Nikon has stated that you should 900 shots out of a fully charged EN-EL15. I'm seeing about 400. I'm hearing that others are getting in the same ball park and yet others that are getting 1,000. So, I would like to know how many shots do you normally get out of a fully charged battery and under what type of conditions. I was shooting RAW + Basic small jpegs with AFD lenses, over a period of 12 hours. So, I'm not constantly shooting. However, if I know that I'm not going to be shooting for a while, I'll shut the camera down. So, I like to know how others are doing, partly to determine if I'm doing something wrong or if I have a problem with my D800.
I did 3 14 hour days back at the beginning of the month. Put a total of 2860 frames through the camera in 95+ heat. I don't believe I changed batteries. So yea, I'd say about 1000 frames is realistic. I was chimping pretty hard too.
I assume that you re-charge your battery every night. So, you were doing a minimum of 953 images a day, plus being a heavy chimper. Hmmm,,, So, a figure of 1,000+ a day would be quite realistic, and that is including power to the LCD quite a bit of the time.
I did a test when I first got the camera. I got 645 images and still had 65% of the battery remaining. In typical use I will fill a 32 GB card before I'll need to charge the battery.
I have seen some variation with the situation. For example, I was using an Eye-Fi card recently and the wireless transmission caused a significant reduction in battery life - even when the camera went into sleep mode the wi-fi function continued and drained the battery. Also if you have a subject/lens that hunts, the battery will be drained much more quickly.
You can extend battery life by only using the LCD when needed, turning down brightness of the LCD, and letting the camera go to sleep with a short setting.
One more thing - a new battery will not get maximum life out of the box. It needs to go through some cycles before you get optimum performance. And then try not to let the battery fully discharge. Charge the battery after each day of use - ideally at 40-50% or higher.
1. This event was the first major outing with the D800. The battery had not gone through even one full charging cycle, just a couple of mini-cycles. So, the battery was not at it's full potential.
2. I had the EyeFi card plugged in it because I was planning on auto uploading the Basic jpegs to my iPad, which never did happen! Oops, power drain by the EyeFi card every time the camera was not processing an image and was still powered up.
3. My LCD was set to be pretty bright. Again, another power drain.
4. The lens that I was using half the time was a Tamron 35-105 f2.8, which is notorious for doing a lot of hunting!
5. Monitoring was set to 10 seconds. Oops, another power drain, except for when I automatically tapped the shutter after taking an image to turn off the monitoring.
Hmmm ... no wonder my battery did not hold up to what Nikon said that it should! So what do I do now? Buy a second battery so when I go totally lackadaisical about my shooting habits, I'll have a back up. Secondly, do not have things turned on that I really do not need! (i.e.. EyeFi card, monitoring left on ...)
Thanks for your input! You have been really, really helpful!
Thu 31-May-12 01:52 AM | edited Thu 31-May-12 01:54 AM by RRRoger
I shot a MotoCross Event Sunday with my D800 It was set to the 4:5 format, large fine JPEGs. Average file was close to 18 MegaBytes. After deleting the blurs and head chops I have 3382 pictures left and about 17% on the EN-EL15 battery. If I had not been reviewing my images so often and had all keepers (I sell Memories not Art objects), I think I could shoot 4,000 Images on one battery charge.
Of all the things you mentioned, probably the two big issues are the new battery and the Eye-Fi card. I need to do some testing, but my experience is the Eye-Fi card can be a huge power drain. The Eye-Fi card shows up in the menu settings of the D800/D800E and can be turned off if it is not being used.
I did a little testing with the EyeFi card installed. I set the D800 to create small Basic jpegs. I shot every so often over 45 minutes (about 50 images) and the battery power went down by 10%. I shot 150+ shots over a short period of time. And, the power went down by only 10%. Hmmm ... I really wouldn't have thought that. So, after a little bit more research, I find that once you connect to your iPad and shoot one or more images, after the images have been transmitted, the iPad will drop the connection after 2 minutes of inactivity. When you start shooting again, then it has to re-connect to the iPad. The 2 minutes of inactivity plus having to re-connect appears to be a significant drain on the battery. And, transmitting the images also take up battery resources. As you said, the EyeFi card is a battery hog.
Summing up what all has been discussed:
1. You can expect 1,000+ images if shooting Raw only 2. You can expect 4,000+ images if shooting fine large jpegs 3. Slower cards degrade the battery power. 4. Brightly lit LCD consumes more power than dimly lit ones 5. The longer that you leave the LCD on, the more power drain. 6. New batteries need to run through a few charging cycles before attaining maximum power. 7. Most importantly, if EyeFi card is installed and enabled, expect a significant drain on the battery, especially if minutes lapses between shots.