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Battery Management and the Fuji X-T2


pete1959
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Working wire service news with two Fuji XT-2's at the Wine Contry, California fires.

 

Serious complaint of the system is the terrible battery life...as I started the day with 13 fresh batteries, and in six hours was down to three, despite efforts to save battery life.

 

The camera is VERY questionable as a working PJ's tool...something journalists need to keep in mind before switching systems, especially if you routinely cover extended assignments and won't have power to charge batteries, even if you had the time or patience to do so.

 

The 9 batteries I used only got me 977 shots...that is with no "review", no pre AF, image stabilization OFF, and switching the camera OFF between shots.

 

Had I needed to remain photographing (even if I could find a power source) I was looking at six hours to get my stash of batteries back up and get me working again. As it was, using four battery chargers I wasn't ready to shoot again until the next day.

 

If I had to do "the switch" over again I would have kept my Canon 5d3's and kept it around for those times when I need long battery life, and in fact I will be ordering a Canon 5D4 this week as I simply can't/won't depend on this camera system to have the endurance needed for long days shooting news.

 

 

For everything else it's a gem, but as a working person's tool where battery life in the field I don't recommend you leave your DSLR.

 

-Peter

 

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Working wire service news with two Fuji XT-2's at the Wine Contry, California fires.

 

Serious complaint of the system is the terrible battery life...as I started the day with 13 fresh batteries, and in six hours was down to three, despite efforts to save battery life.

 

The camera is VERY questionable as a working PJ's tool...something journalists need to keep in mind before switching systems, especially if you routinely cover extended assignments and won't have power to charge batteries, even if you had the time or patience to do so.

 

The 9 batteries I used only got me 977 shots...that is with no "review", no pre AF, image stabilization OFF, and switching the camera OFF between shots.

 

Had I needed to remain photographing (even if I could find a power source) I was looking at six hours to get my stash of batteries back up and get me working again. As it was, using four battery chargers I wasn't ready to shoot again until the next day.

 

If I had to do "the switch" over again I would have kept my Canon 5d3's and kept it around for those times when I need long battery life, and in fact I will be ordering a Canon 5D4 this week as I simply can't/won't depend on this camera system to have the endurance needed for long days shooting news.

 

 

For everything else it's a gem, but as a working person's tool where battery life in the field I don't recommend you leave your DSLR.

 

-Peter

 

 

I feel for you Peter, but I am glad my photography has never needed 13 fresh batteries and 4 chargers......... what a nightmare.

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Battery life on mirrorless cameras is definitely a huge concern, especially for those of us that came from a full size DSLR. But only averaging a little over 100 shots per battery is, even by mirrorless standards, a far cry from being acceptable and I believe way below the norm for many of us. I have no PJ experience and I can imagine the demands on a system could be very trying, but I have shot events in remote locations and have averaged more like 300+ shots per battery.

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Thanks for that, Peter. I guess this is a more general problem for mirrorless as compared with DSLR. But does anyone out there know how Fuji battery life compares with other leading mirrorless brands? Is Fuji particularly bad for battery life, even amongst mirrorless?

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Two Canon batteries would outlive 5 Fuji.  Very disheartening when you have to carry a pocket full of batteries for a days outing.  That's one of my biggest disappointments with Fuji.  More than once I have been caught flat-footed having to change a battery at the most inopportune  moment.   I wouldn't trust them on  paid assignment.  

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Wow, 9 batteries for 977 shots... something goes wrong... third-party batteries?

Even assuming the X-T2 is more power hungry comparing to older Fuji's...

One day I had shoting full day with 2 cameras (T1 + E2S), made 1214 shots in mode  similar to PJ's style, and finished with 4 batteries depleted (even a bit less).

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I made some quick calculations.
Canon LP-E6N battery has: 7.2V 1865 mAh 80gr, then power density is 0.168Wh/gr  
Fujifilm NP-W126 has: 7.2V 1200mAh 50gr, then power density is 0.173Wh/gr
Quite similar! Fuji even wins by 3%.

 

 

Thank you I am very glad my experience is nothing like Peter's with batteries and chargers. In fact if some told me I needed so many chargers and batteries I would just go do something else or take the gear back for a refund. I have just all day photographing classic cars and I used the whole time 2 batteries and I still had a quarter left of the second one and 1 full spare for 650 images plus for the vast majority of those I used the EX-P8 flash.

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I believe the problem is compounded by the fact that:

 

I discharge and charge these batteries a lot....I mean a lot!

 

However, some may sit in my pocket/bag for a week or two before they end up getting placed back in the camera (at random)...so right off the bat some of my 13 batteries may at any one time have partially discharged?

 

I have nothing but original Fuji batteries, but they vary in age considerably, as I have been shooting Fuji since the X-Pro1 came out.

 

No doubt some of my batteries are getting to the end of their life....I know there is a finite number of charges and discharges etc.

 

It's a fantastic system in most regards...and unless you have marathon sessions away from power sources, it's not as big a concern...but for the narrow group of folks who need real battery endurance it's something to keep in mind.

 

-Peter

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I haven't encountered this issue with my X-T2, although I shoot weddings and not wildfires. What I have found is that shooting in boost mode is very draining but also usually not needed, at least not for wedding photog. I take 6 batteries to a 6-8 hour wedding and use probably 4.5 of them for roughly 1200 photos. If you are using boost continually that might be your issue even with the battery grip.

 

 

-Jesse

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Pete. sounds like a fair enough thing to say. I am glad I am not in that "narrow group" - I have enough trouble managing 3 batteries, and remembering the sequence for charging, using, charging.

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I haven't encountered this issue with my X-T2, although I shoot weddings and not wildfires. What I have found is that shooting in boost mode is very draining but also usually not needed, at least not for wedding photog. I take 6 batteries to a 6-8 hour wedding and use probably 4.5 of them for roughly 1200 photos. If you are using boost continually that might be your issue even with the battery grip.

 

 

-Jesse

 

Jesse....thanks... good advice I can probably turn off boost....I think the camera is fast enough without it. -Pete

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I haven't encountered this issue with my X-T2, although I shoot weddings and not wildfires. What I have found is that shooting in boost mode is very draining but also usually not needed, at least not for wedding photog. I take 6 batteries to a 6-8 hour wedding and use probably 4.5 of them for roughly 1200 photos. If you are using boost continually that might be your issue even with the battery grip.

 

 

-Jesse

 

That matches my weeding output....I bring chargers to weddings as the venues are "secure" and keep batteries cooking as I use them up....more for peace of mind...and yea I'm gonna look at the manual and see the which boost modes/grip boost vs. camera boost..to turn off or down.

 

Certainly when I know I won't have a power source the boost mode is going to low off from now on.

 

-P

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Seeing this, I am wondering: couldn't one take an external battery, say a 26800mAh one, and connect it through usb to power the camera during shooting?

 

Of course, this is not a proper solution if you regularly need long battery life, but maybe it could be a good stopgap measure - it should, roughly, last at least as long as about 10 of the internal batteries.

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Thanks for that, Peter. I guess this is a more general problem for mirrorless as compared with DSLR. But does anyone out there know how Fuji battery life compares with other leading mirrorless brands? Is Fuji particularly bad for battery life, even amongst mirrorless?

 

I looked up CIPA (Camera & Imaging Products Association) data on mirrorless cameras and made a selection of them. Being tested by an independent body, they should be much relative to one another if not absolute in real-world use.

 

Fujifilm XA3 - 410

Fujifilm X100F - 390
Fujifilm XT-20 - 340
Sony Alpha a6500 - 350
Sony Alpha a7R II -290
Canon EOS M10 - 255
Nikon 1 J5 - 250
Olympus PEN E-PL8 - 350
Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 - 410
 
As long as camera makers concentrate on compactness and light-weight, the situation will continue. Battery grips are somewhat of a solution, but large bodies and heavy batteries are pretty much dictated to get dSLR performance.
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I looked up CIPA (Camera & Imaging Products Association) data on mirrorless cameras and made a selection of them. Being tested by an independent body, they should be much relative to one another if not absolute in real-world use.

 

Fujifilm XA3 - 410

Fujifilm X100F - 390
Fujifilm XT-20 - 340
Sony Alpha a6500 - 350
Sony Alpha a7R II -290
Canon EOS M10 - 255
Nikon 1 J5 - 250
Olympus PEN E-PL8 - 350
Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 - 410
 
As long as camera makers concentrate on compactness and light-weight, the situation will continue. Battery grips are somewhat of a solution, but large bodies and heavy batteries are pretty much dictated to get dSLR performance.

 

 

Thanks, Larry, that's really interesting!

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As a photojournalist during the film era as well, to get 360 shots required a brick of 10 rolls of 36 exposures or a brick and a half of 24 exposure rolls. At the end of the roll, one stopped shooting, rewound the film back into the cassette, assuming 35mm, opened the back and removed it, then opened the box with the next roll, removed it from its canister, threaded it to the take-up spool, closed the back and advanced to the first frame, watching to make sure the rewind knob turned indicating that the film was properly moving through the camera. 

 

Now it takes about 20 seconds to switch to a fresh battery and that only happens about once in 360 shot. Compared to 10 or 15 very bulky rolls of film, it is tiny. Covering sports, if there was a pause one took advantage of it to swap in a fresh roll even if the previous one was not finished. Covering NASCAR I often turned in many short rolls in order to have the maximum exposures available for the big wreck.

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Larry, that's an interesting input. And of course photographers would always have a second body loaded and ready, when shooting at that rate.

 

Noting your location, here's an aside that may amuse: in the late 70's, I was working in a photographic retail store in Edmonton Centre. Very low humidity and lots of nylon carpet in the store, so static shocks were frequent.

 

These shocks killed three brand new Pentax ME's just from being picked up from the display cabinet before we figured out what was going on; on one occasion (you learned to hold a key between your forefingers), just touching the cash register triggered it to ring up a $100,000 sale and open the drawer.

 

But the weirdest thing (and one I'll take some credit for solving) was when a couple of photographers that I knew who were shooting for the Edmonton Journal kept encountering 'lightning strikes' across their negatives. This turned out to be caused by the automatic rewind in their Nikon's zipping the film back into the cassette so fast that it generated static shocks from the plastic film base passing through the 35mm canister's light blocking flocking (could not resist that) so quickly.

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I seldom shoot more than a few pictures at a time, but for comparison: currently at a jazz festival after the second day, 455 shots still at the first battery with about 1/3 left in it. X-T10, 90mm (i.e. no OIS), EVF+Eye mode, CH, no chimping, jpg+raw. Batteries: I have three, they are numbered and I rotate them, two are aftermarket and they are as good as the original.

 

Poor bass, had a cold, had to wear a hat.

 

37806172736_2593a0a3dd_o_d.jpg

 

full resolution: https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4456/37823072002_5d4001a462_o_d.jpg

Edited by George_P
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