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What's one of the best parts about being a video professional? All the cool gear! In this weekly series, Rich Harrington and Robbie Carman team up to discuss the latest and greatest equipment for video production and post. They talk about the newest cameras, like the Blackmagic 4K, pocket cinema cameras, and GoPros; accessories and adapters that will make your shoots run smoother; and the great tech being invented every day. And because they keep both cost and quality in mind, you'll never have to worry about blowing your budget or compromising production value. Come back every Friday for a new tip.
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We just wanted to give you four pieces of quick advice that lets you get longer battery life, particularly when you're dealing with outdoor shoots. And one of those, which is something we've been experiencing a lot this winter, is cold weather. >> Oh yeah, it's been horrible this winter. How cold it's been. How snowy it's been. I'm jealous of any of you out there who are sitting on the beach, you know. Hanging loose and surfing, you know? Surfing and enjoying the Sun. >> Yeah. >> But, the thing about cold weather, when it comes to batteries, is that cold weather saps the juice out of batteries. You'll find that, in extreme cold weather, your batteries last for a fraction of the amount of time that they're normally rated for.
So, in those situations, you want to try to keep your batteries warm. And, there's a couple obvious ways to do that. First, keep your batteries in a relatively warm place when you're not using them. Inside the car with the heater on, or something like that. >> Or inside your jacket pocket. I've gone as far as putting them underneath my shirt. Just putting them right against the skin with a sweatshirt over it. Anything that's going to keep it to where they're warm as possible. I recommend maybe putting them between the t-shirt and sweatshirt layer, you don't want to get any moisture on the batteries. And that's going to work well, or, you could put em in bags that have something like a handwarmer, a pocketwarmer in it, that works well.
I've actually gone as far, sometimes with really cold weather, to make sure that the cameras wrapped and even using one of those thermal pads that you might get for like a sore back, wrapping it around the camera just to keep a little extra heat. >> Well, the thing about the cold weather too is that don't be surprised when you get out there. So what I tend to do is I try to figure out, depending on the system that I'm using or the battery that I'm using for a particular camera or accessory. I like to sort of test it out. So on the first cold day before my actual shoot, I'll go see what the actual real world battery is like, life is like. So I know that, hey you know this battery is only lasting for about half as long.
I'm going to need to bring at least double the amount of batteries. >> Another thing you could do is make sure you turn off things that aren't in use. One of those, for example, is a lot of cameras these days are coming with a wi-fi feature. And I've got to tell you, turning a camera into a wi-fi hub it drains that battery fast. >> Yeah exactly. Like my Sony A seven, new, it's a full frame wireless camera that I've been using a lot. It is really nice but when that wi-fi is turned on, my battery time is like a quarter of as much as it normally would. And so, you're right.
Things like wi-fi, and on other devices you might have wi-fi or bluetooth connectivity. >> Yeah. >> Those things, even if it's a minimal amount of power, they still draw power. And, speaking of power, make sure you set your Live View to actually set off after a while. >> Mm. >> A lot of people have this set to five minutes default for the off time. So, you'll be framing up a shot and walk away from the camera and the monitor's going to stay on for five minutes. I put mine to as low as possible, you know, like 30 seconds. If it's not being used, it, it turns off. Now Rich, related to that, there's just one thing that seems obvious.
Instead of worrying about turning off the live view monitor, how about turn off the gear completely. If you and the crew are going to go break for lunch and take an hour, why leave everything powered up? Now before you power down, though, take note of your settings. What your apertures were. What your ISOs were. Because sometimes, on some different cameras systems and accessories, those items might reset. And the last thing you want to have do is reinvent the wheel for framing up your shot, and getting all your settings correct. >> Alright. So, you get some practical strategies. You hear on how to maximize your battery life, as well as how to charge on the go.
One of the things that I can't say enough is as soon as you think that you have enough batteries, buy some more. You can never really have enough batteries. Although if you are flying be prepared to potentially run into some problems if you're traveling with a lot of batteries. One of the things that I do is I get TSA pre-certification, so when I go through the line, they pretty much just wave me through and they don't give my gear a deep scrutiny. But if you're flying with a lot of these, there are occasionally limits that you'll encounter. So, find the balance of having enough or spreading the batteries over, across multiple crew people that we that it's really divided over multiple suitcases.
All right, I hope this gives you some good ideas on how to shoot and always keep power.
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