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recharging batteries - empty or half-empty?


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Hi - is it better for battery life to let your batteries fully discharge;

to fully recharge them;

or to charge them to 50%

 

Obviously the most convenient answer is to fully discharge them, then fully charge them so you always know exactly where you are.  Is this best for the batteries however?

 

I have a Sony a7s m2

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good question!

 

i read somewhere for good batterie live it is best to complete discharge the batterie and if you use it soon to fully charge it

 

if you want to store the batterie for longer than a month it is better to charge it only to 60%

 

so i did and have no complaints 

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VTC, I have one of those and they are very useful.

 

Does anybody know what Sony recommends?

My ideal for a long days'  shoot is to have 4 batteries, all 100% charged, then use them in sequence until they are completely discharged, then move on to the next one. That way I know where I am.

 

Does anybody know if this is bad for the batteries?

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Guest Peter Kelly

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In this there is the truth, complex chemistry, wild guesses, and practical reality. While understanding the complex chemistry and knowing the truth might be ideal, all that matters is practical reality.

 

Leave all the hard work of caring for the batteries with the manufacturers and designers of the camera, to take care of drain limits (you can't fully discharge without shorting them out, they just get too low a voltage to operate!) and charge protocols. You could get into tracking charge cycles and scheduled reconditioning but I recommend to simply use your batteries according to your needs.

 

In other words, if you are about to go on an assignment, or long hike, then fully charge your batteries. It makes no sense to go with half empty ones as you might run out!

If you get back and your batteries are now half empty, don't worry about immediately recharging them as they'll be fine, but if they are empty then charge them up. Most, nowadays, will hold their charge well and it will be more convenient if there is a sudden need.

 

Agonising about squeezing every last working hour and drop of efficiency from your batteries is an entirely wasted exercise.

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Sony uses lithium batteries, so over-discharge and excess heat are bad for them. That said, the cameras themselves should have some sort of protection built in for both, so feel free to use them until they're completely dry. They're not that expensive to replace, and I've had excellent success with third-party Wasabi Power batteries which are quite literally a quarter the price of Sony branded batteries.

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Guest all8

VTC, I have one of those and they are very useful.

 

Does anybody know what Sony recommends?

My ideal for a long days'  shoot is to have 4 batteries, all 100% charged, then use them in sequence until they are completely discharged, then move on to the next one. That way I know where I am.

 

Does anybody know if this is bad for the batteries?

 

 

Complete discharges shorten overall battery life. No big deal.

 

The manual which comes with the camera has some other recommendations.

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Wish I had the time to research and thoroughly investigate batteries and chargers but I don't. Have 10 batteries for my A7S neatly stacked in 2 rows of 5 placed next to a dual battery charger. When leaving for a 2 hour band shoot I'll throw 4 in my pocket on the way out the door. With the one in the camera I have enough to cover the shoot so that even if two fail entirely I can finish the paycheck with enough electrical reserve to follow Bigfoot should he cross the road on my drive back to the shop. All those people who've spotted Bigfoot but couldn't take a photo is evidence of Poor Battery Management. Won't be happening to me. When I get the Bigfoot money shot, youse guys will see it first posted here.

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"If you get back and your batteries are now half empty, don't worry about immediately recharging them as they'll be fine". They may be fine but I won't. I suspect there are other O/C folks out there like me who also fill their gas tank when it is only half empty.

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Guest Peter Kelly

"If you get back and your batteries are now half empty, don't worry about immediately recharging them as they'll be fine". They may be fine but I won't. I suspect there are other O/C folks out there like me who also fill their gas tank when it is only half empty.

 

I was explaining that it would do no damage (indeed, it is the best to be left at 50%), but that recharging for convenience and readiness is the most practical. Perhaps I didn't put it very well.

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Yep, I'm all for convenience and readiness, and personally I'm prepared to sacrifice long battery life for the security of knowing I'm going into a long shoot, sometimes at very short notice, with all my gear (batteries and cards) ready to go.

 

I have one of those double chargers that indicates the level of charge. Does anybody know if leaving the batteries to charge to 100% causes significant deterioration of the batteries - does the charger turn itself off at 100%? I know it does with my Panasonic Lumix chargers.

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I was explaining that it would do no damage (indeed, it is the best to be left at 50%), but that recharging for convenience and readiness is the most practical. Perhaps I didn't put it very well.

And I didn't say that you didn't offer good advice. I was only saying my personal needs often override common sense and best practices.

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Batteries / gas tanks will need replenishing eventually so why not now? When you shoot fire department you don't want to discover that 1/8 tank won't get you to an event requiring 1/4 tank travel. Top everything off in leisure and you won't have to experience how slowly a battery charges or how difficult is is to find a filling station.

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What about if Bigfoot show up and disappear while you in the middle of battery change...no money then...

Hi to all first time posting...I believe that batteries do not need a lot of attention from the user, we have the mobile phones as an example also device manufacturers privanting battery exhaustion. I've got 4 batteries (2 Sony 2 non Sony) a simple double charger and I use them in pairs with the grip and I let them go all the way down until the camera switch off, 10 months now not a problem. Thanks

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Well...technically better to not have them fully zero and recharge every time but I'll bet I'm going to use a new battery type anyway for a future camera by the time the battery health is lowered significantly.

 

I would only be religious to battery health for long term things like laptops where they're increasingly getting more expensive to replace because it's glued in.

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