By Stephen Schweickart
RISMEDIA, December 7, 2010–If you’re planning on doing some outdoor shooting this Winter…we have a word for the wise. Pay attention to your batteries. Filming the kids building a snowman can be quite different than shooting a Summer picnic…for one simple reason. Batteries don’t like cold weather.
As the temperatures drop…so does the longevity of your batteries. In fact, cold temperatures can reduce battery efficiency by as much as 75%. The chilly conditions don’t actually drain the battery…but rather reduce the effectiveness of their chemical composition. However, there are steps you can take to minimize the problem.
First of all, keep your batteries in a warm area for as long as possible. One way is to store the batteries in a waist band or pouch as close to your body as you can…taking advantage of your natural body heat. Another technique is to enclose the battery pack, or the entire camera if necessary, in an insulated case, or wrap with insulated material.
Using a pocket warmer is another great way to keep batteries in good company. If the batteries are small enough, you can also put them in the palm of your hand, and slip a glove or mitten over your hand to take advantage of both insulation and body heat. It’s also wise to have a spare set of fully charged batteries along for the ride.
How you use your camera can also affect battery life. That flip-out or full screen monitor drains the juice in a hurry. Instead, conserve power by using the small viewfinder whenever possible. Using the zoom control sparingly also saves battery life. Instead of zooming in, simply position yourself closer to the subject matter if possible. Planning your shots, instead of letting the camera roll endlessly, can also prolong battery life, as well as make editing easier.
With a little advance planning and some simple steps, you can keep Old Man Winter from cutting short your battery’s life long before its time.
Stephen Schweickart is the co-founder of VScreen. For more information on this topic, visit VScreen’s blogsite at http://www.vscreen.com/blog/.
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