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Battery Management and the Fuji X-T2


pete1959
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Given the lightweight and compact nature of the camera, the power demands placed upon mirrorless cameras with LCD, ever active sensor and EVF and the state of play with battery technology then Fuji are making the best of things. With all the moaning I know that if a solution was viable it would have been adopted. 

 

If you want a bigger battery use the grip. Battery husbandry applies whatever brand or type of camera. Yes DSLRs are better but they are also larger, heavier and have lower power consumption.

 

The OP struggled and asked for advice. Pouring scorn from behind a keyboard seems to be the way of some folks.

 

Peter

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Besides the battery issues you’ve experienced, how has it been for photojournalism?

 

 

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Very good. It meets all my needs except AF can be fussy in low light. Battery management is less of an issue now as I have learned to manage the batteries better.

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@Pete159

 

I think the problem with the reception of this thread is the sensationalist, definitive thread title you gave it. A title which would suggest not subjective rambling over the age of your many batteries which you say you may not keep fully charged, but a rather more logical approach of taking all things into consideration before making such conclusions.

 

Now there is no doubt that Fuji's batteries are rather anemic/weak, and when combined with the additional power draw of a mirrorless over a DSLR you do get through them comparatively fast. However, you can EASILY, using the battery grip that we all know exists that holds 3x batteries, get through a day of shooting over 1000-1200 shots, especially without review and chimping.

 

My take on this is:

  1. If I were a photojournalist counting on battery life to make my money and feed my family there is no way I would NOT be using a battery grip to ensure my battery flow stays constant.
  2. If I were a photojournalist counting on battery life to make my money and feed my family there is no way I would not pay attention to something as important as which batteries I have and to ensure that they were all fully charged and in top condition before I went out shooting a professional gig. This is easy to do overnight Or, buying six new batteries annually.
  3. I would not make a sensationalist thread like this without REALLY considering all of the factors and without doing at least some cursory research, as otherwise you are just inviting criticism.

Basically, you didn't think it through so suck it up and don't take the replies too personally, Fuji lovers are a bit of a rabidly defensive bunch, also in the Facebook groups.

 

It would also be nice to know what you think of the Fuji quality (disregarding battery life) as a photojournalist camera. Is the AF good enough? Photo quality sufficient?  :)

 

Richdog:

 

Exactly....I couldn't agree more.....the title was born out of frustration and certainly mischaracterizes the true problem (my poor battery management and the differences of DSLR vs. ILMC)...and in fact I would love to change the title of my post to "Proper battery management for long assignments"....but I can't change the title or even delete it. LOL. Yes the rabid fans, I get that. Then the thread showed up showcased on Fuji rumors...LOL. OMG.  

 

Overall the camera is adequate for a PJ tool, AF can be fussy in low light, and batteries must be  managed carefully.

 

Photo quality excellent.

 

I have since bought a second grip and tossed out old batteries. Numbered the batteries and rotated often.

 

There 'ya go.

 

So yea, I invited criticism! Should have titles the thread better....no doubt....so I'll eat the crow feathers.  

 

:unsure:

 

-P

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Pete,

 

But you 'came round' in the end! The Fujifilm systems are not bad at all, it's the end results that count.

 

I just came back from a trip with 120 images taken with the GFX. I have about 12 images I cannot use. The rest I am really pleased with.

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Pete1959, thank you for starting this thread. While I am not a photo journalist, I am mentally filing away this info. I have had my Fuji XT-2 for less than a year and decided to take it to Kenya last spring as my only camera (apart from cell phone). Unfortunately, our hotel only had power (and hot water) for a couple of hours each night so it was challenging to keep the Fuji batteries charged. (Fortunately, I had a juice pack for charging my cell phone and could supplement with that.)

 

Thanks again for sharing your experience with Fuji and for covering the wildfires in California. 

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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.

What is that number? Exposures/battery?

 

Sent from my Pixel XL using Tapatalk

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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.

Lots of that, "lightning"strikes showed up in motion footage post WW2 in cold dry climes. If memory serves Life or Look even featured it as part of a article on IGY at the South Pole.

 

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I personally think people are way too fussy with their batteries. I have a mix of OEM and third party batteries and while I do find that the third party batteries aren't as good as the OEM, they are around 90% as good for around 15% of the cost. I've never bought an OEM battery. I'd rather buy 6 third party ones instead for the same price. I use Patona and Wasabi batteries. I've had those Chilipower ones in the past as well and find that they're the weakest of the bunch. I've never come across one of them swelling or blowing up. The only annoying thing is that the battery indicator isn't very reliable (first bar last as long as the rest put together) but that's a fairly minor issue.

 

Batteries typically last around 300-400 photos on my X-T2 but I've had it exceed 600 on a single battery. 

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I am only an amateur but I sympathise having come across this problem when I took my first Fuji, an XE-2, on a workshop in Romania. I had three batteries, which with luck would last a day, but I only had a single charger and had to keep getting up in the night to switch batteries. I had come from a Sony A77.

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Traveling far - I take with me one of those double chargers - So after a day of shooting - I load 2 batts and go for supper - and going to bed - replace them with another 2psc. so in the morning - I have fresh 4 - which easily lasts a day. Also - when there is not many electric contacts in a room/hostel - this charger has USB output - co I can also charge my phone/tabled. Another good thing - the charger shows percentage of 2 batteries being charged - separately.

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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 don't know what you are doing but something isn't right.  I get 250, 300 shots out of my batteries.  No chimping, minimal rear LCD viewing.  I am still using the one original that came with the X-T2, my X-T1 battery, and four Wasabi's that I bought in February 2013 when I bought my first Fuji - the X-E1.  

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Asathor, the Fuji batteries are not Nimh (nickel metal hydride). They are lithium ion. They do of course gradually lose their capacity. Unfortunately for us this happens faster if they are stored fully charged.

 

I don't think anyone mentioned that battery drain is greatly affected by the lens that you have attached. The 50-140, with its three fast linear focusing motors plus ois eats batteries, especially as it is liable to be used with continuous af.

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  • 4 weeks later...

 

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 would like to know that you use it as a battery because it looks totally improbable to me unless you use batteries of poor quality.
For my part, 3 batteries lasts more than 6 hours of shooting and I do more than 1200 photos and usually I have almost 1 battery available.
I use Patona brand batteries and Baxxtar pro.
I had been using ChiliPower batteries for a while, which could not keep the charge for a long time.
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Pete,

 

Concerning the high consumption of the XT-2, I can tell you my experience since I bought a Patona charger indicating the percentage of battery charge. I am using the grip with two additional batteries and after one  hours of shooting, the first battery shows almost empty, then another one shows the same one hour later and so on. In fact, as I put these batteries in the charger, it shows that they are still charged to 60%, sometimes more.

 

I conclude that the battery level indicated by the XT-2 is completely wrong. What I didn't test so far is the time until the XT-2 shutdown itself by insuffisent electricity power. I don't know if it is only the display which is wrong or if the XT-2 assumes their is no power at all.

 

I like this new charger as I can quickly verify the level of charge outside of the XT-2 before putting them in my bag.

 

Regards,

 

David

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As an update:

 

I shot yesterday from 4 pm until 9:45 pm, or just under 5 hours.

 

Two X-T2's, both with battery grips, with all original Fuji batteries freshly and fully charged.

 

Boost mode on. No chimping. Turning off camera when not in use (about 60% or more of that time period?).

 

Camera 1: 516 shots and one battery remaining at 33%

Camera 2: 389 shots and one battery remaining at 66%

 

Total frames for those six batteries was 905 frames, with 33% and 66% remaining respectively.

 

Average number of shots per battery: 192

 

If I had run the remaining batteries down to zero my frame count would have been 580 and 517, or 1,097 total for the two bodies.

 

Battery drain between the two cameras seemed pretty consistent.

 

I had an additional six batteries available on this shoot, leaving me with an additional four to five hours of "working time" if I needed it.

 

Again, this wasn't non stop use.

 

This was utilizing on again off again power saving efforts.

 

My 12 batteries can be relied upon for only 7-10 hours of work for roughly 2,200 frames with no chimping and turning off the camera as often as possible.

 

Oh, BTW, it takes a long time to recharge 12 batteries!

 

My results yesterday were very consistent with my original post...

 

So there 'ya go.

 

IMHO: I don't believe someone working extended assignments in the field with limited time/availability to constantly recharge batteries should switch from a DSLR to a mirrorless camera.

 

This system is simply not up to the task of 12-15 hour days in the field.

 

Don't shoot the messenger.

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  • 2 weeks later...

 

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

 

 

Don't understand.... I don't do PJ on a regular basis, but I have shot some -- example: CNN report on the Philadelphia Building collapse several years ago for starters, plus other stuff and I've never gone through more than two batteries.  Now, I don't spray and pray, I don't chimp when I'm in the groove, I just shoot....

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  • 1 month later...

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

Every lithium ion battery is good for 500 full charge cycles.

 

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