When you book a workshop with us we remind you to come with full batteries – here is the low-down why this is so important, since batteries running out during a workshop can be very embarrassing for you.
Our outdoor courses are entirely practical so your camera is being used all the time for 4 hours. This means it will be switched on and you will be going torough the menus and other settings intensely in a way that you probably have never used it before. Consequently the drain on camera batteries in our courses is far more than you might expect.
Many students think their camera battery is full because it was a few weeks ago when they put it in but they are in danger of running our before the end or having to take measures to extend the battery life in the workshop which may detract from the learning experience.
Another thing to be careful about is that batteries can degrade over time even when they are not used – this happens especially with NiMH batteries. So if you have rechargeable AA or AAA batteries and you put them in new into your camera a month or two ago you will need to recharge them before the course. Bottom line with these is bring some spares as well.
Most DSLR’s will be running on a li-ion battery which will last longer than ordinary batteries (like AA). But if you have an older camera (say over 3 years old) you can’t trust the batteries in some cases – so don’t take assume it will stay charged for a whole workshop. Some Canon ixus entry level cameras from over 3 years ago were particularly prone to running out very quickly.
Recent cameras will keep the charge long enough to finish a workshop if you make sure it is charged properly. Follow the instructions for charging – also remember that recharchable bateries of all types have lower power over time (meaning years).
This mean that unless you have a DSLR or changeable lens compact stystem camera you should not trust the indicator in your camera. Especially, the older ones are not reliable and they can change: it can indicate as full when you first turn it on then if you zoom in and out or look at menu setting a few times it may well change (you can often see batteries go from full to almost empty – which means the the original full sign was not true).
If you have a DSLR (at least from a main manufacturer then the indicators are reliable and if it is full this should be OK.
Our strong advice is that you just play safe and recharge the camera battery anyway.