I see people spend a bunch of money on camera gear, but the batteries needed to run that camera gear are often overlooked. If you’re just working as a photographer, having only 2 batteries would probably be fine, but if you’re using your camera for film making don’t expect much more then an hour and half out of a single LP-E6 or LP-E8 battery and that’s optimistic

The price of official Canon batteries can be costly. If you don’t have a large budget to work with consider generic decoded batteries. You can buy good decoded LP-E8 batteries for about $14 a battery compared to Canon’s $40 a battery and good decoded LP-E6 batteries for about $16 a battery compared to Canon’s $65 a battery. Avoid the extremely cheep decoded batteries as many of them use bad or unreliable cells. They’ll either die after a few chargers or not provide a very long battery life.

Charge all of your batteries before you start filming. Mark each of the batteries as you remove them from the charger with either a rubber band  or plastic cover so that you know exactly what batteries have been charged. If you have multiple types of batteries its a good idea to put them in zipper bags. Some battery types look very similar so if you need to send someone to grab batteries for you it’s much easier to say, “grab a couple of batteries out of the green bag” then it is to try and describe what the battery looks like.

Plan ahead, if you don’t have access to electricity on set you’re going to need more batteries. If you do have power, be sure to put each used battery back on the charger as you go. The rule of thumb is that it takes twice as long to charge a battery as it does to deplete it. So keep that in mind when you’re trying to decide how many batteries you need for your kit.

Not everyone needs to film for 8 or 10 hours at a time, if you only film 10 min here and there maybe you really don’t need that many batteries. But if you know you’ll need to shoot multiple takes and work throughout a whole day of shooting, don’t skimp out on batteries, you need them. Just compare the cost of batteries to the time wasted waiting for batteries to charge and the proposition starts to make a lot more sense.


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