Month: July 2016

Fujifilm X Series Battery Life

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I have been using the X Series now for over five years. I teach Street photography and shoot events with the cameras regularly and the biggest gripe I hear from most people is their batteries don’t last five minutes  ! I went out with one guy a few weeks back and he used six in the morning session of my Street Photography workshop.

I asked him what make the batteries were and found out three were Fuji and three were another brand. I then asked him when he charged them last and he could not answer !

I shoot every day with my XPro2 and most weeks with my X-T1 and I shoot events 10.00hrs-11.00 hours and only use one possibly two in a 7-8 hour day if I shoot up to 11 hours or more I might end up on my third. I do shoot with two bodies but this is per camera and at times one is enough for the Xpro2 and two for the X-T1.

I am not talking about the NP95 batteries they do not last as long, but with good battery managment I only used to use about three of those a day in about 8 hours of shooting.

I have spoken to quite a few Pros who shoot every day and have great battery management and quite a few amateurs who have poor battery management and the conclusion is most of the people that moan about battery life have poor battery management.   There are also the semi pros that came out as a mixture of good and bad but this was all down to battery management and battery choice ! So why do the pro’s get better battery life ? Mainly because they use the cameras more regularly and charge the batteries every time before they go out.

I am not going to give you all the technical mumbo jumbo or battery tests I am just going to share with you what batteries to buy what chargers as well as good battery management.

I am fully aware a Fuji NP-W126 is not as good as a Nikon D3s battery but it’s not as big and does not cost £150 so this is not about better heavier more expensive battery it’s about good battery management.

I have quite a few batteries most now are Fuji NP-W126 batteries these might be more expensive but in my experience they  do last longer between charges and the life is longer than most aftermarket versions. The best aftermarket version I have found are the eXpro and this is my prefered aftermarket purchase.

Good battery management is key to long life and also the right charger and the rule of thumb is Fujifilm Chargers for Fujifilm batteries and eXpro changers for eXpro batteries.

I have put eXpro batteries in Fuji chargers and they don’t last as long as when they are charged in their dedicated chargers, in fact they can last half as long they also appear to discharge more quickly, if not used quite soon after the charge.

So if you go down the route of an aftermarket battery get the eXpro battery and eXpro charger, I would get the double charger for around £12 great value for money. The eXpro batteries are around £9 with a two year warranty.

Good battery management is very easy but can become more and more complicated the more batteries you have to deal with. I use the ThinkTank battery storage pouch and put the batteries in terminals facing down and when I swap them out I leave the terminals facing up. But any good case that covers the terminals is great the worst way to carry the batteries is loose, as you just don’t know if they come into contact with metal objects in your bag and discharge.

If you have one battery it’s quite simple, you charge your battery pop it in your camera go out and shoot when it’s discharged you recharge it and off you go. Sounds simple but this is where it can go wrong. If you now leave that battery in your camera for a few days a week a month it will slowly discharge. So when you go out to shoot and you think it’s fully charged it’s not. Most people I ask who’s batteries run out very quickly on a workshop can’t remember when they charged them or say a few days ago, I then say when did you use your camera last and most say a week or so !

You need to charge the battery in your camera up before you go out and that is a refresh charge. If you pop it in the charger and it comes up charged straight away you are good to go if not you might only have to wait 10-20 min but its worth it.

Now what about a pouch of four or more !

After a gig I come home and charge the batteries with the terminals facing up straight away and then pop them back in the pouch.

Before every event I charge the lot or refresh charge the lot most of the time they don’t take long but if I have been away on holiday they take a little longer sometimes you just can’t remember when you last charged them. I also carry the pouch in my coat pocket in the winter to keep them warm to stop them from premature discharge never a good thing !

You would be surprised how long batteries get left in your camera without getting charged and you just sticking them in your bag or pockets. Not charging before use you are setting yourself  up for failure.

Fuji have given some tips on longer life in your camera and you can find that Battery life management.

There is a really good double charger by eXpro and it’s this one eXpro LCD

So don’t stay in the dark with battery poor management,charge before you go.

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