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11-14-2015, 04:51 PM   #1
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More thoughts on Q battery life

Greetings,

We've had a bunch of discussions here about Q battery life, and why it's horrible for some and pretty good for others. I inadvertently performed a controlled experiment on this last month, which I thought I'd share:

My wife and I went on vacation up to New York for a family wedding, then a ramble through New England. I brought my Q7, as always, along with the 01, 02, 03, 06 and 08. My wife has one of my old original Qs and an 02. This particular Q was my backup body before I bought the Q7, so I'm quite familiar with it's battery life when I use it.

Despite the fact that I shoot probably 3 times as many photos as my wife, she needed a fresh battery daily. I used basically one battery for the wedding, and one for the rest of the trip!

So what was the difference? Here's my guess: My wife, like a lot of people, would turn the camera on, use it, and then leave it on until it shut off automatically. My habit, developed shooting as a phojo carrying three bodies, is to turn the camera on, shoot, then turn it off. It's just reflex for me. But the difference in battery life is huge.

11-14-2015, 05:40 PM   #2
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Makes sense.. I do the same as you with all my cameras
11-14-2015, 08:28 PM   #3
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I also do this. But isn't sleep mode meant to achieve the same outcome?
11-14-2015, 10:25 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by officiousbystander Quote
I also do this. But isn't sleep mode meant to achieve the same outcome?
It is. But one of the puzzling things about the Q series is how some of us get pretty good battery life while it's horrible for others. This was interesting because it's a camera I've gotten great battery life with and the same batteries. HUGE loss of battery life when letting the Q automatically go to sleep.

YMMV

Cjf

11-15-2015, 10:26 AM   #5
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Nothing puzzling about the Q series battery life. We have pretty much beat this dead horse to a pulp with no conclusive finding. However in monitoring this and other boards it is apparent that the biggest factor that affects battery time in the Q series and any mirrorless camera is how long the image is reviewed on the LCD. I take a shot or two then take the time to review the shots, looking for things out of place, focus, depth of field, color saturation and determine if I have the composition to suit my liking. Then I take another look at the subject and compare it with the images in the camera to assure that I captured them the way I saw them and my mind interpreted them. If not then I reshoot and go through the process again. I do not move on until I believe I have done the best that I can under the existing circumstances. That takes time and uses up battery life but assures that I get a high rate of keepers. However, some shooters use what I call the machine gun technique where they are happily shooting along, occasionally glancing at the LCD to see their results and hoping that one or more of the many images that they have shot will be a keeper. Those folks can get a lot more shots out of a battery but have a lot of discards. As I and a few others have noted in previous threads about this subject, when using the Q7, I consider batteries like rolls of film. I expect to change out the battery after every 70-75 shots so battery life is never really a concern for me.
11-15-2015, 11:11 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by CWRailman Quote
Nothing puzzling about the Q series battery life. We have pretty much beat this dead horse to a pulp with no conclusive finding. However in monitoring this and other boards it is apparent that the biggest factor that affects battery time in the Q series and any mirrorless camera is how long the image is reviewed on the LCD.
Well, my wife almost never reviews shots. The second or so that the image comes up on the LCD is generally enough for me. The only difference in the way we were shooting is that I turned the camera off after each series of shots, and she let it got to sleep. And I got three to four times as many shots per charge than her. Just thought it was interesting.

Cjf
11-15-2015, 01:14 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by officiousbystander Quote
I also do this. But isn't sleep mode meant to achieve the same outcome?
I am unaware of any 'sleep mode' on my Q.
There's 'Auto Off' but no sleep mode that I can find in the menu system or the manual.
Setting the Auto Off time to 1, 3 or even 5 minutes would mean that the camera is powered on for longer than necessary before powering off (automatically) than it would if manually shutting it down after use. It seems obvious to me that such scheduling (which runs a shutdown timer) would consume more battery power.
11-15-2015, 01:43 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Steve.Ledger Quote
I am unaware of any 'sleep mode' on my Q.
There's 'Auto Off' but no sleep mode that I can find in the menu system or the manual.
It seems self evident your both discussing the same feature.

J

11-15-2015, 02:52 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Steve.Ledger Quote
I am unaware of any 'sleep mode' on my Q.
There's 'Auto Off' but no sleep mode that I can find in the menu system or the manual.
Setting the Auto Off time to 1, 3 or even 5 minutes would mean that the camera is powered on for longer than necessary before powering off (automatically) than it would if manually shutting it down after use. It seems obvious to me that such scheduling (which runs a shutdown timer) would consume more battery power.
Truth. What was surprising, at least to me, is that a Q with the auto-shutoff set to 1 minute would get less than a third of the shots per charge that the SAME camera does when shut off manually as soon as you're done shooting.
11-17-2015, 10:02 AM   #10
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I have also noticed this, so I have adopted the practice of manually shutting it off whenever my hands lower it back down. I immediately noticed a much more improved battery life. So I don't consider this inconclusive, but instead concurrent.
12-18-2015, 08:35 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Suleeto Quote
I have also noticed this, so I have adopted the practice of manually shutting it off whenever my hands lower it back down. I immediately noticed a much more improved battery life. So I don't consider this inconclusive, but instead concurrent.
After thinking about your comments (obviously for quite some time), I agree. My Q-7 is set to clean the sensor every time I turn it on, so there is a certain cost to off/on, but I'm guessing that my habit of turning it off as soon as I'm done taking pictures still saves a lot of battery ... but I'm not quite sure where that savings comes from. I do know that LCD uses lots of battery; I discovered that last autumn when my family visited the Henry Ford Museum / Greenfield Village - the first day I had to ration my cell-phone on-time because of battery issues; that evening I changed the settings so the LCD would turn off much sooner, and the phone easily lasted the entire next day.

However I also agree with CWRailman - batteries are inexpensive and light, so I just have a few with me at all times; thus battery life is the least of my concerns, and I'm not going to spend time worrying about how to extend it.
12-19-2015, 08:21 AM   #12
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and I found out the batteries for my Q also work in the fuji xf1 and x10! so I have a host of chargers and batteries now.
12-20-2015, 05:29 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by paulcote Quote
and I found out the batteries for my Q also work in the fuji xf1 and x10! so I have a host of chargers and batteries now.
Same here. I have the Q7, and a Fuji XF1, and a Fuji REAL 3D W3. I haven't warmed up to the XF1 all that much, as the controls seem awkward and it's more prone to sometimes blow the highlights than my Q7 -- it doesn't seem to have anything quite like Pentax's auto highlight correction, which I almost always keep engaged on the Q7. However, the XF1 does fit neatly in my pocket, which the Q7 does not.

The W3 is amazing, though. If you own a 3D TV or ever had any interest in stereo photography, it's worth tracking down one of these cameras. The sensors (right and left!) are tiny, and 2D performance is not great, but when you view the images in stereo, then you get magic. I soon learned there are entire categories of subject matter where 3D is transformative. For example, I can shoot landscapes that look like a jumble of vegetation with a conventional camera, and they spring to life in 3D. It gives "depth of field" a whole new meaning. On the other hand. . . The post-processing toolchain is so primitive, it's like going back to the age of bear skins and flint knives. It's only the inconvenience of processing and displaying the images that holds me back from shooting more 3D, rather than any shortcoming of image quality or visual impact.

Back to the subject of battery life. For somebody who used to change a roll of film after every 36 shots, carrying a couple of extra batteries is not a cause for much angst. It's just something you have to think about ahead of time.
12-20-2015, 05:46 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tony Belding Quote
Same here. I have the Q7, and a Fuji XF1, and a Fuji REAL 3D W3. I haven't warmed up to the XF1 all that much, as the controls seem awkward and it's more prone to sometimes blow the highlights than my Q7 -- it doesn't seem to have anything quite like Pentax's auto highlight correction, which I almost always keep engaged on the Q7. However, the XF1 does fit neatly in my pocket, which the Q7 does not.

The W3 is amazing, though. If you own a 3D TV or ever had any interest in stereo photography, it's worth tracking down one of these cameras. The sensors (right and left!) are tiny, and 2D performance is not great, but when you view the images in stereo, then you get magic. I soon learned there are entire categories of subject matter where 3D is transformative. For example, I can shoot landscapes that look like a jumble of vegetation with a conventional camera, and they spring to life in 3D. It gives "depth of field" a whole new meaning. On the other hand. . . The post-processing toolchain is so primitive, it's like going back to the age of bear skins and flint knives. It's only the inconvenience of processing and displaying the images that holds me back from shooting more 3D, rather than any shortcoming of image quality or visual impact.

Back to the subject of battery life. For somebody who used to change a roll of film after every 36 shots, carrying a couple of extra batteries is not a cause for much angst. It's just something you have to think about ahead of time.
the Fuji like the Pentax has the Quick menu and I don't know much about highlight control but do you shoot in EXR mode? I might drag my Q with the toy lenses around today.
12-20-2015, 06:25 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by paulcote Quote
the Fuji like the Pentax has the Quick menu and I don't know much about highlight control but do you shoot in EXR mode? I might drag my Q with the toy lenses around today.
I'm pretty sure the XF1 doesn't have a Quick Menu. As for EXR. . . I have not experimented with that, so I guess I should give it a chance.
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