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  1. #1
    Junior Member

    battery options on a camping trip

    Hello

    We are taking a 9 day camping trip in the Andes next month and will not have access to AC power during the trip. I'm trying to determine if I should just buy and bring extra batteries for our d5200, or is there a solution to charge from, say a larger portable USB battery or solar charger?

    I expect to take about 2500-3000 photos, probably very little or no use of the flash. I am however hoping to do some longer exposure photos at night.

    thanks!


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  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Moab Man's Avatar

    Re: battery options on a camping trip

    The problem you will have is that most solar chargers are really not up to the hype they boast. Tried a number of them myself. Best most reliable move is batteries. Name brand are quite pricey, knock-offs are cheap. I use both. The knock-offs do not last as long in years or in total charge time, but they are so cheap I have no problem with using them. However, there are others that feel differently. Either way, solar is just not up to the job.
    Thanks/Like Don Kuykendall Thanks/liked this post
     
    D5100, D7100, D600, D750, Df
    Lenses: Nikon DX 18-55mm, 55-200mm, 55-300mm, Tamron SP 70-300mm F4-5.6 Di VC USD & 200-500mm
    Prime: Nikon 35mm, 50mm, & 85mm f/1.8G, 300mm f/4
    Wide Angle: Tokina AT-X116 Pro DX-II 11-16mm f/2.8, Rokinon f/2.8 14mm (chipped)
    Macro: Nikon 40mm, Tamron 90mm
    ​Flash: Nissin MARK II Di622
    Stuff: Expodisc Neutral & Portrait
    ​Editing: CS6, CC, Nik Tools, Portrait Pro 12, Topaz
    Spyder4Pro
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    J-see's Avatar

    Re: battery options on a camping trip

    I'm regularly on the road for quite some time and find a converter in my car the easier method to recharge batteries. But that takes a long time to fully reload from zero. Solar power I checked into but it's time consuming too and expensive for the little power it provides.

    I usually start with four batteries fully loaded and they last weeks if I watch the energy consumption a bit.

    When only using the LCD when needed and avoiding unnecessary VR, they can last pretty long. Longest I did was five weeks on four batteries using two cams. But I did all landscape with manual lenses.

    For the price of even a semi-decent solar system you could buy more batteries than you can carry.
    Last edited by J-see; 05-04-2016 at 08:15 AM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    aroy's Avatar

    Re: battery options on a camping trip

    Quote Originally Posted by Moabhikers View Post
    Hello

    We are taking a 9 day camping trip in the Andes next month and will not have access to AC power during the trip. I'm trying to determine if I should just buy and bring extra batteries for our d5200, or is there a solution to charge from, say a larger portable USB battery or solar charger?

    I expect to take about 2500-3000 photos, probably very little or no use of the flash. I am however hoping to do some longer exposure photos at night.

    thanks!
    1. There will be less sun in Andes so you will need a really large area for solar charger. Then you will also need time, hence if you are on the move during the day, then solar recharge is not really feasible, unless you have a fixed camp where you will return each evening.

    2. At high altitude and colder climate the batteries will last less. If you are using VR lenses, even less. For example with my D3300, I get around 700 images when using the non VR 35mm DX. On the other hand with 18-55 VR-II this drops to 350 and at times 300 images for one charge. So if the rated life is 500 shots, I would not expect more than 400. Your best bet will be to test the battery life using your lenses.

    3. 3000 shots at even 500 shots/battery charge means 6 batteries, and at 400, eight. So the trade off is between carrying 8-10 batteries or 2 batteries with a USB power bank.

    Here are a few links
    Digitek Power Bank-Nikon D3200 (ENEL14) Price in India- Buy Digitek Power Bank-Nikon D3200 (ENEL14) Online at Snapdeal
    D300, D3300
    105F2.8 AIS, 70-300 G, 50F1.8 AF, 16-85G ED VR, 18-55DX VRII, AFS DX 35mm F1.8
    2 x SB-800

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Bill4282's Avatar

    Re: battery options on a camping trip

    If a fixed camp and porters, why not bring a small portable generator?

    SgtUSMC, Viet Vet (in country), AmLegion, VFW, LifeNRA, DAV

  6. #6
    RIP :(
    Don Kuykendall's Avatar

    Re: battery options on a camping trip

    It has always amazed me that the more expensive Nikons have much better battery life. The D7100 is rated at 950 and I regularly get at least that. The D750 is rated at 1,230 shots and I don't think I have ever shot that many in one day so I have no idea if it will.


    But I agree with Moab Man about the 3rd party batteries. I use a mix of Nikon and Wasabi and I have never noticed a difference in them. Both my D7100 and D750 use the same batteries so they get used a lot.

    ================================================== ============================
    D750***D7100***24-120 f/4 ***70-300***Tamron 150-600***Tokina 16-28 f2.8***50mm f/1.8***Photoshop/Lightroom CC

  7. #7
    Senior Member

    Re: battery options on a camping trip

    Some ideas to make your batteries last: 1) turn off image review after each shot. 2) take the battery out of the camera when not in use. That tiny trickle the camera takes to power the LED screen seems to make a big difference over a long period. This is from my video camera days, but I'm superstitious and do it with DSLR's, too. 3) Turn off VR unless you need it.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Bill4282's Avatar

    Re: battery options on a camping trip

    Ditto on image review. Turn it off. If you need to, you can always press the review button. If not shooting right away, turn off the camera until ready to shoot. I turned off the pre- illumination unless possibility of red eye.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  9. #9
    Senior Member

    Re: battery options on a camping trip

    I just spent 12 days touring Germany with my D7000. I had three fully charged batteries before I left, but one (the first one I used) is several years old at this point and only charges to 70-80%. I took over 1200 pictures and a few videos during that time.

    The first battery (old, weak one) survived until the 11th day. Then I put the second battery in. Had I started with one of the newer batteries, I might not have needed to swap at all. I have image review off, but I don't remove the battery from the camera when I'm not using it, even at home. It doesn't draw that much power in my experience.

    So, my recommendation is to get at least one backup battery and have all of your batteries charged...and have a good time!

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    blackstar's Avatar

    Re: battery options on a camping trip

    Hi, Although this discussion thread ended in May 2016, I, a new member here, can still appreciate and need the experience sharing related to the topic from all posters. Now I come to need your input and help for my own camping trip plan. First I recently acquired a new D3500 for my new hobby. The camera came with two kit lenses: 18-55mm and 70-300mm. I plan for a spring trip for about 10 days to Mohave Desert, Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, and Joshua Tree National Park. I expect to shoot night star sky, the Milky Way, and some Star trails (and of course some scenic photos). And the last thing I started to consider preparing for the trip is the battery. The camera came with a new EN-EL 14a Li-ion. According to Nikon's doc, the battery is rated 1500 shots per charge. I know in reality it won't last that much considering video, setting, live view, and other activities. So I roughly estimated that it can go 500 shots plus all other usages. Then I thought 500 could not be enough for my trip especially considering there will be many night time, long exposure, and double-file (RAW and JPG) shots. So I bought another Nikon EN-EL14a from AMZ (almost all reviewers state it's genuine, legit) for making up to 1000 for my trip. Now come to my surprise, my use test resulted in a very low score for both batteries (original and new bought). My use test simply goes like this: fully charge the battery; put it in the camera; start using (setting, live view, taking shot... ) without taking out. Both batteries all run for 10 days and down to 1 bar (red). During the 10 days, the bought one made about 75 shots w/o video and the original one made about 95 shots plus one 24s video. Both had night shots. So how do I validate these batteries with Nikon's doc? Do I or my use test miss something? Does this mean I'll at least need 5 batteries to make 500 shots and 10 for 1000 shots during the trip? Even making an equivalent shots calculation: actual shots 100 + 50 for other usages = 150 shots, still way too low (1/10) for 1500 rate. The number just can not be justified. Any thoughts? Appreciate all inputs.

    (I have also heard that some cameras may have short circuit inside and that can cause power drain even unused. Can this happen to a new camera?)





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