A lot of people seem to find that batteries on Fujifilm mirrorless cameras just don’t last as long as they should. When I first started using Fujifilm cameras around two years ago I remember I was horrified at the initial battery life, but with tweaks and care, I overcome this to regularly take over 500 photographs on a single battery charge. Hopefully this guide will help you out.
Firstly, and most importantly, make sure you start the day on a full charge, and make sure that battery was not charged to capacity more than a couple of days before you start shooting. Starting with a 100% fresh charge will instantly give you a significant head start as opposed to carrying on using the camera the following day. For some reason, if for example you usually get 500 photographs from a charge, but only take 250 on the first day, each day later really seems to affect how many additional photographs you can take.
Secondly, I found that turning your camera on and off after every shot really sucks the life out of the battery, so a way to overcome this is set the auto power off setting to 15 seconds (30 seconds if you need) you can half press the shutter to extend the time the camera stays on at any point during that time. Just trust the camera to turn off and don’t worry, I know some will keep looking at their screen to see if it does indeed go off. If you know you’re not going to be taking photos for a long while, turn off the camera at the switch.
The next is a list of settings that need to be changed to get the best out of the cameras battery performance. Note “battery” performance, so certain camera features may take a hit and not work to their fullest. That said, for general use, when you’re not photographing birds in mid-flight, or using intensive focusing for various subjects, these settings should do you perfectly fine and be more than adequate.
Boost Performance Mode: Turn this setting OFF!!! This will eat your battery more than almost every other setting. If you think you’re going to use it, set up a button to turn the feature on and off. Try experimenting with boost on and off and see if you REALLY need it on at all times (the answer is probably “no I don’t”).
EVF Brightness: If you use the EVF more than the back screen, turn this setting to a comfortable level, but turn the back screen down as low as you can get away with (or even off). If you never use the EVF, turn it off.
LCD Brightness: Basically, the reverse of the above. Set the level to a comfortable level if you use it a lot.
Preview Image: You see exactly what your result is in your viewfinder on a mirrorless camera. Turn off the preview image feature! If for any reason you need to review your images, press the Playback button on your camera.
Long Exposure Noise Reduction: If you are doing long exposures, turn this feature off as it needlessly does a second exposure of the same duration after the initial exposure and calculates the noise reduction that it needs to apply. You can do this just as easily in software these days.
Highlight Warnings: You have a live viewfinder, you can see if you are blowing out the highlights. You do not need them on at all times. If you seriously need them, just use them when you really need to.
Pre-Shot: This feature allows the camera to start collecting images before you fully press the shutter. Only use it if you need it.
Continuous Focus (M/C/S): Of the the focus settings, Continuous Focus (C on your switch) will deplete your battery the quickest. It’s always focusing when you hold down the shutter button (also avoid the Pre-AF function for the same reason).
Avoid The Menus: Make the most of your buttons on your Fujifilm. Customise them so you rarely, if ever, have to go into the menus and search for a setting. If you run out of buttons, use the “My Menu” facility, or the-arrange the Q button settings (which are useful for setting the self timer quickly etc)
Update Your Firmware: Keep your firmware updated to the latest version.
Extra Tips: Shoot in raw as the jpeg conversion takes some battery. Use monochrome for your viewfinder to conserve power, use back button focus especially if you don’t need to refocus often, turn off automatic sensor cleaning and use a manual lens (that you David Whittley for these additions)
I know some of this is very counter-intuitive if you’ve come from a DSLR, but the reality is that you see exactly what you are taking photos of in real time, you see the exposure, the colour profiles and your screen is filled with information at all times. Most of these settings won’t affect your photography, so it’s up to you to decide what’s important to you.
If you want to go all guns blazing and you are not worried about battery life, then turn everything up full, your screens will be brighter, autofocus slightly faster, but you will use more batteries when you are out.
And on that note, always carry a spare battery or two, because you’ll never know when you need one!
If you have anymore tips, please leave them in the comment section below.
* Note: If you own many batteries and like to have your camera running at full capacity, or switch your camera off after every shot with the switch then please remember that there are many more people who are new to the system, or work in different ways. This guide is for those people.