SD870 / IXUS860 battery life for time lapse shots - General Chat - CHDK Forum

SD870 / IXUS860 battery life for time lapse shots

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SD870 / IXUS860 battery life for time lapse shots
« on: 24 / June / 2008, 12:30:21 »
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Does anyone have any figures on average battery life for an SD870 (IXUS860) using one of the intervalometer scripts for time delay shots? I'm considering buying the AC adapter, but it seems to be incredibly expensive compared to several batteries (anyone know a good place to buy one... it's not even a common thing), and I'm wondering if it's really worth the money.

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Offline fudgey

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Re: SD870 / IXUS860 battery life for time lapse shots
« Reply #1 on: 24 / June / 2008, 12:39:04 »
If you aren't too concerned about warranties and can take the financial risk of a DIY'er, you can probably find a much less expensive generic 3rd party power supply somewhere. It's also possible to use larger external batteries in place of the AC adapter.

Re: SD870 / IXUS860 battery life for time lapse shots
« Reply #2 on: 24 / June / 2008, 12:49:22 »
I'd gladly do it, but it's not a regular plug; their adapter is a dummy plastic battery that connects to a transformer. Faking the transformer is trivial; getting it to connect to the two contacts inside the battery case is not as trivial (and I can't disassemble the camera, as it has to stay point-and-shootable (it's really my wife's camera ;)  ).

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Offline aldog

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Re: SD870 / IXUS860 battery life for time lapse shots
« Reply #3 on: 15 / July / 2008, 19:43:56 »
From what I've read on the slickdeals forum not many people have problems with the 3rd party batteries.
I have one that I bought from circuit city, and plan on getting 2 more, here's a site that has them for "21 cents"
Power101.com Special : $0.21 NB-5L battery for Canon Li-Ion 3.7V 1200mAh
In reality they're about 5 dollars, it's like 4.75 shipping, and 4$ shipping for every additional battery.

But I'm also curious on the life of the batteries for the sd870. I plan on trying on a roadtrip timelapse this weekend. i'll use the ol' 1/8th plug trick to turn off the display, but I'm still curious. I've shot a couple thousand pictures already but I haven't payed any attention to the battery life, most the time I forget to turn the camera off when it's plugged in and importing photos so my battery's almost always at 30<


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Offline fe50

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Re: SD870 / IXUS860 battery life for time lapse shots
« Reply #4 on: 15 / July / 2008, 20:26:28 »
Hi aldog,

the cheap NB-5L batteries are mostly signed with 1100-1200 mAh, but in real they have at least ~ 600-700 mAh (an electrician from the german forum measured this out).
*EDIT: -> Link

To save battery life time you can switch to play mode, the power consumption is ~ 50% compared to the record mode.
You also can manually turn the display off: in the Canon menu you can assign the PRINT key to "Display Off", then with a LONG keypress (~1-1.5s) on PRINT the LCD shuts off, switching to/from the ALT mode is done by a SHORT (~ 0.5s) keypress to PRINT.

In a script you can disable the LCD by emulating the long keypress with a sequence like this:

  press "print"
  sleep 1500
  release "print"

You have to do this (e.g. in a loop) after each shot - after shooting the display always turns on again...

On a script with long gaps between the shots (e.g. long time intervalometer with one shot each 2 or 3 minutes) with this method you can get very much more battery lifetime !
« Last Edit: 15 / July / 2008, 20:36:07 by fe50 »

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Offline aldog

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Re: SD870 / IXUS860 battery life for time lapse shots
« Reply #5 on: 15 / July / 2008, 23:44:25 »
Oh cool, thanks for the numbers fe50, that makes me feel a lot better about the test I just did

I just ran the Unlimited Interval Shooting Script at 1 shot every 10 seconds, I had headphones plugged into the a/v slot to disable the display and it lasted 90 minutes. (that's 540 shots if my math+the scripts math is correct). The battery I used was a DigiPower Li-ion 3.7v 850mAh
I'll try later with the battery that comes with sd870
*edit: I'm importing the photos now and it turns out there are 460 photos*

With the snippet of script you posted, would that help on top of having headphones plugged into the a/v jack? Or would it basically do the same thing?

and if it does make a difference, is the place I put my code proper for running the script? (my addition is in bold)
Code: [Select]
rem Author - Keoeeit
rem USE WITH CAUTION
rem do not run for many hours or days
@title Interval Shooting Non-stop
@param a Interval (Minutes)
@default a 0
@param b Interval (Seconds)
@default b 5
@param c Interval (10th Seconds)
@default c 0
 
t=a*60000+b*1000+c*100
 
if t<100 then let t=5000
 
n=1
 
print "Interval shooting."
print "Until you interrupt it."
print "Use with caution."
 
sleep 1000
 
goto "shot"
 
:shot
  print "Shot number", n
  shoot
  n=n+1
[b]  press "print"[/b]
  sleep t
[b]  release "print"  [/b]
  goto "shot"
« Last Edit: 16 / July / 2008, 00:00:32 by aldog »

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Offline fe50

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Re: SD870 / IXUS860 battery life for time lapse shots
« Reply #6 on: 16 / July / 2008, 04:15:17 »
...With the snippet of script you posted, would that help on top of having headphones plugged into the a/v jack? Or would it basically do the same thing?

I haven't tested out this, but there can be a difference (i'll figure out this the next days):

As posted above, the power consumption in record mode is higher than in play mode - the camera permanently runs with full power and calculates the life preview...in play mode the camera only refreshes the LCD display and waits for keypresses...

Probably the A/V plug disables only the LCD output, the display-off method seem to disable some of the the cameras internal processing (like in play mode), too.
But beware: if this is true, the MD (motion detection) should not work because it is based uppon the life preview / the cameras internal buffers for this.

Quote
and if it does make a difference, is the place I put my code proper for running the script? (my addition is in bold)
No, you must not use it in the delay-loop, use the 3 lines always after the shoot command and before the script runs the delay loop.

Try this one:
@title Interval Non-STOP LCD OFF SD870
rem Author - Keoeeit - fe50
rem USE WITH CAUTION
rem DO NOT RUN FOR many hours OR days
rem print must be assigned TO Disp.OFF
@param a Interval (Minutes)
@default a 0
@param b Interval (Seconds)
@default b 10
@param c Interval (10th Seconds)
@default c 0

t=a*60000+b*1000+c*100

if t<100 then let t=5000

n=1

print "Interval shooting."
print "Until you interrupt it."
print "Use with caution."

sleep 1000

goto "shot"

:shot
  print "Shot number", n
  shoot

  rem now give the camera 2s time to save the pic
  sleep 1000

  rem now simulate long-press to the print  key...
  press "print"
  sleep 1000
  release "print"
  rem now the display should be off until the next shot

  rem this is the delay loop...
  n=n+1
  sleep t
  goto "shot"
end


This script (also attached as downloadable file "TLsd870.bas") by default do the following in an endless loop:
  • take a picture
  • wait 2s until it has been saved to card
  • ress PRINT, hold it 1.5s, release it, now the display shuts off
  • return & do the next run
There are some better scripts, but for demonstration this will do the job...use it in the manual mode with flash off.

Caution: the uBasic dialect in CHDK is case-sensitive, keep all commands in lower-case, the variables (a - z) are case-sensitive to !

*EDIT:   for testing set "Interval (Seconds)" to 10 or 20 s...
*EDIT2: changed the sleep duration in the script text above from 2000/1500 to 1000/1000
« Last Edit: 18 / July / 2008, 08:37:34 by fe50 »

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Offline aldog

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Re: SD870 / IXUS860 battery life for time lapse shots
« Reply #7 on: 16 / July / 2008, 19:57:15 »
When you say that record mode consumes more power than play mode, are you referring to playback mode?
If so I don't get how that's relevant with this discussion, because it's not general power consumption we're talking about, it's how long the batter would last during a time lapse.

I just finished test #2.
Camera: Canon Powershot SD870
Battery: Stock canon nb-5l 3.7v 1120 mAh Li-ion
using the same ultra intervolom... script as before, set to 10 seconds between exposures (because that's what I plan to use)
I forgot to put the headphone plug in for this test to disable the lcd, so test #3 will use the plug.
I shot 548 pictures, and the time it took was 2 hours and 45 minutes according to exif data.
So considering the lcd screen was on the whole time, the canon battery obviously has A LOT longer life, as fe50 pointed out.
Like I said I want to do a fair test so we'll see.
I have to put it somewhere else though, hearing that dang shutter every 10-12 seconds drives me crazy.

After I do this again with the headphone plug in, I'm going to try it with the script you posted fe50, to see what kind of difference that makes as well.


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Offline fudgey

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Re: SD870 / IXUS860 battery life for time lapse shots
« Reply #8 on: 17 / July / 2008, 01:38:12 »
When you say that record mode consumes more power than play mode, are you referring to playback mode?
If so I don't get how that's relevant with this discussion, because it's not general power consumption we're talking about, it's how long the batter would last during a time lapse.

Yes play mode means playback mode. Of course it's relevant, because in future scripts will be able to switch the camera between rec/play modes (there are some builds for some models that already can, I think). For slow timelapses, a script that waits in play mode modes could give you significant power savings.

One more thing that effects power consumption significantly is how long the script spends time half shooting (because power consumption in rec mode half shoot is higher than rec mode while not half shooting), but that's probably not very significant for time lapses. Or actually it is significant, at least for fast timelapses, because this means that you can probably get a longer timelapse battery life in M mode with manual focus than in P mode with autofocus, because in the latter shooting takes more time.
« Last Edit: 17 / July / 2008, 01:41:18 by fudgey »

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Offline LjL

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Re: SD870 / IXUS860 battery life for time lapse shots
« Reply #9 on: 17 / July / 2008, 07:54:03 »
But isn't turning off the display entirely much better than switching to playback mode, anyway?

When I turn off the display by pressing DISP, the shutter closes, and I believe the sensor is powered off, too.

The best for timelapse would be if these camera had an "alarm clock" feature to turn the camera on at a certain time, but I doubt that's available even as a hidden feature... but you never know, perhaps you can force the system into a sleep state and only briefly call a function every half second or so.

 

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