Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
11-21-2011, 04:33 PM   #1
New Member




Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 6
K-5 Battery Life and Backpacking

Hello all,

I'm a long distance backpacker interested in a DSLR for a project where I'll be taking almost 500 images a day and have to go 7 - 10 days between recharge opportunities for about six months. I'll need to be taking pictures all day regardless of the weather, so I've been drawn to the weather-proofness of the K-5. While reading about the battery life of the K-5, I came across someone who claimed approximately 3,500 pictures on a single charge while shooting in RAW mode with manual focus. So I was wondering if anyone has been able to replicate this (I'd message that person, but I can't yet as I'm a new user).

Also, I'm concerned about the durability of the camera and batteries. I'll need them to hold up for nearly 90,000 pictures. What is the expected life time of the K-5 and the standard Pentax batteries? I fully expect to have to replace the batteries, but I'd like to know that the camera will hold up.

Thank you

11-21-2011, 05:02 PM   #2
Administrator
Site Webmaster
Adam's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Arizona
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 40,984
The camera is rated for 100,000 shutter actuations, for starters, so you should be fine on that note, although periodic maintenance may become necessary (see brendanpk's thread on that topic).

As far as batteries go, if you get the grip, you can use AA's, so you won't need to charge your camera at all. It'll double your battery life, too, while you're at it!

Adam
PentaxForums.com Webmaster (Site Usage Guide | Site Help | My Photography)



PentaxForums.com's high server and development costs are user-supported. You can help cover those costs by donating. Or, buy your photo gear from our affiliates, Adorama, B&H Photo, or Topaz Labs, and get FREE Marketplace access - click here to see how! Trusted Pentax retailers:

11-21-2011, 05:14 PM   #3
Site Supporter
Ex Finn.'s Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Southern Maryland.
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 6,065
Never-mind the 2 bodies and ten batteries needed, what are your plans for image storage?.

p.s. 1 body for backup. 5 batteries should do it actually. Being conservative, easy 1k shots per battery.

Last edited by Ex Finn.; 11-21-2011 at 05:22 PM.
11-21-2011, 05:48 PM   #4
hcc
Pentaxian
hcc's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 3,482
Generally the battery usage will be linked with your use of the camera. Big consumption comes from Liveview, LCD dislay, AF.C and in-camera PP for example. If you can avoid these, you will increase the life of your batteries.

In your case, I would recommend to consider a genuine battery grip (Pentax Battery Grip BG-4 for K-5 and K-7 reviews - Pentax Camera Accessories: Database and Reviews). The Genuine grip is WR and it can hold either addiitonal battery or AA batteries. This option woud allow you to have a couple of fully-charged Pentax batteries plus a stock of AA lithium batteries.

Hope that the comment may help.

11-21-2011, 07:53 PM   #5
New Member




Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 6
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
The camera is rated for 100,000 shutter actuations, for starters, so you should be fine on that note, although periodic maintenance may become necessary (see brendanpk's thread on that topic).

As far as batteries go, if you get the grip, you can use AA's, so you won't need to charge your camera at all. It'll double your battery life, too, while you're at it!
That's good about the body, although I may carry a backup one just in case. I considered the grip and AAs, but I couldn't find anything about the battery life. A doubling of battery life is excellent, but AAs are pretty heavy. Plus the grip is even more added weight.

As for brendanpk's thread, I looked through his/her threads, but didn't see one about periodic maintenance. I'd love to be able to preform basic field maintenance if needed.

QuoteOriginally posted by Ex Finn. Quote
Never-mind the 2 bodies and ten batteries needed, what are your plans for image storage?.

p.s. 1 body for backup. 5 batteries should do it actually. Being conservative, easy 1k shots per battery.
I'm planning on carrying a bunch of SD cards and mailing home copies whenever I have a chance. Fortunately, SD cards don't weigh too much.

QuoteOriginally posted by hcc Quote
Generally the battery usage will be linked with your use of the camera. Big consumption comes from Liveview, LCD dislay, AF.C and in-camera PP for example. If you can avoid these, you will increase the life of your batteries.

In your case, I would recommend to consider a genuine battery grip (Pentax Battery Grip BG-4 for K-5 and K-7 reviews - Pentax Camera Accessories: Database and Reviews). The Genuine grip is WR and it can hold either addiitonal battery or AA batteries. This option woud allow you to have a couple of fully-charged Pentax batteries plus a stock of AA lithium batteries.

Hope that the comment may help.
I'd like to do everything I can to extend the life of a set of batteries so I have to carry less weight. As far as I understand, the big advantage of the battery grip is I get to go longer without having to change the batteries, right? In that case, I get the same battery life by just carrying the extra batteries and swapping them more often. I'm not too concerned with the minimal downtime of doing a battery swap. So unless I'm planning on using AAs, I don't see the major advantage of carrying the grip. If it's raining and I need to change the battery, I can cover the camera somehow and do the change that way.

Thank you all for answering so quickly.
11-21-2011, 08:28 PM   #6
Pentaxian
johnmflores's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Somerville, NJ
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 5,007
Any thoughts to strapping a solar charger to your pack?
Lithium Ion AAs are featherweight.
Maybe a K-r with lithium ion AAs, WR lenses, and a ziploc bag for the camera? That may be the lightest option.
11-21-2011, 09:16 PM   #7
New Member




Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 6
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by johnmflores Quote
Any thoughts to strapping a solar charger to your pack?
Lithium Ion AAs are featherweight.
Maybe a K-r with lithium ion AAs, WR lenses, and a ziploc bag for the camera? That may be the lightest option.
I've experimented with two solar panels so far for backpacking. The larger of the two, the Goal Zero Nomad 7, was only able to charge 4 AAAs every two to three days. The main problem is that I'm predominately in locations with heavy tree cover, and since I'm moving all day, the panel never sits out in direct sunlight for an extended period of time.

I just massed two of my eneloop AA (NiMH) batteries and they came out to 52 g for the pair, so that's 5.5 oz for a full set of six. That's pretty close to what I estimated two camera batteries to be. So it'd be heavier once you take into account the grip. If I got more than twice the battery life, it may have been worth it.

I need to be able to shoot no matter the conditions; waiting for the rain to stop isn't an option. I'm not so sure about taking a DSLR in a bag, especially one that would get dirty and scratched up.

I've gone back and relooked at using a battery grip. It looks like a pack of six AAs and the grip would be about 1.5 oz more than two regular batteries. This may be worth it if I can actually get 6000 pictures off of a pack. I may also be able to charge them in the field off of a solar panel if they last that long.

I've been estimating product masses off of dubious information. If anyone has a kitchen scale, I'd love some accurate measurements of the standard battery and the grip.

Last edited by MagnificentMath; 11-21-2011 at 09:41 PM. Reason: Updated info on battery grip
11-21-2011, 09:54 PM   #8
Pentaxian
johnmflores's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Somerville, NJ
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 5,007
QuoteOriginally posted by MagnificentMath Quote
I've experimented with two solar panels so far for backpacking. The larger of the two, the Goal Zero Nomad 7, was only able to charge 4 AAAs every two to three days. The main problem is that I'm predominately in locations with heavy tree cover, and since I'm moving all day, the panel never sits out in direct sunlight for an extended period of time.

I just massed two of my eneloop AA (NiMH) batteries and they came out to 52 g for the pair, so that's 5.5 oz for a full set of six. That's pretty close to what I estimated two camera batteries to be. So it'd be heavier once you take into account the grip. If I got more than twice the battery life, it may have been worth it.

I need to be able to shoot no matter the conditions; waiting for the rain to stop isn't an option. I'm not so sure about taking a DSLR in a bag, especially one that would get dirty and scratched up.

I've gone back and relooked at using a battery grip. It looks like a pack of six AAs and the grip would be about 1.5 oz more than two regular batteries. This may be worth it if I can actually get 6000 pictures off of a pack. I may also be able to charge them in the field off of a solar panel if they last that long.

I've been estimating product masses off of dubious information. If anyone has a kitchen scale, I'd love some accurate measurements of the standard battery and the grip.
Lithium Ions weigh half as much as NiMH and pack more juice. I had a K-m that got over 1100 photos on a set of 4. They're not rechargeable though.

11-21-2011, 10:30 PM   #9
Pentaxian
LFLee's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Western MA
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 2,249
I can typically get a 32GB SDHC card almost full (30GB) with a single battery in 2 days. I seldom use live view, and I seldom view pictures using the camera (just review right after the shot). I turn it off immediately when not in use. I didn't use flash at all, but I took quite some long exposure shot (~25 30sec exposure shots) at night during that period. Did not shot video.

If you shot video, it will drain pretty quick. OEM battery or non-pentax battery gave me same performance.
If you shot a lot like me when hiking (I pretty much have the camera hanging and ready to shot if I hike), I would say conservatively you could get 28GB card filled with a single battery (I am shooting raw+jpg).

I will not recommend the battery pack and AA battery, they are heavy compare to the lithium. non-OEM battery perform equally good and cost around $15 for one, with higher mAh than OEM one. But remember it take several hour to charge battery if you do get a chance with power outlet, so you might want someone who is replenish your food supply also bring full charge of battery to you while you give them the empty battery for them to charge.

with 32GB card cost around $60, you should be good to carry several of them in your journey.

Lee

Last edited by LFLee; 11-21-2011 at 10:35 PM.
11-21-2011, 10:56 PM   #10
New Member




Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 6
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by johnmflores Quote
Lithium Ions weigh half as much as NiMH and pack more juice. I had a K-m that got over 1100 photos on a set of 4. They're not rechargeable though.
I hadn't realized the substantial difference in mass. Sure enough, a pack of six Energizer Ultimate Lithium AA batteries (datasheet) weighs in at 3.1 oz. At current Amazon prices, batteries for the entire trip would cost $184 and would be simpler and lighter.

QuoteOriginally posted by LFLee Quote
I can typically get a 32GB SDHC card almost full (30GB) with a single battery in 2 days. I seldom use live view, and I seldom view pictures using the camera (just review right after the shot). I turn it off immediately when not in use. I didn't use flash at all, but I took quite some long exposure shot (~25 30sec exposure shots) at night during that period. Did not shot video.

If you shot video, it will drain pretty quick. OEM battery or non-pentax battery gave me same performance.
If you shot a lot like me when hiking (I pretty much have the camera hanging and ready to shot if I hike), I would say conservatively you could get 28GB card filled with a single battery (I am shooting raw+jpg).

I will not recommend the battery pack and AA battery, they are heavy compare to the lithium. non-OEM battery perform equally good and cost around $15 for one, with higher mAh than OEM one. But remember it take several hour to charge battery if you do get a chance with power outlet, so you might want someone who is replenish your food supply also bring full charge of battery to you while you give them the empty battery for them to charge.

with 32GB card cost around $60, you should be good to carry several of them in your journey.

Lee
I plan on not using live view, and rarely using review if I feel pretty confident. I won't have a need for flash, and long exposure shots will be the exception.

For the batteries, I've read reviews on the non-OEM ones and they seem pretty hit or miss. I can't have my batteries fail or the entire project won't work. That makes me worry. My plan, if I go with the standard camera batteries, is to keep several on me and have the others come with my food at my resupply points so charge time isn't a huge concern.
11-22-2011, 01:16 AM   #11
Veteran Member
Northern Soul's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: The North of England
Photos: Albums
Posts: 491
DL I90 weighs 77g fully charged. Obviously it will weigh slightly less when it's discharged
11-22-2011, 03:04 AM   #12
Veteran Member




Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: London
Posts: 389
It would be worth having a very careful look at people's experiences with battery life - search the forums carefully.

They do seem to vary a lot. My personal experience has been quite disappointing so far - I have a fairly new K-5 and I'm barely using LiveView or Video at all, and I'm getting fewer than 300 shots per charge with both the original Pentax battery and a knock-off. Others are reporting enormously more than this, and I'd dearly love to know why the differences.

AFAIR, I'm not using the camera any differently than I was using the K10D, from which I'd get about 4-500 shots per charge.
11-22-2011, 04:09 PM   #13
Site Supporter
Fries's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Gauw
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 1,831
I travelled with five original batteries and some lithiums for two 7/8 day's long hikes this year. The lithiums (Energizer) didn't hold there charge very well if I used live view/video. But I only had to change the Pentax battery once every trip. Each trip I used the K-5 for about 600-700 shots with autofocus on (hard to remember since I deleted al the bad shots) and about 25 minutes of video and some live view usage. Temperature was between 8 and 16 degrees celsius. Five batteries might have been overkill, but in your situation it should be more then enough. I chose Pentax because of it's capabilities for hiking trips. I started with a K200D which isn't as sophisticated but it uses very little energy and runs on AA's and is weather proof. If you can get one with a low shutter count/refurbished I would consider the K200D to bring along for a 6 month trip. The 10mp ccd sensor is still very well regarded when you shoot low ISO's.
11-22-2011, 04:29 PM   #14
Pentaxian
amoringello's Avatar

Join Date: May 2008
Location: Virginia, USA
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,393
FYI, I also get as few as 200-300 shots per battery. Two or three things made a huge difference and allowed me to get 700+.
1. Turn the camera off between uses. Back in the day I could leave the istD, K10, and I believe even the K7 turned "ON" all day long with no significant battery drain.
It seems the K5 does not power down as fully as the others, so turn that power switch to off when not in use.

2. If you do leave the camera on and have it slung over your shoulder, be sure that the focus button is not being activated by your butt!
As funny as it seems, I wore my camera battery down in a few hours without taking any photos. I was royally pissed as I had no place to recharge.
Took days to realized what was going, when I finally saw a random photo appear due to an extra hard butt-dial on the focus button. :-)

3. Turn off the image review. Even at one second, the LCD seems to eat a LOT of power.
I turned that off and it really seems to make a big difference. Although probably not as much as the first two items.
I really only need to review photos every so often so that works well.
11-22-2011, 04:58 PM   #15
Pentaxian
LFLee's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Western MA
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 2,249
I have been pleasantly surprise with my K5 battery life and number of photos I was able to take with a single charge. Beside turning the review completely off, one can adjust the LCD screen brightness - lower the brightness might further improve the battery life if you don't want to turn it off (I have mine with 3 sec review).

Lee
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
batteries, battery, camera, dslr, k-5, k-5 ii, k-5 iis, k5, life, pentax k-5, pictures
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
K7 Battery Life jerryleejr Pentax DSLR Discussion 12 10-10-2011 04:01 AM
Battery life of K5 Wheatfield Pentax K-5 27 09-09-2011 03:15 AM
AA battery life jslifoaw Pentax DSLR Discussion 54 06-05-2011 05:26 PM
Battery life for K-x wally1 Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 21 01-25-2011 07:13 AM
Battery Life soppy Pentax K-5 14 12-06-2010 02:02 PM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 03:17 AM. | See also: NikonForums.com, part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top