GH2 when I was prepping for backpacking--any other time I'm close enough to electricity that I can do just fine with two. I generally don't drain a battery in a day.

Two spare batteries is enough for me. For a day's shooting, I only really need one spare. I label my batteries with a number and a date of first charge, so that if one becomes a problem it's easy to identify, and so I can rotate them equally.

I lost the first spare for my GH2 on top of a mountain three years ago. I found it again a couple weeks ago. In the intervening time it's been rained on, snowed on, had snow melt over it, frozen, had the summer sun beating down on it. And somewhat shockingly, the thing still works... the charger accepts it and gives it a charge, and stops the charge hours later with no error. It wasn't recognized by the camera at first (some sort of internal short relating to the chip, maybe-- I cleaned the contacts with alcohol and sprayed into them with contact cleaner). But a couple weeks later, the camera actually powers on with it installed. So I might actually have four batteries for that camera.... I really need a battery case.

For my new Sony a3000 (which I'm using strictly paired with a Speedbooster for manual lenses), the nice thing about that camera (probably the only nice thing about it other than its image quality) is that it can charge over Micro USB, so it's easy to keep the battery topped up when driving from location to location. Reduces the need for spares somewhat. Every modern technological device should have that capability.

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dmanthree Veteran Member • Posts: 6,668

My camera gets really good life from its batteries, so I only need one. One spare, that is. Two total.

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Corkcampbell Forum Pro • Posts: 17,531
Without info on your shooting situations,

Without info on your shooting situations, how can we help you? For example, do you any extended video? Do you shoot in winter/freezing conditions? Do you go hiking or camping with limited opportunities to charge? What is the cost of the extra two batteries?

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Skeeterbytes Forum Pro • Posts: 13,472
Re: How many spare batteries do you need?

On a week long backpacking trip I carried four, and was on the last one by day seven. (E-M5)



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Bob Tullis
Bob Tullis Forum Pro • Posts: 34,747
Two per camera is my standard.

I often don't need more than one battery, but it depends on what I start with (not always topped off), and what type of shooting I'm doing.    I usually have access to a charger at the end of a day or night, however.   If traveling w/o reliable access, I'd be more circumspect in my usage, and would carry more batteries.

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s_grins Forum Pro • Posts: 11,972
Re: How many spare batteries do you need?

For me 2 batteries suffice: - one in camera, another in pocket.

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Camera in bag tends to stay in bag...

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dougjgreen1 Senior Member • Posts: 3,321
Two spares is plenty, IMHO

Unless you're going to be on a trip without the ability to charge any of them, two spares is more than enough.

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MatsP Senior Member • Posts: 2,282
Re: How many spare batteries do you need?

I have three batteries to my E-M5. One original, two "pirate" that I bought with a charger that can charge also the original battery. When I'm out photographing I use to have one spare battery in my pocket. So far this has been enough. But I never shoot video and very seldom bursts. And I use to set the camera to off between the shooting occasions. If it's very could I may have all batteries with me, keeping the spares as warm as possible. A could empty battery can sometimes recover after being treated with some human warmth I have noticed.

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bahamot Contributing Member • Posts: 670
Re: How many spare batteries do you need?

So far the most I need is 2, but if I'm going for travel I might buy the 3rd one.

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jalywol Veteran Member • Posts: 9,280
Re: How many spare batteries do you need?

I usually have the original manufacturer battery and two aftermarket spares.  I don't think I have ever used up all three in a normal day shooting, but I have had a couple of times where I have left one in the charger at home, and have needed a second battery (which was in the bag), or left the house with only a partially charged one in the camera that ran out right away, and then fully used the second (and started the third).

Since the aftermarket ones are so cheap now, having the extra two gives me peace of mind.

I think if I had the GH3 or GH4, I would be fine with one extra, since the shot capacity of those batteries is so much higher than the other M43s, but for everything else, 2 extra is the way to go.


Dheorl Veteran Member • Posts: 3,782
Re: How many spare batteries do you need?

I have a GH3 (AFAIK best battery life m43 camera) and currently have 3 spares, although only 2 with me atm. I definitely never need them all in one day but I do multi day hikes and also means I can go on a short holiday with one less charger.

offtheback Contributing Member • Posts: 968
Re: How many spare batteries do you need?

For instance,if you go through 1 battery a day using only 1 camera,I think 2 spares should be good and very conservative.1 as backup if weather,shooting ops,extensive review of photos occurs and 1 to backup the spare if you forgot to charge it or if it fails due to sudden battery death syndrome.YMMV

Chas2 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,484
Re: Two spares, total of three per camera.

I have never gone beyond three, but I have gone through two and half.  Still getting a handle on how well the 3rd party eBay batteries work on my GX7, but my sense is well enough.  I always keep the Panny battery as the last one to use because it gives an accurate bar read out.  The third party batteries seem to go from 2 bars to 1 bar to zero very quickly.

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RoelHendrickx Forum Pro • Posts: 25,743
Re: How many spare batteries do you need?

I have two sets of two batteries for my E-5 with grip.

One set gets me through the most intense of shooting days.

For my E-M5 (with which I travel more) I have found that one extra battery does not give me a comfortable feeling.  It happens regularly that I have to switch in the middle of the day, so that second battery is running on fumes by the end of the day.  I like to have more power ready then, especially since I am not always certain that I can charge all batteries overnight.

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Michael Meissner
Michael Meissner Forum Pro • Posts: 25,602
Re: How many spare batteries do you need?

It really depends on how much you shoot, whether your camera is on/asleep between shots, whether you use EVF's or the back LCD, etc. Also, whether you will be able to recharge your batteries at night.

In general, I tend to need 1 battery for light shooting, 2 batteries for more heavy shooting, and I have needed 3 or 4 batteries when I'm shooting continuously for 8-10 hours at renaissance faires or when I'm using my steampunk cameras all day with the LCD on.

I don't have much experience with the E-M5 or Stylus1 for long term shooting. With the E-PM2/E-P2, it tends to be 2 batteries, except when I used the VF-2 in the past (the VF-2 is more power hungry than using the LCD). I do tend to only use batteries with the cells made in Japan (as opposed to China), even if the final assembly is in China. I like the wasabi BLS-5/BLM-5 knock off batteries, but I dislike their charger for the BLS batteries.

The other thing about multiple batteries, is if you are on a long trip, you can be charging some batteries in the hotel during the day, and using the other spares.  Then when you get to the hotel at night, you just change the batteries (this assumes you have multiple chargers).

I did notice the following charger on ebay that charges 2 BLS batteries at the same time, but I haven't bought it yet:

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